Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Top 5 Topics: #1 - One (Legal) Toke Over the Line

Crain's Detroit Business, December 3
I didn't have to reach far back for my #1 cartoon of 2018 - only to the December 3 edition of Crain's Detroit Business. When Michigan voters OK'd recreational marijuana in the November mid-term election, it was a cultural milestone for many of us early 1970s college students. Those who are so inclined may now take that one toke over the line legally, at a yet to be established retail price - and including, of course, state sales tax.
That's the Point!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 Top 5 Topics - #2: The Fourth "R" - Readiness

The News-Herald - April 4
Even our elementary schools feel the negative pressures of our current society and culture. Today's students (the generation of our grandchildren) experience active shooter lockdown drills and evacuation drills, in response to social media threats. These threats, it seems, are more personal and terrifying than the threat of nuclear war that motived our duck-and-cover drills in elementary school in the early 1960s.
That's the Point!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 Top 5 Topics - #3 A New Battle for Rosie?

Crain's Detroit Business, April 9
With hints of coming tariffs and a looming trade war in the spring, many in manufacturing - especially those in SE Michigan - pondered if this was the sort of war we could win. As the year closes, collateral damage from this war seems to be minimal and the president is hinting that a deal with China is near. As wars tend to do, it's spilling over into another year and perhaps in 2019 we'll see moves toward "trade peace?"
That's the Point!

Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Top 5 Topics: #4 - All On Board With This

Crain's Detroit Business - March 26
When Ford first announced plans to acquire and renovate the old Michigan Central Station in Detroit, everyone was "on board." While details (that we now know) were still to be revealed, it meant that other businesses - and the related redevelopment - would also soon be making tracks for Cork Town.
That's the Point

Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Top 5 Topics - #5: Void Where Prohibited

A look back at the Top 5 Topics of my editorial cartoons from 2018
The News-Herald, January 28
Immigration was an important national issue in 2018, but the humanity (or inhumanity) of the issue had an impact in everyone's back yard. As a first generation American, whose mother and father were immigrants (with my grandparents) from Lithuania and Syria respectively, I grew up with an understanding of the richness and diversity that immigrants bring to America's culture. It's sad to see how this had changed under the current administration; and sobering to realize that my paternal grandparents wouldn't even be welcome in this country anymore.
That's the Point!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Let the (post-Christmas) Bowl Games Begin!

The News-Herald, December 26
Ol' Santa deserves a little R&R after his busy season. If he's anything like me, plans to settle into my comfortable chair for a day of college football viewing, usually ends up in a long winter's nap instead!
That's the Point!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Season's Greetings!

The News-Herald, December 23
I've had a lot of fun celebrating my 30 years of editorial cartooning for The News-Herald throughout 2018. Most of the celebration has been about Downriver readers and organizations, my editors past and present, and the multitude of News-Herald reporters throughout the years whose work has inspired my cartoons. Today, forgive me, I made it about me! While this message was created for my readers Downriver, it also applies as I send my Best Wishes and Season's Greetings to all my readers!
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: Sweat(er)ing it out in Lansing

Crain's Detroit Business - December 17
My dad was, at various times in his life, a Roosevelt Democrat and a Milliken Republican. Similarly, throughout my 46 years as a voter (never missed an election), I've voted across the political spectrum from the viewpoint of a unionist - I proudly hold three union withdrawal cards - the perspective of a small business owner, and now as a senior citizen collecting Social Security, carrying a Medicare card and afraid to look at my current IRA balance. I've seen a lot; including a president resign and a Michigan native son who never won a national vote become president.

But I ain't ever seen anything like this.

As we close 2018, there's been an unusual amount of questionable legislative activity in Lansing during the current lame duck session. I don't think my dad, the Milliken Republican, would recognize (or support) the current crop of elected officials labeled Republicans. I knew I wanted this to be the topic of my final Crain's Detroit Business editorial cartoon of the year; and happily my editor, Michael Lee agreed. My struggle - how would I portray the nonsense going on in the State Capital? I came up with this season twist - I hope it works.

My best wishes to you for a happy holiday season - whatever holiday(s) you celebrate at this time of the year - as well as hope and best wishes for a pragmatic, productive and civil New Year!
See you in January!
That's the Point!   

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: One Toke Over the Line?

Crain's Detroit Business, December 3
The majority of Michigan voters OK'd recreational use of marijuana a month ago. Now, state officials just have to sort out licensing regulations, applicable taxes and other details relating to sales and distribution. Never underestimate the power of bureaucracy to screw up a good thing! Note: the character on the right is completely fictional. He's not, nor is he based on, anybody I know!
That's the Point!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: Thanks(giving) for Everything!

The News-Herald, November 21
Every year, for 30 Thanksgivings, I've penned a cartoon like today's for The News-Herald to celebrate all the people and topics that have inspired editorial cartoons for which I'm thankful. This was an especially rewarding year, because throughout the year, I had the chance to celebrate 30 years of editorial cartoons with News-Herald readers and staff members through columns and at local events. And there's more to come. I have a column running in December, reflecting on Christmas Downriver decades ago, and we're planning something special for readers at the annual Salvation Army Fill-the-Truck toy, food and clothing drive. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm looking forward to beginning my 31st year in January!
That's the Point!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: I'd be lyin' if I said I expect a win from the Lions on Thanksgiving Day

Crain's Detroit Business - November 19
I've had many IMs, texts and a couple of emails from friends asking if I'm embarrassed, because this cartoon ran today in Crain's Detroit Business, the day after an unexpected win by the Detroit Lions over the Carolina Panthers in a dominant, decisive performance with a final score of 20-19. "It looks like they've turned it around!" wrote one. Another went so far as to point out that the Lions still have a mathematical chance of winning their division, or at least making the playoffs. I can't vouch for that argument because I didn't understand his equation. I studied Fine Art and History at Wayne State because there was no math requirement.

But, back to my answer to everyone, "no." No, I'm not embarrassed. No, I don't regret doing the cartoon. These Lions always win one when it's least expected, and they always return to their losing ways. I still think it won't only be the turkey that's carved on Thanksgiving.
That's the Point! 

Off the Drawing Board:
Today's cartoon pays tribute to one of my mentors and a good friend - cartoonist Larry Wright. Larry passed away in 2017. He created "Wright Angles," "Kit 'N' Carlyle," and he penned editorial cartoons for The Detroit News Op-Ed page. Larry had the patience to let a young college cartoonist sit in his office and ask dumb questions, and he was kind enough to let that kid play on his softball team years later. When I think of things I'm thankful for, Larry's kindness and encouragement are near the top of the list.
Oh, and it's Larry's turkey, from his annual Wright Angles Thanksgiving cartoon strip, who's talking with Matthew Stafford!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: (Make) Time to Vote!

Crain's Detroit Business - November 5
Many metro Detroit area businesses will give employees either time off during the day to vote, or the day off entirely to vote. If you're fortunate enough to work for one of those companies, use the time to VOTE. And, if you don't get paid time off to vote, find time to VOTE on your own time. The polls open at 7 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m. - and if you're in line at 8 p.m. you WILL be allowed to vote, even if it's after 8 p.m. Review Michigan's voting regulations here:

And one final comment - it's important that we blue it on Tuesday, or we may wake up on Wednesday and find we blew it.
That's the Point!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: An Extra Hour to Study

The News-Herald, November 4
We all gained an hour today, when we set our clocks back to Eastern Standard Time. How will you use your extra hour? How about taking an extra 60 minutes to study the November 6 ballot? Get to know the candidates, get to know the issues and the ballot proposals; and then, on Tuesday, cast an informed vote and prove our system works!
That's the Point!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Cartoons of the Week: Primary Concern

The News-Herald, August 5

Crain's Detroit Business, August 6
My primary concern for Tuesday, August 7 is voter turnout. It's disturbingly low for General Elections, and often embarrassingly low for Primary Elections. I've heard many summertime excuses - it's too hot, it's raining, I was away on vacation, I had golf, it's not important until November. The last one is particularly annoying. The choices we have in November are dictated by the decisions that (very few) voters make in August.
Get out and vote - I don't care if you're a Democrat, a Republican, a Green, a Liberal, a Progressive, or an Independent - VOTE. It's a right, sure; but more importantly, it's a responsibility - to yourself, your family, your community, your state and your country. A little homework to be informed and a little adjustment of your summer schedule to make it to the polls is not much of a sacrifice to make.
That's the Point!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: Independence Daze

The News Herald - July 4
As we celebrate the founding of the greatest county ever established (always was, is now, doesn't need to be "made great" again), the current political and social climate makes me wonder what the founders would think of us now. If they had access to social media, I think they might just weigh in on the debate today!
That's the Point!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: A Different Kind of War

Crain's Detroit Business - April 9
The Arsenal of Democracy is familiar with supporting a winning war effort, but is it equipped to survive a trade war in today's global economy?
That's the Point!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: Hoppy Easter - No Joking!

The News-Herald - April 1
It's no joke - Easter and April Fools Day coincide this year, but it isn't a joke when I extend my best wishes to my readers who are celebrating Easter!
That's the Point!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: The Signs Aren't Good

The News-Herald - March 21
I drew this signs of spring commentary for my Downriver readers, but it applies throughout metro Detroit. Signs of spring around here are no longer the return of migratory birds and emerging crocuses, they're orange barrels and depressing warnings to motorists like, "expect delays." The change of seasons means transitioning from pothole filling season to road construction season. Hang on, readers - it's going to be a bumpy ride to summer.
That's the Point! 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: A Pot(hole) Full O' Gold?!

The News-Herald - March 14
Although I drew this cartoon for Downriver readers, everyone in the metro Detroit area - everyone in Michigan, really - can relate. When you're driving to and from your St. Patrick's Day celebrations, watch out for the potholes - they aren't filled with gold!
That's the Point!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: 'Looped' In

Crain's Detroit Business - March 12
Given the current state of our metro Detroit roads, and the current state of our Tigers, is it really a good idea to consider a high-speed transportation system to connect us with another city that offers an art museum, a zoo and a professional baseball team?
That's the Point!

Off the Drawing Board: My first draft of this idea featured a different punch line. "Thank you," to my editor, Michael Lee, whose suggestion to explore others made for a better cartoon, and assured my safe passage through Ohio on my next trip.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: Time for a Change

The News-Herald - March 11

The older I get, the more personally I take the annual change to Daylight Saving Time. At my age, I can't afford to lose an hour, especially because (at my age) there's no guarantee I'll still be around in November to get it back!
That's the Point!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: The (Pot)hole Story

Crain's Detroit Business - February 26
For most retailers, Black Friday and the days that follow it in the holiday season are when they make most of their profits. Tires, shock absorbers, wheels and tie rods aren't popular holiday gifts; but because of the terrible condition of Michigan's roads, in pothole season, every day is Black Friday!
That's the Point!

Note: There is comprehensive and insightful coverage of the condition of Michigan's roads and the hazards and opportunities presented by the pothole problem drivers are facing in this week's Crain's Detroit Business. I'm happy to have today's cartoon be a small part of it.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: 'Weather' or Not You Want It, Winter is Here for a Few More Weeks

The News-Herald - January 31
Groundhog Day - our annual opportunity to blame a large rodent for our lingering cold, miserable weather. Even if spring is six weeks away, there's one sign of the season that we can count on to lift our spirits - pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks, folks!
That's the Point!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: You Can't Get There From Here

Crain's Detroit Business - January 29
Following the brief region-wide team effort to compose the Amazon HQ2 bid, the metro area's top elected officials are back to sniping and confrontation about key issues including regional transit. Without viable, effective regional transit, Detroit's come-back and sustainable growth in the metro area will be impossible. Certainly, bridge and road infrastructure repairs and updates are needed, but that's only part of the equation. Personal mobility is changing and our thinking about mobility must also change. If not, we're going nowhere.

The future? You can't get there from here.
That's the Point!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: Autonomous Cars - 'Open the Car Door Alexa'

Crain's Detroit Business - January 15
The 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) opened in Detroit this week, with its Media and Industry Preview Days. There was a time, not long ago, when the most important choice we made in considering a car was the color. Today, the most important choice is the car's onboard technology and its compatibility with the operating system of our mobile device and our connected home. To paraphrase a classic movie line, "Open the car door Alexa ..."
That's the Point!

Off the Drawing Board: I sketched three takes on autonomous driving and our relationship with home and vehicle technology for consideration by my editors at Crain's Detroit Business this week. I agreed with their thoughts that idea #2 best presented the scope of the relationship that's growing between us and Alexa, or Siri.
(... or HAL?) 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Cartoon of the Week: New Year, New Start

The News-Herald - December 31
Another New Year, another new start. This is the greeting I shared with my readers Downriver as we said goodbye to 2017 and welcomed 2018. The sentiment applies to all my friends and family as well. Look ahead, make some personal headlines. Like the newspapers in which my cartoons appear, not all headlines are happy, but the stories are ours to write. I hope all my readers, and all my family and friends are the authors of wonderful personal stories in 2018! Happy New Year!
That's the Point!