Sunday, July 31, 2011

Debt Ceiling Blues

Back to the Big Bad Debt Ceiling Debate. Ah the debt limit, in place since 1917, has been raised multiple times, 7 times under President Bush, 3, so far, under President Obama, and 18 times under President Reagan! Doesn’t sound like the Tea Parties would approve!
Most economists agree that we must raise the debt limit or risk getting a lower credit rating. Times are so bad that the USA is having trouble with creditors! Obama sure wants to raise it but didn’t want to raise it in 2006 when he was in Congress. He calls that “a political vote”.  You can get a great overview of the whole debate here. Now of course the House and the Senate have dueling bills. Three days left. Let’s see who caves in.  Or, will it be 50/50? Or will Obama step in? Stay tuned, true believers!

Genesis of my Style–Part 2 Blast From The Past!

In Part 1 I discussed the 13 Deadly Sins of Desktop Publishing. Here, I highlight the sin of using hyphens in place of bullets, featuring a gleeful, gun toting Vice President Dick Cheney, right after the infamous errant gunshot incident! The parody may be a bit broad and sophomoric, but that’s “not out of my wheelhouse”. Some would consider my current work I also created promotional buttons as well. Ah, I should have began this blog in 2006, so many foibles to cover in those days! But then, current events give me sufficient fodder, and, so it goes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tales From the White House-End of the World!

President Obama has been haunted by some scary specters lately-House Republicans! They and Obama have been tussling lately on the details of raising the debt ceiling and the consequences of not doing so. Regarding the results of the debt ceiling not being raised, Salon has a better explanation that I could ever give; I only provide original graphics and meager commentary; I try to speak to a broad audience despite this being a niche concept (so far)!  Obama and the Democrats are willing to cut some spending but insist on revenue increases IE: Tax increases OR as proposed cutting tax loopholes for "millionaires and billionaires". In several polls, 70% of Americans polled want a combination of spending cuts AND revenue increases, however many Republicans are intractable on this matter, no new taxes period.  Many of them were voted into office on a wave of antigovernment, antispending, and anti-taxing fervor in the election of 2010. Oddly enough, sometimes you get the impression that Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner , an old school Establishment Republican is being held  hostage by newer, more extreme members of the house.  This will be a real nail biter. If they don’t raise the debt ceiling in time, the US could get a poor credit rating-expect the possibility of a second recession, or worse!

Genesis of My Style-Part 1

Dateline 2006-This was a multi piece project from my early portfolio, done at George Mason University. I was to lay out and illustrate a brochure warning against the 13 Deadly Sins of Desktop Publishing. The challenge was to create an eye catching Black and White design. I thought to take the literal course of action, and depicted Pat Robertson as Moses with stone tablets. Inside were politicians of the day making “humorous” commentary.  Now, the jokes seem dated and juvenile, and, you know I never sink to that level, still, this was the raw beginning of my current oeuvre.  By the way, the second part of the project was to highlight one of the 13 sins in a poster. In part 2, you will see which sin and politician makes it to poster form!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mutants and Conspiracy Theories

Certainly, I feel as though I’m living in the Age of Mutants; never in my life have I ever heard so many conspiracy theories about any president ever. Perhaps the most persistent and unbelievable one was Obama was born in Kenya thus cannot be president. Even before Obama took the oath of office, people were already pushing this theory, as though Hillary Clinton and the Republican Party would let an ineligible person beat them and become president. Donald Trump jumped on that bandwagon years after it became a popular myth. The problem with basing a campaign on an unfounded rumor is, he looked quite foolish when Obama released his birth certificate. It didn’t help Trump’s dignity one bit that that same week, he was the butt of everyone’s jokes at the Annual White House Correspondents Dinner. Even after Obama released his birth certificate, some insisted it was a fake; I’m not sure why anyone was pushing this idea, that Obama was some sort of alien, an outsider. Certainly I’ve never seen this tactic used against any other president; what is it that’s so different about Obama that inspires this unique treatment?
I based this cover on a group of folks I saw dressed as Magneto, Marvel Girl, and Juggernaut of Marvel Comics fame at The Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30, 2010 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. What a wonderful event that was! Their sign states, “Obama is a Skrull”, the Skrull being a race of shape-shifting aliens known to have replaced known public figures. At least that makes more sense than saying Obama is a foreigner. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Candidates of 2012-Michele Bachman

Republican Minnesota Representative Michele Bachman has made a lot of crazy claims over the years.  In 2007 she said "Iran is the troublemaker trying to tip over apple carts all over Baghdad right now because they want America to pull out. And you know why? It's because they've already decided, that they're going to territory, they're- they're going to partition Iraq and half of Iraq, the western northern portion of Iraq is going to be called, the United, uh, the, the uh, -oh, I'm sorry, I can't remember the actual name of it now, but it's going to be called, um, uh, the, the, uh, uh the Iraq State of Islam, something like that.”  In 2008 she said “I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America." Her gaffes continued unabated but she garnered closer scrutiny as the campaign neared and in 2011 she declared, "What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty. You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord." Only, that was incorrect; one wonders if Ms. Bachman is reading from the same erroneous history books as Sarah Palin! You can play this game of citing bizarre Michele Bachman quotations all day long as she has a history of making unfounded remarks.
Michele is the darling of the Tea Parties. Ms. Bachman is an outspoken opponent of government subsidies; however, she has been the recipient of the same. She has helped 23 foster children over the years–a noble pursuit indeed. However her husband runs a Christian Counseling Center. One naturally wonders if the two things are related. She has a strong following among the Christian Right, only, unlike other candidates, Michele has not been voted out of office or resigned.  She has shot to number two on many polls but I doubt she will get the nomination; she lacks mainstream appeal…so far.  Potential Vice Presidential material! 

Avengers Versus JLA Part 2

In part 1 I mentioned the Supreme Court Case involving the Avengers and the Justice League of America. In the Supreme Court’s decision on “Avengers V. JLA” the Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the majority that the Avengers and the Justice League of America were “national treasures…to be cherished and shared by all.” This led to this issue of JLA but the writers and artists were not mollified. In it, the JLA travel to a universe where the “heroes” often do as much harm as good! You’ll notice they call Earth 616, the home world of the mainstream Marvel universe, “The Most Dangerous Earth of All” and show Wonder Woman kneeing Captain America in the groin! That’s gotta hurt!

Monday, July 4, 2011

World War II War Bond Crossover Issue!

Happy Fourth of July!
I always look forward to The Fourth of July; I feel as though I have an intimate relationship to the holiday and it’s meaning. I was born in the Nation’s Capitol on July 3rd, one day before the 4th. When I was younger I watched the fireworks in DC, or, nearby. Everyone should visit Washington D.C. on the 4th of July at least once in their lives. Presidents come and go, same for congress, everyone, but, the buildings stay. Our nation is not perfect but I feel pride, even though the flaws with the government sometimes seem glaringly apparent these days. I hope congress and the president can work out this budget situation, who knows what 2011 will hold for us?
In addition to being a national icon, Uncle Sam is a comic book superhero, beginning in the 1940’s with Quality Comics, which was later purchased by DC Comics. After Pearl Harbor, there was a great national fervor for patriotism; even the comic book industry wanted to make a contribution. So on Fourth of July, 1942, Uncle Sam Quarterly published a special War Bond Issue, “E pluribus Unum”, which featured the most patriotic heroes of the various companies together in one giant crossover event. The notorious Red Skull leads an army of Nazi Monsters like The Living Ghost, Baron VonBolt, Steel Commander, and of course, Nazi Frankenstein. At first he tried to hold them off with an army of trained polar bears, but that failed so Uncle Sam called forth to the symbols of America from every universe! Can you name the various heroes? They banded together and became known as Freedom Fighters. The companies donated the use of their characters and split the cost of the production of this issue, all to raise money for US War Bonds. They donated the bulk of the special issues directly to the War Department, in turn; they were distributed to recruiting centers and the USO. The rest were sold at newsstands and canteens. These are valuable today; a fair condition issue will bring over $600 or more at auctions.