Civility Zombies

Cartoon by Barry


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Gretchen Koch and I were chatting on Twitter, about if I should do a cartoon about the “civility” issue. Gretchen said “I think it’s worth it, because as you said, it’s perennial. The civility zombie, that is.” This comic strip immediately popped into my mind, and fortunately for me, Gretchen said she didn’t mind if I used the idea. Thanks, Gretchen!

Also, thanks to Mandolin for suggesting the kicker panel!

Drawing cute cartoon zombies is, as it turns out, a great deal of fun.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This is a four-panel cartoon.

PANEL 1

Two women, one with a ponytail, one with glasses, are in a house, near an open window. The woman with glasses looks angry and is holding a cell phone; the woman with the ponytail is reacting with panic.

GLASSES: Have you read the news? $@@! the GOP!
PONYTAIL: Shh! Don’t say that!
DISTANT VOICE FROM OUTSIDE WINDOW: Civility.
(Note: Here and throughout the cartoon, the word “civility” is lettered in fonts designed to look like dripping blood.)

PANEL 2

Zombies appear in the window, looking like they might crawl into the house. They have rotting green flesh and each of them is raising a forefinger and waggling it.

GLASSES: What’s happening?
PONYTAIL: It’s the civility zombies! They come whenever someone on the left is impolite! RUN!
ZOMBIES: Civility! Civility…

PANEL 3

Glasses and Ponytail flee up a hillside, pursued by zombies. A zombie in the foreground look sstraight at the viewer.

GLASSES: Can we shoot them?
PONYTAIL: That’s rude, which only makes them stronger! Plus, we’re liberals! We don’t have guns!
ZOMBIES: Civility! Civility! Civility!

PANEL 4

Glasses and Ponytail have come to a stop, surrounded by zombies. Glasses looks frightened; Ponytail looks irritated.

ZOMBIES: Civility! Civility!
GLASSES: So this is it? We’re going to die?
PONYTAIL: No, they’re completely toothless. But so annoying!

SMALL KICKER PANEL BELOW BOTTOM OF STRIP

A man in a “MAGA” hat is grinning and talking at a zombie. The zombie has his back to the MAGA hat wearer, and makes a dismissive gesture with his hand.

MAGA: Libtards! Cucks! Snowflakes!
ZOMBIE (in blood-dripping lettering): Meh.

Posted in Barry's favorites, Media criticism |

Top Ten Reasons We Take Kids From Their Parents At The Border

Cartoon by Barry


I couldn’t make these cartoons without the support people give me on Patreon! If you can spare it, a $1 pledge really matters to me.


Here’s a list of organizations that are mobilizing to help separated immigrant children | The Texas Tribune


Transcript of cartoon:

This cartoon has a title panel followed by ten panels.

TITLE PANEL
CAPTION: Top Ten Reasons We Take Kids From Their Parents At The Border

Below the title, a caricature of Jeff Sessions is speaking to the viewer, smiling.
SESSIONS: Refugees are fleeing despots and murderers! So to deter refugees, we have to be even worse!

PANEL 1

A cheerful man in an ICE uniform speaks directly to the viewer. Behind him is a cage filled with wide-eyed children.
MAN: How else can we test our awesome child-holding cages?

PANEL 2
A well-off (or at least, middle class) looking couple sits at a table; the man looks down, ashamed, while the woman talks with wide-eyed sincerity at the viewer.
MAN: Because I’m tired of caring about what happens to other people.
WOMAN: It’s exhausting.

PANEL 3
A hand holds a smartphone. On the phone, a video on Youtube or some similar site is playing, showing a young man wearing a hoodie sitting in his car and talking to the camera. He’s grinning hugely.
MAN: Because it’s worth it to see the snowflakes cry!

PANEL 4
A middle-aged man in an ICE uniform, with a big cop mustache, holds an adorable smiling baby towards the viewers. The baby is wearing footie pajamas with a pattern of little hearts. The man is yelling angrily.
MAN: Because this is the face of a TERRORIST!

PANEL 5
A man in a hoodie is curled up in the corner of an empty room; he’s very small. He’s hugging himself with one arm while sweating with fear. His word balloon and lettering are shaky.
MAN: Brown illegals are coming to steal my way of life.

PANEL 6
A woman wearing sunglasses and a MAGA hat speaks directly to the viewers, looking stern, calm, and collected. Behind her is a fence with barbed wire on top; on the other side of the fence are people in silhouette.
WOMAN: This is what making America great looks like.

PANEL 7
An ICE agent speaks cheerfully to the viewers, while he’s holding a woman in a very painful looking headlock.
ICE AGENT: Because we can do anything we like to illegals! It’s not like they’re people.

PANEL 8
We are looking at a wall of an institutional looking building made of concrete blocks. A sign on the building says “Detention Facility.” A door into the building has a window embedded in it. Through the window, we can see the face of an angry looking man, talking to us.
MAN: Because we’re throwing the kids a big party! With clowns! And balloons! No, you CAN’T see!

PANEL 9
A person wearing a KKK outfit, white hood and all, stands in front of a barbed wire fence. Dark stormclouds can be seen behind the KKK member.
KKK: Isn’t it obvious?

PANEL 10
Uncle Sam, wearing the top hat and also a Hawaiian shirt with flowers all over it, sneers at the viewer as he gives the viewer the finger.
UNCLE SAM: Because fuck you! THAT’S why.

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Barry's favorites, Social Justice |

But she never said “no”!

Cartoon by Barry


This stip was created with Becky Hawkins, who is also my collaborator on SuperButch! Becky drew this comic, while I wrote, lettered, and added the colors.


If you enjoy these cartoons, and can spare it, please support them on Patreon! A $1 pledge really matters to me.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

The title image of this cartoon has the words “But she never said ‘NO’ in large white letters that fade into the background. Below the title is a drawing of telephone wires, with two birds sitting on a wire.
FIRST BIRD: Does this comic strip need a content warning?
SECOND BIRD: I think the title covers it.

PANEL 1

A woman and a man are on a sofa. The man is leaning towards her, putting his lips near hers, while she pulls back and puts a protective hand, in a “stop” gesture, in front of her mouth.

WOMAN: I’m not sure I want to do this right now…
MAN (thought): That’s not literally saying “no.”

PANEL 2
A closer shot of him from over the woman’s shoulder. He is smiling. She’s still holding up a “stop” hand. His thought balloon partly obscures her speech balloon, but not so much that we can’t read what she’s saying.

WOMAN: Hey c’mon, this isn’t a good idea.
MAN (thought): That’s not a literal “no.” So it’s okay to grab her boobs.

PANEL 3
A closer shot of him leaning in to kiss her as she pulls away. She’s saying something, but we can’t read it because his thought balloon gets in the way.

MAN (thought): She still hasn’t literally said “no.” I’m good!

PANEL 4
A close-up of his face. The woman’s not in the panel, but her word balloon – still mostly obscured by his head and his thought balloon – indicates that she’s positioned below him. He looks like he’s concentrating.

MAN (thought): Pulling away while I’m trying to pull her pants down isn’t literally saying “no.”

PANEL 5
In silhouette, we see that she’s lying on her back, with him on top of her. She isn’t saying anything.

MAN (thought): Now she’s just being silent and unresponsive. No talking means she’s not saying “no!”

PANEL 6
This is the final panel. The setting has changed; the man is now holding his arms up and looking frustrated. A few people in silhouette are looking at him; their posture makes it seem like they’re angry at him.

MAN: How was I supposed to know? I’m not a mind-reader!

KICKER PANEL

A small panel below the bottom of the strip shows the man, now looking full of himself, talking to a different couple of people.

MAN: I do consider myself a feminist!

Posted in Barry's favorites, Becky Hawkins collaborations, Feminist cartoons |

How Long? aka Trump Card

Cartoon by Barry


If you can spare it, please support these cartoons at Patreon. A $1 pledge really matters.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

There are four panels in this cartoon.

The first three panels show two women walking on a hillside, perhaps in a park. One woman is wearing a shirt with an exclamation mark design, the other is wearing glasses. They’re arguing.

PANEL 1

EXCLAMATION MARK: A lot of liberals are rigid and mean to people who disagree with them.
GLASSES: Conservatives elected Donald Trump president.

PANEL 2

EXCLAMATION MARK: Obamacare didn’t deliver nearly as much as liberals promised!
GLASSES: Yeah, but conservatives elected Trump!

PANEL 3
Exclamation Mark has turned her back on Glasses, crossing her arms and looking stubborn.

EXCLAMATION MARK: Oh, come on! How long are you going to hold that against us.

PANEL 4

We are in outer space; there’s a moon nearby, and a flying saucer and planet in the background. In the foreground, two brains in high-tech-looking jars (well, “high-tech” in a 1950s sci-fi movie prop sort of way), both with eyeballs, are floating in space. One of the brains is wearing a pair of glasses.

CAPTION: A million billion years later.
GLASSES: …but conservatives elected Trump!

Posted in Barry's favorites, Elections |

Why Some Jobs Are Illegal

Cartoon by Barry


I couldn’t do all these cartoons without the support I get on Patreon. A $1 pledge really matters.


Sex work is, for me, in the same category as smoking pot or (until recently) not legally recognizing same-sex marriages, a category I’d describe as “there’s just no logical reason this should be illegal.”

This cartoon focuses on how little sense the arguments against legalization make. But the most important line, for me, is in panel 2: “Wouldn’t that make things worse for maids?” It seems clear that 1) no law will ever succeed in wiping out sex work, and 2) laws making sex work illegal inevitably hurt the sex workers themselves.

When the government outlaws something, it’s going to lead to people being hurt.

And sometimes it’s worth it. Lowering the speed limit to 20mph in a residential zone will harm some people. Some people will be made late, some people will have to pay speeding tickets, etc. But in exchange for that, we get a big gain – pedestrians hit by cars will have a much higher chance of surviving. The gain, in this case, seems worth the loss.

But outlawing selling sex makes it much more likely that sex workers will be assaulted, hurt, even killed, and makes it much harder for them to go to police for help. And the more marginalized a sex worker is (for instance, because of race, or because of being trans) the more endangered they are. This doesn’t seem to be a case where the gains justify the losses.

Artwise, this strip looks good to me, although I wish I had inked with bigger, meatier lines – the lines in this one look a bit too thin and controlled to my eyes. But that’s the sort of thing I notice a lot more than readers do, I think.

There are a bunch of things I think came out well. The clothing is better than usual for me this strip. The hardest thing to draw here was the maid’s cart, but I think it came out well (by which I mean, I think readers will immediately recognize what it is without having to think about it). And I think some of the body language looks good (especially the woman in the plaid shirt in panels 3 and 4).


Transcript of cartoon

Panel 1
In the foreground, a young woman with her head shaved on the sides and sunglasses is walking three dogs. In the background, standing on a grassy hillside, two women, one in a polo shirt, the other in a plaid shirt, are talking.
POLO: No one could want to be a dog-walker. It shouldn’t be legal.
PLAID: Some people like it.

Panel 2
In a hotel hallway, in the foreground, a maid pushes a cleaning cart. In the background, the same two women are talking.
POLO: Many maids are exploited or even trafficked. We should outlaw being a maid!
PLAID: Wouldn’t that make things worse for maids?

Panel 3
A hilly park again. In the foreground, a man with a knit cap and one of those orange “I work for the city” vests is picking up trash off the ground with a trash-picking stick. In the background, the same two women talk; Polo looks disgusted, and Plaid is facepalming.
POLO: Picking up trash for a living is gross. It shouldn’t be allowed.
PLAID: You’re being ridiculous.

Panel 4
In the final panel, we see only Polo and Plaid, talking to each other. Polo has a forefinger pointing up, making a point, and Plaid responds fervantly, leaning forward and smacking her fist into the palm of her other hand.
POLO: And for the exact same reasons, we should outlaw prostitution!
PLAID: YES!

Posted in Barry's favorites, Labor rights & Unions |

Too Much Foam

Cartoon by Barry

If you enjoy these cartoons, and can spare it, please support my Patreon!


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

Panel one shows a woman in a polka-dot dress sitting in a coffee shop, glaring down at her cappuccino.

WOMAN (thought): Aw, darn it. They put too much foam on my cappuccino!

Panel 2 shows a bald man in the foreground, sitting at a different table, reading something on his smartphone. He is sitting on a power chair, and he has no right arm. There’s a cappuccino in front of him. In the background, we can see the woman from panel one, staring at the bald man with a shocked expression.

WOMAN (thought): Oh wow – that guy has no legs and only one arm! How does he even get out of bed in the morning?

Panel 3 shows the woman, head in hands, looking aghast.

WOMAN (thought): He has to psend every minute of his life figuring out how to manage with just one arm… and I’m thinking about foam! I SUCK!

Panel 4 shows the bald man again. He has picked up his cappuccino and is looking annoyed.

MAN (thought): They put too much foam on my cappuccino!

Posted in Barry's favorites, Social Justice |

The Life of MLK Jr

Cartoon by Barry

This cartoon was posted today on The Nib.


If you enjoy my cartoons, and can spare it, please support them on Patreon! A $1 pledge means a lot.


Transcript of cartoon:

PANEL 1
A Black woman sits in an armchair, holding a little baby. The baby is crying.
CAPTION: MLK Jr was born.

PANEL 2
A young Black boy sits up in bed, in a dark bedroom, clutching his blanket.
CAPTION: Then he had a dream.
BOY: I had a dream that someday our children would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin! So stop playing the race card!
OFF-PANEL VOICE: Martin, go to sleep!

PANEL 3
Panel three shows a graveyard, The gravestone in the foregound has, carved on it, “Martin Luther King Junior. “Stop Playing The Race Card.”
CAPTION: And he NEVER said or did anything else EVER. And then he died. The end!

CAPTION AT BOTTOM OF STRIP: THE LIFE OF MLK JR (AS TOLD BY WHITE PEOPLE)

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Barry's favorites |

White Lies (a sequel)

Cartoon by Barry


If you enjoy these cartoons, and can spare it, please support them at Patreon. A $1 pledge means a lot.


This cartoon is actually a sequel, to this other cartoon I did at least a decade ago. It’s interesting (to me, at least) seeing how my style has changed over the years.


Transcript of Cartoon

TITLE PANEL
Fractured-looking letters say “White Lies.” Next to the lettering, a smiling white lady speaks directly to the viewer.
LADY: I don’t even see race!

PANEL 1
A smiling white man explains himself.
MAN: I was only being FUNNY! I mean, “ironic.”

PANEL 2
A white man stands holding a black woman in front of him. To his left, a white woman stands, hugging a little Asian boy, and holding an Asian baby with her other arm. The boy has an image of Captain America’s iconic shield on his t-shirt.
WHITE MAN: I have a Black wife!
WHITE WOMAN: I adopted Asian kids!
BOTH TOGETHER: So nothing we say could possibly be racist!

PANEL 3
A young white man types at a laptop, his coffee cop besides him. Above him, we can see what he’s typing – a social media comment, with “his” picture, showing a pretty Black woman, besides the comment.
He is typing: As a strong Black woman, I think we Blacks talk too much about racism.

PANEL 4
An angry white woman, standing near a fence with some giant sunflowers nearby, talks directly to the viewer.
WOMANL Only monsters are racist! So criticizing me for racism is calling me a monster! How dare you call me a monster? So uncivil!

PANEL 5
A young white woman, stands in a coffee shop, holding a cup of tea and a saucer.
WOMAN: I DEFINITELY have a non-white friend who agrees with me.

PANEL 6
A white woman in slacks and a polo shirt sits on a park bench, reading a newspaper (“Daily Opiate”) and speaking cheerfully to the viewer.
WOMAN: My vote for Trump had nothing to do with racism!

PANEL 7
An older white man, with a friendly demeanor, a big white beard, and a sweater vest, speaks to the viewer.
MAN: I can’t be a racist, because I voted for Obama.

PANEL 8
Two white people stand talking directly to the viewer: A man with a checkerboard shirt, and a woman wearing a sleeveless black shirt. The man, spreading his arms wide, has a angry expression; the woman is holding up one finger like a professor making a point.
MAN: When non-whites get ANGRY discussing racism, that proves they’re irrational!
WOMAN: And when whites speak calmly, that proves our opinions are super rational!

PANEL 9
A white woman stands on a golf course, holding a golf club across one shoulder. She looks anxious.
WOMAN: If “Black Lives Matter,” that means white lives don’t matter!

PANEL 10
An angry white man is yelling and pointing at a Black woman.
MAN: The word “racism” is unfair because it shuts white people up!
WOMAN (thought): If only…

KICKER PANEL
In a small panel below the bottom of the comic strip, an angry white woman speaks directly to the viewers.
WOMAN: This cartoon generalizes about white people! That makes IT the REAL racist!

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Barry's favorites |

Toxic Masculinity Stew

Cartoon by Barry


If you enjoy my cartoons, and can spare it, please support my patreon! A $1 pledge means a lot.


Transcript of cartoon

At the top of the strip, there’s a drawing of various unidentifiable shapes floating in a liquid in a pot. Lettering on top of the drawing, in cheerfully cartoony letters, says “Toxic Masculinity Stew.”

Panel 1
A man in a chef’s shirt talks directly to the viewer. He has a mustache, is bald, and looks to be middle-aged but vigorous. He’s holding a long spoon in one hand and making a “thumb’s up” sign at the viewers with his other hand; there are various bowls arrayed in front of him, with neon green stuff in the bowls, and a big stew pot to his right. (Throughout this strip, all colors are a bit desaturated and dull, other than the neon green.)
CHEF: Welcome! Today we’ll be making “toxic masculinity stew.” Yum!

Panel 2
The chef is stirring some neon green stuff in a pan.
CHEF: We’ll start by sautéing some feelings. We’ll bury these at the bottom of the pot, so no one will ever see them!

Panel 3
The chef hold out a neon-green egg towards the viewer. The egg is visibly cracked.
CHEF: Add a delicate sense of manhood. The slightest thing can make boys feel that this has been shattered! What fun!

Panel 4
The Chef mixes something in a bowl.
CHEF: In a separate bowl, put ht eidea that “the sex” is something held by women. Mix it with the belief that if a man can’t get “the sex” from a woman, one way or the other… Then he’s not a real man at all!

Panel 5
From above the pot, we see the chef’s hand holding a shaker (like a salt shaker) and sprinkling neon green specs into the stew.
CHEF: Now sprinkle in lots of gear of being soft or gentle or vulnerable. Nothing spoils this dish quicker than boys accepting these parts of themselves!

PANEL 6
The Chef holds out a spoon towards the viewer. The spoon is dripping with a thick, neon-green liquid.
CHEF: Simmer for 10-40 years and there you have it… a lovely toxic masculinity stew! It tastes repulsive and bitter, but don’t worry. We’ll force it down.

KICKER PANEL
A tiny panel below the bottom of the strip shows a woman yelling at the cartoonist.
WOMAN: Criticizing how society harms men means you’re anti-male!

Posted in Barry's favorites, Feminist cartoons |

If Global Warming Were Real

Cartoon by Barry

If you enjoy these comics, and you can spare it, please support them on Patreon. Even $1 matters a lot to me.

Transcript of cartoon

Panel 1
A white man wearing a collared shirt and glasses, sitting at a desk. He’s typing furiously on a laptop. In front of the desk, a dog watches him adoringly. Behind the desk, there are two windows; outside, it is dark and pouring rain, and the trees lean in the wind.

A caption tell us what he’s typing:

CAPTION: “Global warming” is FAKE NEWS! If global warming were real,

Panel 2
Glasses dude is looking out the window at the storm. Large objects – a boot, a coffee mug, a chair, a mailbox – fly by in the wind as the rain pours down.
GLASSES: Uh-oh! Not AGAIN! We’ve had so much extreme weather lately!

Panel 3
Glasses dude, now with a backpack and carrying a duffel bag, splashes through puddles as he walks away from his house, the dog following him.
GLASSES: This is AWFUL! Come along, Arf Rand!
ARF RAND: Arf!

Panel 4
A far shot of a car driving uphill through the storm. Glasses dude’s word balloon comes from the car.
GLASSES: Get upland get upland get upland get upland get upland…

Panel 5
High on a mountain, Glasses Dude has set up a tent. The sky is only partly cloudy here, and there’s no storm.
GLASSES: Phew! I think we’re safe here!
ARF RAND: Arf!

Panel 6
Glasses dude sits on the grass, next to Arf Rand, who is taking a snooze. Glasses dude is typing on his cell phone; a caption shows us what he’s typing.
CAPTION: As I was saying, if global warming WERE real, wouldn’t we see SOME sign of it?

Posted in Barry's favorites, Environmental cartoons |