Hold, Corporate Miscreant!

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, you can support them by becoming and engineer and then designing a completely safe house for them to live in which will stand firm despite floods and storms and earthquakes and smoke from the endless nearby forest fires and the inevitable invading zombie hoards, or you could just support my patreon. Either way’s good.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows a scene on a city sidewalk between three people: A labor activist (carrying a “Stop the war on workers” sign), a boss type guy (wearing a suit and tie), and an Uncle Sam-like superhero (wearing the Uncle Sam hat, a big cape, and a stars-and-stripes themed leotard).

PANEL 1

The activist leans back a bit, looking unhappy, as the boss aggressively leans forward to point at her, yelling in her face. A superhero flies down, yelling with an angry expression.

BOSS: Labor organizing? Not in my company! You’re fired!

SUPERHERO: Hold, corporate miscreant!

PANEL 2

The superhero has landed on the sidewalk and is talking to the two people, with a very stern expression. The activist looks happy at this turn of events, and the boss is startled and unhappy.

BOSS: Who are you?

SUPERHERO: I’m the U.S. government! And I’m here because firing people for labvor organizing is illegal! NOW HOLD OUT YOUR HAND!

PANEL 3

A close up panel shows the boss’ hand, held out, palm facing down, and the superhero’s hand, holding a ruler. The superhero hits the back of the boss’ hand gently with the ruler. A very small sound effect says “tap.”

PANEL 4

The superhero, grinning widely, is flying up into the air. The boss, smiling, waves goodbye. The activist frowns and looks at the readers out of the corner of her eye, with a “can you believe this?” expression.

BOSS: Um… Okay, I’ve learned my lesson.

SUPERHERO (loudly): Mission accomplished!


This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Labor rights & Unions |

The News Could Not Be More Objective!

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, please help us make more!


This cartoon was drawn by the one and only Kevin Moore!


The protest signs in panel 3 weren’t made up by me; I saw them all in photos of sex worker demonstrations. The “fuck the patriarchy but not for free” sign in particular was too great not to use.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has five panels, each of which shows a different scene.

PANEL 1

Three people sit on the ground, warming themselves around a small fire burning in a large tin can. We can see their tento behind them; from their clothes and context, we can infer that they’re homeless.  All three of them are watching the screen of a smartphone that the woman in the center is holding. A TV Anchor’s voice comes from the smartphone.

ANCHOR: Welcome to WMSM, where we bring you the objective news!

ANCHOR: Tonight’s stories begin with homelessness! Our reporter spoke with homeowners who say they want fewer tents and trash. No homeless people are interviewed.

PANEL 2

A fat man sits in a coffee shop (we can see the coffee shop’s logo on the window behind him). He’s holding an open laptop in his lap, and watching the screen. The News Anchor talks from the computer.

ANCHOR: A new report on how the obesity crisis is crushing America! We’ll interview a weight loss guru and the author of a new diet book.

ANCHOR: But no fat people, let alone fat acceptance advocates.

PANEL 3

A group of protestors, dressed in warm winter clothing, stands outside of a building, holding up protest signs. The signs say “sex work is work!,” “Outlaw poverty not prostitutes,” “rights not rescue,” “nothing about us without us,” and “fuck the patriarchy but not for free.”

In the foreground, a woman with pink hair and cat eye sunglasses is frowning at her smartphone as she watches something on it. A news anchor’s voice comes from her phone.

ANCHOR: We’ll then have a segment about prostitution, which will quote “rescue” groups and the police—

ANCHOR: But no sex workers or sex worker advocates.

PANEL 4

A waitress in a diner is about to pour coffee into a customer’s mug, but has paused and is giving major side eye to a news anchor on a small TV placed on top of a display case filled with pies. The waitress is wearing an apron over her outfit, and a name tag, and we can see a pen tucked behind her ear. This is the first time in this cartoon we’ve seen the anchor’s face, which is grinning hugely.

ANCHOR: Next, the minimum wage: Does it mean you’ll never work again? To find out, we’ll interview restaurant owners—

ANCHOR: But no workers or union organizers.

PANEL 5

This panel shows the news studio where the anchors – there are two of them, the man we saw on TV in panel 4, and a woman sitting next to him at the news desk – are speaking to a large TV camera. A bored looking cameraman stands behind the camera. Behind the anchors, we can see a backdrop showing a graphic of skyscraper silhouettes, and to the side is the backdrop for a weather report. Both anchors have huge, inane grins, and the female anchor is giving the camera the finger.

MALE ANCHOR: WMSM news — we literally could not be any more objective!

FEMALE ANCHOR: And if anyone says otherwise, you won’t see them here!


This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Fat Acceptance, Labor rights & Unions, Media criticism, Social Justice |

I’ve Tried Everything To Find New Workers!

Cartoon by Barry


If you like my cartoons, please help me make more by supporting my Patreon.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon is four panels long. Each panel shows the same prosperous-looking middle-aged white man, wearing a suit and tie, walking on city sidewalks and talking loudly into his cell phone.

There’s an additional tiny “kicker” panel below the bottom of the comic.

PANEL 1

Necktie man is talking into his cell phone with an aggrieved expression. He’s walking pass an annoyed-looking young guy leaning against a wall. The young guy is wearing a backwards baseball cap, glasses, and a tank top, and he’s speaking to necktie man. Necktie man gives no sign of having heard.

NECKTIE: I’ve tried everything to find new workers! I’ve gone to job fairs… Offered them tee-shirts for applying…

WALL LEANER: Did you offer higher wages?

PANEL 2

Necktie dude is now in a different area, still looking aggrieved and talking loudly into his phone. On the street next to the sidewalk, a blonde woman on a bike, wearing a red bike helmet and a blue hoodie, talks to Necktie as she passes him.

NECKTIE: I can’t fill these jobs! I even got the government to throw people off unemployment… Nothing works!

BIKER: Have you tried offering higher wages?

PANEL 3

Necktie walks past a little girl playing hopscotch on the same sidewalk. The girl is wearing a purple skirt with puffy tool at the bottom, and a sleeveless tee with a pattern of red spirals.

NECKTIE: I’m offering unpredictable schedules, minimal benefits and $9 an hour! And they still don’t want my jobs?

LITTLE GIRL: You should offer higher wages.

PANEL 4

Necktie dude walks past a couple of casually-dressed protestors. The first protestor is holding a large sign that says “HIGHER,” and the second protestor has a large sign that says “WAGES.”

NECKTIE: I’ve tried everything. They just don’t want to work!

NECKTIE: Hello, governor? Can we arrest people for being unemployed?

TINY KICKER PANEL UNDER THE BOTTOM OF THE STRIP

Necktie dude, still looking grumpy, is talking at Barry the cartoonist.

NECKTIE: I’d love to pay higher wages, but we don’t have the money! I had to get by on only a $38 million salary this year!


This cartoon on Patreon.

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

Maternity Leave: The Enemy of Freedom! And Lions!

Cartoon by Barry


Another collaboration with Kevin Moore! You can see more cartoons by Kevin and I here.


If you like these cartoons, why not support them on Patreon? It’s because of lots of patrons pledging $1 or $2 that I get paid – and then I can pay Kevin in turn. And I think Kevin supports my patreon, too? And come to think of it, I support his. It’s like a virtuous cycle of small amounts of money moving around in circles.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. All four are set in a mall; we can see a hot dog place, and in the background is a mall kiosk with a sign that says “Kitsch Empire.” There are three characters: A male executive in a suit and necktie, and two pregnant workers, both dressed in food court uniforms (but different uniforms, so presumably they work for different food outlets). One of the workers has a nametag, and the other has a ridiculous tall chef’s hat striped in the same tacky colors as the sign for the hot dog place.

PANEL 1

The executive has his back to the workers, but is turning back to bark at them.

NECKTIE: Maternity leave? Why do you people hate liberty?

SILLY HAT: What?

PANEL 2

Necktie now has a hurt expression on his face. Nametag replies with a skeptical expression.

NECKTIE: When you force a corporation to give maternity leave, you take away its freedom!

NAMETAG: But what about our freedom to…

PANEL 3

A close up of Necktie, who is now wailing like an infant, crying and balling his fists.

NECKTIE (yelling): Would you clip the soaring eagle’s wings? Would you gag the might lion’s roar?

PANEL 4

Necktie, still sobbing, has dropped to his knees and is hugging Nametag around her legs. Nametag pulls back, taken aback. Silly hat holds up a hand to whisper a comment to Nametag.

NECKTIE: SOB! Just let business be free! Waaaaah!

SILLY HAT: And they call us needy.


This cartoon on Patreon.

Posted in Kevin Moore collaborations, Labor rights & Unions, Sexism & Misogyny |

Support Workers’ Rights! (But not THOSE workers.)

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons and want there to be more, please support my Patreon! A $1 or $2 pledge really helps!


An article on The Hill about sex workers lobbying congress.

Sex worker advocate organizations and congressional staffers who spoke with The Hill said that stigma was one of the primary factors keeping those voices sidelined.
“No politician wants to or until very recently wanted to be seen as facilitating sex work or encouraging sex work,” said Mike Stabile, director of public affairs at the Free Speech Coalition, an adult industry trade association.
Khanna told The Hill that his colleagues “didn’t even want to take meetings because of the possible images or pictures” with sex workers that could have been taken.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. An additional tiny “kicker panel” appears below the bottom of the strip.

PANEL 1

A senator stands in his office, facing three constituents. In the background we can see a fairly fancy looking desk with a lamp on it, a window with tall drapes, and a tall executive-style chair behind the desk.

The three constituents are all women. They’re dressed in casual-nice clothes. There is a tall woman with black hair tied back in a low pony tail, who is wearing a long green shirt and boots over her jeans; a short woman with short black hair wearing slacks and a yellow button-up shirt; and a medium-sized woman with blonde hair, who is wearing a light blue cowl-neck shirt and a mid-calf length skirt with a dot pattern.

The senator is smiling big and spreading his hands as he talks to the three women, who are all facing him.

SENATOR: As a Democrat and as your congressman, I know the importance of worker’s rights.

PANEL 2

A close-up of the senator. He holds a hand over his heart and looks terribly sincere.

SENATOR: It doesn’t matter if you’re a freelancer or an employee – Democrats will always stand with workers.

MEDIUM WOMAN (speaking from off panel): That’s good to hear.

PANEL 3

Back to a the same shot as panel 1, showing all four characters. The senator has gotten out of “make a speech” mode and is now in “friendly small talk” mode.

SENATOR: So what do you all do?

TALL WOMAN: We’re sex workers.

PANEL 4

We are looking at a brick exterior wall of a building. There is a hole in the wall the exact shape of the senator character running. Through the hole, we see the three women peering out; two of them look amused, one looks a little pissed off.

TALL WOMAN: Look at him go!

SHORT WOMAN: And they say Congress doesn’t move fast.

TINY KICKER PANEL BELOW THE BOTTOM OF THE STRIP

The tall woman is talking to the other two women.

TALL WOMAN: I’ll ask him a follow-up question at his Thursday appointment.


This cartoon on Patreon.

Posted in Labor rights & Unions |

Boxing Up Labor

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, help me make more by supporting my Patreon. Thanks!


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has six panels, all of which show a man and a woman on a hillside. There is a mostly-constructed crate there, large enough for a person to stand in.

PANEL 1

The woman, who is wearing a dark vest over a purple dress, and glasses, is explaining something, gesturing with her hand and looking grumpy. She is standing inside a partly-built wooden crate. The man, who is wearing a suit without the jacket (but with a necktie) and is holding a hammer, is concentrating on hammering the crate and doesn’t seem to be listening to the woman at all.

The crate is missing two sides, which are leaning against the panel border behind the man.

WOMAN: It isn’t a free society unless workers have a strong voice!

PANEL 2

The man is now hammering one of the missing sides into place, leaving only one side of the crate open. The woman, looking intense, leans out of the open side to talk more.

WOMAN: So when you pass laws that make it harder for workers to form unions, that harms the whole country!

PANEL 3

The man is lifting the final side of the crate into place. The woman keeps on talking, raising one palm in a “hey, stop that” gesture.

WOMAN: And when you find excuses to fire organizers, and force workers to watch anti-union propaganda-

PANEL 4

The man, smiling, hammers the final side of the crate into place. The woman, inside the crate, is no longer visible.

MAN: Done! That’s over with.

PANEL 5

Suddenly a whole crowd of people, some smiling, some angry, is marching up to the box. Some of them carry signs; we can read that one says “STRIKE” and another says “Fight Until We Win.” One is carrying a saw; another, a short-haired woman in front, is carrying a crowbar. The man yells at them, a little hysterically.

MAN: Hey, who are you people? What are you doing? Help! Thugs! Vandals!

PANEL 6

The crowd is taking the box apart; the front side of the box is being carried away by two people in the foreground, and the woman with the crowbar is prying off another side. We can now see the woman in the box again, who has her arms folded and is smiling. One sign in the background says “Union Pride”; another says “sign.”

The man stands near the box, waving his fists in the air and stomping his foot ineffectively and cry-yelling.

MAN: How dare you! This isn’t fair!

MAN: WAAAAH!

Posted in Labor rights & Unions |

Elves United!

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, help me make more by supporting my patreon!


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has six panels. Each panel has a large caption at the top, in a big friendly font that’s colored black, red, and green.

PANEL 1

CAPTION: How Bosses Try To Beat The Union

The panel shows seven angry-looking elves who are either demonstrating or on strike. Behind them is a large banner that says “Elves United Cannot Be Defeated.” One elf holds up a sign which says “No Justice No Toys!,” and another holds up a sign which says “Santa Unfair!”

PANEL 2

CAPTION: Playing the Family Card

This panel shows Santa, with a big smile and arms stretched out like he’s about to hug someone, talking to a skeptical-looking elf with crossed arms. Santa is wearing the traditional Santa red pants and black boots, and suspenders and a white tee shirt.

SANTA: I’ve always thought of us as family, not as boss and workers.

ELF: What’s my name?

SANTA: um… Elfie? Elfo?

PANEL 3

CAPTION: Predicting Catastrophe

In the background, we see Santa standing at a lectern, making a speech and looking stern. In the foreground, one elf cheerfully whispers to the elf next to them.

SANTA: If the elves form a union, that will be the end of Christmas forever!

ELF: Don’t worry. Hannukah would hire us in a second!

PANEL 4

CAPTION: Divide and Conquer

Santa, grinning big, is talking to Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, raising a finger to make a point. Rudolph, looking a little angry, talks back.

SANTA: Get the elves back to work, and you’ll lead the sleigh every year, fog or no fog!

RUDOLPH: No deal, Santa! Rudolph ain’t playing your reindeer games!

PANEL 5

CAPTION: Manufacturing Dissent

Santa is sitting on the floor, wearing the full Santa outfit, plus a fake long nose and fake pointy ears, in a pathetically bad attempt to disguise himself as an elf. He’s talking to two elves, one of whom is slapping their forehead in a “I don’t believe this” gesture, while the other is grinning (almost laughing) and talking to Santa.

SANTA: Speaking as an ordinary elf, I don’t trust these unionizers! No sir!

ELF: Seriously?

PANEL 6

CAPTION: But Eventually…

In the background, we see two children, looking happy, next to a Christmas Tree. They have packages on the floor around them, and one of the kids is holding an open box, and looking at a slip of paper he presumably just pulled out of the box.

In the foreground, Santa, wearing the full traditional Santa outfit and with a big bag slung over one shoulder, is walking away from the kids, but he turns his head back and speaks, looking grumpy.

CHILD 1: It says “Proudly manufactured by union elves.”

CHILD 2: Cool!

SANTA: Ah, shuddup!

Posted in Labor rights & Unions |

CEOs, except with subtitles

Cartoon by Barry


Support these cartoons by supporting my Patreon! Each $1 pledge really matters.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has six panels.

PANEL 1

This panel contains nothing but the title of the cartoon, in large, friendly letters.

TITLE: CEOs, EXCEPT WITH SUBTITLES

PANEL 2

This panel shows a friendly-looking man, seated behind a desk, wearing a three-piece suit and talking directly to the viewer. He is the CEO. In this panel, and in all the following panels, the CEOs dialog is at the top of the panel in a comic book font, while there’s a subtitle “translating” what he’s saying in a more mechanical font at the bottom of the panel.

CEO: Greetings! As CEO, I want to talk to our entire company family about a serious issue: Unionization.

SUBTITLE: Listen up, serfs!

PANEL 3

The panel shows a wall-mounted flatscreen TV; on the TV, the CEO, in the same shot as panel 1, is talking, his right hand on his chest over his heart.

CEO: I think of us as more a family than a business.

SUBTITLE: A family where papa gets paid 271 times as much.

PANEL 4

A room is filled with people watching the CEO on a wall-mounted TV. The TV is flanked by a security guard on one side, and a manager-looking woman on the other, both watching the crowd in an unfriendly manner. On TV, the CEO has raised his hands and looks angry.

CEO: We don’t need union outsiders in our family!

SUBTITLE:  “Outsiders” like pro-union workers who have worked here for decades.

PANEL 5

A shot of the CEO in his office. We’re now off a bit to one side, so we can see the camera the CEO is talking to, a boom microphone, and the corner of a big photography light aimed at the CEO. The CEO is raising an index finger and looking stern.

CEO: The consequences of unionization could be terrible for all our company’s workers.

SUBTITLE: We will be illegally firing union organizers.

PANEL 6

The same shot as panel one, with the CEO looking straight at the viewer and smiling, his arms folded on the desk in front of him.

CEO: In closing, to the union, I say: You don’t scare me!

SUBTITLE: In all the universe, nothing frightens me more than unionization. I literally just peed my pants.

Posted in Labor rights & Unions |

The Easiest Job In The World

Cartoon by Barry

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


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has six panels.

PANEL 1
A fast food worker, standing behind a big counter of burger patties and ingredients, looks anxious. Right behind her, a manager-man wearing a white shirt and necktie is yelling at her.
MANAGER: This is drive-through! You have to work faster! FASTER!

PANEL 2
A different fast food worker clutches his forearm, which has a big red streak throbbing with pain, an agonized expression on his face. The same manager as panel 1 is offering him some little condiment packets.
MANAGER: It’s only a hot grease burn. No need for the E.R… Just put these condiment packets on it.
CAPTION: True story!

PANEL 3
At a fast food counter, a customer yells at a worker.
CUSTOMER: Are you #%@*ing stupid? I said NO PICKLES!
WORKER: But you didn’t say…
CUSTOMER: GET THE MANAGER!

PANEL 4
A worker is struggling to drag an enormous black bag of garbage out a door into what looks like a back alley, towards a garbage dumpster.
WORKER (thought): Maybe if I take three showers tonight the smell will come out of my hair…

PANEL 5
A fast food employee wearing a peaked paper hat and rubber gloves is kneeling by a toilet, cleaning the gross-looking insides of the toilet with a toilet scrubber. The manager yells at him from off-panel.

MANAGER (off-panel): FASTER!

PANEL 6
A customer and worker at a fast food counter. The worker, looking a bit annoyed, is holding a bag of food out towards the customer for her to take. Seh’s talking on her cell phone and not noticing the proffered bag of food at all.
CUSTOMER (on cell phone): Can you believe fast food workers are asking for raises? Gotta be the easiest job in the world.

Posted in Labor rights & Unions |

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 fervently, 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!


This cartoon on Patreon

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

Mens Rights Activists, Feminism, and Male Workplace Deaths

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, please help me make more, by supporting my Patreon! A $1 pledge matters a lot.


Transcript of cartoon:

PANEL 1

It’s outdoors; we can see a row of houses in the background, and some green space with trees. A woman with glasses and a yellow zip-up blouse turns, as if surprised by the man talking to her. The man has blonde hair and is wearing a yellow and orange striped shirt.

MAN: Did you know that 93% of workplace deaths happen to men? But feminists do nothing!

PANEL 2

The woman puts a finger on her chin, in a “I’m thinking” gesture. The man looks uninterested.

WOMAN: Something should be DONE! How about stronger unions, so workers could DEMAND safer workplaces?
MAN: Meh.

PANEL 3

The woman continues talking. The man turns away, looking placidly bored, his hands in his pant pockets.

WOMAN: How about strengthening OSHA, so works safety laws are actually enforced?
MAN: Whatever.

PANEL 4

The man suddenly is yelling in the woman’s face, arms wide, fists clenched, totally engaged. The woman flinches back in surprise.

WOMAN: So how do you think we should–
MAN: WRITE TEN THOUSAND TWEETS SAYING FEMINISTS SUCK!

Posted in Labor rights & Unions, Sexism & Misogyny |

Treadmill

Cartoon by Barry

TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

Panel 1
A toddler runs on a full-sized treadmill, carrying a teddy bear in one hand. A woman in a tight black dress squats, smiling, to address the toddler.
WOMAN: A teddy bear? You need better toys! Or else the other kids won’t like you!

Panel 2
The same scene, but the toddler is now a child, and no longer holding a teddy bear. The woman, who is now standing and facing away from the child with a dismissive air, has not aged.
WOMAN: If you don’t have cool clothes and a cool phone, then you’re a loser!

Panel 3
Same scene. The runner is now a young woman. The other woman exhorts the runner on.
WOMAN: You’ve got a mountain of college debt! Run! RUN!

Panel 4
The runner is now a bit older – 40s? – and a desk has been set up on the treadmill, with a laptop. The woman types on the laptop with one hand; her other arm is holding an infant. The woman has gotten more intense, waving her arms and yelling.
WOMAN: Your kid is DOOMED if you don’t get a big house near a good school!

Panel 5
The runner is now considerably older, her hair turning white. She’s running hard, sweating, both hands typing on the laptop.
WOMAN: Now pay for a decent college, or your kid will be POOR her whole life!

Panel 6
The runner, now older still, has collapsed and lies dead on the treadmill. The woman in the black dress leans over the treadmill, cheerily addressing the corpse.
WOMAN: You should invest in the deluxe casket.

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

Unions Are Imperfect

Cartoon by Barry

unions-are-imperfect

Transcript of cartoon:

Panel 1
Two angry-looking men are talking to each other in a house. A window in the background lets us see that it’s snowing outside. One of the men is wearing glasses, suspenders and a striped necktie; the other man is wearing a bowtie and smacks his fist into his palm.

GLASSES: I just realized: Unions are imperfect!
BOWTIE: Then let’s get rid of unions!

Panel 2
Same scene. Glasses is looking down at his clothing with an expression of distress; Bowtie is yellling.

GLASSES: These clothes aren’t perfect either!
BOWTIE: We’ll get rid of them too!

Panel 3
Same scene, but now the guys are naked (“censor bars” have appeared in front of their naughty bits). Glasses is looking around at the room, and Bowtie is holding a can of gasoline.

GLASSES: Hey, our house isn’t perfect!
BOWTIE: Burn it down!

Panel 4

Still naked, Glasses and Bowtie are now standing out in the show, shivering and looking sad. In the background, we can see their house burning down.

GLASSES: I just r-realized: Something imperfect can st-still be c-c-crucial.
BOWTIE: Y-y-ya think?

Posted in Labor rights & Unions |

What Have Unions Ever Done?

Cartoon by Barry

The beautiful backgrounds for this comic were drawn by the amazing Adrian Wallace! Thanks, Adrian!

Transcript of cartoon:

PANEL 1
An elderly woman in a striped skirt, walking a dog, is being spoken to by a friendly young man, who is holding out a petition on a clipboard and wearing an anti-union t-shirt. The dog sniffs at the young man’s leg in a friendly way.

MAN: Ma’am, you should sing our anti-union petition… What have unions ever done for you?

PANEL 2
CAPTION: Outlawing child labor.
The panel shows a young girl in a striped shirt playing on a old-fashioned scooter.

PANEL 3
CAPTION: The 8 hour workday.
The panel shows a young woman at work, delivering packages, and whistling. She’s wearing a striped shirt.

PANEL 4
CAPTION: Health plans and sick leave.
The panel shows the same young woman, now with a broken arm in a cast. A friend is signing the cast.

PANEL 5
CAPTION: Maternity Leave.
The same woman in the striped shirt, now a little older, pushing a baby in a stroller.

PANEL 6
CAPTION: Weekends
The same woman in the striped shirt, now older still, at a carnival, being pulled along by her happy daughter, who now looks about 10.

PANEL 7
CAPTION: Vacations
The same woman and daughter at the beach, the woman now wearing a striped swimsuit, and looking older still, as she walks along the beach with a metal detector. In the background, her daughter, now a teen or young woman, is talking on a cell phone.

PANEL 8
CAPTION: Social Security and Medicare
The same woman, now elderly and dressed as she was in the first panel. She has the dog with her, and is pulling envelopes out of her mailbox.

PANEL 9
This panel shows the woman and the young man with the anti-union petition again. The woman has walked past the young man, her nose in the air in a “I refuse to even dignify that with an answer” attitude. The dog has the same attitude. The young man watches them leave, not understanding.

MAN: Ma’am?

Posted in Labor rights & Unions |

Unions, Bosses, And The Balance of Power

Cartoon by Barry

This is an illustration drawn for a union newsletter.

union-see-saw

Transcript:

PANEL ONE
The first panel shows two people on a see-saw, both glum-looking; a man in a suit and a woman wearing a work uniform t-shirt and jeans. Although they’re not very different in physical size, the man is much heavier than the woman, and the see-saw is pressed against the ground on his side.

CAPTION: The relationship between you and your employer is not one of equals…

PANEL TWO
Now the woman has been joined on her side of the see-saw by five other worker. The workers look happier now. The employer in the suit looks a bit surprised. The see saw is now perfectly balanced.

CAPTION: Being in a union fixes the imbalance!

Posted in Labor rights & Unions |

It’s Great To See Such Diverse Job Applicants

Cartoon by Barry

job-applicants-800

Transcript of cartoon:

Panel 1 shows four executives sitting at a desk. We can only see the backs of their heads; they all have the same height and haircut. The four executives are facing a large group of people dressed up for a job application. There are a similar number of women and men, who appear to be of a range of ages, races, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds. One applicant is using crutches to stand.
EXEC 2: It’s great to see such diverse job applicants! Rest assured, our firm does not discriminate against women or minorities.

Panel 2. We are now looking at the four executives from the front. They are all identical white men in business suits.
EXEC 1: But we can’t hire everybody, so… Anyone who didn’t graduate from the “right” kind of college, please leave.

Panel 3
EXEC 2: Anyone with family responsibilities that could interfere with work, please leave.

Panel 4
EXEC 3: Anyone without a recommendation from someone already in the field, please leave.

Panel 5
EXEC 4: Anyone whose accent or look or gender presentation wouldn’t be a “fit” for our firm’s existing culture, please leave.

Panel 6 shows the applicants again; only one is left. Other than being younger, he looks precisely like the four executives.
EXEC 4: Gentleman, we’ve found our new hire!

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions, Racism & Racists, Sexism & Misogyny |

Maternity Leave vs Profit

Cartoon by Barry

maternity_leave_2

This cartoon was done in collaboration with my friend Becky Hawkins. I did the writing and lettering with Becky’s help, Becky did the drawing with me helping on layouts, and I did the gray tones.

Transcript:

Panel 1
A woman in a collared shirt and black pants is talking to a businessman in a fancy suit.
WOMAN: Businesses oppose paid maternity leave because you put money above women’s health!
BUSINESSMAN: We care deeply about women! We’re against paid leave because it’s bad for women!

Panel 2
The businessman has pulled a mother, holding a crying newborn, into the panel.
WOMAN: Women need time off to recover after giving birth.
BUSINESSMAN: Nonsense! Just look at Tiana here… She can’t wait to get back to work. It’s patronizing of you to say otherwise!
TIANA: So tired….

Panel 3
BUSINESSMAN: Paid maternity leave makes hiring women more expensive – and that means companies will discriminate against hiring them! Have a heart!

Panel 4
The businessman violently shoves Tiana off-panel.
WOMAN: So we’ll give paid leave to new mothers AND new fathers!
BUSINESSMAN: But that would cost MONEY!

Posted in Becky Hawkins collaborations, Economic cartoons, Health care, Labor rights & Unions, Sexism & Misogyny |

The Right To Work

Cartoon by Barry

right-to-work-2

Transcript of cartoon.

Panel 1: A Young Guy in a sweatshirt is talking to a well-off looking older man, who is wearing a double-breasted jacket and a tie.

SWEATS: Your “right to work” law sounds excellent! I’d love to have a right to have a job!
TIE: Sounds that way, doesn’t it? But actually, “right to work” laws aren’t a right to a job!

Panel 2
SWEATS: So what do they do?
TIE: “Right to work” laws give workers the right to take all the benefits of their union’s work without ever joining the union!

Panel 3
SWEATS: So “right to work” laws are actually about the right to freeload?
TIE: Exactly! And the more people freeload, the weaker unions become. That way, your boss gets all the power!

Panel 4
SWEATS: This doesn’t sound so excellent anymore.
TIE: Give it a chance! You haven’t even heard about the lower wages yet!

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

Our Exports Include Tragedy And Death

Cartoon by Barry

factory-deaths-color

(This cartoon, like all my color cartoons, is also available in black and white.)

Script of cartoon:

Panel 1: An Uncle Sam sort of figure, wearing a top hat with stars and stripes and a floral Hawaiian shirt, is talking to a cigar-chomping businessman.

Uncle Sam has his hand on a sign sticking out of the dirt. The sign says “NEVER AGAIN!”

UNCLE SAM: 146 workers died in the Triangle Factory fire! We can NEVER let that happen again!
BUSINESSMAN: If you institute safety regulations for my factories, I’ll be forced to raise prices! You play a few cents extra per shirt!

Panel 2
Close-up of Uncle Sam, who is looking very anxious about this dilemma.
UNCLE SAM: A few cents? That’s HORRIBLE! But hundreds of factory workers dying is ALSO horrible! What a DILEMMA!

Panel 3
BUSINESSMAN: I know! I’ll build totally unregulated factories in other countries! So shirts will stay cheap, but we won’t have any more big factory tragedies in the USA!

Panel 4
UNCLE SAM: Hooray! EVERYBODY wins!
BUSINESSMAN: That’s capitalism for ya.

We can see that the “NEVER AGAIN!” sign now has a piece of paper taped under it; the paper says “Where we have to see it.”

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

Ten Reasons We’re Against Unions!

Cartoon by Barry

You can purchase a print of this cartoon.

Transcript of cartoon:

Panel 1
Large lettering shows the title: Ten Reasons We’re Against Unions!
Below the title lettering, a group of picketing workers can be seen. Most are just silhouettes, but three people in the foreground are drawn in more detail, and their signs can be read.
SIGN 1: Workers United Against Workers Uniting
SIGN 2: I Prefer Having No Power!
SIGN 3: I (heart symbol) Bosses

Panel 2
WOMAN 1: Unions just want to line their own pockets!
WOMAN 2: Unlike bosses, who have only our best interests at heart.

Panel 3
Man counts off points on the fingers of one hand. The hand has seven fingers.
MAN: Other than weekends, lunch breaks, overtime pay, parental leave, pension plans, higher wages, and sick leave, what good have unions ever done?

Panel 4
Rosie the Riveter, in her traditional showing off the bicep pose, but she’s inanely grinning.
ROSIE: I deserve less pay than men.

Panel 5
Two men with work-uniform vests on. The first man is missing teeth, and an ear, and an eye, and has a hook replacing one hand. The second man has a wooden peg instead of a head.
EYEPATCH MAN: I wouldn’t want the company wasting money making my job safer!
PEGHEAD MAN: Heck no!

Panel 6
Professorial type with glasses and pipe holds up a crude drawing of a face with fangs and horns, labeled “unions.”
PROF: Speaking objectively, all unions are evil! Eeevviilllll!

Panel 7
CHEERFUL WOMAN: I want the “right to work!” Along with the right to be arbitrarily fired!

Panel 8
White woman speaks in foreground, oblivious to the two Black folks in the background who look annoyed by her words.
WHITE WOMAN: Who cares if unions reduce the pay gap between non-white and white workers?

Panel 9
A businessman flies high in the sky, riding on a giant packet of cash, his necktie flapping in the wind.
BUSINESSMAN: It’s wrong that unions spend money influencing Congress. Only business should get to do that!

Panel 10
Young woman, brimming with confidence, speaks in the foreground. In the background, three other people, one carrying a box, one typing at a terminal – also speak. All four are wearing identical hats and short-sleeved shirts – they’re clearly co-workers.
YOUNG WOMAN: One day, I’ll get rich, and I’ll be the boss. Once that happens, I won’t want some union getting in my way!
COWORKER 1: I’m also gonna be boss!
COWORKER 2: Me too!
COWORKER 3: Me too!

Panel 11
Woman shrugging.
WOMAN: Who’d want more power at work?[

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |