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 |