Fiction or Qualified Immunity?

Cartoon by Barry

If you like these cartoons blah blah blah you know the drill. Support my Patreon!


This comic has seven panels. The first six panels are squarish, arranged in a two across three down grid; the final panel goes all the way across the bottom.


This panel shows Barry (the cartoonist) speaking overly cheerfully to the readers, and gesturing towards the very large letters of the title.

At the top of the panel is some introductory text.

TEXT: The Supreme Court decided public officials aren’t responsible for violating our rights if they don’t know they’re violating rights.

TEXT: Which brings us to our game! It’s simple. You only have to guess…

Very large title lettering: IS IT FICTION OR IS IT QUALIFIED IMMUNITY?

BARRY (smaller letters): Winners get nothing.


A white man in judicial robes speaks directly to the viewer. He’s got wide eyes and is smiling, like he’s a proud father just after a baby is born. Behind him, three other white male judges look on. The front white man is holding a scroll with writing on it; but it’s swaddled in cloth, and the man is holding it as if it’s a baby.

CAPTION: 1967: In the very first Q.I. case, the Supreme Court said it’s okay to arrest people for being black in a coffee shop, as long as the cops believed it was against the law.

JUDGE: We’re calling it
Qualified Immunity!

Note: In this panel, and in all the following panels, the words “qualified immunity” are always on their own line, and alternate between being all red and all blue. These are the same colors used in the title lettering.


A police officer, in a uniform shirt (clack tie, badges, etc) smiles and shrugs as they talk to the readers. But they have a dog’s head instead of a human head – the head of a big German shepherd.

CAPTION: 2018: The sixth circuit ruled that police couldn’t be expected to know not to sic police dogs on suspects who have surrendered and are sitting on the ground.

Qualified Immunity!

POLICE DOG: There was just no way to know!


This panels shows a man in a prison guard uniform, including a billed cap and a shoulder-mounted walkie talkie, talking to someone off-panel. He looks annoyed. Behind him is a cell door, which is solid (rather than having bars) and has a small metal panel that can be opened on this side.

CAPTION: 2017: A prisoner asked to buy snacks from the commissary… so they threw him in solitary confinement for over a year. The second circuit court said: “how could they know?”

Qualified Immunity!

GUARD: Einstein himself couldn’t have guessed that was wrong!


A couple of school staff types – a balding man with half-moon glasses, wearing a jacket and tie (a stereotypical principal) and a younger woman with read hair in a thick braid, are talking to each other. The man is slapping his forehead, and the woman is looking down at the floor.

CAPTION: 2009: The Supreme Court decided that school staff had no way of knowing they shouldn’t strip-search a 13-year-old schoolgirl.

Qualified Immunity!

PRINCIPAL: We’re supposed to NOT strip-search little girls?

TEACHER: Who knew?


A man in short-sleeved police uniform, and with a thick mustache, angrily talks to the reader. Behind him we can see a sidewalk, grass, a bit of a tree; it looks a little suburban.

CAPTION: 2019: A cop shoots a kid in a yard filled with children, although he was actually trying to shoot their peaceful dog. The 11th circuit court said cops can’t be expected to know better.

Qualified Immunity!

COP: How could I know not to shoot dogs and children? I’m not a wizard!


This is a full-width panel at the bottom of the strip. The panel contains a caption in large, friendly letters: ANSWERS

Barry the cartoonist is back, talking to the reader, grinning too wide yet looking distressed, sweating.

BARRY: You guessed it— all these cases are real!

BARRY: Because we live in a near-police state where cops are never held accountable! USA! USA!

This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Uncategorized |

Arguing On The Internet

Cartoon by Barry

Please help us make more swell cartoons by supporting my Patreon!

(Patrons got to see this cartoon months before I posted it in public.)

This cartoon is drawn by my awesome and frequent collaborator, Becky Hawkins. I especially love what she did with the expression and lighting on the character’s face in the last panel.


This cartoon has four panels, plus a tiny additional “kicker” panel under the fourth panel.


We see a woman with bright purple hair is sitting at a desk, facing a desktop computer, and facepalming. The room looks like an apartment or house, not a place of business.

There’s an open soda can next to her. In the background we can see a window with blue sky, a poster that combines the anarchy “A” symbol with a drawing of a cat face and the caption “Equality! Justice! Naps!,” and a cat lying on a cat bed below the window.

There is a computer-drawn rectangular word balloon, with sound effects reading “tap tap tap tap” leading from the balloon towards the computer, showing what she’s typing on the computer.

TYPED ON THE COMPUTER: If you’d look at the evidence for even a second you’d see tha

PURPLEHAIR (in a thought balloon): What am I even doing?


The same shot. The purple-haired woman has leaned back a bit and has a hand on her chin as she thinks. In the background, the cat has looked up at her with a little ? floating over its head.

PURPLEHAIR (in a thought balloon): I’ve been arguing online for hours. He’s not gonna change his mind. There are so many better things I could be doing.


A close shot of her, now with wide eyes and a big smile, looking up a bit in anticipation.

PURPLEHAIR (in a thought balloon): Yes! I’ll organize a zoom with friends I haven’t seen lately! And take a walk! And I’ll finally volunteer for that anti-hunger group. Starting right now!


The same shot as the first two panels. But it’s much darker now; through the window we can see the moon and stars. The only source of light in this room seems to be the computer monitor, shining on Purplehair’s face. There are now many more empty soda cans scattered around her.

Purplehair is typing, leaning foward, looking angry but also exhausted; her eyes are wide and bloodshot (in a cartoony comedy fashion). Her cat is leaning against her shoulder, trying to get her attention. The cat has a little thought balloon with a picture of a can of cat food in it.

Another computer-style speech balloon has the “tap tap tap tap” sound effect leading from the balloon towards the computer keyboard.

TYPED ON THE COMPUTER: And ANOTHER thing! Why do YOU guys ALWAYS SAY you’re fo


We see Purplehair’s face; she has a huge satisfied smile and is glowing.

PURPLEHAIR: I’ve done it – I’ve proven that a stranger on the internet is wrong!

PURPLEHAIR: Now I’ll never have to do that again!

This cartoon on Patreon.

Posted in Barry's favorites, Becky Hawkins collaborations, Uncategorized |

The Post Office Is Dying!

Cartoon by Barry

If you like these cartoons, please help me make more by supporting my Patreon! A $1 or $2 pledge really helps (plus, just as a matter of philosophy, I love the idea of earning a living through small donations from many donors.)


This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows the same two characters: A businessman-looking character in a pinstripe suit, and an anthropomorphic blue mailbox – one of the big metal ones, found on street corners, that you can drop your mail into for postal workers to pick up. The recessed slot where mail is inserted is drawn to be the mailbox’s mouth, and it lifts one of its four legs to gesture with it like a human making a hand gesture.

All four panels take place in the same location, a sidewalk in a city or town. There’s some litter and pebbles scattered across the sidewalk, and also some fallen leaves from a tree. Across the street we can see another sidewalk and a building; a sign on the corner of the building says “back ground detail.”


Pinstripes walks into the panel, holding his hand out towards Mailbox. Mailbox is grinning and gesturing towards itself.

PINSTRIPES: Post Office! I heard you’re nearly dead!

MAILBOX: No, no! I’ve had my ups and downs, adjusting to the digital age, but I’m still here! Honestly, I can last for decades! Or forever!


Pinstripes rubs a hand over his chin thoughtfully. Mailbox leans back and laughs.

PINSTRIPES: What if I pass a law weighing you down by making you pay retiree health care costs over fifty years in advance?

MAILBOX: Ha-ha! That would be ridiculous! No corporation or public agency has ever been required to-


A gigantic, heavy sack – bigger than either character – drops out of the sky, slamming Mailbox to the ground with a big “WHAM!” sound effect. Maibox is literally crushed under the weight, although its “head” is in the clear. Mailbox’s mouth is open in an expression of surprise and pain, and several envelopes come shooting out of its mouth. Meanwhile, Pinstripes watches with arms folded, looking satisfied.


Smirking, Pinstripes puts a hand by his mouth to shout out, the other hand pointing at Mailbox on the ground. Mailbox, still trapped under the enormous weight, looks stunned.

PINSTRIPES: On no! The Post Office is dying! Now we have to privatize it!

Posted in Uncategorized |

Meet My Liberal Beliefs

Cartoon by Barry

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


This cartoon has four panels, plus a small “kicker” panel under the bottom of the comic strip.


We’re in a hilly park or field. Two people appear to be having an argument. One is a brown-skinned woman with black hair, with a couple of pink streaks running through it.  She’s wearing a white tank top with broad blue strips on it. Let’s call her PINKY. The other person is a white man wearing a white tee shirt with a “!” design on it. He has fluffy brown hair and a full beard. Let’s call him BEARDO.

Pinky is looking angry and pointing a critical finger at Beardo. Beardo is looking angry, too, and is making a big “I’m frustrated” arm gesture.

BEARDO: It’s illibral to accuse people of “racism.” Where’s due process? Where’s freedom of speech?

PINKY: I’m so tired of that right-wing —


Pinky jumps back in alarm, while Beardo talks on cheerfully. Between them, a superhero has appeared in a puff of smoke (there’s a “poof” sound effect). The superhero is wearing a tight blue outfit, with boots and a cape and a shield-shaped symbol on his chest that says “MLB.” He is standing in with his hands on his hips and his chest thrust up a bit. His expression is happy but also smug.

PINKY: Whoa! Where’d HE come from?

BEARDO: This is My Liberal Beliefs. He suddenly appears and protects me when I’m accused of being right-wing.


There is a close-up of a bunch of political logo pins, pined to My Liberal Beliefs’ chest. We can see Beardo’s hand as he points at the pins. There are five pins, and here’s what they say:

“Pro Choice until I decide it’s gone too far”

“I will probably VOTE democrat.”

“I fight for FREE SPEECH of wealthy pundits s who are very like myself.”

“Gay Marriage Yay!”

“If I had been around back then I’m sure I would have marched with MLK.”

BEARDO: Just LOOK at all My Liberal Beliefs! How could I possibly be right-wing?


Pinky looks a little annoyed, while Beardo, who has his arms folded across his chest, looks quite cheerful. In between them, My Liberal Beliefs has disappeared, leaving a “poof cloud” in the air behind him.

PINKY: So do Your Liberal Beliefs ever speak aloud?

BEARDO: That’s not what they’re for.


Beardo, looking a bit angry, is talking to Barry the cartoonist.

BEARDO: So if virtually every public argument I make is attacking the left, THAT makes me right-wing?

BARRY: Only literally.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Cartoon by Barry

If you like these cartoons, help make them happen by supporting my patreon!


This cartoon has ten panels, arranged as a 3×3 grid of nine panels, with a wide tenth panel beneath. All of the panels show a maroon wingback chair on an otherwise empty green hill.


In the distance, just beyond the crest of the hill, Justice Ginsberg is looking towards us.

RBG: The notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy i s supposed to be.


RBG has walked to just behind the chair as she continues to speak.

RBG: What greater defeat could we suffer than to come to resemble the forces we oppose in their disrespect for human dignity?


RBG has sat in the chair and look angry, spreading her arms to make a point.

RBG: Throwing out the Voting Rights Act when it has worked and is continuing to work… Is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you’re not getting wet.


Skies have been clear blue up to this point in the cartoon. They have turned a bit grayer, and there are white clouds in the sky.

RBG leans forward a bit in the chair, holding her hands together.

RBG: A gender line helps to keep women not on a pedestal but in a cage.


A close-up of RBG, holding up a forefinger to make a point. For the first time in this cartoon, she’s smiling.

RBG: Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.


RBG has stood up and is walking off the page, with her back turned to us.


The chair sits on the hillside, with no one around. The skies are a bit darker now, and the clouds are gray.


From the right border of the cartoon, RBG leans in for a moment, like someone peering around a wall, to talk to us. She’s smirking a bit.

RBG: When I’m asked “when will there enough women on the Supreme Court,” and I say “when there are nine, people are shocked!


RBG faces the viewer and shrugs.

RBG: But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.


A much wider panels shows a slightly more distant shot of the chair on the hill. No one is in sight. The sky is much darker now, and dark clouds roll in from either side.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Both Sides Are Equally Bad!

Cartoon by Barry

Please help me make more cartoons by supporting my Patreon! I make a living primarily from lots of people pledging $1, and that’s kind of awesome.


This cartoon has six panels; two rows containing five panels between them, and then a final row with just a single large panel.

Panel 1

Three people stand on a city sidewalk talking.  There is “Mr. Right,” a bald white man wearing a dress shirt and a tie; a woman wearing glasses, a white collared shirt and a floral skirt; and “Ms. Left,” a black-haired woman wearing a hoodie and jeans.

Glasses has turned to her left, to address Ms Left.

GLASSES: Whats’ the worst thing you do, Ms Left?

MS LEFT: Well,.. Some of our extremists punch people, and not everyone punched is a Nazi.

Panel 2

Glasses has now turned to her right, to ask Mr Right a question.

GLASSES: And Mr Right, what’s the worst thing you do?

MR RIGHT: Oh, you know… Forced child separation, inhumane detention camps, and mass shootings inspired by the violent rhetoric of our highest elected leaders.

Panel 3

A close-up of Glasses, who is holding up a hand with a “stop!” gesture and looking upward as if thinking.

GLASSES: But if you both do violence… Then that means…

Panel 4

An even tighter close-up of Glasses. Her hands are up on her face, and her eyes are wide, as if she’s having a startling realization.

GLASSES: That both of you are…

Panel 5

A very tight close-up of Glasses’ face – her entire head doesn’t even fit in the panel.  She’s grinning too wide and sweating and looks very intense. Her dialog in this panel, rather than being contained in a dialog balloon, is done in huge, happy letters superimposed over the image.


Panel 6

A large panel, showing Mr. Right and Glasses grinning and dancing joyously while they sing. Musical notes fill the air around them. On the far right of the panel, Ms Left is facepalming.

MR RIGHT (sings): Equally bad! Equally bad!

GLASSES (sings): Equally bad!

MS LEFT (thought): Why do I even talk to centrists?

Posted in Uncategorized |

Everything Is Problematic!

Cartoon by Barry

Help me make more cartoons by supporting my Patreon! A $1 pledge really helps.


This cartoon has five panels, with the same two characters – a young woman wearing glasses and a pink scarf, and another young woman wearing a long yellow jacket. In the first two panels, the two are sitting around an apartment, on a couch.

Panel 1 

Scarf woman is reading a comic book, and speaks enthusiastically to Jacket woman, who looks unconvinced.

SCARF: Have you read this comic? It’s really awesome.

JACKET: I heard the creator was arrested for beating his girlfriend.

Panel 2 

Scarf tosses the comic over her shoulder. Jacket looks a bit angry as she talks, waving a hand in the air.

SCARF: Screw comics, then. We’ll just browse the internet.

JACKET: Yeah! We can google how the workers who make our devices are horribly abused.

Panel 3 

Scarf tries again, but Jacket rejects the idea again, standing up with her arms crossed, turning her back on Jacket.

SCARF: Let’s watch an old movie. Something made before the internet.

JACKET: Hitchcock, Kubrick, Bertolucci… Lots of directors abused their actresses back then. Just like today.

Panel 4

The two characters, after a quick back and forth, both yell to the sky (or ceiling) in abject frustration.

SCARF: Music?

JACKET: R. Kelly.

SCARF: Disney?

JACKET: Are you joking?


Panel 5 

The two characters are now out in a beautiful, sprawling park, with trees and rolling hills, sitting on a  hillside. Scarf is smiling and leaning back; Jacket has her arms crossed on her knees and still looks crabby.

SCARF: Isn’t it great out here, enjoying clean, unproblematic nature?

JACKET: Stolen land.

Posted in Uncategorized |

How Dare They Call Me A Conservative!

Cartoon by Barry

Help me make more cartoons – support my patreon! A $1 pledge really helps.


This cartoon has six panels. All six panels feature a 50ish white man, wearing glasses and a suit jacket over a black tee shirt, speaking directly to the viewer. Two of the panels are much narrower than the other four. In addition to those six panels, there’s also a tiny “kicker” panel below the bottom of the cartoon.


A medium shot of the man. He is speaking excitedly and angrily at the viewer, holding a fist in the air. We can see there’s a tree behind him.

MAN: Did you read my article in Quibbette? I show how there’s no freedom of speech for anyone criticizing the “woke” fascists!


A longer shot lets us see he’s standing on a path on what might be a college  quadrangle. It’s a park-like space with trees and a faux-roman style building in the background. He continues to speak intensely, holding up a forefinger to make a point.

MAN: Like I said in the Times, the campus left are coddled, free-speech hating totalitarians!


In a closer shot, and a much smaller, narrower panel, the man, smiling, cups his mouth with a hand to whisper to the viewer. He’s making a thumbs up sign with his other hand.

MAN (whispering): Psst! I’m pro-choice, and I voted for Obama.


He’s back to angry rant mode, raising both hands into the air.

MAN: Like I said on Fox: The Democrats have been taken over by identitarian totalitarians who hate white men!


Again smiling and whispering in a much narrower panel.

MAN: Psst! Have I mentioned I have a Black friend?


In the final panel, the man has a hurt expression, and is holding one hand flat on his chest.

MAN: And how dare they call me a conservative after I took all those liberal positions!


Still talking directly at the viewer, the man looks angry again.

MAN: And why can’t those fascist totalitarian cowardly thugs be more civil?

Posted in Uncategorized |

It Does Sound Wonderful

Cartoon by Barry

If you like these cartoons, and can spare it, please help me make more by supporting my Patreon! A $1 pledge means a lot to me.

Transcript of cartoon

This cartoon has four main panels, and also a tiny “kicker” panel under the bottom of the cartoon.

This panel shows two men, in what looks like a kitchen. One is a bald man with glasses and a argyle sweater vest, the other is a man wearing a sleeveless shirt who has a full-sleeve tattoo on his left arm. Tattoo is sitting at a table, with a plate of food and a coffee mug in front of him, watching something on his smartphone. Argyle has his hand on Tattoo’s shoulder, and is leaning over to watch Tattoo’s smartphone.

ARGYLE: Whatcha watching?
TATTOO: Some Youtube guy.
YOUTUBER (speaking on smartphone)L You know what Democrats really want? Socialism!

A close up of Tattoo’s smartphone. On the phone screen, a video is playing, showing a man yelling at the camera, a forefinger held up in the air.

YOUTUBER: Can you imagine how hard it is to be a cop now?> If you so much as rough up a suspect – BOOM! You’re fired!

Like panel 2, a close-up on the smartphone. The youtuber looks aggravated and his holding both hands up in a “explaining my point” sort of gesture.

YOUTUBER: You can’t make jokes about anyone anymore! Jews, Blacks, gays, trans, fatties – all off limits!
YOUTUBER: Racism was a problem like a century ago – but that’s all over now!

Argyle has turned to Tattoo is and is clasping his hands together in front of him, in a begging gesture. Tattoo is amused.

ARGYLE: Can we please move to the American the right thinks we live in?
TATTOO: It does sound wonderful!

Argyle talks to Tattoo; they both look amused.
ARGYLE: Getting in should be easy – I hear they don’t guard the border at all.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Politicizing Tragedy

Cartoon by Barry

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


A man and a woman stand in a field. From off-panel, there is the sound of gunfire – “Bang! Bang! Bang!”
WOMAN: Oh God. There’s another mass shooting! We need gun control laws!
MAN: You ghoul! Stop politicizing tragedy!

The man pontificates, fingertips of one hand on his breast, the other hand pointing off into the distance.
MAN: We have to wait a respectful amount of time…

The woman’s arms are akimbo, looking impatient. The man holds up one hand in a “wait” gesture, while looking at a watch on his other wrist.
WOMAN: Okay, NOW can we talk about gun control?
MAN: Just a moment….
MAN (small print to indicate something mumbled to himself): C’mon, c’mon…

The woman jumps, suprrised by a new round of gunfire from off panel. BANG! BANG! BANG! The man speaks, looking very self-satisfied.
MAN: What a shame. Looks like we can’t discuss it now, either.

MAN: I’m not the one who makes up the rules.
WOMAN: Yes you are!

This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Uncategorized |