12/28/11

Today's jpost.com cartoon

i want a refund russian voters protests elections president vlaimir putin prime minister dmitry medvedev matryoshka doll stool opened gift box boy in sweater boots fur cap
Had this idea a while back and finally got around to drawing it. Pretty pleased how it came out, all things considered, especially since it's hard to make a recognizable face on a circular surface.
Admittedly, Putin has only been elected to his second go-around as president of Russia after two turns as prime minister while Medvedev has only been president once before becoming prime minister for the first time now, but the sentiment of the now-protesting Russian voters is still the same.

In case you're confused, here's a timeline:

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

12/14/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

aha caught in the act you have no right to do this admit it this is a deliberate attempt to sbotage the peace process isnt it this is an act of religious warfare a direct violation of our rights its all part of the conspiracy to judaize palestine im telling the un the hague the press all i did was repave a cobblestone
With Israel closing (and, as of today, reopening) the Mughrabi Bridge for the umpteenth time, I figured the time was ripe for this reaction to the overreactions the Palestinians have eveny sitinkin' time we try to do anything near the Temple Mount, be it archeological digging or public infrastructure.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Black 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

12/13/11

Today's jpost.com cartoon

The Jeruslem Post's website's erratic uploading of my cartoons continues, with two put up together some time after their initial submission, for the second time in the past few weeks. One already saw print 12 days ago; the other is below:

doctor tapping knee with hammer test reflexes israeli hasbara whunk foot in mouth this could be a problem
With a new Israeli ad campaign aimed at bringing expats home getting plenty of flak overseas for its perceived insults to the American Jewish community, now's a good time to caicaturize one of our biggest failings: Hasbara, our word for public relations. Whether it's ad campaigns for yordim or explaining our side in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, we somehow always find a way to stuff our foot in our mouth and leave the message forgotten by the wayside.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Black 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

12/12/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

euro currency bill hanging on france germany nicolas sarkozy angela merkel hanging off cliff cracking crumbling
Just a general comment on the state of the euro these days. If it goes, so do the economies of those relatively least-unscathed by its wobbling (and that's without even mentioning what's going on with the PIIGS).

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Black 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

12/8/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

mahmoud ahmadinejad farmer diplomats chickens coop hungry lean fox guarding the henhouse dont worry ive increased your security
After rioters attacked the British embassy in Teheran, causing the Brits and several other European countries to withdraw ambassadors and/or embassy personnel, Iran tried to woo them back with the promise that they would beef up their security. Seeing as how it's widely suspected that the rioters acted under direct sanction of the regime, this is not completely reassuring.
The fox, particularly its head, was heavily inspired by the look of Wile E. Coyote.
Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Blue 0.5 needle tip pen
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

12/5/11

Ripped From the Archives: January 2009

Full disclosure: I never received the January issue in the mail and can find no sign of its existence at Issuu.com, so I have no idea if any of the following made it in or not.

whack a mole moshe feiglin binyamin netanyahu
Ah, Moshe Feiglin... if Bibi Netanyahu is Superman, then Feiglin is Lex Luthor. Or possibly kryptonite. Except that Superman is an amoral, spineless SOB (and I think it speaks volumes about our local politicians that he's still the best man for the prime minister's job anyway). Escaping that mixed metaphor, Feiglin has been a political thorn in Netanyahu's side for many years. but each time he gets knocked down (i.e. maneuvered around) he just pops right back up. Must be frustrating.
This was the second time I'd ever drawn Bibi and the first time I began altering his look to how I draw him today--the more true-to-life pointy eyebrows and the checkered shirt, symbolizing his cheap hucksterism (which usually shows up nowadays as a checkered tie).

how dare they use incitement by calling this a pogrom settler violence against palestinians now that a pogrom olmert barak amona hebron
In 2006, the government squared off against demonstrators protesting the destruction of nine houses in the settlement of Amona, with violent results. When, at the time, some likened it to a pogrom, Olmert and his cohorts lashed out at them furiously, terming it incitement and provocation. Fast forward two years, and these same people were terming far lesser violence occurring between Jews and Palestinians in Hebron a pogrom...

domino effect falling dollar euro pound yen shekel
Looking back at this one, it doesn't seem nearly as clever now... nor as funny.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black ballpoint pen

12/1/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

united nations accidental casualties hotline press 1 to complain about israel fiscal millennium nato raid leaves 24 dead pakistan smoke rising from bombing fighter jet recorded telephone message public phone booth
Always so quick to condemn Israel for use of excessive force whenever we accidentally kill Palestinian civilians whilst targeting terrorists, the UN has always remained conspicuously silent whenever American bombs miss their mark. The newspaper headline seen above is just the latest in a long, long string of such incidents perpetrated in the region by the US army.
UPDATE: 4 minutes after the first one, became second cartoon reblogged on no surrender-ne pasaran.
Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Black 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

11/27/11

Today's jpost.com cartoon

didnt we already finish with this stuff in february egyptian protesters cairo tahrir square policeman running riot shield baton throwing molotov cocktail tear gas canister
The (Egyptian) natives are restless, complaining about the army holding too much power in the ongoing transfer of power, so they've (re)taken to the streets, including the famous Tahrir Square, to protest. It is, as the above fellow notes, all very deja vu.
On a side note, I went online to research the Arabic words you see above. Thus the sign really does say Tahrir Square (or, to be more precise, Mīdān at-Taḥrīr) and the riot shield really does say "police", or rather a phrase I found under the word "police" on the riot shields in a photo of Egyptian policemen.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

11/24/11

Today's jpost.com cartoons

After some delay, both of this week's political cartoons have been posted to the site. Let's take a look, shall we?

barack obama diminished stature republican candidates down here shorty rick perry mitt romney herman cain michele bachmann newt gingrich
While I'm no supporter of Barack Obama, the field of presidential candidates currently available to Republican voters (a situation best summed up by this Dave Granlund cartoon) leaves me shaking my head in disbelief. Still, every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case it's me itching to caricature a whole slew of highly caricaturable politicians. The result is before you. (The skin tone on Obama and Cain is off, but that's what I get for coloring on a laptop with an adjustable LCD screen.)

With both China and Russia blocking serious sanction measures against Iran and Syria in the UN, these two rogue states are singin' (or at least walkin' comfortably) in the rain. It was fun to draw Bashar Assad as an old-style gangster complete with zoot suit. Fun fact: this is my heaviest political cartoon by file size to date, clocking in at a whopping 3.3 MB.
UPDATE: Reblogged by Daniel Dagan.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch) (both)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen (both)
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen (both)
Black marker (first)
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0 (second)
Serif PhotoPlus SE (first)

Bonus pic: the initial pencil sketches for the Republican nominees!

Rick Perry is the hardest of the lot to draw accurately, and you won't find many political cartoonists who draw him in similar ways (looking back at the end result, I think I made his face too squashed-looking). After him comes Bachmann, who does have distinctive facial features which were nonetheless somewhat difficult for me to distill into a recognizable caricature. Easiest is Herman Cain.

11/17/11

Today's jpost.com cartoon

personification of israeli democracy sitting up in coffin not yet dead rigmarole floral wreath tzipi livni yariv oppenheimer aluf benn mourners
I've talked beforehand about the knee-jerk reaction of Tzipi Livni and Kadima to assign blame to the Netanyahu government for absolutely anything they can think of, but lately they've been joined in mindless overreaction by the rest of Israel's Left, who have been loudly announcing The Death Of Israeli Democracy and The Advancement Of McCarthyism et bloody cetera, after several admittedly controversial bills were brought up for possible passage into law. This overblown hysteria is exceptionally nerve-grating to me, prompting this reaction.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

11/15/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

It's not often that I get an idea from an article headline, but when I read about the Quartet trying to "jump start" the peace process, something just clicked.

mideast peace process frankenstein monster body covered with blanket on slab laboratory reanimation defibrillation electric shock paddles igor lightning in castle window
Reanimating the dead = apt comparisons ahoy.
The look of Igor and the lab definitely drew inspiration from The Far Side.
UPDATE: Now the third cartoon of mine to be reposted by La Boucle d'Occam.
Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Blue 0.5 mm needle tip pen
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

11/11/11

11/9/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

Finally changing the subject, let's take a look at how the highly-touted "Arab Spring" is faring:

cold front moving in arab spring winter flower wilting petal flying leaf on ground snow falling piling up wind blowing radical islamists threat
Oog. You know, I would have probably used a frying pan and fire to make my metaphor clear, but this fit in better with the theme. Getting rid of dictatorships? Good. Falling under control of religious Muslim extremists? Not good. Falling under control of religious Muslim extremists elected by democratic means? Ironic.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Black 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

11/8/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

Yes, this makes two cartoons in a row about "Palestine"'s admission to UNESCO. Sue me.

abbas abu mazen unesco take israel to task for destroying palestinian arab muslim antiquities joseph's tomb fire flamethrower
The Palestinians' claims that Israel is destroying "Palestinian antiquities" and "erasing the Palestinian character" of places like Jeruslem, while laughable on their own, are doubly ludicrous when placed against the Palestinians' own history of systematically destroying or damaging Israeli heritage sites (which actually are both (a) Israeli and (b) ancient), such as Solomon's Stables on the Temple Mount, ancient synagogues in Gaza, and the above-seen Joseph's Tomb, which has by now been torched and vandalized on a number of occasions (although never, admittedly, by Mahmous Abbas wielding a flamethrower)--in addition to steadfastly denying the Jewish and Israeli nature of said sites--so as to further their claim of our not "belonging" here.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Black 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

11/5/11

Drama Llama

drama llama in suit holding gun light glinting off sunglasses
To inject MOAR DRAMA into any situation, simply call upon the Drama Llama. He'll always be there for you.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black ballpoint pen
Adobe Illustrator CS3
Serif PhotoPlus SE

11/3/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

palestine unesco united nations education security and culture organization kill the jews written on blackboard bombs explosives tnt dynamite chemistry physics rocket qassam theater protocols of elders of zion jenin jenin jaws 4 the revenge
In a move of dubious legality and morality, UNESCO (remember, the ones who unthinkingly accepted outlandish Palestinian claims on the history of Rachel's Tomb) have officially accepted "Palestine" as a member-state of the organization, even though they are not actually a state. Mocking the UN and its offshoots is like shooting low-hanging fish in a barrel of fruit, but sometimes a cartoonist's gotta do what a cartoonist's gotta do. For those who are unaware, UNESCO stands for United Nations Education Security and Culture Organization; and I decided to showcase just exactly how "Palestine" qualified for each of these categories. Note the map showing the entire territory of Israel as a single Palestinian state (their idea, not mine), and the marquee advertising Jews IV: The Revenge.
UPDATE: Now my second cartoon to be featured on Brabosh.com.
Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

11/1/11

What You See Is What You Get--or is it??

90s kid linkara lewis lovhaug at4w entity missingo from pokemon cosmic horror outer god
'90s Kid, as possessed by the Entity, a.k.a. [spoilers in alt text], as featured in the conclusion of the latest Atop the Fourth Wall storyline. I took some artistic liberties with his appearance, making him seem more ominously "glitchy".

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Black 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus SE

10/27/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

ilan grapel jew 25 egyptian prisoners criminals exchange walking to bus leaving prison palestinian equivalent crunching the numbers
In the wake of the widely-heralded and probably-disastrous Schalit deal, Israel went through with another prisoner exchange, this time swapping 25 Egyptian criminals for Ilan Grapel, an Israeli-American held in Egypt on trumped-up espionage charges, in a blatant in-all-but-name kidnapping extortion case. Still, as in so many things, there's also a bright side--or at least, an amusing side.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen

Black 0.7 mm pilot pen

Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

10/26/11

Today's jpost.com cartoon

I'm not sure why they're running this one when the subject already became obsolete. (Context: for several days after their big earthquake, Turkey obstinately refused all offers of international aid, including Israel's; by today, they finally caved in and admitted that they needed some help. Is the cartoon a bit insensitive to them in a time of tragedy? Perhaps--but the ridiculous [and not to mention self-harming] stance they took just begged to be mocked.)

turkey erogan international aid refusal earthquake outstretched hands three stooges moe larry curly slap whap fully qualified rescue workers nyuk nyuk nyuk
Plus it gave me a chance to draw the Three Stooges in a political cartoon for the first time (following in the footsteps of Laurel and Hardy and the Keystone Cops), so there's always that.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

10/24/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

fires of hell cavern falling dumped gaddafi bin laden obl saddam
Published a little late, but what the hey--here's Muammar Gaddafi being tossed into Hell alongside fellow terror-minded Arabs Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
The title is a play on words of "Sic semper tyrannis", the Latin phrase supposedly quoted by John Wilkes Booth after assassinating Abraham Lincoln (there is some dispute about it, but it definitely adds a dramatic element to the story). It means "Thus always for tyrants", and I simply adapted it to the situation.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Blue 0.5 needle tip pen
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

10/18/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

our boy is home may god help us all
I actually drew the original cartoon a couple of years back, in December of 2009 to be exact, when it seemed that a prisoner swap for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit was imminent. Instead, it has happened this week, with Israel trading 1,027 of the scum of humanity for our captured boy. It's in a deliberately monochrome style to mirror the bleakness I'm feeling right now. To price, to my mind, is far too high--one soldier in exchange for the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Israelis--civilians and soldiers alike--who will be killed (and they will be killed, make no mistake) by the terrorists we have now freed. Sbarro, the Dolphinarium, Cafe Moment, Park Hotel, the Ramallah lynch... perpetrators from all these attacks and more, whose mere mention is enough to make any Israeli's blood run cold, are now free. Free. It's just... ugh.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

10/16/11

Pac-Man: The Musical

If you haven't seen the video yet, please go do so now. In my mind, it deserves to be an all-time YouTube classic. It's got some merrily deranged animation with lyrics to match, and I could listen to it over and over again.
pacman musical then we'll eat him up inky blinky pinky clyde
I tried to get the ghosts to form some sort of chorus line, an effect that's hard to achieve when the characters only have a few stumpy legs and no other limbs. Oh well.

Drawn using:
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen

10/10/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

Syria announcing that it would investigate itself to see whether it had perpetrated any human rights violations during the brutal crackdown on anti-Assad protestors over the past year, before allowing the UNHRC to set up a commission on the matter, got a guffaw out of me. I mean, talk about the fox guarding the henhouse! C'mon!
syria china russia united nations human rights council knife in back rope around neck bashar assad sherlock holmes cap holding magnifying glass in hand
In response, I drew this little bit of absurdity. I personally find the bit about the rabid chickens to be a stroke of genius...

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

10/7/11

M. Night Shyamalan's career in movie titles

sixth sense unbreakable signs the village lady in the water happening last airbender devil
Made this about a year ago after a random burst of inspiration. (For the uninitiated, the above utilizes the titles of Mr. Shyamalan's eight most recent writing credits to chart his career decline.)

Drawn using:
Serif PhotoPlus SE

10/5/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

obama congress pipe wrenches faucet plumbing plumbers palestinian authority funding dry up dried up trickle water liquid whistling clean hands with rag
After Congress decided to withhold funding from the Palestinian Authority in response to their unilteral bid for statehood recognition at the UN, the Obama administration got all snippy and vowed to reverse the move. A simple cartoon, but I like how it turned out artistically, particularly Mr. Sneaky McSneakypants on the left.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

10/3/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

abbas obama map israel on table settlements wave all of it construction freeze point
After both Israel and the Quartet have stated that they're ready to begin negotiations with the PA without preconditions, the Palestinians insist on acting like spoiled brats and insist, among other things, that Israel stop building in the "settlements". What defines a settlement? While it may not be all that politically correct to say so, the above is indeed a pretty accurate summary of the Palestinians' stance on the subject. Not even Tel Aviv is legitimate.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen

Black 0.5 mm pilot pen

Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

9/28/11

Without Millions pencil sketch portraits

I was tasked with creating pencil portraits from photos of the founders of the real estate/community-building group Without Millions for their site's About Us page. All I can say is thank G-d for backlit LCD screens, because they enabled me to do a lot of tracing without which I doubt it would have come out nearly as good.


Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil

9/25/11

Today's jpost.com cartoon

religious extremism hatred intolerance haredim chareidim orot banot girls school beit shemesh shadow two little schoolgirls
My hometown's in the national news, but it's not pretty--a group of nutty ultra-Orthodox Jews have been harassing the national-religious schoolgirls who study in a school built near their neighborhood, shouting stuff like "Prutzah" (promiscuous) and "Shiksa". Because, y'know, first graders wearing pastel colored clothes and whatnot are clearly ignorant sluts deserving of no respect. Real classy, guys.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

9/22/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

mahmoud ahmadinejad ban ki moon durban iii 3 nuke the jews iran racism discrimination xenophobia intolerance irony united nations
After jumping the gun and doing a cartoon on it almost a year ago, the Durban III conference/Israel bash-fest officially opens today, starring guest speaker Mahmoud Ahamdinejad, that noted humanist.
The flags hanging in the background are those of countries who decided not to pull out of the conference: from left to right, Greece, Denmark, Romania, Hungary and Finland.
UPDATE: After the Post reused this cartoon to accompany an article online, said article has been making the rounds among the usual suspects, reblogged by sites like Israpundit and ScrollPost (who magnanimously also put it on Twitter).

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

9/17/11

Ripped From the Archives: July 2008

Another month with three printed at once.

20000 twenty thousand reasons not to give up the golan crowd of israelis galilee
Drawn in response to renewed murmurs about how it might be a good idea to hand the Golan over to Syria in exchange for piece peace. Nutters.

the biggest problem with having a political party made up of pensioners were splitting what were we doing again old people forgetfulness
Yes, believe it or not there actually was a Pensioners' Party and they took 7 Knesset seats (out of 120) in their first election. Eventually becoming a de facto faction of Labor, the party's obviously out-of-their-depth members floundered and squabbled, with three MKs eventually announcing a split from the party. Except that they didn't. Then they did. Then they weren't sure. The whole back-and-forth was exceptionally diverting and provided excellent cartoon fodder. (In October, two of the three rejoined the main party and the third formed yet another offshoot. None of them made it back to the Knesset following the elections in February '09.)

kinneret gurgle sun drying up hot sea of galilee empty
Just general commentary on the abysmal state of the Kinneret's water levels.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black ballpoint pen

9/15/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

You know, I've done cartoons about Egypt before; I've done cartoons on Iran and Libya and Syria and Dubai, and cartoons with Jordan and Turkey and Lebanon and Tunisia and even Algeria, and of course I've done cartoons aplenty featuring Israel and the Palestinians. But there's at least one notable Mideast country that I have not yet worked into a political cartoon: Yemen. Time to fix that!

man ali abdullah saleh holding on to power yemen
Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, faced with an uprising similar to the one going in Syria, is very slowly and begrudgingly giving up his grip on power... and sometimes, frankly, the only way to illustrate a situation is simply to convert it into a visual medium. Originally I was thinking about maybe putting one or more people on the bottom, saying something like, "Okay, that's good, now keep going," but I think this came out pretty well as it is.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Blue 0.5 mm needle tip pen
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus6.0

9/11/11

Today's jpost.com cartoon

Where were you when the world changed?

It's a cliche thing to say, I know, but some cliches exist because they are true. And indeed, on the 21st century's "day that will live in infamy", the world did indeed change--forever.
I was in my psychologist's office in Jerusalem, finishing off another weekly session. A little earlier then usual, my mother comes bustling in. "We need to go."
What's happened?
"There been an attack on the Twin Towers."

Some clarification is in order here. Up to that point, I had never to the best of my knowledge so much as seen the Twin Towers, let alone know anything about them beyond a passing familiarity with the ubiquitous name. On the drive home, my mother explained that they were these two really tall skyscrapers in New York. Automatically, my mind envisioned a simplistic child's version of the site--two elongated boxes of brick and mortar and cement, standing on end, covered in a zillion windows, reaching for the sky. And that was, in fact, pretty much exactly what the Twin Towers were in real life. There was nothing exceptionally glamorous or memorable about them, like the Chrysler Building or the Empire Stae Building. Just a couple of boxes and nothing more, a singularly aesthetically unimpressive and unimaginative sight. From a visual perspective, anyway.
To many other people they were symbols of America's general and economic might. To some people, they were targets.
I was too young to remember the first WTC attack in 1993, but growing up in Israel had made me used to the concept of terrorist attacks on civilian locations. As opposed to Americans, to whom terror attacks were something than for the most part happened in other countries usually full of brown people, knowledgability about terrorism was an integral part of life here, running the gamut from suicide bombings to airplane hijackings. This, however, I could sense was something bigger. Much bigger.

So there we were, in the car, driving back home down the highway. My mother had seen the initial coverage on a TV in a clothes shop where she was passing the time. So, this was big news. Okay. But what did that have to do with us?
"Uncle Marty works in the Twin Towers."
This gave me pause. While I cannot claim to be particularly close in any special way to my Uncle Marty, having met him only on fewer than a dozen visits to the US in my lifetime, he was still my uncle and a nice guy to boot. This was profoundly potentially earthshaking news. In my 12 years of life, not one close relative of mine had yet died. This helped reinforce my childish sense of invincibility: death  and other disasters were for other people. I and the people I loved would last forever and nothing bad would ever, ever happen to us.
The illusion was beginning to crack.
"What floor does he work on?"
"The eightieth, I think."
Eightieth floor... wow. Oh my. If a plane hit the Twin Towers, then it would pretty have to hit pretty high up, right? Let's say it didn't hit his floor. If he was above it, could he get down? If he was below it, could he make it out before something... awful happened?

The cellphone rang. I picked it up.
"It's Glenna."
Glenna. Glenna's one of my mother's closest friends. After many years in Israel, she was now living in St. Louis. She was closer to the action. She could tell us what was what.
Mechanically, I relayed the information I was reeiving from cross the Atlantic to my mother. Two planes hit the two towers. A plane had hit the Pentagon. The Rose Garden. A bomb in a DC mall. Fighter jets had shot down a plane. Two planes. Hijackers on one plane were negotiting with the authorities. Too much. Too much.
Home. I just wanted to get home. Home was shelter. Home was safe.

Home.
My father's back from work early. Pacing. Reciting Tehillim with a manic fervor. My younger brothers are sitting around, confused.
Where's Uncle Marty?
No one knows. No one knows yet. Was he in the tower? Was he in the subway? Out on the street? Was he... was he...
No. This would not happen. This could not happen. I turned all of my childish belief and stubbornness and denial and focused it on one thing and one thing only: Uncle Marty is not dead.
Phone rings.
It's Aunt Esther.
"Marty is not dead. He's alive."

Whooping. Hollering. Drawn-out sighs of relief. Amidst it all, I scurry away into the bathroom and bend over the sink, crying, crying tears of relief, the first and only time in my life this has happened to me.
"He's not dead... he's not dead..."

Uncle Marty, it turned out, was late to work that morning and was still in the subway when the first plane hit. From there on, it was only a matter of time until he finally got an open phone line to his house.
And in the bathroom, I wiped my eyes and washed my face and walked out to face the brand new reality.
Where were you when the world changed?

9 11 september 11th heartache uncle sam doctor's office

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

9/10/11

Thing and Thing and Thing

I have no idea what the person who entered this keyword phrase was looking for when it led him/her to TED, but by golly I'm going to provide it!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you John Carpenter's iconic Thing, Marvel Comics' Thing, and Thing One from The Cat in the Hat!
I know they don't really look right--so sue me. I drew all three from memory.

Drawn using:
Blue 0.5 mm needle tip pen

9/8/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

You know, after drawing stuff like children being scared of rockets striking their vulnerable school buildings and evil dictators beating the embodiment of their own civilian populations to a bloody pulp, it's nice to just kick back and let rip with an old-fashioned humorous cartoon whose sole purpose is to make you laugh instead of wince:

doctor surgeon operating room scalpel surgery janitor fill-in replacement on strike funny patient wheeled hospital gurney
Mind you, there is no actual strike currently going on among Israeli doctors at the moment (although their labor dispute is still dragging on and many residents' resignations have been tendered), not to mention that operating surgeons wouldn't leave their posts in any case, but hey--a laugh is a laugh, amirite?
Fun fact: I was going to call the janitor "Bob" until I remembered that we're in Israel. Such is life.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

9/6/11

Today's Jerusalem Post cartoons

In a first for me, two of my political cartoons debuted on the same day.

libya muammar gaddafi overthrown hiding couch loose change pizza crusts
In print, we got this, delayed over from last week. Just a humorous spin on how Muammar Gaddafi's whereabouts continue to be unknown following his recent overthrow. (I was tempted to do a "Where's Waldo"?-type cartoon to illustrate this, but decided not to because a) time reasons and b) other cartoonists have already done it, far better than I can.)

syria bashar assad beating civilian with baseball bat world globe umpire un uncle sam america usa freedom ball strike three strike four strike five blood
Online, we have Bashar Assad beating the crap out of Syria's civilian population. This one's an extended metaphor that got out of hand: it started as a comparison between "strikes" in the Middle East (AIRstrikes in Libya, striking as in HITTING in Syria, and being ON strike in Israel), which got scrapped when the Libyan revolution basically came to a close. Then I tried to rework it a little later into just a comparison between Israel and Syria, but was stumped how to present it most effectively and anyway didn't have the "feel" for it. Then I got to thinking how strikes can also be BASEBALL strikes. Then I decided to mix it all up and show Assad the batter STRIKING a Syrian catcher while being called out on a progressively higher STRIKE count by the Global Community in the role of an umpire. Then for good measure I stuck Uncle Sam in the background on the pitcher's mound, waiting to throw the Ball of Freedom to the Syrians, because hey why not. From an artistic standpoint, I really, really like how this one turned out, particularly Assad, whose caricature I have very, very clear in my head but am not always successful in transferring to paper. (And in case you're wondering, 00 not only refers to Assad being a worthless zero, but also neatly ties in to the year he took control of the Syrian government, as hinted at by the 76 on the USA uniform.)

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch) (both)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen (second)
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen (both)
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen (first)
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0 (both)

8/29/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

Fifth consecutive political cartoon to be published by the Post. Man, I am lovin' this new op-ed editor--hasn't a day gone by since he took over that there hasn't been a cartoon by somebody or other in print.
Anyhow, cartoon!

going to school new school year children afraid
The new school year is nigh--with very different concerns for students in different countries. ("Color Red", ot Tzeva Adom, is the alarm that sounds whenever a rocket gets fired from Gaza; it's activated so frequently that it has unfortunately become part of our national lexicon and Southern residents' nightmares.) To top things off, thanks to bureaucratic snafus and other factors, many Southern school buildings still haven't received potentially life-saving structural reinforcements.

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

8/26/11

Today's jpost.com cartoon

iran mahmoud ahmadinejad scary bedtime story shadow mossad child in bed scared iran
While I got the inspiration for this cartoon specifically after reading a news article about Majid Jamali Fashi, the convicted killer of an Iranian nuclear scientist back in January 2010, being accused of having been trained by the Mossad, it's no secret that throughout the Arab world the Mossad is used a sort of catch-all conpiracy-theory boogeyman by the authorities--one need only look back at the Dubai incident for proof.
Update: Reused without permission on the Spanish-language Tripl3-So (Socialismo-Solidaridad-Soberanía) blog, apparently without any trace of irony. (Caption: "The central murderous Israeli intelligence, Mossad, part of the staff of the next president.")

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil (sketch)
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Blue 0.5 mm needle tip pen
Blue 0.7 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

8/24/11

Today's J. Post cartoon

palestinian authority hamas terror attack retaliation by israel abbas haniyeh bullets
After a series of simlutaneous terror attacks that left 7 Israelis dead, the PA's biggest concern is, indeed, complaing about Israel's military response against the perpetrators. Boo hoo.
UPDATE: Posted to Tumblr by fellow Israeli Tatzpi!

Drawn using:
No. 2 pencil
Black 0.4 mm pilot pen
Black 0.5 mm pilot pen
Serif PhotoPlus 6.0

8/22/11

Cartoon black and yellow bloons to draw

Just what is a "bloon"? Frankly, I have no idea. Is it a bird? A reptile? A sentient plant? An alien from another galaxy? Not a clue! This, however, did not deter me from illustrating the aforementioned keyword search:

So, what do you think? Any of these look like a bloon to you?

Drawn using:
Black ballpoint pen
Serif PhotoPlus SE