12.22.2010

There's an App for That



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They warn against drinking and cartooning, but I've always liked to live dangerously.

Any resemblance to actual persons -- living or dead -- is purely coincidental.

12.21.2010

In the Trenches



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Part of the continuing "Tensions on the Korean Peninsula" series ...

12.20.2010

Korean Kristmas



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South Korea undertook a military exercise over the weekend that North Korea said would provoke a military response. At this writing, the North Koreans had not retaliated, but South Koreans, especially in the capital, only a few score kilometers from the border, were understandably on edge.

A White House Christmas



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12.17.2010

Blake Edwards, 1922-2010



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One for fans of The Pink Panther movies. Some knowledge of French also desirable.

A Jon Kyl Christmas



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This cartoon comes from my relationship with The Tucson Sentinel, which suggested a cartoon about Christmas-loving Arizona Senator Jon Kyl.

The background: When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested he would keep the Senate in session until it had voted on a number of important legislative issues, Kyl cried, "Humbug!"

There's no way we're staying in session over Christmas, said Kyl. That'd be disrespecting the institution and disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians. Oh, and it'd be disrespecting the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves, but all of the staff.

'Cause Jon Kyl loves Christmas. Loves it. He's a god-fearin', red-blooded Christian American man. With a tee time. In Arizona. On December 25th.

Season's Greetings



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Peace and good will to men.

And women. And children. And household pets.

12.16.2010

The Man



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With apologies to Liu Xiaobo, the Chilean miners and many others.

When Duty Calls



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In my area, cabbage and daikon are the main commercial crops, but everyone who farms grows other things (e.g. eggplant, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, beans, broccoli, etc.) for domestic consumption, and everyone with enough land grows their own rice. My neighbors have a rice field down the hill and across the highway, and for the past several years I've joined them for planting and harvesting.

The events depicted in this comic are true. The names were not changed to protect the innocent.

12.12.2010

The Call



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The images are from the iconic Japanese comic strip Sazae-san.

12.11.2010

Keep Walking



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I went down the hill to the harbor last night to catch the sunset, and ran into a fisherman I'm friendly with, who handed over an extremely fresh dinner appetizer. "Before it goes in the pot," he said, "take it for a bit of exercise. The flesh will be a bit firmer."

Okay, he didn't really say that. But it sure is fun to see people's reactions when you're out walking your octopus.

Bonus: if you've never seen this superb Robert Carlyle Johnnie Walker ad, it's well worth six minutes of your time.

12.09.2010

True Crime: Confessions of Yamaguchi-gumi Kingpin 'Blinky' Takayama



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Last month Osaka Prefectural Police arrested organized crime kingpin Kiyoshi Takayama, reportedly number two in Japan's powerful Yamaguchi-gumi crime syndicate, on suspicion of extorting 40 million yen in protection money from a local builder.

12.08.2010

Ebizo@Home



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More on Ichikawa Ebizo, kabuki star and apprentice punching bag.

Background: Several weeks ago, Ebizo, out drinking with friends, reportedly got into an argument with other restaurant patrons, and proved less adept at the art of pugilism than the art of kabuki. He returned home with fractured cheekbones, a broken nose, a broken tooth, and presumably an unhappy wife, TV "personality" Kobayashi Mao, who phoned police and an ambulance.

12.05.2010

Jenna Says: "Be a Patriot."



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Following the release of U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks, the Department of Defense is issuing warnings to computer network users who try to access major news media websites, informing them that they would be breaking the law by accessing classified information via the network.

12.03.2010

Go ahead and ask.



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As the Senate Armed Services Committee holds hearings on the U.S. military's "don't ask don't tell" policy, it seems a good time to pay homage to Monty Python.

Sold!!!



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If you don't get the references to the buyer, see here and here and here.

And of course, the story starts here.

in a station of the metro



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The Tokyo Metro has been running a 'manners campaign' for several years, and each month publishes a new poster in stations. Over the months, the campaign has pretty much covered every bit of proscribed activity (don't throw up on your fellow passengers, don't practice your golf swing on the platform with a wet umbrella, etc.) imaginable, and several months ago moved on to behavior that is apparently encouraged.

The above images are 'repurposed' from a campaign poster that urges passengers be considerate of their fellow travelers and shut off their phones when standing near the 'priority seats'. I'm not sure why the silent/vibrate mode they encourage elsewhere in carriages isn't good enough when standing near elderly, pregnant and disabled people, but ours is not to reason why.

[To see other cartoons and comics in the Tokyo Metro series, click on "Tokyo Metro" in the labels below.]

12.02.2010

The Adventures of Supergaijinman



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The Tokyo Metro has been running a 'manners campaign' for several years, and each month publishes a new poster in stations. Over the months, the campaign has pretty much covered every bit of proscribed activity (don't throw up on your fellow passengers, don't practice your golf swing on the platform with a wet umbrella, etc.) imaginable, and several months ago moved on to behavior that is apparently encouraged.

The above images are 'repurposed' from a campaign poster that urges passengers be considerate of their fellow travelers and keep the door area clear so passengers can get on and off. It's not clear from the original artwork if the big fellow is Japanese or gaijin, but I assume his manly cleft chin and strapping, non-herbivorous physique indicates he's not Japanese.

[To see other cartoons and comics in the Tokyo Metro series, click on "Tokyo Metro" in the labels below.]

Pissed Off in Pyongyang



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12.01.2010

The Free Agents



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Background: Derek Jeter is a free agent, coming off a bad year. He and his agent want the Yankees to pay him what he used to be worth. The Yankees, for once in negotiations with a player, want to pay him what he is worth, or to be more accurate, they have offered him a considerable premium over what he is worth to any other team. Jeter and his agent say they're not happy.

And Joe Torre is the former Yankees manager who got the shove from the Steinbrenners after failing to produce championships with the regularity the family would like to expect. He went to the Dodgers, managed a couple of years, and resigned at the end of this season.

11.26.2010

ICHIKAWA: A Tale of Two Kabuki Actors



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This one is for people who live in or know Japan, and follow the news from here.

The background: two nights ago, star kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa, out drinking with friends, got into an argument with other restaurant patrons, and proved less adept at the art of pugilism than the art of kabuki. He returned home with fractured cheekbones, a broken nose and a broken tooth.

The next day, Ichikawa's father, a kabuki star several orders of magnitude greater than his son, held a press conference at which he apologized for his son's behavior.

11.20.2010

Backscatter blowback



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The U.S. Transportation Security Administration agreed Friday to exempt uniformed pilots for U.S. carriers from enhanced pat-downs and full body scans that have outraged many air travelers.

Flight attendants - who also have pretty good opportunities to bring down or hijack aircraft inflight - aren't so lucky. Order your DVDs now at www.sexystewardessscans.com.

11.17.2010

“Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.”



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Maybe it's just me, but I thought Apple marketers overstated things a bit when they replaced their home page with the message: “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.”

The Beatles. On iTunes. Um, okay.

And now Steve Jobs can point all his missiles at Adobe. Or wherever.

11.10.2010

Diary of a Future Former Prime Minister



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It has not been a wonderful past five months for Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan. He's dodged the "U.S. forces in Okinawa" bullet that brought down his predecessor Yukio Hatoyama, but mainly because other foreign policy woes have reminded Japanese that U.S. forces are probably the only reason Chinese tanks are not rolling down Ginza as I type.

First on Kan's foreign policy agenda was a bitchslapping by China's Foreign Ministry, after a (reportedly drunken and certainly nationalistic) Chinese fishing boat captain rammed his trawler into a Japan Coast Guard patrol boat. After arresting the captain, Kan caved to Chinese threats and released him.

Then Russian president Medvedev decided to field test his Leica and hiking boots on one of the Kuril Islands, whose ownership has been disputed by Japan and Russia since the end of World War Two (when Russia seized them from Japan).

And finally, last week U.S. president Barack Obama threw his arm around Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and declared he's like nothing better than to see India land a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, a seat Japan has been angling for.

The possible silver lining? As Japan's fifth prime minister in five years, it's likely Japan's neighbors (and voters) won't have Naoto Kan to kick around much longer.

11.09.2010

Investigative Reporting



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This is a personal one, a birthday comic for Tucson Sentinel editor and publisher Dylan Smith. Happy birthday, amigo!

11.05.2010

Team Orders in Brazil



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Ferrari driver Felipe Massa says he will do whatever it takes to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the title in Brazil on Sunday, even if it means sacrificing his own chances for a win. Massa controversially moved over to let Alonso win July's German Grand Prix, which helped the Spaniard take an 11-point lead into the penultimate race.
 
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Politicomix by Roberto De Vido is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License