Viral Saginet
28May/18Off

But she never said “no”!


This stip was created with Becky Hawkins, who is also my collaborator on SuperButch! Becky drew this comic, while I wrote, lettered, and added the colors.


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TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

The title image of this cartoon has the words “But she never said ‘NO’ in large white letters that fade into the background. Below the title is a drawing of telephone wires, with two birds sitting on a wire.
FIRST BIRD: Does this comic strip need a content warning?
SECOND BIRD: I think the title covers it.

PANEL 1

A woman and a man are on a sofa. The man is leaning towards her, putting his lips near hers, while she pulls back and puts a protective hand, in a “stop” gesture, in front of her mouth.

WOMAN: I’m not sure I want to do this right now…
MAN (thought): That’s not literally saying “no.”

PANEL 2
A closer shot of him from over the woman’s shoulder. He is smiling. She’s still holding up a “stop” hand. His thought balloon partly obscures her speech balloon, but not so much that we can’t read what she’s saying.

WOMAN: Hey c’mon, this isn’t a good idea.
MAN (thought): That’s not a literal “no.” So it’s okay to grab her boobs.

PANEL 3
A closer shot of him leaning in to kiss her as she pulls away. She’s saying something, but we can’t read it because his thought balloon gets in the way.

MAN (thought): She still hasn’t literally said “no.” I’m good!

PANEL 4
A close-up of his face. The woman’s not in the panel, but her word balloon – still mostly obscured by his head and his thought balloon – indicates that she’s positioned below him. He looks like he’s concentrating.

MAN (thought): Pulling away while I’m trying to pull her pants down isn’t literally saying “no.”

PANEL 5
In silhouette, we see that she’s lying on her back, with him on top of her. She isn’t saying anything.

MAN (thought): Now she’s just being silent and unresponsive. No talking means she’s not saying “no!”

PANEL 6
This is the final panel. The setting has changed; the man is now holding his arms up and looking frustrated. A few people in silhouette are looking at him; their posture makes it seem like they’re angry at him.

MAN: How was I supposed to know? I’m not a mind-reader!

KICKER PANEL

A small panel below the bottom of the strip shows the man, now looking full of himself, talking to a different couple of people.

MAN: I do consider myself a feminist!

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28May/18Off

How Long? aka Trump Card


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TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

There are four panels in this cartoon.

The first three panels show two women walking on a hillside, perhaps in a park. One woman is wearing a shirt with an exclamation mark design, the other is wearing glasses. They’re arguing.

PANEL 1

EXCLAMATION MARK: A lot of liberals are rigid and mean to people who disagree with them.
GLASSES: Conservatives elected Donald Trump president.

PANEL 2

EXCLAMATION MARK: Obamacare didn’t deliver nearly as much as liberals promised!
GLASSES: Yeah, but conservatives elected Trump!

PANEL 3
Exclamation Mark has turned her back on Glasses, crossing her arms and looking stubborn.

EXCLAMATION MARK: Oh, come on! How long are you going to hold that against us.

PANEL 4

We are in outer space; there’s a moon nearby, and a flying saucer and planet in the background. In the foreground, two brains in high-tech-looking jars (well, “high-tech” in a 1950s sci-fi movie prop sort of way), both with eyeballs, are floating in space. One of the brains is wearing a pair of glasses.

CAPTION: A million billion years later.
GLASSES: …but conservatives elected Trump!

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21May/18Off

New Recruits’ Vow


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Transcript of Cartoon

This is a four-panel cartoon.

PANEL ONE shows two women, one wearing a long open-front sweater and a polka dot skirt, the other wearing pants and a long-sleeved v neck shirt. The woman with the polka dot skirt is reading aloud from something on her smartphone. The woman in the v-neck shirt is listening, hand on her chin.

DOTS: Listen to the vow this group makes new recruits take! “I swear I will have no mercy for brown people…”

PANEL TWO
A close-up of Dots as she continues reading from her phone. She looks a bit angry.

DOTS: “I will throw them into prison without due process. I will pull their crying children from their arms.”

PANEL THREE
A shot of the two of them. Dots continues to read from her phone. V-Neck interrupts, looking horrified, her eyes wide and her hands on her cheeks.

DOTS: “I will spread fear and desperation. I will…”
V-NECK: What nightmare group is this? The Klan? The Nazis?

PANEL FOUR
A middle-aged man with a mustache and wearing a suit, stands behind a podium, talking to a crowd of people. The front of the podium has the Department of Homeland Security seal, and the word “ICE.”

MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to ICE!

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21May/18Off

Why Some Jobs Are Illegal


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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 fervantly, 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!

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14May/18Off

Is Marriage A Magic Wand?

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TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

Panel 1
This panel shows a reporter standing in a back yard, taking notes in a little pad, as a woman in a lawn chair speaks to him.

WOMAN: Marriage wasn’t a magic wand that got me out of poverty. I worked really hard, and I lucked into a good job. I didn’t get married until after all that.

Panel 2
The same reporter, now standing in an academic office (we can tell it’s academic because there’s a bookcase in the background). A woman wearing glasses and holding up some papers is talking to him.

WOMAN 2: As a social scientist, I know marriage isn’t a magic wand. Evidence shows that what matters most is having a full-time job, and that’s not always under people’s control.

Panel 3
The same reporter is talking to a man wearing a suit and tie; they’re standing in front of an office building in a city.
MAN: At our think tank, we don’t have real-world experience, or the best evidence. But we do have a simple narrative that blames poverty on single mothers.

Panel 4
This panel only shows a newspaper’s front page. The newspaper, which is called “Daily Opiate,” has a big headline, a sub headline, and a photo of the man from panel 3, with a pull-quote next to the photo.
BIG HEADLINE: RESEARCH: MARRIAGE IS A MAGIC WAND!
SUB HEADLINE: SINGLE MOTHERS ARE POOR BECAUSE THEY’RE FLOOZIES!
PHOTO PULL-QUOTE: “It’s just common sense!”

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14May/18Off

Medicare For All Is Idealistic But Not Realistic

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TRANSCRIPT

This cartoon has nine panels.

Panel 1
A woman in a business casual outfit – she’s a politician – is speaking directly to the viewer, looking cheerful. We’ll call her “Dem.”

DEM: “Medicare for all” is idealistic, but unrealistic. We Democrats need to compromise, because that’s how policy gets done.

Panel 2
The same woman, now looking serious, gestures towards a small table. On the table is a HUGE stack of paper.

DEM: Take the “Affordable Care Act.” It’s not everything Democrats wanted for health care.

Panel 3
The shot shows the woman, now partly hidden behind the huge stack of papers, continuing to speak.
DEM: We worked hard to get many players to the table. The ACA incorporates Republican ideas, insurance company ideas, doctors’ ideas…

Panel 4
The woman continues speaking cheerily.
DEM: And because the ACA has so many compromises, it’s something everyone can live with.

Panel 5
A balding man in a suit and tie, smiling and carrying a bomb with a lit fuse, walks into the panel. The woman gestures towards him without really looking at him, still looking cheery.
DEM: Because we compromised, in time our Republican colleagues will work with us to make the ACA better.

Panel 6
The man, still smiling, tosses the bomb at the huge stack of paper. The woman looks startled.

Panel 7
The panel shows a huge “BOOOM” sound effect.

Panel 8
The woman stands, eyes hugely wide, staring out at the viewer, while tiny bits of paper rain down around her. The balding man walks off the panel.

Panel 9
The woman talks directly to the viewer again. She looks messy, and there’s a hunk of paper in her hair, and her eyes are still huge, but she’s trying to smile again.
DEM: Um… As I was saying, “Medicare For All” is idealistic but not realistic.

Tiny Kicker Panel At Bottom Of Cartoon
Dem talks to a protester who is carrying a “Medicare For All” sign.
DEM: Why can’t you be realistic?
PROTESTOR: Look who’s talking!

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14May/18Off

Farrakhan in the Nest


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For those of you unfamiliar with this story, this Atlantic article offers a recap. It’s a story that I felt I HAD to comment on. I expect this kind of behavior from the right, but not from allies.


Transcript of Cartoon

Panel 1
Two anthropomorphic birds are standing and chatting in a nest. They have human bodies (and clothes) but bird heads. A third bird, wearing a suit with a bow tie and rectangular glasses, flies in from the right side; this bird, we will find out, is named Louis.
BIRD 1: This is our nest! I hope you find it welcoming.
BIRD 2: It looks great! I’m really–
LOUIS: JEWS!

Panel 2
BIRD 1: Have you met my pal Louis? He’s such a great bird.
BIRD 2: Uh…
LOUIS: Jews are the mother and father of apartheid!

Panel 3
BIRD 1: I don’t agree with everything Louis says, but…
BIRD 2: I’m Jewish and queer. I’m really not comfortable in this nest.
LOUIS: The wicked Jews promote filth lebsianism and homosexuality!

Panel 4
Bird 2 is flying away from the nest as she speaks.
BIRD 1: But you’re safe and welcome in this nest. We oppose ALL bigotry.
LOUIS: Degenerate Hollywood Jews are turning men into women and women into men!
BIRD 2: Jewbird OUT! Bye!

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19Mar/18Off

Politicizing Tragedy


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TRANSCRIPT

PANEL 1
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!

PANEL 2
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…

PANEL 3
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…

PANEL 4
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.

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

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12Mar/18Off

Liberal Pundit Speaks Out Against Identity Politics


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TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

PANEL 1

A white man sits behind the desk of a spacious office. He has a laptop open in front of him and books on either side of him; behind him are windows facing some trees, and some flowers in a vase. He’s wearing glasses and a button up shirt without a tie.
MAN: I have a message for all the identity politics liberals!
As long as idenitty politics exist, Democrats can’t win elections. And if we cna’t win elections, then we can’t make the changes you want.

PANEL 2

A closer shot of the man, as he drinks from his cofee cup.
MAN: Take Black Lives Matter. That alienates working class whites. So just be quiet about it.
Just like trans activists, and feminists, and student protestors… you people are why Trump is president!

PANEL 3

The man raises one finger as he pontificates.
MAN: The only way to get elected is to say nothing that could alienate white Trump voters.
Trump voters will flock to Democrats if liberals just quit mentioning Blacks or gays or trans or women or any other identity politics CRAP!

PANEL 4

The man leans back in his desk chair, one foot on the other knee, his hands behind his head, smiling.
MAN: But don’t worry! Once the Democrats are elected, we’ll be in power, and then… you people should continue shutting up.
Because we’ve got to get re-elected, right?

KICKER PANEL

A tiny panel below the bottom of the strip shows the man smiling, one hand placed on his chest in a “I’m good at this but also modest” sort of gesture.
MAN: I’m just saying we have to look at things objectively! And white men like me are ACES at objhectivity!

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5Mar/18Off

Too Much Foam

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TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

Panel one shows a woman in a polka-dot dress sitting in a coffee shop, glaring down at her cappuccino.

WOMAN (thought): Aw, darn it. They put too much foam on my cappuccino!

Panel 2 shows a bald man in the foreground, sitting at a different table, reading something on his smartphone. He is sitting on a power chair, and he has no right arm. There’s a cappuccino in front of him. In the background, we can see the woman from panel one, staring at the bald man with a shocked expression.

WOMAN (thought): Oh wow – that guy has no legs and only one arm! How does he even get out of bed in the morning?

Panel 3 shows the woman, head in hands, looking aghast.

WOMAN (thought): He has to psend every minute of his life figuring out how to manage with just one arm… and I’m thinking about foam! I SUCK!

Panel 4 shows the bald man again. He has picked up his cappuccino and is looking annoyed.

MAN (thought): They put too much foam on my cappuccino!

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