Chinese Spy Balloon – Top Ten Cartoons #3

The CagleCartoonists discuss the spy balloon from China, the State of the Union Address, and all the most popular cartoons of the week. Daryl Cagle and his editor, Brian Fairrington are joined by longtime editorial cartoonist, Disney artist and director, Ed Wexler, along with cartooning great, Monte Wolverton who discuss the week in politics through political cartoons.

The CagleCartoonists discuss the spy balloon from China, the State of the Union Address, and all the most popular cartoons of the week. Daryl Cagle and his editor, Brian Fairrington are joined by longtime editorial cartoonist, Disney artist and director, Ed Wexler, along with cartooning great, Monte Wolverton who discuss the week in politics through political cartoons.



[00:02:25]Brian FairringtonWell the balloon, that was a big story last week, so they were clamoring for that. Um, they really

[00:02:30]Daryl Cagledid want balloons. Yeah. I hope they want

[00:02:32]Ed Wexlera balloon in a couple of days. Cause I'm working on a balloon

[00:02:36]Daryl CagleI think these balloons have legs.

[00:02:38]Monte WolvertonYeah. This is, this has some irony to it. You got the NSA versus the thing that, in plain sight up there. . So yeah. That's fun.

[00:02:49]Ed WexlerIt's fun. Maybe laugh. Okay. Made me laugh. It's graphically beautiful and simple. The

[00:02:54]Daryl Cagleclouds are funny.

[00:02:55]Monte WolvertonYeah, I like the clouds.

[00:02:56]Ed WexlerCharacters are funny.

[00:02:58]Daryl CagleOkay, so we, we give it a, [00:03:00] we give it a good review. Yes, we do. Okay, here's the number two cartoon. And this cartoon comes from our own Monty Wilton. It is titled Prophet Wallowing, and the pig is wallowing in the piles of money and his belly is labeled big oil.

[00:03:35]Monte WolvertonA hundred, 196, depending on 196.3 billion of profits.

[00:03:57]Daryl CagleYou think this pig is a bit [00:04:00] shortsighted?

[00:04:00]Monte WolvertonThe pig is shortsighted.

[00:04:04]Daryl Cagleglasses. You know, pigs are a metaphor that editorial cartoonists use all the time. I've, I've done so many pigs. Pigs work. Pigs are greed.

[00:04:14]Brian FairringtonYeah. It's a great cartoon. Instant recognizable. Is, is one of Mons too.

[00:04:18]Daryl CagleAbsolutely it is money. You're, you're instantly recognizable.

[00:04:24]Monte WolvertonOh, thank you. Yeah. All that money

[00:04:27]Brian Fairringtonand hand draw and hand drawn, dollar bills so that must have taken away some time.

[00:04:31]Monte WolvertonWell, I may have uh, picked up some money from some other cartoons, , as I do occasionally, , and repurposed it here. It works. I may have done that or

[00:04:40]Ed WexlerI may not do that.

[00:04:45]Daryl Cagledo we want to admit to that? No,

[00:04:48]Brian FairringtonI think everybody does it. Nothing gives it away, right? Right.

[00:04:51]Daryl CagleOkay. Well those big oil bastards. Yeah. Here is cartoon number three.

[00:06:00]Brian FairringtonIt surprises me that's a really hard hitting cartoon, in the end. And I'm surprised editors, didn't shy away from that.

[00:06:13]Ed WexlerIt's a smart cartoon. I love it.

[00:06:17]Brian FairringtonYeah, it is. Very

[00:06:17]Daryl Caglesmart. Very smart. It's also a liberal cartoon, the editors tend to avoid those, they want, cartoons that express no opinion left or right.

[00:06:34]Monte WolvertonIt's , a deep in indictment of hypocrisy and irony, and it's got that, and yet it's done in a, sort of light innocent style. . He always does that. He's great at

[00:06:44]Brian Fairringtonthat. Yeah.

[00:06:46]Ed WexlerLots of air around everything. Easy to read. Mm-hmm. know what's going on. It

[00:06:51]Daryl Cagleis, and these could be difficult Tableaus to draw, you know, having the capital and blowing it up dynamite and

[00:06:58]Ed Wexlerdoesn't get all, all bogged [00:07:00] down in details. Everything helps. There's nothing there that doesn't help.

[00:07:10]Daryl CagleIt's a great cartoon. Yeah. So this one is by Jeff Urba. I think this is number five. It says, lead balloon in the little dove of peace is trying really hard to lift the lead US-China relations balloon, which is very,

[00:07:27]Brian FairringtonIt's sort of a double two birds in one stone, no pun intended. Talking about the lead balloon, but then also on the heels of the, the balloon, the spy balloon, and then the, the talks that were gonna happen, between Biden and, uh, chi. Uh, so, you know, it's one of those that editor. would, definitely,

[00:07:44]Daryl Caglethis is one of those things too that the international cartoonists are always doing

[00:08:02]Monte WolvertonI was gonna say that anytime you can put a tension device in a cartoon like that, it, it works.

[00:08:08]Ed WexlerTension. Tension in physics.

[00:08:09]Daryl CagleOkay. Here's another, cartoonist from Canada who draws like an American cartoonist and we present him as an American so that his cartoons are visible.

[00:08:31]Brian Fairringtonpassword. I don't think this was tied in anything that happened necessarily this past week. This is just an evergreen cartoon that anybody can relate to.

[00:08:51]Ed WexlerIt's every, everyone's issue. Definitely. I have all my passwords in a book now, so

[00:08:57]Brian FairringtonYeah, it's, it's great.

[00:08:59]Monte WolvertonIt, it [00:09:00] ran in our paper this morning and as I was reading it,

[00:09:02]Daryl Cagleshow it to us in your paper

[00:09:04]Monte Wolvertonhere. I actually laughed at it. I rarely laugh at, you know, things.

[00:09:11]Daryl CagleHis color is funny guy's. Color makes me laugh.

[00:09:15]Ed WexlerIt's funny, I was gonna say that the color that purple fights the letters just a little bit for me.

[00:09:21]Daryl CagleYes. Uh, I noticed that when Monty showed me the black and white version of the papers, running this cartoon

[00:09:29]Monte Wolvertonthis is the editorial page of the Vancouver Colombian, and as you'll notice there are two of, of our cartoons

[00:09:36]Brian Fairringtonin there.

[00:09:38]Monte Wolvertonlead balloon we have and, and we have this, which is published in black and white because of some problem experiencing with the color units on their press.

[00:09:47]Brian Fairringtondo they normally, uh, print in color? ,

[00:09:49]Monte Wolvertonnot recently, but yes, normally.

[00:09:52]Daryl CagleWell, there you go. It's a very funny, uh,

[00:09:54]Ed WexlerI like the cartoon. Jeff's, uh, cartoon really, took over the page in a great [00:10:00] way. They commanded

[00:10:01]Daryl Caglethe page well. They really wanted balloons right now. Yeah. Big, simple balloons. I think. work. Okay, here's the next one.

[00:10:22]Brian FairringtonApologies to up too. I

[00:10:24]Ed Wexlerlike that. Yeah,

[00:10:24]Brian Fairringtonyeah. Yeah.

[00:10:28]Daryl CagleSo Disney cartoon Ed.

[00:10:30]Ed WexlerYeah, it's great, , the cluster of, multicolor balloons is a great, device to have in the cartoon. It's beautiful.

[00:10:38]Brian FairringtonDid you do any work on that movie

[00:10:40]Ed WexlerI didn't, I worked on, uh, television.

[00:10:43]Daryl CagleGotcha. Yeah. You know, we have gotten complaints from editors when cartoons have, earth tones or not bright enough. The editors really like the very bright colors.

[00:10:54]Ed WexlerAnd these are bright without being brassy. It's, uh, there's a nice control. You know, that's a nice [00:11:00] choice for the blue of the sky.

[00:11:07]Daryl Caglelike. I think apologies to UP is funny too.

[00:11:09]Ed WexlerAnd that's a great way to let you know which character he's drawing a caricature of cuz it is just nicely, nicely thumbnailed. You know, it's nicely simple

[00:11:19]Brian Fairringtonand it's one of those cartoons that when you read the punchline and you think about the end result of fighter jet shooting this poor, helpless old man out of the sky, you know, that's where the belly laugh comes from, you know?

[00:11:30]Ed WexlerI always like how Dave Darkens is the corners of his, compositions. Oh, he does? It just helps. It just helps you, it helps direct your eye. It's just . It

[00:11:39]Daryl Caglefeels good. Okay. This one is John Darco from Columbia, Missouri, and it's the giant Chinese balloon up in the air, and it's got the logo for TikTok on it and, , it says the Chinese collecting information on Americans.

[00:11:57]Brian FairringtonI wondered how long it would, how many we would see this, the [00:12:00] TikTok comparison mm-hmm. , because that's such a hot, hot issue, particularly amongst conservatives. But, um, interesting. Uh, that, I think John is the only one still hand coloring his work. I think he, he uses colored pencils and scans it in, so when it works, it has a nice textured.

[00:12:18]Daryl CagleYeah. This is really kind of just an informational cartoon. ,

[00:13:19]Brian FairringtonYeah, I, I think I wanna stick with that.

[00:13:40]Daryl CagleSo that's the point is he's at, he's, he's, he's achieved understanding. He got it. And that's what disconcerts the, the scientist?

[00:13:48]Brian FairringtonYeah, I think so. I think so. You know, I guess we should have had Pat on here and asked him and settled the debate,

[00:13:55]Monte WolvertonWe'll, we'll never know. , the structure of the, of the joke is a good thing.

[00:14:10]Daryl CagleWell, what I thought when I saw it was that I didn't get it, but he got it.

[00:14:15]Brian FairringtonWell, I mean, the thinker, that's the whole gag of it. Uh, the thinker is thinking, thinking, thinking, and all of a sudden, Hey, I.

[00:14:31]Daryl Caglethe top 10. It ran in hundred some papers. This one comes from Adam Segla. He's a Pulitzer Prize winner draws for the Buffalo News in New York. It's got a title on it that says The World According to China. In two panels, the first panel shows the research balloon in quotes. It's the Chinese balloon view from, looking up in the air, and the second panel shows the spy versus spy white character [00:15:00] sitting in a balloon.

[00:16:03]Brian FairringtonSo gentlemen. Well, I think it also speaks to how old editors are because both of these, uh, references are not, I mean, I don't know if my kids would get them, but I certainly grew up on spy versus spy and

[00:16:13]Daryl Cagleaverage newspaper readers, what? 65? Bo Winkle and Mad Magazine.

[00:16:17]Monte WolvertonStereotypical spy.

[00:16:19]Daryl CagleWell, that's basically all this cartoon is, which is, it's just saying that the research balloon is really a spy balloon. Mm-hmm. . And here's our metaphor for spy. And, uh, we don't take that too seriously.

[00:16:31]Brian Fairringtonyeah, and it also speaks to the hypocrisy of China's excuse, that they were just, uh, it was just a weather balloon. But, um, yeah. Great cartoon.

[00:16:39]Ed WexlerI, I could not tell. Uh, that, uh, Adam finishes his work digitally. I thought it was watercolor till I asked him about

[00:16:50]Brian Fairringtonit.

[00:16:53]Ed WexlerIt's great. Yeah, he works. He draws traditionally and inks traditionally. Mm-hmm. and, and does [00:17:00] color. Um, .

[00:17:02]Brian FairringtonYeah. The sky behind the, uh, the research balloon has a nice watercolor feel. It's not full. Yeah. I think, yeah, I think that's what so many, what so many cartis illustrators do, particularly guys that are just starting to use Photoshop.

[00:17:36]Daryl CagleBut yeah, just the, details of the washes really look like they're washes. Yeah. You notice this little bit way up at the top. Right here where, where the wash went over as black ink line. I mean, that would fool me. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:17:52]Ed WexlerThat's the kind of thing that fools me.

[00:17:54]Brian FairringtonYeah. No, it looks good. Looks

[00:17:55]Daryl Caglegood. Okay. So, this is Dave [00:18:00] Wand again with this third cartoon in the top 10, which is really very impressive. This is a tableau of characters. Joe Biden's State of the Union speech last night, and you've got Joe Biden with Kamala Harris and the Shaman from January 6th, character ripping something up.

[00:18:55]Monte Wolvertonit's ketchup. That's,

[00:18:57]Daryl Caglethat's, . So, um, a nice touch.[00:19:00] I was commenting that this is like an old courier and I've Christmas thing with all the stuff going on in it, but it's in Congress and it's with all these creepy characters and, I think that's just funny.

[00:19:17]Brian FairringtonYeah. I like what he has. He, I like how he, he has Biden phrase, by saying the word man at the end of it, you know, uh, that yes, that works.

[00:19:26]Monte WolvertonUh, I wonder if he does miss the good old days though, because the g o p kind of played right into his hands with their heckling.

[00:19:37]Brian Fairringtondid. Yeah. Yeah. They're gonna, they're gonna have to live that down when they. Do, uh, want to cut those programs so they have to go back and listen to that. Uh, yep. Rebroadcast a Million.

[00:19:45]Daryl CagleBoy, I can tell what channel you guys watched. I watched this on Fox and it was all about, how Biden is going.

[00:20:04]Monte WolvertonI thought. .

[00:20:04]Daryl CagleYeah. I, I thought this cartoon was cute and I like the characters, and actually, I think the Republicans are pretty funny.

[00:20:31]Brian FairringtonWell, talking about Republican caricatures, the, Republicans make such a big deal about Biden's age, but Trump is only three years younger.

[00:20:48]Daryl Caglethis is fun. Uh, this just struck me like a Christmas card.

[00:21:16]Brian FairringtonThe, uh, holiday cartoons are always the popular, uh, choices, and we've got Valentine's Day coming up next week.

[00:21:21]Daryl CagleSo we're all done with last words. That's the end of our podcast.

[00:21:45]Brian FairringtonDarrell. Hey, thank you. You're welcome.