Cartoons, cartoons, cartoons.... John Crowther's Cartoon Odyssey

I think of it as The Fool's Journey. I've been asked who the "fool" is. It's me, but in the classical sense of the court jester. Only the fool was allowed to tell the king of his follies. All cartoons are available as prints or originals, framed or unframed, through my website or e-mail. For mugs, t-shirts, and other products visit my gift shop at* (be sure to include the *).

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Time Marches On

Just because people insist on the right to do things their own way doesn't mean they will each act as an individual. Consider what happens when kids at school are told they can each dress the way they please. They all come in looking exactly the same.

Monday, June 29, 2009

One B.C.

"Our ancestors are a very good kind of folks; but they are the last people I should choose to have a visiting acquaintance with." Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Rivals, 1775.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Somewhere Under the Rainbow

I apologize. I had promised myself I would not make reference either in a cartoon or commentary to Michael Jackson, nor to the insane media firestorm that has accompanied his death, but.... the 'debbil' made me do it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow

How many times, as the children were growing up, has a frazzled mother or father exclaimed, "I hope you have children yourself someday, so you can go through what you're putting me through now?"

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dogging It

A young seeker embarking on a life as a philosopher journeyed to the far reaches of the Himalyas for an audience with an elderly sage. "What," the seeker asked, "is life?" The sage closed his eyes before intoning, "Life is a fresh rose." "But," the seeker said, "in the Incas an ancient shaman told me life is a sharp knife." That," the sage answered, "is his life."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Say It Again, Sam

I'm torn this morning. On the one hand I'm tempted to comment on the latest in the line of political mea culpas, and the parade of despicable pond scum that get up in front to the press to declare their deep shame at having let down their families and all those good people who believed in them. On the other hand there's the school officials in Loss Angeles who won't allow an A-student to give the valedictorian address because she took part in a peaceful demonstration protesting icreased class size and the elimination of college prep courses. Imbeciles abound, everywhere you look. By the way, do Ahmadinejad and Rod Blogoyevich use the same barber?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You're Only Young Forever Once

At college reunions the graduating class is thinking about how young incoming freshmen look, the faculty is thinking how young the seniors look, and the old grads are thinking how young the faculty looks. Youth is a relatively old story.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Out of This World

"Think of our world as it looks from a rocket that's headed toward Mars. It is like a child's globe, hanging in space, the continents stuck to its side like colored maps. We are all fellow passengers on a dot of earth." Lyndon Johnson, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1965

Monday, June 22, 2009

In God We Trust

I don't usually explain cartoons, but there's a cultural reference in this one that may escape some people. The sight of two young Mormon men, dressed in identical black suits and ties, proselytising as part of their rite of passage is common in residential neighborhoods across America. The conviction that God should satisfy our needs and desires like an indulgent parent is more ubiquitous.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Air Apparent

The Los Angeles Watts Summer Games were established in 1968 after the riots. The idea was to bring high school teams together from all parts of the city to compete in the spirit of the fellowship of sports. This year lacrosse was added, and yesterday our boys took home the trophy. Go Pali High!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Power of Adsvertising

A moment of reverential silence this morning for John Houghtaling, the man who invented the Magic Fingers bed. Jimmy Buffett memorialized his creation:

Put in a quarter
Turn out the light
Magic Fingers makes
ya feel alright...

Houghtaling died Wednesday at the age 0f 92. We can only guess at his personal, if indirect, contribution to the population explosion.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Filthy Lucre

Capitalism is a great thing, as long as "capital" remains a tool for facilitating the exchange of goods and services. Where it can go terribly wrong, where is has gone terribly wrong is when money is used solely for the purpose of making more money. The reason is simple, and you don't have to be an economist to see it. Money in and of itself has no value, so the only thing being traded is trust. As Othello can tell us, trust is a lousy thing in which to stake your children's future.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Private Affairs

The battle of the sexes has more surrenders than casualties, and a great many hand-to-hand skirmishes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


The philosopher was asked which he would rather have, a gift of money or a gift of friendship. "Friendship," the philosopher answered, because money is soon spent but friendship lasts forever." "I will value that advice," the questioner answered, " as a gesture of friendship." "Sorry," the philosopher shot back, "my advice will cost you."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Down the Rabbit Hole

Yes, the world has gone nuts. Now the city of Los Angeles will shell out millions of dollars for victory parade for the Lakers. A million bucks for a couple of hours, while teachers are being laid off. I think I'll organize a protest.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where There's a Will

When an uncle died and left him a substantial fortune, the French writer Balzac remarked that now both he and his relative had passed on to a better life.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Immaculate Consumption II

Few rich men own their own property. Their property owns them.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Car Talk

I admit to being anthropomorphic about my car, assigning it a consciousness and feelings. But it's just a 13 year old Nissan Sentra that has got me back and forth across the country twice, nothing fancy. It plays tricks. Like at the end of my first trip. I was wondering whether I should have saved my money and not sprung for the AAA "Premier" membership, which up to then had gone unused. Only three hours from home I pulled into a rest area on the freeway and discovered a flat tire. My car was letting me know I was right to have the card, but just so I wasn't too discomforted, it deposited me smack in front of a pay phone.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Car Sales Is Auto-Suggestion

Yes, gas prices are soaring once again, but the startling fact is that it costs more in some cities to park your car than it does to drive it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Here's Mud In Your Eye

"What doesn't drunkenness do? It unlocks secrets, confirms our hopes, pushes the lazy into battle, relieves the burden of tense brains, teaches new wiles." Horace, Epistles, Book I, 5:16, about 16 B.C.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Talk Is Cheap

And then there was the man whose life was so tied up in his business that his family organized a union just so they'd meet once in a while around a table.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Immaculate Consumption

California is now threatening to do one of the looniest things I've heard yet to deal with the growing budget mess, charge a fee to allow solitary drivers to use carpool lanes. Right, it'll clog up the lanes that are supposed to move quickly while taking some pressure off the rest of the freeway.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Man's Home

Today is the one hundred and fortieth anniversary of the birth of Frank Lloyd Wright. Fitting, since today's subject is housing, or the lack thereof.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

It's a Gambol

The devout parishioner went to his pastor and asked whether it was alright for him to enter his office Super Bowl pool, since it was, in essence, gambling. "You know perfectly well," the pastor answered, "that's a sin against Our Lord and an affront to the church. And besides," he added, you should save your money for our bingo night tomorrow."

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Priveleged Phew

"I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule. Consequently my family pride is something inconceivable. I can't help it. I was born sneering." W.S. Gilbert, The Mikado, 1885.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Hell's Bells

"I'm as strong as a horse," the man said as he went out to shovel the snow from his walk without a coat." "And," his wife answered, "just about as bright."

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Seeing Is Believing

There's something I can't figure out about the current economic crisis. It seems to me that all the experts, pundits, and financial wizard, in their hysterical desperation to get things back to normal, are hellbent on restoring all the conditions that led to the crisis in the first place. The key to recovery, they say, is consumer confidence. A "con game" is short for confidence game, designed to separate the fools from their money.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Pity the Believers

"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half." -- Attributed to John Wanamaker.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Politics Is Entertainment! Or Vice Versa?

Former Veep Dick Cheney has now come out in favor of same-sex marriage (if, in fact, "coming out" is the right term to use in this case). He does, however, feel it's not something the federal government should be involved in, and that it should be left up to the individual states. Is this the same Dick Cheney who supportd his colleagues who were pressing for a constitutional ammendment banning same-sex marriage?

Monday, June 01, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened

"I don't wish to discuss the grade I got in history," he little boy told his mother. "As far as I'm concerned it's all in the past."