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 *).

Friday, July 31, 2009

Peace In Our Time

This is it, folks, THE MILLENIUM! One thousand cartoons in one thousand straight days. Today I take a deep breath, and following the example of our President, I'm going to have a beer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trust Your Instincts

On Sunday I posted a cartoon sending up the Oval Office beer bust to be enjoyed today by Obama, Prof. Gates, and the Boston arresting officer. As an afterthought I added the notation "product placement," with an arrow pointing to an empty bottle of beer. This morning I found out that a couple of beer labels are actually vying to be the official beer of the "brew summit." As kids like to say, "un-friggin'-believable."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Take Two Aspirins

I remember hearing when I was growing up that "money can buy you everything except your health." Wrong!

Hey, everyone, on Friday I'll be posting my 1000th cartoon. That's one thousand without missing a day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Caught In the Act

There's a fine line between a cliche and a "duh." The Los Angeles Times provided a perfect example of the latter this morning when it noted that a young woman who had been tragically abducted and murdered had had her "future ahead of her."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fantasy Sells, Especially When It's True

My brief report from the much hyped Comic-Con gathering in San Diego. Average age of the public: 15. Average mental level: 12. Fun, especially if you like day-glo-dyed spiked hair, not to mention ghouls and action figures in plastic costumes shoving marketing material at you. Parking a disaster. I had to park a mile away from the convention hall and pay $20. I hoofed the distance so as not to pay another $20 for a pedi-cab.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Peace Process

One of life's endless joys is watching mankind's follies from the sidelines, without taking sides.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I wonder about strange things sometimes, Like for instance, who was the first photographer to ever utter the directive, "Say cheese?" And how in the world did the custom become so ubiquitous? I fear that thinking about these things prevents me from seeking the answers to really important questions, like who first boiled an egg?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Strange Bedfellows

Theodore Roosevelt was once heckled by a man who kept interrupting him to proclaim, "I'm a Democrat, my father was a Democrat, and my grandfather was a Democrat." Roosevelt finally looked at him and said, "if your father was a jackass and your grandfather was a jackass what would that make you?" "A Republican," the man answered.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All the Stage Is a World

I think one of my favorite theatre jokes has to be this one: What's the most famous prompt of all time, hissed by the stage manager from the wings to the actor who's just "gone up?" Answer: "Or not to be."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Here Than Meets the Eye

I saw an intriguing headline yesterday, and have regretted ever since that I didn't read the accompanying story. "Man Steals 1000 Used Underpants," it read. Where the heck, I wonder, were that many pairs of used underwear being kept? And did they all belong to the same person?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Knock Knock

Presumably the California legislature has finally, after months of wrangling, reached agreement on a budget. They did it by cutting social services to the bone. It reminds me of the journalist and the politician who were riding together and passed a flock of sheep. "Look," said the politician, "the sheep have all been shorn." "On this side anyway," said the journalist.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Garbage In, Garbage Out

As the media won't let us forget, today is the anniversary of Neil Armstrong's moonwalk when he blew his one line of dialogue. The tape clearly has him saying, "One small step for Man, one giant leap for mankind." What he was meant to say was "one small step for 'a' man," which has a very different meaning, and is what we've been told he did say for the past 40 years, despite the clear evidence to the contrary.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Heavenly Coffee

I admit it, I'm in seventh heaven, I just got a new espresso/capuccino maker and it is, as the kids today say, "da bomb." It's astonishing, isn't it, in a world of woe the way small things can make us happy. The other new joy in my life is my iPod. Not because of the music, but because of the miraculous little app called "brushes" that allows me to use it as a sketchpad. But more about that anon. And on and on.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Double Talk

Three cows were grazing in a pasture. The first went "Moo." "Mooo," the second answered. The third barked. "See," said the proud farmer, she's bilingual."

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's a Man's Life

Why did the Lord make Adam first and Eve thereafter? Because after he'd made man he realized he'd be needing a lot of help.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Something Fishy

This week's New Yorker magazine reports that a few years ago "the oldest person in the world, a hundred-and-fourteen-year-old Dutch woman, said she attributed her longevity to eating pickled herring every day." On the other hand, the magazine reports, "a hundred-and-fourteen-year-old woman from Texas attributed her long life to 'minding my own business.'"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Youth Is Wasted

When asked what he thought should be taught to children first, Samuel Johnson, according to Boswell, replied that "it is no matter what you teach them first any more than what leg you should put in your breeches first. You may stand disputing which is best, but in the meantime your breech is bare. While you, Sir, are considering which of two things you should teach your child first, another has learnt them both."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Double Negative

I was asked once why young people always feel they can get away with things. Because, I answered, they've got plenty of time ahead to do it right.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Have a Heart

"Doctor, doctor," the patient complained. "Every time I get up in the morning I'm nauseous for an hour. What should I do?" The doctor thought a moment and said, "Get up an hour later."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Greeks Had a Word For it

"When a baby cries," the pediatrician told the new parents, "you have two options, one at each end." And speaking of new babies, today is the anniversary of Julius Caesar's birth.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fire When Ready

"When television is good, nothing -- not the theatre, not the magazines or newspapers -- nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse.... a vast wasteland." Newton H. Minow, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, May 9, 1961.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Look Again

If there's any observation of cultural significance to be made about the death of Michael Jackson and the ensuing extravaganza that was his send-off, it is the discomfiting reality that a high percentage of the tsunami of media reporting was, and still is, unverifiable or just plain false.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Say Good-bye, Gracie

Psychology is the science of trying to figure out what's in someone's head by getting underneath their skin.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Public Affairs

"The worst thing that can happen to a youngster starting school," a lawyer once said, "is to be caught cheating." "Not at all," countered a clergyman. "The worst thing for someone just starting out in life is to cheat and not get caught."

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Curtains Up, Light the Lights

I have a nightmare vision of an infnite number of psychologists and social scientists sitting in front of an infinite number of computer screens for an infinite number of years to come churning out an infinite number of books dissecting Michael Jackson, the sordid tale of his life and death, his pathologies, and the cultural phenomenon he spawned. It will never end, folks.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The 6 O'Clock Snooze

Meanwhile, President Barak Obama has declared that instead of his State of the Union speech next year there will be a six hour extravaganza dedicated to the memory of the Prince of Pop, starring Miley Cyrus and Abba and hosted by Alex Baldwin.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

This Way to the Egress

We here at the "journey" hate to let this day go by without remembering it's the 199th anniversary of the birth of P.T. Barnum. He believed one should never take life too seriously, and we wholeheartedly agree with him. Perhaps this is a fitting occasion to remind folks to go to and buy my book.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Good Parent, Bad Parent

"The thing about watching pornography is that for the first five minutes all you ever want to do for the rest of your life is have sex. After the first five minutes you never want to have sex again." Dr. Toni Grant, Radio Psychologist.

Friday, July 03, 2009

All the News That Stinks We Print

In today's celebutainment culture it's worth noting that while freedom of the press is a right, freedom from the press has become a luxury.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

To Hell In a Handbasket

"If you would know the Value of Money, go and try to borrow some." Benjamin Franklin, The Way To Wealth, 1757.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Puttin' On the Dog

Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than what they think laughable. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.