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 *).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Weighty Problem

Every now and then something in a news story catches my eye that, despite the tragedy it describes, makes me suddenly burst out laughing. I admit I feel guilty, but what can I do? I'm a cartoonist and part of what I do is see the humor in the bleakest, blackest aspects of human existence. This morning it was an item in the Los Angeles Times about a California man accidentally killed by his hunting partner. "Pendley was on his hands and knees crawling through a bush," the story recounts, "when his friend mistook him for a turkey and fired." Maybe you feel guilty now too.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spaced Out

"From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime.
 Out of space - out of time."
             Edgar Allan Poe, Dreamland, 1845

Monday, March 29, 2010

Better Late Than Never

For some reason I wasn't able to upload my cartoon this morning at the (more or less) usual time. Turns out it wasn't just me, it was a Google problem now happily resolved. I hope it was worth the wait.

As you may have seen, yesterday I celebrated my birthday, which worked out to my being 25,933 days old. I calculate that since I've posted to date 1,241 cartoons, I've spent roughly 5 percent of my life maintaining this blog. Scary.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cecil B. DeBoss

Today's my birthday. I'm 25,933 days old. Of those, 1240 have been spent posting cartoons. Show me some love, buy something. (Just kidding.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Get Thee To a Winery

A priest and a rabbi were talking about how they divided up the weekly take from their congregations. The priest said he had what he thought was a novel solution. He drew a circle on the floor and threw the money in the air. What fell inside the circle went for running the church, what fell outside paid his salary. "I do something quite like that," the rabbi told him. "I draw the circle and throw the money up just like you, only I figure what God wants he keeps, what comes down is mine."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Double Positive

How rapidly the world careens ahead. On this day 115 years ago, George Eastman began manufacturing the first motion picture film. Today I have a "flip camera" the size of a cell phone that can shoot up to 2 hours of HD video, which is then uploaded to my computer and can be put onto a DVD or made available to the entire world all in a matter of minutes. It's why I've created The Under 5 Challenge, inviting people to make their own short films. To find out more about it, click on the image below.

Watch this space for more about what to do with the films once they're completed.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Drink Fast, Pay Slow

As was his custom, at a gathering of friends Charlie drank too much, went wild, ripped off his clothes down to his scivvies, and passed out. "Good old Charlie," one of his buddies said, "he always knows when to stop."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just Joking

As the old saying goes, the lowest form of wheat is the bun; the lowest form of wit is the pun. Forgive me for this one, the debbil made me do it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dentist As a Second Language

Following up on a previous discussion of food industry deceptions (a subset of deception as a widespread strategy in most industries), I'm trying to figure out what it means when they sell "Fat Free Half and Half." I always thought half of Half and Half was supposed to be cream, which is, um, fat.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Feud For Thought

A friend of mine told me he had the perfect diet. "One day I eat until I'm stuffed," he said, "and the next day I starve." I asked him how he feels. "Great," he said, "every other day."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hoo Ha's On First

Even at age 10 I had a cartoonist's sense of irony and the absurdity of human existence. I remember being taken to a night game at Ebbet's Field in Brooklyn to watch the Dodgers play the Giants. As the game went into extra innings I was keenly aware of how ridiculous it was that in the middle of the night thousands of people were watching grown men play exactly the same game that my friends and I played. And somehow I also knew that it was really about selling hot dogs and beer. Face it, folks, homo erectus is doomed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Blind Misleading the Blind

On July 1, 1976, Tom Dillon, Chairman of the major ad agency BBD&O, said in a speech, "....we've got to know what we've got a choice of. This is the function of advertising." This is what I call a "lie squared," i.e. he was lying about lying. Setting aside the fact that the man ended a sentence with a preposition in a most egregiously clumsy usage, he should have said "this is the fiction of advertising."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Obscene and Not Heard

"I have found that the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it." Harry S. Truman, May 27, 1955.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Accentuate the Negative

"The happiest is the person who suffers the least pain; the most miserable who enjoys the least pleasure." Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762. To which I add, the way we feel is a direct result of what we think about.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Help For the Clueless

"As for charity, it is a matter in which the immediate effect on the persons directly concerned, and the ultimate consequence to the general good, are apt to be at complete war with one another." John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women, 1869.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


"The patient, treated on the fashionable theory, sometimes gets well in spite of the medicine." Thomas Jefferson, 1807. Or to bring it up to date, in spite of all the efforts of the insurance companies to the contrary.

I attributed yesterday's quote to Mark Twain. My bad. It was actually said by Will Rogers. (Thanks, Roger.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Home Sweet Homely

To borrow from Mark Twain: I'm a member of no organized political party. I'm a Democrat.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

You Don't Have To Be a Genius

Today's date is definitely worth commemorating. It was on this date, in 1879, that Albert Einstein was born. For all of us with relatively limited intelligence it's also worth recalling that Albert could barely speak until he was 4 years old, and his nanny was convinced he was handicapped. My theory is that he just didn't feel he had anything important to say yet.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Getting a Head In His Work

My skeptical nature was vindicated this week when it was reported that the driver of a runaway Toyota in San Diego may not have been on the up and up. Authorities got suspicious when it turned out the heavily indebted guy is a serial insurance claim-maker. I knew he was bogus when he said his car had hit speeds of 94 miles an hour. 94? This bozo didn't have the wherewithall to pop the gear into neutral and turn off the engine, yet he did notice he was doing 94 as he screamed down the freeway? We live in weird times.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tell It Like It Is

"Fashion is that by which the fantastic becomes for a moment universal." Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891. I can't speak for Oscar, but by fashion I'm not referring to clothes, but rather to any thought that is suddenly on everyone's lips not because it is an enduring truth but rather because the culture has embraced it as a means of avoiding original thought.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dog's Life

And the models will speak for me today:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

By the Numbers

"Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education." Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894. Or to quote Frank Lloyd Wright: "College takes perfectly good plums and turns them into prunes."

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Preemptive Strike

In case you wonder why I keep doing this, William Shakespeare can explain it to you: "I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad." (As You Like It)

Monday, March 08, 2010


Don't mess with me. This weekend I was honored by being inducted into the West Los Angeles Lacrosse Hall of Fame. I'm not sure what I did to deserve it. After six decades in the sport, perhaps it was longevity. And I'm not getting any prizes for my art.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Time of September

An elderly man was at the movies, seeing Avatar, when he turned to the person next to him. "I forget what I'm doing here," he said, but suddenly his face brightened. "Oh, yes, that's it," he added, "I came here to forget."

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I Get a Kick Out of You

"A child should always say what's true,
And speak when he is spoken to,
And behave mannerly at table:
At least as far as he is able."
                      Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, March 05, 2010

Start 'Em Young

Another sign of the changing times: when I was a lad all the boys had names like Henry, Charles, Peter, and, well, John. Nowadays they get names like Spencer, Dylan, and Montana (I'm not kidding). For the past five years I haven't had a single John on a lacrosse team, but a whole bunch of Ians.