Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dan Perkins Speaks

From Obama's War on Humor by Christopher Arnott:

Rees chronicled Bush's incompetence for seven long years but he's a newbie compared to Dan Perkins. For more than 20 years, under the nom-de-toon "Tom Tomorrow," the New Haven–based Perkins has written and drawn This Modern World, a weekly strip he syndicates to this newspaper and more than 100 others.

Perkins says in a recent phone interview that he's been receiving e-mails from conservatives snarkily saying, "I hope you're going to be as hard on Obama as you were on Bush." To which he responds, "Of course not. Bush was a fucking moron, a moral criminal. I used to take pride in not doing cartoons about the politics of the moment, but with Bush I've been chained to this, every week, because it's been so fucking outrageous. I'm feeling immense relief, giddy exhaustion."

Perkins adds, "With Obama, there's not anything to make fun of that's immediately apparent. Where the humor may turn out to be is how crazy he drives his detractors. I've been listening to [right-wing] talk radio, and their heads are about to explode.

"But I'm sure there'll be plenty of missteps. I remain appropriately cynical of any politician." Moreover, Perkins exclaims, "I reject the inherent supposition that my only job is to make fun of the occupant of the White House." He's just been working on a strip that "I don't know if you'd call it critical of Obama, but it says that after all we've been through in the past eight years, we should really go through an intensive self-examination, so it doesn't happen again. But what we will probably do is shrug and move on."

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