Sunshine Week 2018


Wakka wakka wakka.

An evergreen cartoon is something you can run at anytime. Current events won’t change it. Those cartoons are easy, which makes them hard for me. They’re often about weather, litter, or something harmless that people don’t really get upset over. Editors love them.

March 11-17 is Sunshine Week in 2018. Journalists use this time to point out the importance of a free press and champion laws for open information. Last year, I drew a cartoon for the American Society of Newspaper Editors and it was pretty evergreeny. They were allowed to use the cartoon for free in whatever way they saw fit, which included providing it to schools. It is an important issue, especially when we have a president accusing the press of being enemies of the American people while also praising authoritarians who have oppressed the media in their nations.

It was a lazy and terrible cartoon and I hated it. It was pretty obvious too and another cartoonist had drawn the exact same thing a year or so before for the same association. I did not know that until he contacted me the day it was published insinuating that I had stolen this really crappy idea from him.

I was jaded from drawing a cartoon I didn’t wanna draw, and then being accused of theft by a person who couldn’t get an original or unique idea with a brain transplant, that I decided I wasn’t going to do it this year. Besides, I had already hit the same subject for The Seattle Times a few weeks ago on a statewide issue for them.

Then, my friend Mike Peterson, who publishes the excellent blog Comic Strip Of The Day, used my cartoon from earlier today. Mike mentioned how I attacked politicians keeping secrets without mentioning Sunshine Week. He was correct in assuming I didn’t think about it.

Then, this idea hit me. Talking to Mike made me think how “Sunshine” is also a stripper name, and then ding ding ding (that’s how we get our ideas, people. We think about strippers).  I decided to draw it and give you a bonus cartoon for today (and it’ll let me take Saturday off to eat ice cream and watch a movie). I sent it to that editors’ association, and they can use if they want. I really don’t care if they do or not.

I’m happier with this cartoon than the one from last year because it’s more specific, more unique with my style of goofiness, and nobody can accuse me of stealing it.

By the way, a band of mine played a show in Washington, D.C. several years ago and this stripper named Sunshine showed up, and she wanted to wash my drummer’s hair with her feet (that’s totally unimportant to the story, but how can I leave that detail out?). I asked for her real name, and she said it was Desiree. Damn, that girl’s mom must have really wanted her to be a stripper.

Update: I just remembered that stripper’s name wasn’t Sunshine. It was Heaven. Where did I get Sunshine from? Eh. I got a cartoon out of it.

Here is the video.

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