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#1
Old 08-25-2016, 03:38 PM
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Any Kelly (the Onion Editorial Cartoon artist) fan?

I've got to admit I love the toons. And I love even more how, even though they appear in the Onion, a lot of folks can't seem to understand that it's satire.

Summary: The cartoonist represents himself as an old school social conservative (while allowing loopholes for his own behavior) reactionary complainer. Here are a few samples for those of you who are not familiar with his work:

Health Nazis
Jesus & gun control
Today's teens
Regular folks
New Hippies


To me, this description of the artist, posted by Ben at Poor Mojo, sums up both the cartoon and its satirist author himself:
Quote:
an aging mediocrity with a failed marriage, probably impotent and dreaming of a yesteryear when he missed out on the 60s due to his conservatism, idolizing a 50's idea of the American husband, yet continuing on in his life: mushy-minded, backward-looking, with sad little pleasures, holding on to the only strength he has, which is the sweet hatred he gets from his ill-thought-out conservative view of the world.
RationalWiki's summary is accurate also:
Quote:
Kelly is a bitter curmudgeon who views the world in a black-and-white dichotomy of innocent, heroic Republican American fundamentalist Christians versus filthy liberal hippie Democrat foreigner feminist atheist commies. His comics accentuate their point with cameo appearances of Lady Liberty, usually weeping or overjoyed, and with author self-portraits quipping snippy, pun-laced one-liners.
Reminds me of a few folks I know online and in real life. Yay, Kelly!

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 08-25-2016 at 03:40 PM.
#2
Old 08-25-2016, 08:12 PM
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Too cluttered. He's got too many concepts and memes and references and allusions, all battling for space and attention. He fails the ideal of simplicity and directness.

(He makes me think of bad 1950s cartoonists, where Lady Liberty and U-No-Who and Uncle Sam and Uncle Moneybags are all shown with daggers into The Working Poor while Uncle Joe circles in a bomber with a big nuke... Cluttered and ugly.

Also...he's not a very good artist. (Yeah, he's better than I'll ever be...) His lines are too simple, without any subtlety. He's drawing "coloring book" shapes. He's no Jeff MacNelly or Pat Oliphant or Bill Mauldin or Herbert Blockwood. He's a tyro, with an outdated style and limited skill.

(Also, he's a goddamn fucking bigot. His anti-same-sex-marriage cartoon was a vicious slur.)
#3
Old 08-25-2016, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
(Also, he's a goddamn fucking bigot. His anti-same-sex-marriage cartoon was a vicious slur.)
He's working for the Onion. What makes you think his actual views bear even the slightest resemblance to the views presented in his cartoons?
#4
Old 08-25-2016, 08:25 PM
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He's cool. I assume he's joking. I don't see the bigotry. Not very cluttered that I can see. It's just enough stuff.

Where did this guy start out?

Last edited by drad dog; 08-25-2016 at 08:26 PM.
#5
Old 08-25-2016, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
Too cluttered. He's got too many concepts and memes and references and allusions, all battling for space and attention. He fails the ideal of simplicity and directness.

(He makes me think of bad 1950s cartoonists, where Lady Liberty and U-No-Who and Uncle Sam and Uncle Moneybags are all shown with daggers into The Working Poor while Uncle Joe circles in a bomber with a big nuke... Cluttered and ugly.

Also...he's not a very good artist. (Yeah, he's better than I'll ever be...) His lines are too simple, without any subtlety. He's drawing "coloring book" shapes. He's no Jeff MacNelly or Pat Oliphant or Bill Mauldin or Herbert Blockwood. He's a tyro, with an outdated style and limited skill.

(Also, he's a goddamn fucking bigot. His anti-same-sex-marriage cartoon was a vicious slur.)


Of course he's all that. That's the point.
#6
Old 08-25-2016, 09:10 PM
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Color me whooshed: I thought he was an actual example of the style, not a parody.
#7
Old 08-25-2016, 10:38 PM
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"Computers don't show Matlock, smart guy!"

I lolled.
#8
Old 08-25-2016, 11:24 PM
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If anything, I always thought they were a little too on the nose. But Poe's Law strikes again in this very thread, so apparently not. I get a chuckle out of the less obvious ones, and groan a little at the puns.
#9
Old 08-25-2016, 11:28 PM
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"Jesus and Gun Control" is kind of perfect. I just wish he'd worked the Statue of Liberty into it somehow. "Kelly" seems a very, "We speak American like Jesus in the Bible," kind of Christian, so that explicit tie between religiosity and nationalism would have been the cherry on it.
#10
Old 08-25-2016, 11:34 PM
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Stan Kelly isn't a real person, of course. He's a fictional persona like Jackie Harvey or Jean Teasdale. The guy who does the cartoons is Ward Sutton.
#11
Old 08-25-2016, 11:40 PM
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They're ugly cartoons.
#12
Old 08-26-2016, 01:01 AM
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Kelly rocks, and I love how some people don't get it. He's a perfect representation of those who feel any discussion of stratified privilege is nothing more than political correctness gone amok.
#13
Old 08-26-2016, 06:23 AM
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The crying Statue of Liberty makes me smile every time.
#14
Old 08-26-2016, 08:11 AM
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Doesn't do it for me. Mixes up stuff that is (IMHO) unfunny, obvious, or just not quite right (like in the "new hippies" one -- um, Earth Day was created only three years after the Summer of Love...).

Any random MAD Magazine toon from any random year is likely to show more wit and insight, and ring truer.
#15
Old 08-26-2016, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
Any random MAD Magazine toon from any random year is likely to show more wit and insight, and ring truer.
That's because the MAD cartoonists were on the outside looking in and satirizing what they saw, while the Kelly persona is on the inside, stating his 'truth'.

Similar to Colbert in some ways.
#16
Old 08-26-2016, 09:00 AM
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I love those cartoons. My favorite things are the previously mentioned weeping Liberty, and how everything is clearly labeled so that the dull-witted reader/follower can grasp the cartoon.
#17
Old 08-26-2016, 09:08 AM
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I love Kelly's "Behind the Pen" videos where he explains in detail what's going on in some of his cartoons.


Here's one where he graciously includes some tips for today's young artists.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan Kelly
I think a lot of young artists are watching these videos to learn the craft. Okay? If you're a young artist and you want to learn, this is the video for you.
#18
Old 08-26-2016, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
That's because the MAD cartoonists were on the outside looking in and satirizing what they saw, while the Kelly persona is on the inside, stating his 'truth'.

Similar to Colbert in some ways.
Okay, I can see that. I never really liked Colbert, either, "in person" (but I dig some of what I've seen of his writings.)
#19
Old 08-26-2016, 10:40 AM
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He's one of my three Onion favs. The other two are Teasdale (I used to work at a newspaper with her doppelganger, in looks, lifestyle and writing style) and Jackie Harvey.

"Kelly" perfectly nails that certain style and sentiment. I can picture these types of cartoons cut out and hanging on grandmas' fridges all across the Midwest. Heck, seeing how effectively these have fooled people, I could see these actual cartoons hanging on grandmas' fridges.
#20
Old 08-26-2016, 10:45 AM
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He's the Ed Anger of political cartooning!
#21
Old 08-26-2016, 11:42 AM
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It's kind of like producing a parody of The 1/2 Hour News Hour (Fox News' short-lived attempt at a conservative-tilting The Daily Show). You can mock how inept and unfunny it is, but you've nowhere else to go - there isn't enough depth to it to mine for insights.

I get a chuckle out of "Kelly's" work, but it's a superficial take on a superficial thought process, so I don't look for profundity.
#22
Old 08-26-2016, 12:03 PM
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I agree with Kelly politically but I see his style as a parody of the political cartoon genre. The Manichean thinking, the vast oversimplification, and the overly busy drawings are great satire of just about every political cartoonist.
#23
Old 08-26-2016, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
Color me whooshed: I thought he was an actual example of the style, not a parody.
In your defense, they aren't funny, but rather purposely unfunny (IMO), and the only real clue that they're satire is that they appear in the Onion rather than, say, the Washington Times.
#24
Old 08-26-2016, 12:27 PM
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How can it get more funnily unfunny that this?

Negative Cam-Pain-In-The-Ass?
#25
Old 08-26-2016, 02:33 PM
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I think the strips work best when we see Kelly taking some personal annoyance and treating it like a serious political issue.

Gangsta Wrap
Tyrannical Drinktator
Not So Suite
Hot As Health
Domestic Blitz
Suppers And Downers

These strips illustrate the "get off my lawn" mentality that the character is satirizing.
#26
Old 08-26-2016, 02:46 PM
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The single teardrop below Lady Liberty's eye means she killed a man in prison.
#27
Old 08-26-2016, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaffa View Post
The single teardrop below Lady Liberty's eye means she killed a man in prison.
I haven't earned a teardrop yet, but it could happen any day. I've pronounced men dead in prison though.

Gotta agree with Kelly on Not so Suite. I get annoyed by hotels and motels which encourage me to 'save the planet' by reusing towels.

It would be interesting to see a cartoon series done the same way by a 'liberal' author.
#28
Old 08-26-2016, 03:50 PM
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This guy is right up my alley.
#29
Old 08-26-2016, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purd Werfect View Post
Kelly rocks, and I love how some people don't get it...
I hope you understand that it's possible to 'get it' and still not like it.

I've always thought these were the weakest link in the Onion chain.


mmm
#30
Old 08-26-2016, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
I hope you understand that it's possible to 'get it' and still not like it. . . .
FWIW, now that it has been explained to me...I still don't really like it a whole lot, but I kinda admire it for its brashness.

I far prefer Tom the Dancing Bug for political humor, occasional constructed in a similar "reverse of what I really believe" form.

(Doug is such a doik!)
#31
Old 08-27-2016, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
I hope you understand that it's possible to 'get it' and still not like it.

I've always thought these were the weakest link in the Onion chain.


mmm
Yeah, I understand that some do get it and don't like it. I personally think that its humor lies in being so heavy-handed and so simplistic in its satirical representation. I can see though how it may not appeal to some who are well aware of the joke but don't think much of it or how it represents the outlook of others.
#32
Old 08-27-2016, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
FWIW, now that it has been explained to me...I still don't really like it a whole lot, but I kinda admire it for its brashness.
Watch the short "Behind the Pen" videos I linked to in post #17.

Seriously. They will help you understand the Stan Kelly point of view. And, they're funny as hell!
#33
Old 08-27-2016, 03:08 AM
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No...didn't work. I watched a couple minutes, and found myself absolutely uninterested. The guy's narration is just a mirror of his cartooning style: he's pretending to be a total moron and jerk, and... Meh. Boring.

(What can I say? I don't like Beavis and Butt-Head either...)
#34
Old 08-27-2016, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
No...didn't work. I watched a couple minutes, and found myself absolutely uninterested. The guy's narration is just a mirror of his cartooning style: he's pretending to be a total moron and jerk, and... Meh. Boring.

(What can I say? I don't like Beavis and Butt-Head either...)
Well, it's not quite the same humor but... I read you. To each his own!
#35
Old 08-28-2016, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Me, Vol. I View Post
I love Kelly's "Behind the Pen" videos where he explains in detail what's going on in some of his cartoons.
"Lady Liberty is a powerful symbol in a cartoon. You don't want to overuse her."
#36
Old 08-28-2016, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
"Lady Liberty is a powerful symbol in a cartoon. You don't want to overuse her."
That line cracked me up completely.

I can completely understand why people don't consider Kelly funny at all. I agree with the reasons they list. But he still makes me laugh, or at least chuckle, with every cartoon.

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 08-28-2016 at 09:44 AM.
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