A Gallery of Mother Cartoons

I thought you might enjoy  some of my cartoons over the years on mothers. My mother made me laugh more than she made me cry–and for that I cannot thank her enough. Were she alive, I would watch New Girl with her and laugh, just as I do with my daughters now. Here is a piece I wrote about her in my Forbes Column. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day, however you do or don’t celebrate it.

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A New Good Normal, Or Questions After Cleveland

new good normal_edited-2Today I did a piece on the horrid events in Cleveland, and the happy outcome. I couldn’t not write about it, but it was a strange subject to take on. Let me know what you think, it is here on my ForbesWoman column.  It seems to me this is a wake-up call for all of us. Above is the cartoon that goes with the article. I cheer Amanda Berry and her courage, all of the women and the young child, as well as Charles Ramsey who went against the normal  behavior of “not getting involved.”

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Freedom and Fun: The Caen International Cartoon Festival

Along with fifteen other cartoonists, I was fortunate to be invited to participate in the third annual International Cartoon Festival in Caen, France.  The Caen Memorial Museum, which hosts this event, is a very moving place and it was a wonderful gathering, with cartoonists from around the world.  In keeping with the emotional events that took place in the Normandy invasions, Stephane Grimaldi, the director of the museum, seeks to bring people, events and exhibits to Caen that promote peace and freedom of expression.  Below is a list of the participating cartoonists and a selection of some of the cartoons and people that were there.

































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On The Aftermath Of The Boston Marathon Attacks


Boston marathon typed captionMy thoughts are with Boston, the injured and the families who lost loved ones. I really have nothing else to say. Hopefully we can move on, and help our children adjust to new realities as we encounter them.

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Two Worlds, All Over The World

paris homeless_edited-2I was just in Paris on my way to an the International Cartoon Festival in Caen. I couldn’t help but notice that Paris has a fair number of homeless on the street. I know New York does as well–perhaps we have different ways of coping with the state of our homeless population. Every city deals with it differently. But however it is handled, one thing is clear: the span between the haves and the have-nots is still much too large. Globally.

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Increase The Fun: Allow Same Sex Marriage

same sex marriage-cakes sized_edited-1The US Supreme court is currently debating some very important cases having to do with same sex marriage. It’s all over the news, as it should be. I support the right for gays and lesbians to legally marry, to have hospital rights, inheritance rights, joint tax rights, all of that.

If we increase the number of people being allowed to enter into matrimony, there are so many benefits. It makes a lot of people and children happy. I have been married for twenty-five years, and it has been a wonderful ride. And a funny one. Marriage is funny, admit it.

If gays and lesbians are allowed to get married across the country, then we would have twice the love, twice the levity.

And even more material for humorists.

For a slide show of my marriage cartoons, visit my Forbes column!

Also, my husband, Michael Maslin and I wrote a book on the subject: Cartoon Marriage: Adventures in Love and Matrimony With The New Yorker’s Cartooning Couple

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The Steubenville Case and The Power of Humor

rape humor-1Had it not been for social media, we might not know about the horrible things that were done to the young woman that night in Steubenville, Ohio. Sadly, the attitude and behavior of the young football players, to a degree, is perhaps played out all over the country every weekend. Alcohol fueled rowdy group conduct can lead to horrible misconduct; in this case, it led to a form of gang rape.

This morning, I watched a video of one of the young men who was present that night. Watch it at your own risk–it is disturbing.  The cell-phone video is trained directly on one young boy for twelve minutes as he delivers one liners about rape, death and the young woman,  over and over again to the laughter of a some in the room. My shock at what was being said was compounded with wondering why is the camera focusing solely on him.  At one point, the person doing the filming is heard to laughingly say to his subject, “I’m going to watch this over and over again.”  It dawned on me: this young man in front of the camera is a wanna-be comedian. He is telling jokes made at the expense of a passed out, violated young woman (who is not in the room).

There is a strain of comedy in our country that makes fun of others beyond the bounds of civility.  I am not saying that derogatory humor aimed at insulting, harassing, belittling and ridiculing women is gang rape, but it is a kind of shared, group attack that many feel is okay to do. Because it is shared by a large number of people in the room (auditorium,  computer screen), it is somehow acceptable.  Humor is a powerful tool and when used in this way is extremely hurtful to others, and worse. It continually perpetuates disrespect and hate in our society.

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Sheryl Sandberg Is Not Perfect and Other Things I learned From ‘Lean In’

Sandberg's book copy

Sheryl Sandberg is the CEO of Facebook, and she has been in the news a lot lately. Primarily because she wrote a book about business and women and why there are not more women at the top of companies (or countries).  “Lean In” is part memoir, part advice book, and I enjoyed it. She doesn’t discuss humor, but she does mention Nora Ephron, thankfully!  Read my full piece on my Forbes column

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Are Vaginas Necessary?

International women's day vaginaI spent a good part of this week thinking about what I could post about International Women’s Day, which is today. And of course, trying to think how to draw a cartoon about the day which is not typically a “funny” day.  Finally, yesterday, I put my post up on Forbes.com, and it seems to have hit a nerve. I got a lot of hits in less than 24 hours. Maybe the world is changing, and caring about women? Who knows…  Please let me know what you think, either here or there!

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Humor Standards: Boobs Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

knows the word boob copyI was happily surprised at all the blow-back about Seth McFarlane’s performance at the Oscars.  The New Yorker was critical, as were The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Salon.   Smaller sites that focus on women’s rights, like Jezebel and Feministing weighed in as well, as did  Ms. Magazine

But the days following all the coverage, I found myself a bit dejected: haven’t we been here before? When will misogyny not rank as high quality humor?  Granted, humor equality is not high on the list of things we need to fix for women in the world.  But we need to fix it, because I think it is symptomatic of the larger issues.

Humor in a society is reflective of what a culture values and doesn’t value, that’s how humor works. It takes what we know, the given in our society, and twists it–and that is what elicits the laugh. The unexpected makes us laugh. So when Mr. McFarlane sang a song about boobs, many of us did not laugh. It isn’t funny anymore. Not only is it humor we have heard from comedians since the dawn of time, we heard the same jokes in grade school.  If the song about breasts in film were not enough,  McFarlane went on to do jokes about battered women, bulimia, racial and religious profiling.

This type of humor is not only not top quality humor, it’s offensive. If McFarlane and others want to practice it,  they have the right. But as a society, we cannot condone sexist, racist and homophobic humor as anything but wrong.

We need to loudly maintain a new standard for what is funny.  We are beginning to do so, with the rise of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Even in this regard, we have been here before.  Whoopi Goldberg rose to fame decades ago as representative of a new standard of humor in the age of Andrew Dice Clay.  Cultural sexism rises and falls with each generation, but I think each time it is getting less and less.  For this reason, we–men and women– have to keep pushing out new forms of humor, and not let the old fashioned male standard of humor continue to be seen as what is “good.”

Or maybe we should just go back to the fourth grade.

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