January 18, 2018
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.


The winner of the special Sundance prize for docs this year was Gasland by Josh Fox (airing on HBO June 21). It discusses a kind of drilling called hydraulic fracturing and what a bright idea that is . . . or isn’t.  Get a load of this trailer for the film in which this guy is able to light up his faucet.

Sharp increases in pollution, illness and death are a big price for this gas.  Seems like the same story all over.  Killing ourselves chasing down the last drop of fossil.

Now, here’s the solution.  The people of Samso Island in Denmark decided to chase, instead, every possible non-fossil solution to the problem.  Today they produce more energy than they need and sell it at a profit. Two very close dots, very easy to connect. If only we move the greed machine out of the way.

Surf’s Up

Surfs-Up.gif picture by sbrodner


Does the fact that BP is still in charge of the rescue and clean-up of the Spill seem, at this point a bit strange?  Is it a little like asking John Wilkes Booth to be Lincoln’s doctor?

Gulf Balls

Here’s our second short for PBS’ Need to Know: “Oil Painting”, based on new revelations about the Minerals Management Agency, charged with regulating drilling enterprises, as well as collecting royalties.


It turns out the Industry AND the Agency were pretty tightly connected.  So when one goes down, so does the other.

The MMS is part of the Interior Department so our little inspector is seen coming out of the White House. The “cozy” culture between Government and Oil has been going on as far back as the ’90s.  It reached its fullest expression under Bush/Cheney when regs were a joke and Industry was always right. This didn’t really change under Obama.

Here our little regulator sails up to the rig, about to be seduced.  It was a true romance.  Gifts were exchanged; friendships of an extreme nature blossomed (or bloomed).  The Culture of Oil meant that all these folks thought of themselves as part of the same group.  “We’re all oil”, one of them said.  Even now we are relying on BP, the criminals in the case, to save the gulf!

So finally, the royalties are paid, but by the gulf, by the animals and by the people.

Read more HERE

Directed by Gail Levin, Animation by Asterisk, Ben Shapiro, DP.

Great thanks to Tom Casciato, Shelley Lewis, Stephen Segaller, producers, NTK.


Saturday night I was honored to get to hang out with the National Cartoonists Society at their annual banquet.  This was at the Hyatt in Jersey City (yes Jersey City!) It was a memorably evening.  The hall was filled with wonderful artists and amazing legends.  Bill Gallo, George Booth, Randall Enos (yes, THE Randall Enos), Mort Gerberg, Mell Lazarus, Mort Walker, Nick Meglin, Sam Viviano, Mike Lynch, Rob Rogers were all there.  The president is Jeff Keane. Yep, Jeffy. A very warm host and funny guy.

They gave the advertising award to an editorial illustrator who slipped on a banana peel and did an ad campaign. But hey, this is life and sometimes it is absolutely sublime! I am extremely grateful to the NCS.
Here’s the campaign I’ve been having fun with this year:
It’s the Big ERP guys for PJA Advertising out of Cambridge.  Amy Frith, Paul Yokoda, Chris Frame and many other great people.  The animations are done by my pals at Asterisk, Brian O’Connell and Richard O’Connor.  Thanks also to Justin Rucker and Tammy Shannon of Shannon Associates, my reps.

Here’s the first one in the series.  The big ugly guys trampling the customer.  They represent Infor’s competitors, Oracle and A=Cisco.  Sort of like, “We’re number Three and we try harder.”

So these run as huge airport posters as well online (animated by Asterisk).  This one is on the back page of the current Forbes.

There;’s this one: actually pasted on the luggage carousel at O’Hare.  You can watch him eat your bags!

This thing knocks me out.  A motion sensing technology. Working with Monster Media, Asterisk took my two stages and made this move.  But they only move when you walk past . . .  and apparently have your money vacuumed up. Art that constantly sucks!

My deepest gratitude to the Society and all the great folks I met Saturday night.