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12.17.08

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Phaedra

Tom Tomorrow

Reviewed by Richard von Busack


THE pseudonym, as well as this popular political cartoonist's mascot—a penguin in red plastic New Wave sunglasses—reflects Tom Tomorrow's origin in the cut-and-paste era of '80s punk graphics. His characters make their appeal in televisionistic full-face approach to the readers; it's Tomorrow's weekly way (as seen in Metro and other alternative papers) of opposing the yammer of TV pundits, ever certain, never contradicted and never wrong.

His newest gathering—The Future's So Bright, I Can't Bear to Look—represents a particularly rich time for the cartoonist, 2005–08; he had three years of cognitive dissonance to parody. It was the era of the Bush Backpedal, as this never-to-be-questioned leader and his minions suddenly found themselves with no ground to stand on. Tomorrow is acidly hilarious skewering the logical leaps of these opinionaters, and he gets at the essence of their bullying and circular logic. The last cartoons in the collection make it seem that Tomorrow will be doing his best to keep Obama honest, too. (By Tom Tomorrow; Nation Books; 154 pages; $16.95 paperback)


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