8:30 am November 17, 2010, by AJC Opinion
I just spent four days in Afghanistan last week with other cartoonists on a USO-sponsored trip. Join me from 12:30-2 p.m. today to discuss my trip and to ask questions.
Here is what’s online so far:
Veterans Day from Aghanistan | Tomb of the Forgotten cartoon | Sketches from Aghanistan | ‘Command Coins’ | Photos from Aghanistan
November 17th, 201012:34 pm
hi everybody. i’m here waiting for your questions
November 17th, 201012:37 pm
thank you for taking the time to visit with the troops.
However, why are all your cartoons pro democrats?
November 17th, 201012:39 pm
were you and your party well received in Afghanistan?
Do the troops give their opinion on their new Commander in Chief? What are they saying about Obama?
November 17th, 201012:40 pm
hi former liberal
look at my archive. i hit obama and the democrats too.
Thanks for all that you do. Is there any specific topic that you enjoy drawing about the most?
November 17th, 201012:41 pm
politics never came up. i was there not as a democrat or republican, but as an american.
November 17th, 201012:43 pm
good question. i’m thinking. i like cartoons where i can draw specific people/politicians. i like caricature. all topics interest me
November 17th, 201012:44 pm
Thank you for your insight, especially about your feelings as that coffin with the American flag went by you. Question- Do you really feel that Afghanistan soldiers are forgotten among most Americans?
November 17th, 201012:46 pm
hankie, yes, i do think that after almost a decade in afghanistan, most americans aren’t focused on the sacrifices our troops are making. during the midterms, polls showed the war ranked way down the list of what most americans were concerned about.
November 17th, 201012:47 pm
I certainly feel to an extent that they are forgotten. I feel that it might be a war that has no end really.
What’s your current stance on the Iraq and Afghan wars? If you’re against them, do you fully understand the ramifications of quitting?
November 17th, 201012:48 pm
Mike – I was in Afghanistan in the spring. I guess you were in KAF, did you get to any other bases? Is the Friday’s still open in KAF, it was kind of sureal to me, once inside you could have been in ATL. Does the poop pond still stink?
If I could ask 1 more- Do you think that is right or wrong to feel that way? (the war being way down on the list of what Americans are concerned about)
November 17th, 201012:52 pm
hi lydiasdad, great question. i’ve always felt the iraq war was one of america’s biggest foreign policy blunders ever. instead of focusing on afghanistan and al qaida who attacked us, we diverted our resources to iraq.we’ve increased iran’s influence and have made it very hard to have a successful outcome in afghanistan. i’m not exactly sure why we’re in afghanistan niow. is it to keep al qaida out? there are few al qaida tleft in afghanistan.. most are in pakistan.
Out of Town
November 17th, 201012:54 pm
Do you draw 3-4 cartoons per day and then pick your favorite or do you start one and go with it?
What media sources are your “guilty pleasures” that you read/watch to get ideas for your cartoons?
November 17th, 201012:55 pm
Dear “Jane Fonda” Lukuvichwiczstienbaumberg,
If I was a soldier I’d spit in your liberal douchebag face.
November 17th, 201012:56 pm
roy, are you a service member? i ate at the Friday’s there on the boardwalk. it’s surreal because inside it’s like any other Friday’s in the states and yes, the “poop pond” as it’s called, which is a lake size pond where all the sewage goes smells really bad. when the wind blows a certain direction, the entire base can smell it.
November 17th, 201012:57 pm
out of town, you’re exactly right. i come up and draw 3-4 rough sketches, sometimes more before deciding what i’m going to do.
November 17th, 201012:59 pm
menotyou, how’d you know my middle name?
November 17th, 20101:00 pm
Mike – no, went over as a contractor, work for a local technical university in the research area. I was there about 6 weeks, but only 5-6 days at KAF. It was interesting because of the international presence, I liked the different chow halls. Did you get to any of the samller FOBs, lfe is much difdferent for our service members there. No matter what your opinion of the war you can’t visit our people serving there and not come back proud to be an American.
Looks to me that ML is doing more for the troops than most people…probably including you.
November 17th, 20101:01 pm
cyanbane, the ajc, ny times, andrew sullivan’s blog, joe klein at time. i also read my colleague jay bookman’s blog.
November 17th, 20101:02 pm
Hi Mike, I just want you to know that your talent, wit, charm and especially most of the opinions that you express make you a hero of sorts to me. Any books in the future?
November 17th, 20101:05 pm
I’m a big fan. I like to share some of your cartoons with my friends, usually at least once a week. I especially like that you are an “equal opportunity offender”! My question is where you get your ideas from — seems like it would be hard to come up with a new funny idea every day — and then draw it.
roy, you’re right. i visited smaller foward operating bases called FOBS. one was nathan smith, the other camp lagmon. the troops were happy that we visited and we were glad to be able to draw for them.
November 17th, 20101:07 pm
avdrdr, thanks for your kind words. i’m sure there will be books, but nothing imminent.
Call it like it is
Mike, how are our soliders. Do they feel like they are fighting the good fight, or a losing battle and they are ready to come home?
November 17th, 20101:08 pm
are there any political cartoonists who only draw for the net/blogs (no physical circulation) that you are impressed with?
November 17th, 20101:09 pm
Adrian thanks for reading my cartoons. i get my ideas first by procrastinating until it gets close to my deadline and then panicking as i run out of time. that seems to be the best way for my mind to focus.
Billy (not William)
November 17th, 20101:10 pm
Mike, who were your influences coming up or which comics, writers, others influenced your work? Or are you just a one-of-a-kind?
November 17th, 20101:13 pm
Call it like it is, good question. i was there to draw for them and listen to their stories. it was light and fun for them, so i didn’t think it would be appropriate to get into anything too deep, however, a uso volunteer said that many troops told her they felt abandoned. many ogf these troops are on their 4th or 5th tour.
Come on, Mike. Who do you think you are fooling here? 99.9% of your cartoons are anti-”pub” …you just can’t help yourself.
November 17th, 20101:14 pm
Mike I know you state your an equal opportunity artist, in regards to hitting on the right and left, but it does seem that you pick on the right a little bit more. Would you say thats just perception or do you really feel that your objective in your works?
Also in regards to the cartoonists you went with, what was their opinion on the war? Good works, nothing will come from it?
November 17th, 20101:15 pm
cyanbane, there’s a guy named matt bors who has a website. i like his stuff. i’m sure you could google him.
Lucko the scumbag
November 17th, 20101:16 pm
Spare us your liberal agenda. 75% of doctors across the country are expected to refuse to see medicare patients forever thanks to Obama/Reid/Pelosi cutting reimbursement by 23%. Hope your mom ain’t sick. Stand up for something you doofus.
Tuna, i confess, you’re right. but what does “pub” mean?
November 17th, 20101:17 pm
hi Lucko the scumbag, hey, that was my nickname in high school! where do you get your “fun” facts?
November 17th, 20101:18 pm
One more Mike and I will leave you alone. What can American citizens do to let those guys know we still care, and they are not forgotten. Is there anything they need, letters, care packages…
November 17th, 20101:20 pm
Any cartoons planned about the current ethics complaints filed against Perdue?
What was it like hanging out with Gary Trudeau?
November 17th, 20101:21 pm
Mike, as the father of a Marine (in a safe place) I thank you for going over. The statement that many say they feel abandoned breaks my heart.
Mike, the AJC subscriptions have continued to plumet. Georgia is a very “red” state, and yet the paper has clung to what is reasonably described as a very liberal perspective. Your cartoons are largely left-leaning. It’s fine because that is who you are, but it is not who your audience is. Why the disconnect with the paper and its readers?
Call it like it is, good question. unlike someone like a jay leno, editorial cartoonists are supposed to have an opinion. my political views are complicated, but i believe in looking out for the little guy as opposed to the rich, so i’m more of a democrat on most issues.
believe it or not, we cartoonists didn’t have discussions about the war. our focus was to be there for the troops.
November 17th, 20101:22 pm
I’m a deployed AF pilot here at Kandahar and I hate I missed you! But on behalf of all of us here, thanks for coming! Anything that boosts morale is a plus over here. I’m off to go fly now, but I just wanted to drop you a line. Glad you made it back safe!
Mike, I really love your cartoons. I think the AJC is very lucky to have you on board. To all of the people who whine about the liberal viewpoints – It’s not his fault they are the right ones.
November 17th, 20101:23 pm
I just wanted to say that although I do not always agree with your take, I find your caroons funny, as well as informed. Thanks for brightening the week of the troops and our days!
November 17th, 20101:25 pm
Stephen, garry is a chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, alcoholic, flatuent racist. actually, it was fun because he’s such a nice unassuming person.
I don’t have a question. I just wanted to say that I always enjoy the cartoons and keep up the good work.
November 17th, 20101:26 pm
Hi Mike, Long time Reader, first time question asker. I am a student at GSU and have been Drawing and publishing comics in the schools paper for about a year, occasionally I will have one that I would like other papers to consider, how would I go about it, and being a student, is there any form of compensation.
November 17th, 20101:27 pm
Brandon, thanks for your email and thanks for what you’re doing. hopefully, next year, you’ll be home, but if you’re still there, i intend to come back, so you’ll be the first soldier i’ll draw! stay safe.
November 17th, 20101:28 pm
It’s not the AJC’s fault that Atlanta is located in the center of a bunch of gun-toting, uneducated hicks that vote however Sean Hannity tells them to vote. There are plenty of educated, intelligent people to sell papers to here in Atlanta.
November 17th, 20101:30 pm
GSUstudent, my daughter’s a freshman there. i’ll be there friday. good question. if i were you, i’d try the athens paper. show the editor samples and say you’ll do an occasional cartoon for them. they may even pay you!
Mike, do you think the NBA, NFL and MLB are racist? If not, how do you account for the high percentage of non-white athletes? Are you going to gin up a coupla good strips to take on the racists there?
P.S. Gary Trudeau lost my vote when he married Jane Pauley.
November 17th, 20101:33 pm
One more question: do you ever get angry phone calls or emails from any of the people you zing — like Mark Richt or Sonny Perdue? How do you handle those?
November 17th, 20101:35 pm
Mike – Are you planning on retiring soon? I hope so, then Atlanta could possibly attract someone like Cinci’s Borganman who is talented, insightful and actually has a sense of humor. But keep up the mediocrity! Cheers – Bob
I have a concept for a comic about the Hope Scholarship that you are welcome to take or leave. (no charge)
November 17th, 20101:36 pm
boots, newspapers, whether right or left, have seen print circulation drops, due to the internet. overall readership has sky-rocketed if you take into account internet circulation. i’m not sure in metro atlanta, what the democrat/republican percentages are, but if you’ve been reading the ajc the last few years you’d see that we have equal numbers of left and right-leaning columnists, plus at least 3 right-wing cartoonists that appear on the op/ed pages on different days of the week.
November 17th, 20101:38 pm
bawb, i’m glad my lack of talent is appreciated. borgman has quit editorial cartooning to focus on drawing the “zits” comic strip.
November 17th, 20101:40 pm
GSUstudent, thank you, but i have this thing where i have to come up with my own ideas no matter how mediocre.(see bawb’s post)
November 17th, 20101:41 pm
Our church is organizing sending “presents” to the troops.
Were there any items you saw that were needed more than others? We really need help in selecting what to send.
November 17th, 20101:42 pm
Sean, thank you for reading me. also, someone, i think, mentioned earlier, that they don’t always agree with me, but like the humor and continue to read me. i appreciate that too.
November 17th, 20101:43 pm
ahahahahahaha, ya maybe I should not be asking you for advice.
November 17th, 20101:45 pm
Tech Man, that’s a beautiful thing your church is doing. cox, my parent company, has been doing that for a while now. i’m not sure what they need except maybe things they can enjoy like candy, letters…
Please tell the powers that be that I enjoy the new “local” sections. Maybe you could publish some “local” cartoons there to help them out?
November 17th, 20101:46 pm
November 17th, 2010
Thanks! Sweet tooths, we know how to help with that.
What do they talk about
What are some topics that you are drawing that are being requested or talked about by our troops?
November 17th, 20101:48 pm
Tech Man, i’ll pass that on. i do local stuff, but it stays on the editorial page. uga has been good for topics this year. by the way, does anyone have a good topic for me today/ i was thinking about doing something on sarah palin’s reality show or charles rangel.
November 17th, 20101:49 pm
What do they talk about, i didn’t get any topics from the troops. i was so focused on drawing them and thanking them, i never asked.
November 17th, 20101:50 pm
Rangel sitting in a lounge chair, drink in hand, with piles of money underneath, on his beach front estate on the islands telling the IRS he forgot about it.
November 17th, 20101:51 pm
It looks like everyone is talking about Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars.
Maybe something on the Palin’s needing to start their own network?
How about a cartoon about the FDA taking the caffeine out of Four Loko, tying it in to the Republicans’ efforts to block Obama’s agenda.
November 17th, 20101:53 pm
crap,Call it like it is, that’s a good idea! unfortunately, i have to use my own ideas. you can’t draw can you?
Hi Mike and Thanks
I must say you are non partisan when it comes to your cartoons, I LOVE IT
Mike – Couldn’t resist the jab but seriously, keep it up – creating drawings that is…(I don’t always appreciate your leanings though). Thanks for supporting the troops! All the best!
Maybe something on troops receiving mail/gifts from America and how much they appreciate it?
Why do some cartoonist only
November 17th, 20101:54 pm
Hi again, why do some cartoonist (like the Augusta Chronicle) only target Democrats? I mean there is ENOUGH to depict out there, why focus on ONE group, he’s so negative ALL THE TIME.
It would prompt us to get things to them in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am sure it takes a while for things to get there.
Tech Man, an all-palin channel’s coming.
November 17th, 20101:55 pm
An idea for the aspiring cartoonist is to look up newspapers in Georgia. I am sure there are some local weeklys, etc that are looking to fill space.
November 17th, 20101:57 pm
Any cartoons planned about the guilty verdict against Rangel?
Bawb, thanks for reading me. i hope you come back next wednesday from 1-2 when i’ll have another of these informative life-changing chats. thanks to all of you for your questions. talk to you next wednesday.
Tech Man, go to AnySoldier dot com or AnyMarine dot com. They have specific requests for different items.
“Thanks” to you and your church!
I'm glad you depict
November 17th, 20101:58 pm
Hi I refer your cartoons to the Augusta Chronicle cartoonist all the time. He only does negative post about Democrats and Progressives. Unlike you, you depict everybody and everything. I usually tell him to catch up.
Maybe something about the new divide on ear marks. Finally something that brings democrats and republicans together, in two opposing groups.
ps, check tomorrow’s ajc or ajc online to see sketches done in afghanistan by the other cartoonists i was with.
November 17th, 20101:59 pm
How about Mrs. Obama winning DWTS? I loved her dance with the Indian girls.
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