Robot 6

Hudnall, Lash under fire for political cartoon

from Obama Nation

Comic creators James Hudnall and Batton Lash have come under fire for a recent comic strip posted on the conservative website BigGovernment.com.

The duo regularly contributes a comic strip called “Obama Nation” — a play off of “abomination”– to the site, part of Andrew Breitbart’s online network. The Feb. 12th strip featured President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama eating dinner, with the president eating very small portions and the first lady eating a plate filled with hamburgers as they discuss her now one-year-old anti-obesity campaign. You can see the full strip for yourself after the jump.

MSNBC commentator Lawrence O’Donnell called it “a racist obscenity” on his program yesterday, while Mediamatters.org said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve expected anything approaching comity from the conservative media, but this is the sort of stuff most of us left at the grade school playground.” And on Technorati, Bill Schmalfeldt wrote, “… Brietbart’s hack comic drawers don’t understand satire. Instead, they show the First Lady as fat and scarfing down cheeseburgers, which she doesn’t do, they show Obama’s ears as impossibly large, the cartoon isn’t funny in the first place, and there’s no grain of truth on which to hang the satire.”

Hudnall, a former writer of Alpha Flight and Strikeforce Morituri, as well as creator of the ESPers and Harsh Realm, responded to the criticism: “There is nothing racist about the cartoon. The artist (Batton Lash) merely drew the first couple in caricature, which is what political cartoonists do. All we’ve done was to take a mild poke at the hypocrisy of the first lady. The press has already detailed the kind of foods served at white house dinners. It’s rarely diet friendly. Such as the menu at their super bowl party.”

Lash, the creator of Supernatural Law, said: “What’s racist about it? Cartooning — specifically political cartooning– has always been about exaggeration, whether it was Nixon’s prominent jowls, Carter’s toothy smile, or Bush ll’s beady eyes. If our current president is exempt because of the color of his skin, I think that would be racist. By the way, I didn’t depict the First Lady as fat — just a hearty eater!”

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42 Comments

Boy..remember when Hudnell was suing Fox for stealing his comics. good times.

All of Andrew Breitbart’s “Big Whatever” sites tend to be pretty over-the-top racist anyway. If these guys don’t like being called racists, maybe they should avoid working for Breitbart.

It’s only being called racist because it’s targeting liberals. You’ll read constant hateful anti-conservative commentary from comics professionals, but that is OKAY because conservatives are acceptable targets in the entertainment world. As soon as something is said about liberals it must be classified as racist or right wing or something along those lines. It really is amazing how little tolerance these so-caled liberals have for differing opinions.

i love how, “The people calling my ideas racist are REALLY THE RACISTS!” is coming back into vogue.

This particular strip isn’t racist, but others in the Obama Nation strip have been pretty stunningly such.

The worst insult I can lay upon the strip is that none of them are funny, not even in the slightest. The one in question doesn’t even have a joke I don’t think, and if it does, it is so unfunny it doesn’t register.

Racist? Really? Kinda lame and not funny, sure. But racist? That seems like a bit of a stretch.

This is a very racist comic. Portraying the President of the United States as a not quote human apelike creature is awful, and these people need serious help. Whether you disagree with the President or not, portraying him this way is disrespectful. Even though I did not agree with former President George W Bush, I still treat him with respect, because the office deserves it. Shameful.

“Instead, they show the First Lady as fat and scarfing down cheeseburgers, which she doesn’t do,”

Does this guy live in a cave without Internet access? There are numerous articles about Michelle Obama’s proclivity for cheeseburgers. Every time she does a campaign stop it seems she gobbles up gigantic cheeseburgers with fires. There’s even an article about her “sneaking” out of the White House to get cheeseburgers.

Here’s just one link: http://tinyurl.com/4tcgvfd

And here’s a snippet from another article:

“Every now and then I have this thing that I like to do with some of my staff members, and we sneak out, without telling anybody, and we go and test out all the fun places to eat in D.C.,” Mrs. Obama told children visiting the White House.
“I went to Five Guys and nobody knew it,” she said, naming a popular chain of hamburger restaurants. “It was good.”

This disgraceful caricature plays on the traditional racist image of the black man as a thoughtful man with unreasonably large ears and a prissy eating style.

And to depict the first lady as a muscular woman in this way – everyone knows she is a frail and slender creature.

I really thought we’d put those times behind us.

Next thing they’ll be depicting the president as a chimpanzee.

Well, you know… if George W Bush gets elected again, I mean.

Mark
February 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

This is a very racist comic. Portraying the President of the United States as a not quote human apelike creature is awful,
———————————————–

Is that you, or “Lawrence” O’Donnell’s giant head talking?

Perhaps you missed all the cartoons of Bush that Steve Bell drew. And he was just one out of thousands that depicted Bush as an ape.
See here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoons/stevebell/0,7371,1156754,00.html

I’m offended but because the cartoon just isn’t funny.

Batton Lash should be ashamed because that’s a horrible carcature. To draw everything in realistic proportions and super-exaggerate the ears just looks stupid.

And he makes Michelle Obama look like Oprah.

Wouldn’t have been funnier and more revelant if they drew Michelle Obama like She-Hulk with super-muscular arms since that’s what’s she known for?

And to imply the idea that Michelle Obama is hypocrite/liar about healthy eating and exercise is not a joke but an insult with no basis in reality. But I guess that means Hudnall and Lash don’t think she’s a Muslim.

Isn’t MSNBC itself a caricature of an actual news organization? Putting any quote from MediaMatters is laughable. They are as far left as anyone could possibly think of BigGovernment as far right.

Its fabulous.. Love it. Keep em coming.. LIBERALS, ITS A MENTAL DISORDER!!

I know Batton and the man is absolutely NOT a racist. He’s not even very “conservative”… he’ll be the first to tell you he’s a libertarian. Lawrence O’Donnell should be ashamed of himself for throwing around the “racist” term…did the man even read the cartoon? MSNBC should be ashamed of itself, this isn’t even newsworthy.
I’m a “Liberal” and I support Batton Lash!
p.s.
F**K Political Correctness

Earlier versions of the comic strip have been quite vile calling Obama “Captain Negro”. I’m sure the artists used the defense that Harry Reid once mistakenly referred to Obama as negro. But he apologized.

The artists may not have racial hate but they clearly hate the President and they are using the type of subconscious imagery that appeals to racists. The comments that appear under each cartoon they post on that site make the stomach churn.

I am a minority who saw and was deeply disturbed by the earliest series from this cartoon. I have since wondered why no one in the industry ever said anything about it. After all this time, I was happy to hear someone in the media bring it up. If the Comics industry is embarrassed, so be it. You all had nearly a year to say something. You should be embarrassed by that.

I’m sure his friends & industry mates will defend it as free speech and satire but it isn’t clever or funny, nor is the art or writing any good. It is untalented, hurtful imagery that minorities have always had to deal with.

OxyCon, So to show Bush being treated by liberals you needed to point to a cartoon created in another country?

And the articles you quote Mrs. Obama from would be good if you’d reveal your source or we all assume it’s made up from some conservative hate blog.

first off I’m going to say that calling this comic racist is RETARDED, how is it racist? I’ll take anyone’s take on that.
every single politician in history past and present has been dipicted in cartoons in some form or another, why because it’s Michele Obama and her stupid obese America campaign that touches everyone’s nerves?
wake up America there are bigger things going on around that’s waaaaay more important then a stupid cartoon, here’s something to think about, how about Barack along with his left wing associates trying to dwindle the American dollar and take down the very country he leads.

wake up America
some cartoon isn’t going to change what’s really going on behind the curtain

when government fear the people there is liberty! when people fear the government there is tyranny!

Robot 6, please, please never post anything about politics ever again.

James Hudnall has a collection coming out soon of the series he did in France for Humanoids, Aftermath.

This is despicable and childish and not worthy of ANYONE’s viewing. You should not print anything else about politics ever again. You know the saying about what goes around comes around and I can’t wait to see what’s coming your way, you racist bigot!

funkygreenjerusalem

February 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Cartooning — specifically political cartooning– has always been about exaggeration, whether it was Nixon’s prominent jowls, Carter’s toothy smile, or Bush ll’s beady eyes

And yet he can’t see the difference between these examples, and giving the guy ears bigger than his head?

It’s the only part that’s actually caricatured – other political cartoonists will emphasize prominent features of a person, but they also caricature the whole person.
Also, the Nixon’s jowls – and often unshaven appearance – Carters smile and Bush’s eyes weren’t just physical characteristics, but plays off of what they did/said and how they were perceived by the public.

I’m not saying this is racist, more just that it’s a really shit job at a political cartoon.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from this discussion, it’s that Destiny thinks we as a country are getting entirely too much sleep.

I’ve given up on anyone who continues to claim to be Conservative or Republican. If you can bring yourself to say such things today, in light of the rank hypocrisy of the Tea Party movement, Sarah Palin, John “I cry on cue” Boehner, Glenn Beck, and the whole of Fox News, if you pay attention to any of these things and are not disgusted you have ceased to be a rational human being.

And I have ceased to care what you think, as you offer nothing but white noise, buzzwords, lunacy and racism. You are not rational, your politics are based in fear and hatred of anything not like you, and it’s tiresome.

Sweet merciful Jesus, when *aren’t* Media Matters and MSNBC calling conservatives racist?

The strip parodies Michelle Obama’s tendency to scold and nag people for what they eat while partaking in the fattiest foods she can get her grubby little fingers on. Also, Obama’s huge ears.

If Robot 6 can’t wrap its mind around this and cries because someone else does not share there love for Dear Leader, perhaps Robot 6 needs to stay out of political commentary entirely.

However, if Robot 6 should continue, a bit of advice. If you wish to be taken serisouly in political matters, never link to Media Matters or Lawrence O’Donnell. Ever.

By the by, did Robot 6 ever point out how editors like Tom Brevoort and Scott Allie were beclowning themselves on Twitter after the shooting of that Arizona representative by accusing Sarah Palin of being involved?

If you’re writing about a controversy, which this is, or an argument, which this also is, you should probably link to the opposing sides, which this article does. That they’re linking to MediaMatters and an MSNBC anchor shouldn’t matter when Robot6 is not making any claims of factuality. They’re just saying, here’s what other people have to say.

Mark Waid expresses my sentiments pretty well: https://twitter.com/#!/MarkWaid/status/38008735938904064

Other than the big ears, I’m not sure what could be racist about it, and frankly, Obama does have big ears. I guess there’s a racial caricature of fat, obnoxious, black lady you could say they are using to depict Michelle. Of course, she’s not fat…

I haven’t followed Michelle Obama’s obesity campaigning, but it’s entirely possible to eat cheeseburgers and not be fat/a hypocrite. Part of any healthy diet is exercising and nutritional budgeting. As long as you do it in moderation, what’s the harm? (Hint: nothing)

“If you wish to be taken serisouly in political matters, never link to Media Matters or Lawrence O’Donnell. Ever.”

Yes, stick to such trusted sources as Fox News and maybe, the Media Research Center. Fair and balanced, right?

Oh,please this is typical right-wing B.S. trying to pass itself off as humor.
As far as conservative bashing goes,well they are racist,they haven’t had any new ideas(and the ideas they have had have been thoroughly discredited by history),so they richly deserve contempt and bashing.
Shrub was never President.He seized power with an anti-Constitutional coup aided by a Supreme Court that decided that the people couldn’t be trusted to choose their leader.
The right has decided that since they lost the election,since their(discredited )ideas were rejected by the voters who finally saw through their lies that the only thing the to do is lie some more and stir up racial hatred and division and discord.
If the Obamas were white you wouldn’t have half the animosity displayed towards them that you see every day from the right.

Look at Aaron McGruder’s THE BOONDOCKS; Is McGruder racist for giving Huey a gigantic afro? I bet Lash chose to exaggerate Obama’s ears, because it’s not a feature that carries the racial overtones of lips or hair.

This strip might not be funny, but the comic he produces, Supernatural Law is. Go read his web comic at http://www.supernaturallaw.com and if you have a decent sense of humor you’ll laugh. Or you can check out every panel to try and UNEARTH MORE RACIST CARTOONS!!!!!

It’s not racist or funny.

@Haydon: Well, there might be just a slight difference between McGruder and Lash and Hudnall. McGruder is African-American. I don’t believe that either Lash or Hudnall is African-American (or African-anything).

“Is McGruder racist for giving Huey a gigantic afro?”

You think he gave Huey an afro simply because of the way it looked?

” when *aren’t* Media Matters and MSNBC calling conservatives racist?”

I should’ve answered this one the first time: When they aren’t being racist. I’m going to say it, most conservatives, people who at this point in time call themselves still conservatives, are racist. They are regressives who dream of a mythical pre-civil rights America, though that isn’t what makes them racist, they’re racist because they have NO CLUE that pining for a mythical fifties or (in the case of Glenn Beck) pre-New Deal America, Pre-Union, Pre-Middle Class (Unions helped create the middle class in this country, before unions there was no middle class, there was the rich and the dirt poor) America is offensive to anyone whose family history involves extremely negative memories of those periods, mostly minorities, but also those of us whose families barely survived those years.

If it were not for Unions, ‘socialists’ and commies, I would not exist. My grandfather would never have gotten a decent union job in Detroit, he would never have gotten married, he would never have been able to afford to have all the kids he had (my mother the second youngest) and I would not be here were it for the Union movement conservatives so loathe.

Conservatives have no clue how many people in this country think their view of history is downright offensive. They the 20th century in America as a failure (Beck calls it a lie) and do not grasp that pre-Union America was as bad as any third world country for the majority of it’s people.

The progressive, union and Marxist movements you so loathe GAVE THIS COUNTRY the American Dream. If you deny this you are an ignorant fool. You have no clue about the history of this country and you should STFU and read a god damned book not written by a Fox News personality. Chances are YOUR life would be very different, if it existed at all, if it were not for Unions, and evil Marxists and Progressives.

But, y’know, go about your blissfully stupid life watching Fox News and pining for an America that never was.

For those who don’t understand the racist overtones of the cartoon, please research the Sapphire charicature in American media. Suffice to say, the depiction of black women as obese, emasculating, bossy, and loud-mouthed has a long history in our country. It’s an insulting stereotype that’s been around for a long time and persists to this day. I don’t know if these cartoonists are racists, but with this cartoon they have demonstrated their willingness to play to an audience that likes to see these hateful, racist stereotypes reinforced.

Francisco J Tamayo

February 17, 2011 at 6:08 am

PROGRESSIVES UNITED.ORG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thats funny…. and some of the caricature come from real aspects of Michelle’s known personality..
And every President gets make run of…but whine about it if you want too

In the future, everyone will be a racist for fifteen minutes.

JK: Thanks for addressing this issue evenly-handedly. As Will pointed out earlier in this thread, I hope you’ll keep talking about it too! Wayne

funkygreenjerusalem

February 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm

The strip parodies Michelle Obama’s tendency to scold and nag people for what they eat while partaking in the fattiest foods she can get her grubby little fingers on. Also, Obama’s huge ears.

Does she eat the fattiest foods available?
As she’s not fat, clearly she’s eating responsibly – it’s all about the amount of fats you eat, after all.

Also, they aren’t parodying Obama’s big ears – he’s just drawn with massive ears.
That’s not really parody – what’s it actually saying?
As I said before, Nixon was drawn to look like a crook as that’s how he was perceived, Carter had a toothy grin, because really, a smile was ll he had, Clinton was drawn to look super slick because he was slick willie, and Bush had beady as he wasn’t seen to have much going on.
What’s the parody in Obama having ginormous ears?
It’s not even good caricature as they look separate from the rest of him – smaller ears on him, than currently drawn, would actually have been funnier.

If Robot 6 can’t wrap its mind around this and cries because someone else does not share there love for Dear Leader, perhaps Robot 6 needs to stay out of political commentary entirely.

Ummm…. I think you’re the one who can’t wrap your head around this, actually.

Robot 6 isn’t doing political commentary – the piece is totally free from commentary.
What they are doing, is presenting the news story (as it involves comics).
They are reporting, not commentating.
That’s why there is no opinion from the writer, or editorializing, just what happened, what both sides have said, and links to everyone’s pages.

If you’re seeing a political bias in this article – not the comments, the article – then there’s no hope.

By the by, did Robot 6 ever point out how editors like Tom Brevoort and Scott Allie were beclowning themselves on Twitter after the shooting of that Arizona representative by accusing Sarah Palin of being involved?

Where’s the actual angle that ties it to comics?
Directly to comics, that is.
The online retailer who said such comments was a story because creators began asking him to stop stocking their works.
Tom B and Scott Allie making political comments on twitter, with no fall out, isn’t really a story for a comics blog.
If they’d done it in a comic, or if a writer had left their companies because of it, it would have been a story.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Suffice to say, the depiction of black women as obese, emasculating, bossy, and loud-mouthed has a long history in our country. It’s an insulting stereotype that’s been around for a long time and persists to this day.

This where I’ll probably cross a line and end up insulting someone accidentally, but – Are you serious?

Her being fat is relating directly to the comment on food, her being bossy relates to telling others what to do with their lives.
I disagree with the thinking behind the strip – both politically, and as a parody – but it’s not being racist.

At this point, I’ve heard damn near every portrayal of people from every race in the world called stereotypical and racist – sometimes it is, but often it isn’t.
Just because something is a stereotype, that doesn’t mean it’s the reason a person has put it in their work.

Apparently African Americans not being able to swim is a stereotype – was news to me – but that doesn’t mean it’s the reason Johns attributed that to the new Aqua Lad.

I despise politics, extremism, and apple pie, but i loathe aholes that throw around the racist card so freely.

Did John Gray actually have a point about the comic or did he just post so he could get that rant in there?

That and I’ve learned that all conservatives are racist and are exactly the same in every single way. ALL OF THEM!!!!! They all watch the same tv shows, hate all of the same things, oh yeah, and are RACIST!! ALL OF THEM!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is always an idiot with a pencil who thinks something like this is funny. Can’t believe there was no watermellon or fried chicken involved.

There is no racism on the right like the Southern Strategy. It never existed. And the Tea Party would have magically appeared even if Obama was white.

How do you all like 0bama NOW…LOL.

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