MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News

MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News

Barbara Carlson says she frequently hears a baying beagle in the middle of the night from her home along the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. In fact, the dog has been seen on her property.

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Isabella

Isabella

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Winning caption appears below

Winning caption appears below

"Throw me a rope!"

"We can't, we're already using it to pull up Senator Stevens."

The Kasilof Krusher, SANDY MATTHEWS comes back with a vengeance. Here she adroitly widens the focus to the bigger context of the great Alaska unraveling.

There is nothing like watching a train wreck from on board the train, but it helps when fellow passengers maintain the presence of mind to toss off a welcome bit of wit! Great having you aboard, Sandy, and thanks.

Back next Tuesday,

Pete

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After our makeover with Sarah, we head over to the McCain's for flying lessons.

After our makeover with Sarah, we head over to the McCain's for flying lessons.

This understated caption from MILT BRYNER Jr. lowers your guard through the whimsical approach of using a pig as the speaker. When the deluded swine gets to the part about flying, there is nice dramatic irony in his blithe acceptance of what we know is impossible. The result? A deeply sardonic caption leavened with a light touch that makes the whole production sing.

As a side note, pigs are reputed to be smart. I'd venture to guess they have a higher IQ than many humans. The proof? Show me one pig who voted Murkowski for Governor.

Oink! Oink!

Pete

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Winning caption appears below

Winning caption appears below

Sarah Sarah let down your hair
That I might climb thy darkened stair,
There's no telling what I shall get
Too late now but next time I vet!

RICK RESNICK, of Anchorage took the top spot with his reworking of the famous Rapunzel refrain. His hilarious final line is simultaneously breezy and rueful, an odd but winning combination.

It just gets stranger and stranger out there. Remember when we wondered what we were going to do without Frank around anymore?

Not that I miss him....

See you next week.

Pete

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Chck out the winner below

Chck out the winner below

"And you may find yourself living in a Girdwood home.
And you may find yourself in the Baranof Hotel.
And you may find yourself warden of a prison in Barbados.
And you may find yourself under indictment for quid pro quos.

And the pork can buy/earmarks for political friends.
And the pork can buy/money for my campaign.
Into the jail again/after the money's gone.
Over a lifetime/money flowing all around.

And you may ask yourself
What is this beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? Am I wrong?
And you may tell yourself

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With photo radar, IM testing, and parking space boondoggles, transportation seems to be a roadblock to Begich's campaign.

With photo radar, IM testing, and parking space boondoggles, transportation seems to be a roadblock to Begich's campaign.

STEVE GRUHN put an interesting spin on this week's cartoon, turning it into a vehicle to drive home an observation about a curious consistency in the type of issue the normally adroit mayor seems to have difficulty navigating. Nice work, Steve.

We'll have a special edition of NTT running next week, the sequel to "Corrupt Bastards, the Musical". We'll have an extra-long submission time, so you can follow your inspiration as far as you like. I plan to put the drawing up tomorrow.

Looking forward to seeing the results,

Pete.

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Political Dinosaurs- Fuel of the future

Political Dinosaurs- Fuel of  the future

MARY MINOR delivers a lightning bolt from Fairbanks, visiting poetic justice on the corrupt bastards who did the illegal bidding of oil field services company VECO. In her caption, misbegotten allegiance to the energy industry transmutes the miscreants into fuel, a Dante-like logical fitting of the punishment to the crime.

Scary, Mary! But, like old age, Name That 'Toon is not for sissies.

Daring you all to turn up next Tuesday,

Pete

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With falling oil production, what will they do for an encore?

With falling oil production, what will they do for an encore?

Ok, STEVE GRUHN makes a good point here. Alaska is a one-trick pony, and that trick isn't going to last forever. But I say to Steve, dwelling in a hypothetical future that's full of sacrifice and pain, and making provisions to avoid it ain't Alaskan. Chicken Little is not the state bird, it's the mighty Willow Ptarmagin. "Be Prepared" is the boy Scout motto, not the Alaska State motto. Heck, with an extinct creature (The Wooly Mammoth) as our official state fossil, we actually celebrate failure here in the Great Land.

We're a carpe-diem-live-fast-die-young-make- a-pretty-corpse-state. With a trust fund. We're Paris Hilton in buckskin. We're a state of gamblers,and in our hearts we know the house always wins.

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"There's been a mistake. Only the leaves have been rustling."

"There's been a mistake. Only the leaves have been rustling."

The Soldotna Cowboy, Vern Nusunginya, wittily sent up Sen. Stevens denial that things are not what they seem in this case. Innocent until proven guilty, absolutely. We owe anyone that. And many argue that given his years of distinguished service to our state and country we owe him more.

But let's not forget that Alaskans gave him plenty as well, starting with our trust. We sent him back to Washington year after year, building the seniority that, along with his hard work and ability, made him one of the most powerful leaders in our nation. And even Scotty Gomez deferred to him as the most popular Alaskan here at home.

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Sarah, that is not a black eye and I will only hug myself!

Sarah, that is not a black eye and I will only hug myself!

BOB KINTZELE neatly wrapped up the Kopp quandary. This caption folds in Kopp's veracity problem, harassment history, and his bald-faced cluelessness. All of which emerged with astonishing speed and impact after the Governor's appointment.

Kintzele's casting of Kopp in the role of Scarecrow was inspired. Scarecrows are supposed to be frightening. In a good way. But Kopp's appointment was scary for the wrong reasons. Both the idea of this guy as the head person in charge of public safety, and the fact that he was able to slip his record through the vetting process are troubling.

Our normally deft Governor and her staff were so clumsy in this affair, it was a pleasure to see that at least one Alaskan could size up the situation and call it the way it was.

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$586,000...I spend more than that in 6 months on attorney fees!

$586,000...I spend more than that in 6 months on attorney fees!

THOM RICHARDS captured the pugnacity of our Don with a bit of bravado one could imagine the real Don coming up with himself. The caption illuminates the direness of the situation for the Congressman-For-All-Alaskans-Who-Are-My Constituents (TCFAAWAMC), who is playing desperate defense, attempting to turn a liability into a strenghth through the magic of trash talk.

A special citation to Mary Minor for her hilarious "Tuckus" line. If this were a Web-only contest, I likely would have awarded it first place But publishing it in the print edition raises questions for the paper. The problem here had several layers.

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Mothers train AFD responders in wooded rescue techniques

Mothers train AFD responders in wooded rescue techniques

What's the difference between a grizzly and a CLAYTON AWE caption? Rick Sinnott won't save you from Mr. Awe. Actually there are lots of other differences: A bear gets in your trash, Clayton gets in your face. If you survive a bear mauling, it makes a good story. If you survive a Clayton mauli... actually, nobody survives a Clayton attack. But at least you die laughing.

We here at the Alaska Division of Fun and Games will be back next week.

See you then,

Pete

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Taking on the Hulk would be a stretch for anyone.

Taking on the Hulk would be a stretch for anyone.

Cowboy (Vern Nusunginya) caption claims creative crown. Classic curt comment contents crazed cartoon creator, cremates competition. Condolences, cretins, convey caption congratulations Cowboyward; complaints: Cartoonist.

Ciao!

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Clean air? Clean water? Where do you think you live... Alaska?

Clean air? Clean water? Where do you think you live... Alaska?

Nothing fancy here, but MARY SOMMERS rams home a great irony with biting sarcasm. The proverbial two by four is part of the well-equipped cartoonist's tool kit. Mary wields it with force. A quick hand for Mary, lest she come after us!

I was surprised at how little response this subject provoked. Remind me next week to put a fish in the cartoon.

Over and out,

Pete

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OMG! I thought God was my copilot!

OMG! I thought God was my copilot!

It was murder narrowing down the field this go-round.
Maybe it's my macabre sense of humor, but there was definitely much guffawing in the judge's chamber as the quick and the dead were being sorted.

CAYTON AWE's caption stood out for the way it succinctly summarized the obliviousness of those of us so wrapped up in our gadgets that we lose touch wth our surroundings. His dramatic choice to zero in on the exact instant when the person stumbles out of the fog only to realize that time is up makes for a great frozen moment of irony.

Congrats to Clayton, and thanks to everyone else for all the laughs,

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Big oil hires Jack's giant in response to Alaska's new negotiator Friar Tuck of Locksley

Big oil hires Jack's giant in response to Alaska's new negotiator Friar Tuck of Locksley

Thom Richards manged to keep the theme and the imagery of this drawing together by identifying a great pick for the role of the giant. The word is that the giant came out of retirement specifically for this part as it was he first script he'd seen in 500 years in which the giant got to wear a nice Brooks Brothers suit instead of the usual leather and tights.
He's hoping to play against type by writing a happy ending for everyone but the special effects to pull that off in Alaska haven't been invented yet.

We'll be back next week, dress will be come as you are.

Pete

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I see a gas line if only you'll give me $500 million.

I see a gas line if only you'll give me $500 million.

Steve Gruhn captured the seance feel with his punchy reminder of what the stakes are. Unfortunately, our only other hope is seeing oil go to $600 a barrel, at which point we'll be carving into ANWR and anywhere else there is a hint of a rumor of a possibility of a chance there might be oil with the corkscrew attachments on our Swiss Army knives.

Not a pretty thought. So all of us Alaskans need to summon up our psychic energy and raise the spirit of gas line through our collective will. Uh, Frank, you're excused.

Thanks to all who contributed!

Pete

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I'd take you out right now but a mime is a terrible thing to waste.

I'd take you out right now but a mime is a terrible thing to waste.

Vern Nusunginya's caption nailed both Ted's permanent grumpiness and the eternal sunshine of Mark, the spotless mime. Ted's use of his temper as a tool is sent up beautifully, as is Mark's vow to out-Stevens the Senator in "Fighting tooth and nail " for our fair share in Washington. All tied together with an irresistible pun. Take a bow, Cowboy!

The beat, or the beatings, go on next Tuesday. See you then.

Pete

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*COUGH!* Do you have that in unleaded?.

*COUGH!* Do you have that in unleaded?.

LEO WASSILIE came up with a caption that works so well it's as if the drawing was made later, to fit the words. The combined image and caption create a highly efficient critique of the limitation of the proposed energy relief plan. If everything else functioned with as little wasted energy, we wouldn't be wondering where our next 100 watts are going to come from.

On to next week!

Pete

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