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gross incompetence

Mike Pence: Terrible human being, worse cartoonist

Detail of one of Mike Pence's Law School Daze comics from the 1980s
Detail of one of Mike Pence’s Law School Daze comics from the 1980s. Yes, he misspelled “bummed.”

So our terrible Vice President Elect drew cartoons — terrible cartoons — back when he was in law school in the 80s. Esquire has posted a bunch of them, and holy crap they are bad. The art is sloppy and derivative and awful. The jokes, such as they are, are worse.

And seriously, it should be illegal to draw cartoon eyes like this:

penceeyes

Esquire discovered and posted the cartoons back in August. I can’t believe they didn’t get more attention at the time — I only just learned of them. Even setting aside his other failings, these cartoons really should disqualify Pence from holding any public office.

I mean, sure, I also drew some pretty dumb and possibly not-that-funny comics when I was in college. But trust me, they weren’t this annoying.

H/T — Scildfreja Unnýðnes, for bringing the Esquire piece to my attention.

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Nidi
Nidi
4 years ago

Maybe it’s just me being an artist, but I’m reticent to make fun of someone else’s 30 year-old work, even Pence’s. I’m pretty sure if he saw them today he’d admit they’re bad.

There are many other, more criticism-worthy things about the man.

If you want cartoons to mock for their political stances, look here:

http://agoodcartoon.tumblr.com/

Nequam
Nequam
4 years ago

Aren’t all college cartoons generally inept, though? I saw some of the original college-era Doonesbury pieces and they were awful.

Shadowplay
Shadowplay
4 years ago

Still better than Reply All.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

I like to think I was a wittier cartoonist than Mike Pence when I was in high school (The Hair-Raising Adventures of Harriet).

But put the man’s lack of artistic talent (and his terrible, awful, horrible politics) to one side for the moment. He’s done something (relatively) good.

Unlike Donald Trump, Mike Pence has not gone ballistic over the Hamilton incident, in which he was booed by other theatergoers, and in which actor Brandon Victor Dixon addressed him with a polite, impassioned plea to uphold the rights of all Americans and to protect the planet:

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Pence said he “wasn’t offended” by Mr. Dixon’s message, nor by the boos he elicited from the audience when he walked into the theater with his nephew and daughter. “That’s what freedom sounds like,” he reportedly told his daughter.

Mike Pence, for the love of everything that is decent, keep Donald Trump’s twitchy finger away from the nuclear button!

This may mean you get no sleep for an unspecified number of years. Totally worth it. History will thank you — yada, yada, yada.

The new president will need a minder. And Melania can’t do everything!

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

Those cartoons might be the best thing he’s ever done. That’s pretty sad…

Lordsouth
Lordsouth
4 years ago

I really can’t tell if this is a joke article or not. Are we going to seriously insult a guy over some cartoons he drew 30 years ago? That’s really petty.

Bina
4 years ago

Oh gawd, his spelling. Bumb and bumber…

Hambeast (fan of diversity)
Hambeast (fan of diversity)
4 years ago

I didn’t get any of them. I figure that’s because I’ve never been a law student, though.

authorialAlchemy
authorialAlchemy
4 years ago

Those are spectacularly unfunny. Maybe it’s because I’m not a law student, but jeez…

Handsome "Punkle Stan" Jack

I really can’t tell if this is a joke article or not. Are we going to seriously insult a guy over some cartoons he drew 30 years ago? That’s really petty.

Agreed.

I mean, looking back at the cartoons I did thirty years ago, they don’t exist because I wasn’t alive then, but they’d suck nonetheless. Art and humor are skills and everyone sucks at them when they start, and there’s no shame in that.

But Pence probably shouldn’t quit his day job, though…no…no, wait. He should quit his day job. But you know what I mean.

Fallout Troy
4 years ago

On the bright side, looking at these I feel a lot better about my shitty high school cartoons.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

Only marginally better than Big Bang Theory. 1/10

When I was in high school I used to draw comic strips called “The Man”. It was about a nameless man whose body parts fell off one by one, in somewhat creative ways, accompanied by a haiku describing the process. Damn, I used to be a fucking genious. What happened?

Snowberry
Snowberry
4 years ago

I’m not going to attack him over the art. That’s unbelievably petty. Not everyone is a good artist, and even a good artist’s first works are usually kind of crappy.

But the jokes… yeah. I was a law student (though admittedly I ended up not going into law), and they’re not at all funny. Some of them are just sad. So people who wonder if it might be because you haven’t studied law, it’s not just you.

JSun
JSun
4 years ago

I’m… seriously disappointed in this. I mean sure you’re all “I drew bad ones too” but then you go for the “they weren’t this bad”

This is just a petty attack about old af artwork. Come on, can’t you find anything else to make fun of Pence for?
If not, don’t stoop to petty attacks on artwork that’s ninety times older than most neo-nazi’s attention spans.

Makroth - Agent of the Great Degeneracy
Makroth - Agent of the Great Degeneracy
4 years ago

Well… they’re better than his political career.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Snowberry

I’m not going to attack him over the art. That’s unbelievably petty. […] But the jokes […] they’re not at all funny. Some of them are just sad.

I knew you’d break that promise! :p

Seriously, I don’t know why people on a blog dedicated to mocking assholes would draw the line at snickering at their pathetic attempts at cartoon comedy. It seems pretty harmless to me. I’d be surprised if even Pence himself would care that his old law school drawings are being ridiculed. I just find it hilarious that even the least funny person in the universe at one point thought he could be funny. This just proves that humans suck at self awareness.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@JSun

Come on, can’t you find anything else to make fun of Pence for?

I’m pretty sure we’ve made fun of Pence for plenty of other things. Doesn’t make his cartoons any less cringy.

JSun
JSun
4 years ago

@Imaginary Petal
Then find something else.
I’m seriously disappointed in this.

It’s not even a proper dressing down like I’ve come to expect from this site. It’s just a petty “hey look at how bad you were! It just goes to show you were bad! hahahahaha”.

This is the same kind of argument schoolyard bullies use to attack their victims. It’s not something that I’ve come to expect of this blog.

dlouwe
dlouwe
4 years ago

@Kat

At this point I’m basically expecting Pence et al to keep Trump afloat for just past half of his first term while playing the “straight man”, then figure out a way to get Trump impeached so that Pence can run out the rest of that term “fixing” things then have a shot at running for two more terms. Pretty much any measure of competence and reasonableness from Pence will look like a godsend compared to the Trumptown Circus.

Like, look how we are now praising the soon-to-be Vice President for not throwing a hissy fit in the face of vocal opposition. Trump isn’t just moving the Overton Window, he’s setting the bar for acceptable behavior directly on the floor, so that anyone who doesn’t literally dig down underneath it seems worthy of congratulations.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

From the image

I dunno….. I guess I miss the abuse we used to get

MRA ellipsis sighted!

re: Whether it’s fair to mock his artwork,

Dude’s horrible. Like, he goes out of his way to hurt people who aren’t hurting anyone, and who are already suffering. Picks on the meek and defenseless because they don’t live in the way he approves of. I’m as happy to call him a third-rate hack cartoonist as I am to call Hitler a derivative, uninspired postcard painter. He’s earned my ire, and I see no reason to treat him with a drop of consideration until he makes amends.

Paradoxical Intention - Resident Cheeseburger Slut

Yeah, as an artist myself, I’m willing to make fun of Pence’s work. I’m especially willing to make fun of my own work.

I feel like it’s not okay to mock others unless I’m willing to mock myself, but I’m also willing to be kinder to people who don’t think I should be electrocuted until I say I only like penises and I’m strictly female.

So, yeah. No mercy here.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@JSun

Then find something else.

We already did. And now we’re doing this. Are you listening?

dlouwe
dlouwe
4 years ago

This is the same kind of argument schoolyard bullies use to attack their victims.

Context is important: we’re not the big kid here. He is literally the Vice President of the United States, and he has both the motive and power to directly cause harm to many of the people who comment here. It might not be a thoughtful criticism, but maybe for some it’s cathartic? It might be a bit mean spirited, but you don’t have to participate, and it’s nowhere near punching down.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

Fucking hell. The guy is literally trying to kill LGBT people, and we’re eternally wringing our hands over giggling at some fucking drawing he made once. Is this real life?

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@JSun
Nobody’s making fun of his appearance, his ethnicity, his orientation, his gender, a disability or ailment, or anything else that’s innate. Nor is Mike Pence a child. Nor was there any sorta fuss about any other asshole’s artistic endeavors. Given that, you’re complaint boils down to tone argument. And an odd one at that. Let this one go…

Zatar
Zatar
4 years ago

Don’t we usually mock the MRA memes and comics for there artistic quality as well as what there actually saying anyway? I don’t see this as that different other then the fact that the MRA’s haven’t usually moved on to other much more endeavours afterwords. He’s the vice president of a nation, I’m sure he can handle his old art being mocked. (Not that he deserves the consideration.)

Snowberry
Snowberry
4 years ago

@Imaginary Petal:

I knew you’d break that promise! :p

I don’t get it. Are you saying that the jokes are the art?

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Snowberry

They’re certainly part of the art.

EDIT: But if you want to separate the jokes from the drawings, why do you think it’s okay to mock the jokes but not the drawings? What’s the logic there?

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

Eh, thoses comics prove one thing : he already was a shitty individuals when he wrote them.

I agree people can evolve past their teenager self. I don’t think Pence have.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Fucking hell. The guy is literally trying to kill LGBT people, and we’re eternally wringing our hands over giggling at some fucking drawing he made once. Is this real life?

Right? Have a little perspective here!

Upon reading Jsun’s concern trolling or whatever that was, my first reaction was

http://24.media.tumblr.com/59524a39558c9a256ed46761a994e5de/tumblr_n46ptqWvx81ruvimvo1_250.gif

Viscaria
Viscaria
4 years ago

I’m not overly concerned about Mike “I’m a Living Pile of Bigoted Crap” Pence’s feelings :D. I take issue with insults for odious people that reinforce structural inequality (eg transmisogynistic insults for Anne Coulter) but bad cartoonists are not oppressed on that basis. Also, if you’re going to have a cartoon, it’s reasonable for others to critique it on the grounds of quality.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Viscaria

if you’re going to have a cartoon, it’s reasonable for others to critique it on the grounds of quality.

^This is what I was thinking as well. Any other cartoon, we expect people to praise or criticize or mock based on its quality. But cartoons made by murderous fascists shall never be criticized, because bigoted manbabies need to be treated with kid gloves at all times, apparently.

peep
peep
4 years ago

I hope Mike Pence held a funeral for his aborted comics career.

joekster (Bearded Beta)
joekster (Bearded Beta)
4 years ago

For the record, I found the one about medical students practicing surgery in the law school library mildly amusing.

If we’d had a law school attached to my medical school, we’d have definitely done that.

Probably why the law school was at the other end of the state 😉

The rest of them: huh?

As to if it’s appropriate to mock Pence’s old cartoons: why not? They’re a reflection of how Pence thought when he was a law student. Not a child or a teenager (although one could be forgiven for thinking so given the quality of the artwork), but a flippin law student. There is every reason to think that he should have known better.

Buttercup Q. Skullpant
Buttercup Q. Skullpant
4 years ago

I, for one, am grateful that Mike Pence went into politics and spared the world another “Mallard Fillmore”.

Zatar
Zatar
4 years ago

I’ll admit that I found the one about the student who wants the teachers to belittle and verbally abuse him mildly amusing, but mostly because as the article points out its not that different from his current relationship with Trump.

Snowberry
Snowberry
4 years ago

I think it’s okay to mock the art when it muddles the message, is an incoherent mess, or the over-all composition (colors, placement, etc.) makes it a horrific eyesore. None of those apply. This is just the ordinary badness of an unpolished artist, and I don’t feel very comfortable mocking that.

Now if there’s nothing technically really wrong with the art aside from maybe the drawing quality (example: happy merchant) then it’s probably okay to mock the art’s implied message rather than the art itself. …I know, that might be too fine or subtle a distinction, but that’s where I draw the line. And in this case, the art doesn’t even have an implied message. Unless the message is supposed to be that law students look like badly-drawn cartoons, which I seriously doubt.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

It’s just incredibly bland and pointless. Just like Pence in general.

D. D. Webb
4 years ago

Honestly I found this rather disappointing. It’s a low blow, sure, but aimed at someone like Pence I’m willing to assume some low blows are called for. But mocking his college newspaper art really doesn’t serve any purpose. When you have a platform as visible as this blog, descending to this kind of pettiness is just giving ammunition to those who would discredit your message.

I know Pence has said (and done) plenty that urgently needs to be criticized. Can we focus on that, please?

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

A few articles that look promising:

Kris Kobach accidentally leaked Homeland Security plans during a photo op

After months of preaching the importance of privacy and security, Trump team already leaking transition plans

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/21/kris-kobach-accidentally-leaked-homeland-security-plans-during-a-photo-op/

FEC goes after Donald Trump for more than 1,000 violations of campaign finance laws

The Federal Election Commission says Trump accepted $1.3 million in contributions that were over the legal limit

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/21/fec-goes-after-donald-trump-for-more-than-1000-violations-of-campaign-finance-laws/

Donald Trump is very popular right now: Nearly half of Americans like him

Before entering office, the president-elect is at a 46 percent approval rating — the lowest in recent history

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/21/donald-trump-is-the-most-popular-hes-ever-been-nearly-half-of-americans-like-him/

Zatar
Zatar
4 years ago

D. D. Webb: This blog generally mocks its subjects I don’t really see this as being too different? WHTM will of course make many more artcles on Pence in the years to come but this has always been a blog about mocking misogyny not engaging it in a civil debate. I don’t really see how this could be used against the blog anymore then any other joke the blog has made would discredit it.

Viscaria
Viscaria
4 years ago

@D. D. Webb

When you have a platform as visible as this blog, descending to this kind of pettiness is just giving ammunition to those who would discredit your message.

Well… alright. The blog will still be here tomorrow. Maybe there will be a new entry that’s more to your taste.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@D.D. Webb

I know Pence has said (and done) plenty that urgently needs to be criticized. Can we focus on that, please?

We have, and we will again in the future. What’s so hard to understand?

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
4 years ago

When I was in high school I used to draw comic strips called “The Man”. It was about a nameless man whose body parts fell off one by one, in somewhat creative ways, accompanied by a haiku describing the process.

This sounds positively brilliant and something I’d totally read.

Robert Walker-Smith
Robert Walker-Smith
4 years ago

The thing about Pence that disturbs me is the way standing next to Trump makes Pence appear to be a decent human being. I know it’s an optical illusion. ‘Not as bad as Trump’ is a low bar, but still too high for him.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

Okay, the guy saying “No” is traced from another old comic and it’s driving me up the wall that I can’t place which one. Argh.

(Also, apparently WordPress eats any posts that blockquote an image. That makes about as much sense as these cartoons.)

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
4 years ago

When you have a platform as visible as this blog, descending to this kind of pettiness is just giving ammunition to those who would discredit your message.

We mock misogyny.

Pence is a misogynist.

The end.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@PeeVee

It was basically like this:

The Man just lost an arm
ran while laughing brave and bold
tripped and fell apart

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

I know Pence has said (and done) plenty that urgently needs to be criticized. Can we focus on that, please?

Cadence.

http://img00.deviantart.net/1a3f/i/2012/111/4/7/cadence_is_singing_with_fluttershy_by_sawyermoonkitty-d4x3ysi.jpg

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
4 years ago

IP,

Zombie limb loss meets Japanese poetry.

I like.