WHEN PENGUINS ATTACK! by Tom Tomorrow

WHEN PENGUINS ATTACK!

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tomorrow (real name: Dan Perkins) here collects two years’ worth of his syndicated strip, “This Modern World,” which he began back in 1987.

And it’s definitely more of the same: Tomorrow preaches to the left-liberal choir, with a visual style that at best resembles clever clip-art. His mostly four-frame, one-page cartoons are word-heavy, which isn’t surprising given his unsubtle politics and monotonous visual style. Many of these pieces cover the impeachment years of Bill Clinton, who’s barely distinguishable in Tomorrow’s deliberately generic graphics. No fan of the President, whom he faults for the bombings of Iraq, Tomorrow reserves most of his scorn for the vast right-wing conspiracy that tried to oust him: Trent Lott, Ken Starr, and Newt Gingrich all endure predictable attacks in Tomorrow’s bland manner. He also mocks the current mediacracy, and the breakdown between news and entertainment. Sam Donaldson, Maureen Dowd, “Politically Incorrect,” and Brill’s Content come in for some warranted criticism. The best pieces here focus on some less-noted events, such as a Coke-sponsored day at a Georgia high school. But Tomorrow simply mounts the soapbox for cartoons supporting gun control, universal health care, and the WTO protesters. His humorlessness reveals itself in attacks on the Farrelly brothers (of There’s Something About Mary fame) and South Park; meanwhile, the only visual joke of note of his own has George W. Bush morphing into Alfred E. Neumann.

Smug and stylistically inert. A little of Tomorrow (who at least admits he likes getting paid for being a “chronic complainer”) goes a long way.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-20974-6
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000




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