Lloyd Dangle’s book “Troubletown Told You So: Comics Could Have Saved Us From This Mess” is becoming the standard for every engaged liberal democrat’s library.
Dangle’s work as a cartoonist has been featured in magazines such as Mother Jones, The Nation, Utne Reader, Village Voice and Wired. And he’s the brains and pen behind the weekly comic strip “Troubletown” – http://www.troubletown.com , which runs in several alt-news weeklies across the country including Austin Chronicle, SF Bay Guardian, OC Weekly, Portland Mercury, Progressive Magazine and others.
Dangle spends most of his time holed up in is Oakland garage trying to help all of us keep our hopes “dangled” above what are indeed very perilous times in our nation’s history.
Alan Bisbort of the Hartford-Courant said of Lloyd’s latest book, “The premise (of the book) is that had we listened to Lloyd Dangle, toiling weekly in his Oakland hovel, we would not be in the mess we’re in now. Agreed. Dangle’s faux naïve style actually disguises a master at caricature…”
The cartoonist heralds from Michigan and drew cartoons for Michael Moore’s Michigan Voice, early on and Moore recounted in a previous interview, “Lloyd was an incredibly savvy kid who had a satirical eye for things. He would drive up to Flint from Ann Arbor and help us laying out the paper, designing it, and most of all drawing the cartoons. Troubletown grew out of our attitudes about what was happening not only in Flint at the time but the country in general.”
Since that early beginning Dangle’s never stopped cartooning his way through our nation’s missteps. He’s also been an activist for artists and rabid organizer for artist’s rights, and served as a past President of The Graphic Artists Guild.
When I talked with Dangle late last week he was juggling tons of ideas for a deadline and opining on Fred Thompson, the eerie similarity between Bush and Dean Martin, and his take on the current candidates in this long Presidential race.
Here is that interview:
Q. What’s happening in Troubletown these days?
Dangle: Too many choices as usual. Last month it was looking at what’s happening in the Supreme Court, the “gorgeous” Fred Thompson, Bush and Putin going at it. When Bush and Putin tangle it’s like a toy poodle facing a Rottweiller. You know, Putin can kill people with his bare hands and anyone that writes an unflattering article about him is risking being poisoned to death. I also like Fred Thompson entering the race, with the 2nd wife blond bombshell running as the family values candidate. The repubs think they got lucky with an actor once, so why not again?
And there’s always Lou Dobbs and his leprosy fear-mongering. Immigration is always a hot topic with elections coming up and Lou Dobbs is perpetuating this fear that we’re letting great numbers of lepers into the country. Definitely something funny there – Lou Dobbs and his fear of lepers…
Q. What do you think Bush is going to do when he leaves office?
Dangle: I think he's going to become character like a Dean Martin, a late night TV personality who comes on drunk, with a comedy shtick playing up his mangling words and playing the humorous drunken bum. It will become tiresome right away, but Bush will stay the course and always use the same lines.
Q. What about the candidates?
Dangle: There's a lot of 'em, what we lack in quality, we make up for in quantity. Mitt Romney is wonderfully plasticky. I'm fascinated by McCain because now when someone asks him a question where he has to go back and fully contradict what he said previously, his voice becomes very quiet and small. His voice lowers. The mush-mouth express!
Q. Any predictions?