Anne Belov paints, writes, makes prints, and is the founder of The Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire. You can find her paintings at the Rob Schouten Gallery and Fountainhead Gallery, her cartoons on The Panda Chronicles, and her new book here. She also writes regularly for The Whidbey Life Magazine, a free journal of art and culture on Whidbey Island. Her main regret in life is that there is no MacArthur Grant for Panda Satire.
I thought we’d start out with one of my favorite stories of the Meihems (which, of course, include Miss Pinky Panda!) Inspired by the real life drama that took place concerning a certain bridge between NJ and NY, and involves a certain governor…
WE call it: HIGHWAY GATE!!!
Oh that Pinky! (Plus you will notice how she managed to hijack this ‘toon series celebrating Meihem Month!)
Toon in this week to see if I actually get any new ‘toons done for this week!
My alert friends and readers are always making sure I’ve heard of all the stories of animals misbehaving around the world. These stories almost never disappoint, and this one is no exception!
A herd of about 15 asian elephants have been running amok in towns and farmlands in south Yunnan province, where most of the endangered elephants live. They don’t know why these elephants have gone on walk-about, and they are trying to find a suitable place for them to settle.
Of course, the intrepid roving reporter at ZooNooZ is on the scene!
We are in the midst of a heat wave here in the upper left coast! Temperatures in Seattle and Portlandia hit over 100, but here on a small island off in the Puget Sound, we have managed to stay below 100 (at 99) I hear there is not a fan to be found, or an air conditioner, so I am getting up close and personal with every ice pack in the freezer! Temperatures are predicted to drop over night, which will be a welcome relief!
Recently I’ve begun to invite friends of the Panda Chronicles to request specific encore presentations for my regular Sunday offering. This week, by request, I’m highlighting Bee the Bear!
I had to think for a minute about how Bee (the Bear) came into bee-ing! It all came rushing back, when I remembered that when I did my 2nd Kickstarter campaign to publish my first collection of ‘toons in printed form, a friendly bee-keeper here on Whidbey offered some local honey as an extra incentive to contribute to my campaign.
Of course I had to design a label!
Later I revised her a little bit:
When Mr. Wu came along, Bee (the Bear) appeared in many of Mr. Wu’s adventures, including the story when he ran off with the panda kindergarten and joined the circus, The Wizard of Wu, and It’s a Wunderful Life!
And while we’re on the subject, (what subject was that?) It’s almost birthday month for Mr. Wu, and the Meihem twins, so the Sundays of July will be filled with encore presentations with Mr. Wu and the Meihems! (Pinky Junior shares [NOT DAT WORDS!!!!] her birthday [July 29th] with The Wu Self!) The wizard of Wu always has an encore presentation in October and it’s a Wonderful Life, during the Christmas holiday season. I’ll reprise Mr. Wu’s entire circus adventure during his birthday month!
August, of course, will be full of the House of the Xiang-Tian clan! Definitely something to look forward to!
I hope you enjoyed this visit with Bee (the Bear)!
Who was it that said “everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. They’re not entitled to their own facts.”? Whoever said that, they got it totally right. Unfortunately there is still a large (too large) group of people who either believe the former guy is still “president” and a group that pretends to believe it because they think that stance will benefit them.
But Pinky is ALWAYS right, right?
There is no rest for those of us who would kind of like democracy to continue being the philosophy of this country. Not that we can’t be better at it, because we can and should be, but a one party authoritarian state would definitely not be an improvement!
It’s been a year, hasn’t it? And that doesn’t even include the previous 4 years as we descended into madness of the former guy’s reign of terror.
Fezbook likes to sideswipe you with memories from years past, and so my post about the passing of the real life Mehitabel popped up, from January of 2017. She put in her time and then some, living almost to her 21st birthday. She managed to avoid coyotes, owls, and raccoons that call my woodland their home.
I will miss you forever, my beautiful kitty girl.
During that month, as we anticipated the incoming former guy, with a lot of trepidation, we also experienced a day of solidarity and joy as all over the world we marched to say, we are watching you. Even my little town of Langley had a massive turnout, despite many people (4 bus loads if I remember correctly) headed into Seattle for an even bigger march.
In the final year of the former guy’s assault on democracy (is it the final year? Seems like he is still assaulting us;) we lost over 600,000 to a worldwide pandemic, which, among TFG’s many crimes, the crime of letting the pandemic run almost unopposed was one of his worst. So many families were torn apart as their loved ones died in hospitals, unable to be together or mourn their losses with family members.
The panda community lost one of our own, not to Covid, but to a bad heart, which is kind of ironic, since Jayelle had one of the biggest hearts I’ve come into contact with on these interwebs.
I made this series of ‘toons in her memory:
2020 did have one bright spot…well, at least two that I can think of. The first was our own little miracle cubby born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in DC, who just made his public debut about a month ago, and is already wowing the crowds.
And the real life Bao Bao (Princess Pinky to her Panda Chronicle fans)had a cubby in her new home in China. alas, as an inexperienced mom, they decided her cubby would do better with an adopted family with an experienced mom and a brother. Fortunately for us, they have their own panda cam, so we can watch her antics.
It left me with a dilemma, since I have chosen to keep Pinky a perpetual teenager, living at home with her family. Hey. It’s fiction. I can do anything I want. I mean Charlie Brown was six for like 75 years, okay?
But there is more than one way to..um… well, you know.
It’s been a very hard year for so many, and a hard lifetime for so many more. I’m not sure where we go from here when so many people are so insistent on denying the reality of the former guy’s loss. The events of January 6, 2021 weigh heavily on my brain. The centuries of racism and the continuing assaults on Black, Latin, and Asian people in this country hurt my very core. The GOP led states who are even now passing voter suppression bills to amplify the harms done, make me wonder if there is any hope for humanity.
Could we learn to be better people? It sure doesn’t seem like that’s the direction we’re headed in. I’m waiting for those who have the power to make laws, to practice justice, to do their jobs and use their power to help people and not just find ways to hold onto that power.
Sorry to be kind of down tonight.
Call your Congress folks, Get your vaccine, Work for social justice.