Tag Archives: creativity

The Pause That Refreshes

Stanko & Tibor - Pause From Reality


Contrary to what most of you think, I have not published anything in months because I was in “pause mode” – which sadly doesn’t mean vacation. I was working darn hard at my job. A job that has me traveling far more than I imagined. So the enforced pause from the world of cartooning, blogging, and as some call it “spewing out crap onto the Internet” has slowed my output of witty observations, crooked drawings and sometimes hurtful commentary.

Did the pause refresh me, recharge my will to cartoon and blog? Did this enforced creative hiatus do wonders for the material I have lined up for future episodes of this crudely crafted comic? Not really. I’m still sleepy and I have gained weight from eating hotel food and indulging in vats, heaps, bushels of chocolate when I was anywhere within spitting distance of a vending machine or airport lounge. But that isn’t such a bad thing because what I saw while traveling the globe, and stopping to eat chocolate bars, made me realize many things about humanity, inhumanity and chocolate.

Cheaper By The Billion

Like the absurdity of repeatedly cleaning the gunk out from between my toes –deemed by international podiatrists as a proper measure of good foot hygiene and a sign of latent pathological fetishes– I saw many absurdities in my most recent travels. Each time I was in a cab stopped at a light (rare in Mumbai – traffic rules are the mere notions of a fevered, frustrated motor vehicle bureaucrat), or driving on somewhere elevated to avoid a local flood due to the passing monsoon, or to swerve violently around a dead animal or injured beggar, I had time to pause and think about what passes for humanity.

One key theme repeated itself as I went east: Life is pretty cheap. That isn’t meant to say human life isn’t important in Asia. Not at all. It’s just as important there as it is here. Seeing how we treat each other, and more importantly, the declining quality of baked goods that use oils and carob to substitute for butter and chocolate, everything and everyone on this planet is a commodity, especially when you’ve got millions and billions of them (or it).

My theory of cheap life is economic in nature. With well over one billion people in India, and China having its 1.5 billion and another half a billion or so scattered in and around the region, when a monsoon, earth quake, volcanic eruption,  maniacal dictator or just a plain old, run-of-the-mill plague comes along, suddenly you’re down a million humans or so. No one bats an eyelash except maybe the media, unless it interferes with the cricket/soccer scores. Someone else will aways come along and fill in the void. When you pause for a moment, especially when you’re trapped in a taxi in a colossal traffic jam, the source of which is most likely someone being stupid enough to cross the road assuming drivers will actually stop, you realize that makes life pretty cheap.

Gay Marriage – The Pause That Refreshes

You know what isn’t cheap? Divorce. Once the Supreme Court of the USA decided to make same-sex marriage legal, that country had to take a pause. Some hugged, some recoiled, some wept, and some rejoiced. A small but I am sure influential group triple rejoiced: Divorce lawyers.

I bet divorce layers across the 50 states of the USA took a moment to reflect, to pause, to opine, to ruminate over the implication that gay marriage, now finally legal, would be the impetus for many costly, prolonged, anger-soaked legal proceedings that will fill the courts and subsequently the coffers of many in the family law community.  Many a golf club membership or over-priced Autobahn-cruising, German luxo-barges –mit Leder– will now be funded due to the legalization of gay marriage in the USA. What horrible sitcom will arise from this that we haven’t thought of yet?

In actuality, the moronic, semi-sentient, troglodytic judges of the Supreme Court got the decision all wrong. They shouldn’t have legalized gay marriage. Sheer and utter foolishness. They should have made marriage, civil, religious or underwater, altogether illegal. Gay or straight. Or hermaphrodite. Your sexual preference shouldn’t determine whether you can marry or not. Marriage should be outlawed. For several shallow yet meaningful reasons (so I can beat a dead horse while I wait for my coffee to steep in the French press).

  1. It would eviscerate the profession of divorce lawyering thus forcing them to get real jobs like a McDonald’s burger-flipper or Walmart greeter. They could be replaced by ice hockey referees who make split second decisions, and are unionized, wear helmets and have blades on their feet so they are less likely to allow fights to linger.
  2. It would virtually eliminate the so called profession of wedding planner. Has anyone ever met a wedding planner they liked? That didn’t overcharge them for something a software program or an iPad app could effectively do for a fraction of the price?
  3. When was the last time you were at a wedding where the wedding cake tasted half as good as it looked? Never, that’s when. Sure, the hors d’oeuvres are tasty, and if it’s an open bar, a wedding can be fun. But wedding cake? The gross overuse of “fondant”, the dearth of real cocoa in the chocolate icing, the millimeter-thin layer of marzipan between the layers of sponge cake. It’s a sham. The wedding cake is the the triple-decker tower of sugary false promise that inevitably is given to the janitor or taxi driver hanging around at the end of the night looking for freebies. Was there ever a greater confectionary deception than the wedding cake?

Conclusions and Naps

So what are you, the reader of this absurdist rant, this fantastical (hey, that rhymes with ‘testicle’) work of art going to take away from this instalment of the irregular periodical visually chronicling the foibles of humans, and its author/creator? Will you pause, for a moment, before hitting the delete key in anger, index finger cocked and ready, and think about what I have said here? Or will you take a vacation hoping that when you come back, I will have come up with something about the financial Greek tragedy that’s the subject for the next comic? Or will you take a nap and wake up refreshed?

Don’t bet on it.

May you never step in elephant droppings,
Mentally Malicious Mogul Druker of Maharashtra

The Constipated Constable

Stanko & Tibor - The Constipated Constable

While exercising today as part of my regime to better my physical self, I saw a person whose physical attractiveness (and subsequent chances of procreation) could only increase during a city-wide blackout in the dead of a summer heat wave where consumption of alcohol is deeply implicated. Of course that is hallow and mean, but I did say I was trying to better my physical self, not my cranial or spiritual self. That takes a great deal of effort. My thoughts then turned to how easy it is to be mean and selfish and believing it’s part of human nature, part of the survival instinct.

However, we as semi-humans have the capability to act on ideas, such as altruism and doing good for the sake of good (and most likely to alleviate the intense and disturbing guilt from years of debauchery and sleeping around). That takes so much effort. Then again, on the side of evil, so does revenge. That’s not something you do on the spur of the moment. It too takes planning, just with “getting even” as the underlying motive.

There is a saying that “revenge is a dish best served cold” – I disagree. I was always told that soup Vichyssoise is best served cold. Or is that Gazpacho? Either way, I can’t see revenge being worse than a soup served cold. And did you notice that when they say revenge should be served cold, there is no talk of an appetizer? A salad with heavy ranch dressing maybe? Or perhaps a dessert? Nope, not a word. Just a main course. Probably overcooked with little seasoning or old garlic. Like British food.

Now, I know some of you are thinking that my mention of the word “revenge” would set me off on a diatribe, when in reality I don’t need to be on a diatribe, I need to be on a diet.  I have eaten so many Pop Tarts of late, it’s a miracle I’m still alive. That’s not even counting the countless sliced and grilled meats I have ingested since the summer started. And let’s not even mention the apple cake that my aunt made with what I would conservatively estimate was 11 pounds of butter and 12 pounds of sugar. Oh my, it was good.

So there will be no talk of revenge, unless it has to do with my arteries – they will surely want vengeance on me, and may well take it at an in opportune time, for example, when I am going up the stairs with a glass of port wine and lots of clean laundry, or more likely when I am desperately trying to convince my wife that several days of facial hair growth is not a true deterrent to a romantic evening.

But I digress. Why? Largely because of the intense heat that we were suffering through last week. Which I guess you could probably call a form of natural revenge in that mother nature is making us suffer through something akin to a volcanic eruption mixed with a steam room at a men’s club filled with sweaty older Caucasian gentleman who have thick gold chains and enough body hair to make a winter coat resembling that of a chinchilla.

What does any of this have to do with the latest posting of Stanko and Tibor, the comedic oracle that was once described in a Biblical commentary as having been partially responsible for causing the great flood as well as several wars between the ancient Israelites and the Assyrians due to its questionable content and poor style and penmanship? Not that much actually. But the insanity of heat, the insanity of steam rooms, of war, of this weather we are going through all remind us that nothing really is that logical unless you want it to be logical so it fits into your universe and makes going to sleep a little bit easier. Or just get an air conditioner to cool off your place of residence so you can sleep much more easily. That is much simpler than reading this comic.

Swimmingly yours,
King Triton of the Mermaids and Mermen Druker


Dummies For Books


This episode of the comic that spawned the NSA’s covert domestic spying division is truly an indication of society’s ills. Not really, I just said that to get your attention.

It’s hard to imagine, but summertime is already here and the fish are jumping and the cotton is high. Is the living really easy? Well, it has been for a little while, and was indeed contemplative and full of grilling and sugary treats until last week when I had my annual checkup.

Like all men, you hit a certain age and the doctor has to have a look in places that are best left to dirty jokes at the happy hour for the annual gathering of colo-rectal surgeons. You can see where this is going. Partially because I was walking funny for a few days after the examination took place.

Although he did buy me dinner and flowers afterward, so I can’t say that it was a total loss.

But believe it or not, that poop-chute prostate prostrate taught me several things about life and its many mysteries:

  • I wouldn’t do well in a men’s prison (I’m not that good a dancer or boxer either)
  • After one of those events, who the hell needs coffee in the morning to wake up??!!
  • Why did human biology evolve to put such an important piece of anatomy in such a difficult to reach place? Probably because mother nature has a nasty sense of humor.
  • The manufacturing sector is obviously missing out an important resource for crushing rocks into pebbles, because in what seemed like the three or four hours it took to perform that exam, I tensed up and bit down on my teeth with enough force to shatter granite, diamonds, adamantium all encased in Roman cement.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, it’s what’s on the inside (and  to some degree outside if that person showers regularly) that counts.

OK, that last one may seem odd, but indeed it’s true. So much of what’s important to our physiognomy and psychology is hidden from view. How often have you seen someone and wondered what they were really like. I do that all the time, but that’s because I’m on vacation and have too much free time. But seriously, if the doctor doesn’t look at what’s under the hood once in a while, greater and more expensive maintenance is usually in the offing. So the innards count too.

And that applies to our psychological and personality traits too. Some may seem nice on the outside but aren’t, or the opposite, some may be gruff and angry (like dad when we serve him orange juice without pulp or a bagel that’s slightly too well toasted for his liking), but are sweet and generous if a little too loose with racial epithets. It’s the ones who are nice on the outside and inside that are true rarities, and sadly, the ones who are rotten both on the inside and outside (this last category of people doesn’t read my comic) really need to be sent to live on the moon, but technology hasn’t gotten us that far yet to make it affordable to do it against their will.

So look for important parts and goodness both inside and out, see what really counts, such as treating your family, friends and even your colleagues well, having good health, the ability to laugh, or not take your job too seriously. And if you can’t do any of that, I’ll reserve a place for you on the moon where you may wake up one day with an ether hangover.

Blood-bloodcurdlingly  honest and lovingly yours,

Jonathan Livingston Spiegel


Contest Winners Ahoy!


It is with massive fanfare, blaring trumpets, and great pleasure that I announce the winners of the Stanko & Tibor “Provide Me With A Caption So I Don’t Have To Think Of One” Contest.

But before I do, I want to thank the judges who worked so dutifully by my side throughout the intense and lengthy process of deliberation. Throughout difficult discussions, raised voices, pints of beer, fist-shaking arguments and the occasional nap, we stood as one and found our winners. Who were those handsome, powerful, deep-thinking, brilliant (and some would even venture to say sexy if the lighting was just right) judges?

Simple: Me, myself and I. When I asked for help, the response I got was “I’d rather personally spay my cat and then go for oral surgery than help you.” So it was just me, myself and I who took on the Herculean task of judging the qualified entries. (Now a number of you are thinking, “does he have multiple personalities? And should he be allowed out in public without a chaperone?” Honestly, if you haven’t figured that out by now, you don’t know me, or you really haven’t been paying attention. Not an uncommon occurrence.)

As I sifted through the thousands of submissions… Ok, hundreds. Ok, ok, tens. All right! It was less than 10. Where was I? Right, the submissions for the comic. Indeed I did have a good mental chew on these fine suggestions, and I came to the conclusion that the three in particular stood out, so here are the winners:

1st Place: Mr. E. Zeitz for his timely, politically inspired ” ..if only I hadn’t fired 47% of my crew…” Had it not been for Mr. Romney’s most talked about gaffe, Mr. Zeitz might still be in his basement pondering on a caption. Hailing from a small Mid-Western town, Mr. Zeitz’s day job as a carpet layer has exposed him to many industrial solvents and glues, thus freeing up his mind to explore the deepest reaches of absurdity. In fact, the slogan printed on the side of his truck “I can tear up or lay your carpet in under 15 minutes” has been quoted in numerous legal cases as being “offensive on so many levels” and led to a short stint in a Mexican jail. Congratulations Mr. Zeitz!

2nd Place: Ms. K. Sutton for her historical re-enactment theme “I’d rest my leg on the side of the boat like George Washington but this ain’t the Delaware and I don’t have any Jockeys under this raincoat.” Ms. Sutton’s extensive and some would say upsetting fascination with men’s underwear and historical figures gave this particular entry a flair that many soon won’t forget. Even with shock therapy. Ms. Sutton was also suffering from being sat next to a crying baby and a corpulent yodeler while in Coach on U.S. Airways, and then subsequent suffering from jet lag and a Halloween candy sugar shock overdose at the time just before this submission, so she can be excused for her irrational behavior.

3rd Place: Mrs. K. Nellen for her near Woody Allen-esque complaining rant “How long to I have to stand here in this ridiculous outfit, just to wait for someone to drop me a line? Just because the cartoonist extraordinaire is taking an extraordinaire break and can’t think of a proper line himself. I bet you it’s gonna rain soon.” After being released from the New Bedfordshire Home For the Criminally Insane largely on a legal technicality that the lawyers say you need to have a habeas corpus to prove it was she who whacked her three previous husbands, Mrs. Nellen sought to turn her unfulfilled penchant for baking and sewing into a comedic career by supplying punchlines and captions at discount prices. This led her to Canada, where she spends her time caring for two possibly demonically possessed children, a neurotic, mildly Napoleonic husband whose self control with regards to cookies has been described in medical journals as “off the charts”, as well as various and sundry guests from aboard who like to mooch.

So you three winners can claim your prize by going to http://www.cafepress.com/stankotibor, choosing the article you wish, clothing, water bottle, iPad case, towels, posters, you name it and then letting me know what you want and I will have your caption printed on said chosen item – and shipped to you, no less.

Thank you to the others who participated in the contest, and to those of you who didn’t – I’ve got you in my black book.

Forever yours,
Viceroy Druker of the Hills

Contest Ahoy! Creativity Required, Profanity Optional


Ahoy ye scurvy land-dwellers! Do I have an offer for you!

Having just recently completed this masterpiece of a drawing over the weekend, while I suffered mightily and stoically through what could be called the autumnal assault on my immune system, a.k.a. a nasty sinus cold, I decided within the last few strokes of the electronic stylus that you the reader should play a crucial part in completing this maritime-themed illustration.

In plain English, I want you to supply the dialogue that should appear in the drawing. I hear you asking yourselves, Why would I even waste a nano-second and several synaptic occurrences on helping this lazy good-for-nothing do his job?

Simple. There is a free t-shirt, sweat shirt, or bag, or some other swag in it for you. Whoever comes up with the winning dialogue will receive -free- an article from the Stanko & Tibor online store with this image and your carefully chosen words emblazoned on it. You can choose from clothing to iPad cases, to carrying devices. Or a water bottle if you’re so inclined or reclined.

I will list 1st, 2nd and 3rd places on the site, with your name, photo, date of birth, driver’s license and social security numbers, which I will then sell to unscrupulous types to help offset the cost of giving away these fine gifts. I’m kidding, I won’t sell it to anyone, I’ll just get a credit card in your name. There, you happy now?

All I ask in return for your time and effort for those lucky winners is that you actually wear the winning item in public, at least once, before you decide to polish your car with it or give it to the homeless. And maybe take a picture of it with you wearing it as proof you haven’t set the item on fire immediately.

The contest runs from today, October 4th until November 4th. A panel of extinguished judges will decide on who wins, and there are no appeals, unless bribe money is attached. Dollars, Euro, Yen, something like that, upwards of let’s say $50.

Good luck and may The Bard be with you.

Lord Hessian of the hound fondlers Druker