antiquated topical whimsy

Atlas Nurtured a Coalition

17th Jul 2020, 7:53 AM in Mud Company
Atlas Nurtured a Coalition
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Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

skorpen 19th Jul 2020, 12:29 PM
Wow, this cartoon is ka-sploding.
Just a reminder, you can get inside info and other stuff on my Patreon.
Also I have some books for sale.
If you’d like to support the artist with a one-time contribution, Visit my Ko-fi.
Thanks everyone for the kind words and for sharing and just for reading! You are the best!!


Paztoid 17th Jul 2020, 8:01 AM
So true...but America is too broken for this to ever happen. All empires eventually collapse and that is what we're witnessing now. :/
Cenozar 18th Jul 2020, 10:37 PM
That's true, if the police were managed by the Federal Government. Thank God for subsidiary. Now vote for your mayor and sheriff who actually have the power to make the changes.
Drew 18th Jul 2020, 5:44 PM
In theory this would be great but you would have to take the load off them first and get those systems in place. Without putting those systems in place and demanding we go right to defunding the police is pretty much having this cartoon carrying all that weight and then swinging a bat at his knees and saying you don’t need that much support.
Dave 19th Jul 2020, 4:01 AM
You have identified the problem accurately. My question is, we already have most if not all of those other services but they do not seem to be effective. Will giving them more money really help much if they are not effective with the funds they have?
Ian D Osmond 19th Jul 2020, 6:03 AM
Will giving underfunded services who are desperately trying to do stuff but don't have the money to do the things they're tasked with doing make them more effective?

Yes. Yes it will.
GC 19th Jul 2020, 11:51 AM
"Sounds like too much work" is not an excuse honestly. It's actually just a matter of police loosening the reigns on non-violent "criminals" who have drug problems and such. We don't need to crowd our jails and prisons with people who committed non-violent (violent includes theft and the like btw) crimes.

The police need to stop assuming everyone's a criminal and trying to provoke people into doing something to get arrested. All they need to do is their job, which is to keep the peace, and arrest violent criminals, and we'll be on our way.
Justin H. 24th Jul 2020, 4:13 AM
Couldnt have said it better. Its innocent until Proven guilty. These "protectors of the peace" have gotten so corrupt/jaded that they break the law to make the law. The entire system is designed to trick people. These heroes pick the underprivileged, homeless, mentally ill, drug addicts and last but not least people of color just to throw them to the wolves aka criminal justice monopoly. We would honestly be better if we went back to rounding the villagers and handled crimes with pitchforks and torches ourselves.
chris-tar 28th Sep 2020, 10:42 PM
Even though I identify as conservative, I agree with you. Also, I fall under the definition of poor according to my income level, and in my experience, "poor people" are automatically seen as criminals. I also believe that many, but not all, police officers consider themselves to be mentally, physically, and even spiritually more "fit" than the average citizen who they look down upon with contempt.
Barry Comeau 29th Sep 2020, 1:28 AM
By federal metrics (2015-2019), US Households identified as being at or below poverty line is roughly 15%. This data may not include homeless without 'mail-able address', incarcerated, sheltered by other means, and some military personnel (I didn't dredge those numbers), so it's higher for sure.. Major changes in 'life-circumstances', divorce, job-loss, child birth or additional members added to household, displacement, ect. are overwhelmingly indicators of crossing this 'threshold'. See the Census Bureau data and Federal Poverty Guideline for a more accurate and timely measure.

With this metric of over 15% of the total current enumerated/extrapolated part of the data-set identified as "poor people" in mind; this population is subject to these sorts of stigma bearing labels and objectification.
The valid perception that those accused are vastly 'found' guilty (reflecting your words of "auto-matic criminal"), has much to do due with the accused lacking resources and usually knowledge of law to mount a proper defense, and ensure 'adequate representation' leading to a fair and just outcome.

From one angle, there simply isn't enough hours in the day to address and process all the accused that come before the 'court'. (This doesn't account for attempting to cover the often severely limited (read; many times inadequate) funding needs and disparities of Public Defenders or Legal Aid services either).
From another side (and not disregarding the difference in weight and 'credulity' of testimony given by the accused vs that of an affirming public servant), the 'system' takes a stance that if a case is presented, there is a bit of assumption that the 'facts of the matter' support, at least in part, that a crime (or some infraction) did occur, if no objection is raised otherwise. Why else would the matter be presented and subject to public record?

I not suggesting that charges are always correct or even carry appropriate burdens of proof, only that, why else is the court being bothered to expend public resources for that which could be dealt with by issuing a lesser citation, fine, or warning.

In summation; there are distinct and inherent power imbalances should a knowledgeable entity leverage them, which may place excessive burden on a less than willfully engaged proximal party by situation and/or circumstance. SEE: predisposed disposition and employer/employee relations and terms and conditions of remaining gainfully employed.
chris-tar 28th Sep 2020, 10:39 PM
Damn it Kyo, make a thumbs up button for this site already! I would definitely give this comment a thumb's up....
Scott Efenwealt Vaughan 18th Jul 2020, 6:26 PM
I posted a copy of this comic on my Facebook and at the time of this writing I realized it has been shared over 8000 times. I made sure to post a link to your original here. As a creator myself I didn’t mean to share your work without your authorization. I was just sharing what I thought was a very good explanation. But if you want me to take down the copy of it that’s on my Facebook please drop me an email at
skorpen 19th Jul 2020, 12:23 PM
Hi Scott, thanks so much for your consideration! I have no problem with you sharing, and I greatly appreciate you linking back to me. If I had any sense I would have embedded links in the image. This thing is really blowing up and I'm mostly just trying to internalize this unprecedented appreciation/attention after decades of making thanks again!
It is possible ❤️ 18th Jul 2020, 6:47 PM
Cenozar 18th Jul 2020, 10:36 PM
It could work if people actually played attention to their local elections.

But I dont understand why anyone thinks unitive cooperation will grow out of such a divicive slogan.

Why not something more positive like "Share the Load" or "Save the Police"
Cat 19th Jul 2020, 7:49 AM
I agree so much with the slogan thing. "Defund" makes it so easy to build up a straw man argument. I wish I could come up with something catchy but accurate, and it is too nuanced for that. Fortunately there are people better at creating slogans than I am -- now to see of someone does.
Colleen O'Mara 25th Jul 2020, 8:06 AM
just like this artist not expecting his cartoon to go viral, “defund the police” peeps had considered “”demilitarize” the police but it didn’t fit on cardboard sign!
pogokero 18th Jul 2020, 11:24 PM
Saw this on FB as a share from Scott Efenwealt Vaughan. This is excellent work.
Peter 19th Jul 2020, 4:50 AM
So which social agencies will stop drug dealing, theft, gang violence, and "every unexpected crisis"? You and the rest of the "defund the police" movement are so naive it is dangerous. Have any of you ever been robbed? A victim of sexual assault? A victim of domestic abuse? I have. And I would want the people who did that arrested and prosecuted. Which social agency would arrest those criminals? Violent criminals exist in the real world. And since this "defund the police" movement started as a result of George Floyd's death, explain to me how defunding the police would have prevented his death.
@Peter 19th Jul 2020, 5:01 AM
Did you even look at the comic? The police are still there. I feel like you're purposefully misunderstanding.
Piney56 19th Jul 2020, 2:14 PM
Yeah, but initially the load they were carrying involved things like domestic violence, gangs, and theft. They went away in the second picture, implying the police would no longer deal with those issues.
Credit 19th Jul 2020, 6:10 AM
Howdy! Want to post this to my social media but want to correctly credit you, do you have an IG or other way to denote that this is yours?
skorpen 19th Jul 2020, 12:26 PM
Hi! Thanks for reaching out! The best links to include would be my homepage and/or my Patreon
I appreciate it friend!!!
Brian 19th Jul 2020, 6:58 AM
Really appreciate this. Thank you.
Dom 19th Jul 2020, 7:26 AM
Any chance you could do a similar cartoon for our education system? Because Covid is about to kill teachers forced to babysit kids all over this country. Thanks!
Nonmouse 19th Jul 2020, 3:53 PM
I love this cartoon and the idea behind it. One bit of constructive criticism... or personal wishlist, whatever... would be to make the person hammering into Pres. Jimmy Carter...
Sapph 19th Jul 2020, 4:35 PM
Hey just wanted to let you know I've seen your comic around but there's a version out there with the "keep the peace" rock missing. Just thought I should let you know! (not sure what can be done about it) it was shared by a page called Gritty2020 on Facebook
Heathen Hoard 19th Jul 2020, 6:39 PM
Thanks for making this!
WalterAmos 20th Jul 2020, 8:33 AM
Do you have any sort of direct contribution link (such as a Gofundme)? This toon is the best illo of what “Defund” should mean and I intend to post it to a few friends’ comment feeds, and I’d like to shoot you a few bucks in appreciation, just not sure if I want to make it a monthly contribution.
skorpen 20th Jul 2020, 12:27 PM
Hi Walter! Thanks so much for your kind words and support! I just set up a Ko-fi, see the top comment for the link!
Kevin Hunter 20th Jul 2020, 9:52 AM
Excellent depiction of a thought
Susan Daily 22nd Jul 2020, 6:57 AM
Is it possible to review this critique and think of perhaps a Part II to the conversation of defunding the police?
skorpen 22nd Jul 2020, 7:21 AM
Hi Susan. Thanks for the link. The critique has some legitimate points that I agree with. As you suggest, one cartoon cannot possibly address this complex issue in its entirety. The best I can hope for is to get people thinking and talking about it.
Also, in a sense you're already looking at my Part II. Part I would be the strip on the previous page of this site.
Thanks again for participating!
Kyle5 29th Jul 2020, 10:09 PM
I will critique the critique.

The aim of this comic appears to try enlightening people who center "police keep the peace" in their refusal to discuss defunding.

Attempting to successfully help that group of people to discuss the topics covered, and not covered, by this comic requires meeting that group of people where their mindset currently starts and ends; police keep the peace.

Meeting that group of people where they are at; addressing their presented concern; means helping them feel comfortable with an idea very new and counter-intuitive to their current understanding.

Their attachment to, and belief in, their current understanding of "police keep peace" is deeply rooted with their feeling of safety and comfort in this world and in their neighborhood. How deeply rooted? Possibly in the neighborhood of religion.

Omitting police violence, racism, militarization from this comic, I think helps the entire defund cause, all topics of, rather than hurts, because the image is for people stuck at "police keep peace" whom are nowhere close to discussing the other topics, and are likely turned off from any discussion when those topics are mentioned.

If you say anything about "police are bad" to people who believe, almost like a religion, that "police keep the peace" and do no harm, or no harm worth mentioning beyond a few bad apples, than the discussion is probably over before it starts.

So don't ruin the discussion. Don't ruin the chance of helping that very large group of people to see and understand how defunding the police will help the police better keep the peace; which is true in every way; for all topics covered and not covered by the comic.

By accomplishing everything in this comic, we will, to a great degree, help accomplish the topics not mentioned by the comic; gaining more allies toward that goal by meeting defenders of "police keep the peace" where they are at, instead of trying to make them instantly be 100% where we want them to be; holding a BLM sign, etc.

Get them to first be okay with ways to help police better keep the peace. Let that sink in and be a comfortably accepted new logic. Then, if needed, you might be able to talk with them about how police can be better peace keepers. Then, you might be able to discuss if police are needed at all.

Although I said this next part in its own comment on here, I think including here and expanding upon may also be useful:

I wish "Living Wages" was included in this comic. Perhaps pointed to by the Jobs Placement arrow.

Around 50% or less of jobs in American pay a livable wage. That doesn't provide great reason for people to choose one or two poverty-wage jobs instead of crime to pay their bills and have a decent life.

Working one or two poverty-wage jobs probably increases mental illness and drug abuse, Rx or not. I don't mean 'drugs are bad' I mean using in unhealthy amounts.

^I wonder if including Living Wages is important enough to re-release this comic. I think having living wages is crucial to having success with all improvement topics presented in the comic.

If everyone has great education and universal healthcare but living wage jobs still aren't available, too many people are still stuck choosing between struggling with stressful poverty wages, depending on government assistance, having multiple jobs or using crime to pay bills and have a decent life.

Living wages = less boulders. Perhaps reducing the number of boulders more than any other improvement in the comic.

Or make a new comic showing the need for living wages. Including CEO to worker wage gap, productivity wage gap, wealth inequality, and how middle class workers should unite with poverty wage workers to demand upper class share more wealth. That unity of poverty and middle is important because middle class commonly believes bootstrap rhetoric; oblivious to how few living wage jobs there are; telling poverty wage workers to just work harder, get educated, make better choices... instead of telling the rich to be less greedy and pay everyone better.

Or both. I like both. "Living Wages!?" in a re-released copy of this comic; including the !? to express how living wages are needed and questionable in their existence; also creating intrigue for the later comic addressing the wage gaps and showing middle class who to fight against.
chris-tar 28th Sep 2020, 10:51 PM
I totally agree with your argument that "living wages" are desperately needed int this country. Another approach to the problem, would be to pass laws that lower the cost of living for all. Right now, the cost of housing is so ridiculously high, it is forcing millions of people to be homeless.
Some Guy that lives in SC 22nd Jul 2020, 7:55 AM
I just want to say that I appreciate you. I know that with how popular this comic is getting, you're sure to already have gotten lots of hate for it. I know you're probably used to it with the nature of your comics, but I'd like to offer a word of encouragement anyway.
Karen Donohoe 22nd Jul 2020, 12:19 PM
Someone enlighten Joe. He is not for defunding but is for reallocating funds, so he says. No one in his party is telling him that they believe these two phrases to be one and the same.Even though that is not necessarily what many believe it only to mean. Needs to be clearly determined what it will mean to each town/city. I enjoyed the cartoon.well done.
Latty Tude 22nd Jul 2020, 10:08 PM
We need to use the over $10 million per day we WASTE supporting apartheid in the Middle East.... and spend it here....
Carol Gibson 23rd Jul 2020, 9:29 PM
Just wanted to thank you for your visual explanation. I wish whoever came up with this had chosen a better word or phrase for this. Your portrayal, I hope, will help people understand.
Ki 26th Jul 2020, 1:20 PM
Hi I wanted to post your comment on my social media. Is that okay and if so how should I credit you? Thank you!!
skorpen 26th Jul 2020, 5:04 PM
Hi Ki! Feel free to post, and please include a link to this page, and/or and/or . Thanks!!
Doreen 28th Jul 2020, 2:57 PM
Thank you for illustrating a concept that a lot of people (myself included) have had trouble wrapping their head around. Many will not read long articles explaining the concept, but an image makes it easier to get the message across quickly! Thanks for your work!
Kyle 29th Jul 2020, 8:36 PM
Hi. I wish "Living Wages" was included. Perhaps pointed to by the Jobs Placement arrow.

Around 50% or less of jobs in American pay a livable wage. That doesn't provide great reason for people to choose one or two poverty-wage jobs instead of crime to pay their bills and have a decent life.

Working one or two poverty-wage jobs probably increases mental illness and drug abuse, Rx or not. I don't mean 'drugs are bad' I mean using in unhealthy amounts.
Barry Comeau 5th Aug 2020, 6:15 PM
For those pondering/considering the higher order of things, explore "Living Wages" as it relates to 'Diminishing Returns' and 'Work Out-Put' and economically; Income as a tool for 'Motivation'. You can't have more of nothing, but you can certainly increase Quality-of-Life with the vehicles of 'Sustainability', 'Efficiency', and basic access to "Life Supporting" and "Life Improving Services and Resources". These items can be Net Zero on balance sheets that typically don't attempt to measure such metrics, or relatively, to deduce if they even changed at all.
chris-tar 28th Sep 2020, 10:38 PM
Where in the world is a system like the one depicted in this comic actually working?
If you say something like "Canada", or any other country with universal health care, then, have you lived there? Can you say through personal experience what it is like?
It just seems to me like this utopian dream is a little far fetched and perhaps unobtainable....
chris-tar 28th Sep 2020, 11:01 PM
I don't know. On second thought, and after further analyzation of your illustration, I think I have to agree with you, it is ridiculous for any society to place the burden of so many its problems on a single organization like the police. Indeed, many of these issues could be handled by regular citizens on a local level. The problem is that people have to communicate with, and respect each other, before they can unify. If we were all united we would all be doing this naturally. The answer is love and compassion for our fellow man and woman. We have all been divided and conquered with identity politics.
J Morey 14th Mar 2021, 9:17 PM
I think the problem here is the idea that police are being portrayed as a cute dog that is tasked with "keeping the peace". Policing is an arm of state violence, and defunding is intended as a step towards abolition, not as a reform. We need to challenge the idea that police prevent crime and keep people safe, because in reality, their only purpose is to punish crime and protect state interests.
Sheherazahde 29th May 2022, 1:06 PM
I’m in favor of Housing First and Wet Housing.
Alcoholics get kicked out of housing if they drink. Wet Housing let’s them stay in supervised shelter while they still drink. It is controversial because people claim that letting them drink isn’t helping them. But it is better than letting them die in the street. And they actually drink less when they aren’t as miserable. And it costs less to keep them in housing with an on-site nurse than to put them in jail for vagrancy or send an ambulance to take them to the ER when they collapse on the street.
Atlas Nurtured Coalitio 21st Jul 2022, 11:47 AM
Hello, your work is awesome! I am a doctoral student and would like to use your photo in academic and community presentations. What you grant presentation.
skorpen 24th Jul 2022, 9:44 AM
Thanks for the kind words! I would like to discuss your proposal. Please email me at nskorpen-at-gmail-dot-com
Bryndís 16th Oct 2022, 2:26 PM
I so desperately want stickers with this image!
skorpen 26th Oct 2022, 1:22 PM
I'm glad you like it Bryndis! I don't have the whole image on a sticker, but I have the sign-holding panther character available on my Ko-fi page.
a sticker for myself? 5th Nov 2022, 11:39 PM
Love this piece- it's so succinct and accessible. I've been wanting something like this for years to help our family divide with in-laws up state, it would be perfect on the fridge for when they come over for the holidays.

I would imagine adding this to your shop as a vinyl sticker or a little print would sell. Have you considered selling these two panels as a sticker or is that a weird thing to do for a cartoonist?

Since you don't have this available, do you have any qualms with me making an adhesive backed sticker for my own personal use?

skorpen 9th Nov 2022, 10:14 AM
Thanks very much for the comments. I've always thought there was too much going on in this strip to put the whole thing on a print or other merch, but maybe that's not true. I will think about it. If you decide to print your own, please consider making a donation to my Ko-fi.. Best of luck with the in-laws!