Slowpoke: America Gone Bonkers

Jen Sorensen is deeply concerned about the mismatch between the crazy behavior we’ve come to accept as normal and what America should stand for. She’s mad about the distractions government serves up in lieu of handling real problems. She’s disturbed by how odd our popular culture can be. So she draws cartoons, because making fun is her catharsis.

Slowpoke: America Gone Bonkers cover
America Gone Bonkers
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Her primary warning is that “fighting terrorism” should not be a blanket “get out of jail free” card. We need to examine the decisions that are being made under cover of the desire for security. That’s not her only topic, though — she’s also taking on the sheep-like following of “what’s hip”, the hypocrisy of the rich, the lack of sympathy and empathy for others, the ubiquitousness of marketing, an entitlement culture, and the failure of the media to cover stories of significance. She’s skilled at extrapolating trends into ideas that are completely outrageous but not that far removed from reality. They make the subtext prominent and thus ridiculous.

Sorensen’s recurring characters are back again, including Drooly Julie, who exists solely to ogle men. It’s refreshing to see such a blatant portrayal of unapologetic female sexuality. It’s rare to see female lust, let alone to have it caricatured in a meaningful yet funny way. Mr. Perkins, the man with a head that looks like a loaf of French bread, returns playing other roles, including the President.

Ultimately, her argument is against ignorance. There are too many stupid people out there paying attention to the surface instead of the content. She argues for basic values that our culture seems to have lost sight of, like honesty, tolerance, and respect for all others. Money shouldn’t be the only thing that matters.

Her previous collection was titled Café Pompous. Sample comic strips can be read online. There’s an interview with Sorensen online, and she’s also interviewed in the book Attitude: The New Subversive Political Cartoonists. Sorensen has contributed to the following anthologies: 9-11: Emergency Relief, Dignifying Science, and The Great Women Cartoonists, among others.

4 Responses to “Slowpoke: America Gone Bonkers”

  1. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] The first book is subtitled “The New Subversive Political Cartoonists”. Some of my favorite artists are covered, such as Tom Tomorrow, Ruben Bolling (Tom the Dancing Bug), and Jen Sorensen. Also included are Peter Kuper, Lloyd Dangle, Ward Sutton, Andy Singer, Scott Bateman, Don Asmussen, Derf, and ten more who tend to work in alternative newspapers and similar outlets (heavy on the West Coasters, but there are a handful of Midwesterners, Southerners, and New Yorkers included). […]

  2. SPX 2008 Graphic Novels: Slowpoke, Baby-Sitters Club 4, Soddyssey, Emiko Superstar, more » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] enjoyed the previous two Slowpoke books, both because of Sorensen’s pointed perspective on modern life and […]

  3. Radiator Days » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] influences. When she uses a brush, I’m reminded of Craig Thompson or Hope Larson. Pen? More Jen Sorensen. Occasionally a little Alison Bechdel. There’s probably many more I’m missing — […]

  4. Congratulations to Jen Sorensen, First Woman to Win Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Comix in 1998, so I’m thrilled for her. Her books include Slowpoke: One Nation, Oh My God!, Slowpoke: America Gone Bonkers, and Slowpoke: Café Pompous, all of which are still available. I hope there’s another one […]




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