obamafelix obamafelix
Cartoon Culture

Obama = Felix The Cat?

We try our best to keep politics out of Cartoon Brew, but an item reported this morning on The Huffington Post caught my eye, and I felt it should be noted here (heck, any time a classic cartoon character is compared to a current politician, I’m interested. Anyone remember when Bill Clinton compared himself to Baby Huey?).

Today, columnist Niall Ferguson of London’s Financial Times compared President Obama to Felix the Cat, saying that, like Obama, the cartoon cat was “black and lucky”. The lede of Ferguson’s column reads:

President Barack Obama reminds me of Felix the Cat. One of the best-loved cartoon characters of the 1920s, Felix was not only black. He was also very, very lucky. And that pretty much sums up the 44th president of the US as he takes a well-earned summer break after just over six months in the world’s biggest and toughest job.

Ferguson’s column was accompanied by a cartoon (above) and a caption which reads, “Felix the Cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat! Whenever he gets in a fix, he reaches into his bag of tricks!” See the original column here (site may require registration to read).

  • Jay Sabicer

    I guess that makes John McCain Badluck Schleprock: He’s white, from the Stone Age and whatever he touches crumbles to the ground, just ask Sarah! Wowzy wowzy woo woo!

  • Steve Gattuso

    Since the magic bag was more a trait of the Trans-Lux series, does this make Rush Limbaugh out as Rock Bottom?

    (I leave other character mappings to the rest of you…)

  • Fala

    The magic bag lyric is from 1959. “Felix Kept On Walking” is a vintage tune associated with the cat that arguably fits the situation better.

  • Mike

    Pepe le pew. he’s black and he’s white and he stinks

  • The more accurate description for Felix is that we was the only common sense character in a crazy mixed up society.

    Such is the case with Obama. He’s giving us a chance to save the world, but everyone wants to destroy it.

  • FP

    –Pepe le pew. he’s black and he’s white and he stinks–


  • Rob

    Seems like all of these comparisons are based on a bit of racism. He’s black and lucky? What the fuck???

  • joecab

    Mickey Mouse is black too. This thing is a bit of a stretch, and mixing up the two completely different eras of Felix ain’t helpin’.

    Also, Karl Rove = the Master Cylinder

  • Jonah Sidhom

    Rob: Look up racism in the dictionary.
    Saying someone is black isn’t racism.

  • Professor Widebottom

    In terms of contemporary political discourse, I’m still waiting to laugh so hard that my sides ache; my heart goes pitter-pat.

  • brendon

    Defining someone by their race is touchy at best, especially when you compare them to a character who was modeled after minstrels.

  • lol at the pepe comment!

    The bag of tricks metaphor works in that the current Keynsian economic policies equate to “magical thinking,” or in this case, wishful thinking. Unfortunately for all of us, the Keynsian bag of tricks is as empty as it has ever been.

  • All cartoonists are doomed to offend, unless we draw only motionless emotionless captionless stick figures. And then I’m sure, someone will have a problem with it.

  • I don’t get it.

  • creepy

    –Pepe le pew. he’s black and he’s white and he stinks–


  • Rick

    Based on the criteria for the comparison, wouldn’t Oswald the Lucky Rabbit be the better choice?

  • Jonah Sidhom

    Rick: That’s what I was thinking, but I’m pretty sure nobody knows who Oswald is except the sort that hang out on sites like this.

    so for the sake of people “getting” the comparison, Felix works better I think.

  • Choco

    Stupid little comparison need not garner anyone’s real attention…next!
    Oh and: Jay + 10

  • Patrick

    Lord, why would ANYONE compare himself to a giant infantile duck in diapers?

  • Chill

    Seems like there are more angry Republican animators on this site then I thought. It seem this post was for the good ole’ boys in animation.

  • Rob

    Jonah: I don’t need to look up racism in the dictionary to see that comparing a black man (who is not actually the color black) with a black cartoon (not an African American character) where that is the only connection between the two is racist. If you can’t make the connection without referring to a dictionary first I suggest you apply at university and take a course.

  • Whit

    The Huffington Post, eh?
    Tell me you received a link in an e-mail…please…

  • Dock Miles

    “Stupid little comparison need not garner anyone’s real attention”

    That seems about right, but it’s worth noting that repulsive, coded-language “humor” finally seems to be on its way out. Enough people understand that the controversial “Mouthpiece Theater” incident at the Washington Post was about the chance to call Hillary Clinton a “mad bitch” and nothing more. Comparing Obama to Felix in this way accomplishes nothing more than registering “OMG I still can’t believe the POTUS is black!”

  • Waitiminit:

    Was Felix the cat born in Kenya??

    *Ducks for cover*


  • D.S. Cohen

    How many political cartoons before Obama compared a president to a cartoon based primarily on the color of their skin?

    Niall Ferguson doesn’t see a president, he sees a black man, and that’s what he bases his distaste on. That is a big…racist…difference.

  • Matt

    “Pepe le pew. he’s black and he’s white and he stinks”


    The more accurate description for Felix is that we was the only common sense character in a crazy mixed up society.

    Such is the case with Obama. He’s giving us a chance to save the world, but everyone wants to destroy it.”

    Well put!

  • drmedula

    Hey, that’s right- Mickey Mouse IS black. So’s Goofy. Guess that leaves Donald as the “angry white guy who screams and blathers but never makes any sense”… wonder when he’ll be getting his own talk show?

  • Peter

    LOL @ drmedula