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Sidewalk Bubblegum, 9 years of Clay Butler cartoons


Sidewalk Bubblegum, 9 years of Clay Butler cartoons

When Clay Butler published his first cartoon in 1993, he promised himself that he would stop drawing as soon as he felt he had written and/or drawn everything he wanted to say. This is something many authors consider at some point.

And that day came in 2001, nine years after selling his first drawing, he left the “Sidewalk Bubblegum” series. He had nothing left to tell.

Clay Butler (53), born in Illinois, was then living in Santa Cruz, California. He published his cartoons every week in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the humorous newspaper “Funny Times” and “Hufvudstadsbladet“, the largest Swedish-language newspaper in Finland. He was also a contributor to the UK charity Comic Relief.

Clay Butler was described as such in the first volume of the collection (of 3) “Attitude: The New Subversive Political Cartoonists“, edited by Ted Rall in 2002:

“Vegetarian, atheist, socialist, anarchist, surfer and partner of a bisexual woman in a 13-year non-monogamous relationship”.

Extract from the book on Google Books.

After finishing “Sidewalk Bubblegum” he dedicated himself to other activities related to the internet, the audiovisual world, music, advertising and graphic design, in which he continues to work.

A bunch of cartoons

But Clay left an interesting website remembering his experience as a cartoonist in which he also uploaded a complete collection of the cartoons published between 1993 and 2001, which can be downloaded in PRC and print-quality PDF and can also be read online organised by category.

   Recopilation PDF (10,5 Mb) – Alternative download

  Book in PRC (14,3 Mb)


Many cartoons about human rights, war, police violence, racism, sexism, capitalism, workers’ rights, the environment and consumerism.

The author gives permission to publish samples of his work for non-commercial projects, such as digital artwork, video or a personal website. A link or a credit line is sufficient. So, thank you Clay.

It’s always curious to travel back a quarter of a century to discover that, in essence, not so much has changed.


What does this sound like to me? Ignorance is eternal.





Those who claim to be “self-made” and their false speeches.


Time passes and this scene is repeated in many parts of the world.


Twenty-two years have passed since this cartoon and it still looks very familiar to me. Only the objects have changed a little.



Two decades later this cartoon would become topical again thanks to the nonsense of Mark Zuckerberg, who was forced to rectify it, although it was not the first time that a historical or artistic photograph or even a classical painting had been censored by the useless moralists and idiots algorithms.


The title of this cartoon refers to a US army recruitment campaign that was very popular during the 1980s and 1990s.

With the slogan “Be all you can be”, the army greatly increased the number of new soldiers. Many advertisements from that campaign can be found on Youtube.



Twenty years is nothing, same sticks, same reactions.


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