This Week’s Cartoon: “Backyard Blitz”

I hate leaf blowers. I think I might hate them even more than Hummers. At least Hummers don’t shriek with the wail of a thousand banshees. It always strikes me as deeply oxymoronic that people are fastidious about making their lawns look perfect, yet they give not one damn about the noise pollution that turns neighborhoods into deafening hells on earth. Not to mention the use of a stinking combustion engine to do light work at a time when it’s abundantly clear that that’s stupid. To quote the late actor Peter Graves, Mission: Impossible star and anti-leaf blower activist, “We are all victims of these machines.”

(And yes, I empathize with the low-wage yard workers who find them useful, but you gotta draw the line somewhere.)

Culturally-keen readers will recognize the title of the strip as reference to this song:

It’s, it’s… the BACKYARD BLITZ!


  • Michael Welle

    Good comic. It made me smile. But, I want to read more about how you feel about the oil spill.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Thanks, Michael. I’ve actually found it hard to say anything unique about the oil spill; some things are just so tragic, they’re tough subjects for cartoons. At least, if you want to avoid cliches. But I may have more to say in the future if the oil continues to gush, as it seems it will.

  • Chris

    There’s a TV show in Australia with this name, where people have their backyards made over by a team of landscape gardeners. I prefer this version.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Chris: Wow, I had no idea! Glad to hear you prefer this one.

  • Tom Schmidt

    “Not to mention the use of a stinking combustion engine to do light work at a time when it’s abundantly clear that that’s stupid.”

    How dare you tell me I can’t use a gas-powered leaf blower in my own yard! What, do you hate America? Next thing you’ll be telling me I to sort my garbage or use canvas bags. Darn America-hating liberals.

  • Mike Kelly

    My neighbor does all his up keep on his home with mechanized equipment. Snow blower in the winter, power wash the house and the worst is the turbo powered lawn mower. How is it that just a regularly noisy mower is not good enough? Now you have supersonic noise machines to butcher those pesky blades of grass. I’m glad to see this is now recognized as a national issue due to your expose. Keep up the good work.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.