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CSotD: Friday Funnies

Here’s an unusual start: On the left is Jeff Stahler’s “Moderately Confused” for today, on the right is a picture he posted of the kitchen on a cruise he took recently.

A lot of cartoonists are also graphic designers or commercial artists, but a lot aren’t, and it’s worth pointing out that there is more than one skill set involved.

At which point I note that (shhh!) I never much liked Joan Baez because her lyrics and her voice didn’t match: The words would be some raggle-taggle folk song but her voice would be Lucia di Lammermoor.

I preferred Judy Collins, who could go from folk songs to show tunes and hit the proper style for each.

Stahler isn’t the only cartoonist who can turn to the easel and acquit himself well, but here he provides an example of why people with graphic chops view comics differently than the rest of us, and will go on about someone’s line in ways that, unless you really pay attention and want to learn, would fly over your head.

 

The much-missed Richard Thompson is one of the premiere examples of adaptability and of a deliberately chosen style. Cul de Sac had a scratchy look that appeared slap-dash until you really examined it, at which point, well, Richard could choose any damn style he wanted to, which is why his work inspired such awe in his colleagues.

I’ve long had a prejudice that, before you’re allowed to hurl paint at a canvas, you should be able to reproduce The Last Supper. I’ve come off that high horse a little, but I still think the best casual, breezy art is done by people with a grasp of the more formal stuff.

 

On to the funnies:

I usually hate re-purposed Christmas carols in cartoons, but Mike Baldwin cracked me up with this Cornered, in part because it actually scans (a rarity), but mostly because the cartoon is such a sad commentary on the times.

That question of “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” having been answered some time ago.

 

Meanwhile, Ben raises the question of whether anyone ever took mistletoe seriously, to which I can only say that, even back in days of yore, O Best Beloved, any guy who thought catching a girl under the mistletoe was open permission to kiss her was apt to learn otherwise.

It’s an excuse, as Liv suggests, not permission, and who better than a pair of Canadians to point out the fun of playful relationships, given that the CBC is pondering a ban on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

I read a very intelligent takedown of this ridiculous annual faux-controversy yesterday but can’t find it now and, besides, this column from Variety is far more humorous and trenchant and well-based from both a feminist and a song-writer’s position.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is the story of a woman doing battle — not with a guy who won’t take no for an answer, but with the expectations of a society that won’t take yes for an answer.

Chances to both laugh and learn come rarely enough — go have a look.

And, by the way, as the writer notes, it’s not a Christmas song anyway.

And neither are Jingle Bells or Winter Wonderland or — and do not click on this — Suzie Snowflake.

 

Juxtaposition of Social Justice

(Reality Check)

(Existential Comics)

Reality Check cracked me up the other day, but apparently the term “woke” went over the heads of a lot of readers.

Yes, it should be “awake,” but grammatical primitivism is (A) part of the fun and (B) how middleclass kids prove their underclass bona fides, much as we did in the 60s until we were told that some people really, really don’t like being referred to as “spades.”

Anyway, the word was the joke and it’s no worse than references to Roy Rogers or Howdy Doody. It’s just aimed at the other far-end of the population.

Meanwhile, over at Existential Comics, Karl Marx takes a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart and you should go read the rest.

You don’t have to be woke to get a good chuckle out of it, and maybe it helps if you aren’t.

If I ever write a film noir script, I’m gonna call it “The Woke Don’t Laugh.”

 

And on the topic of things not everyone finds hilarious, a long-term storyline in Alex is now at the court stages of Clive’s divorce, his S2BX having taken up with his boss.

As always in this strip, Britain’s strict financial compliance laws are in play, with the workaround on limits to business entertainment expenses now coming back to bite both men in the ass.

You don’t have to work in that tangled area to enjoy this, however. You only have to have been divorced, because even friendly divorces can, and often do, hit the reefs when it comes to money.

I knew a woman whose S2BX was secretly squirreling away money in a Swiss account, but there are less obvious tricks in the form of purported rather than reported income, for instance, having the company provide you a car to drive instead of a raise.

I’m probably enjoying this storyline far too much, but, after all, not only do I have a taste for gallows humor, but I’m 34 years out of my marriage and the ex and I are on good terms.

Plus, I’ve worked for guys like Cyrus and enjoy seeing him put on the spot.

 

Finally, Joy of Tech puts in a plug for social consciousness and paying for what you use.

Wikipedia is over the current drive, which means that they no longer have appeals popping up when you’re trying to find something, but there’s still a button on their splash page if you want to make an honest person of yourself.

And the point at the end is well-taken. If you’re a comics fan like me, you can’t possibly support all the Patreons out there, but that’s no excuse for sitting on your wallet entirely.

 

 

Community Comments

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#1 Denny Lien
December/7/2018
@ 8:53 am

Perhaps the rational “takedown” analysis of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” that you were trying to refind was this one, from Snopes (first appearing in their 18 December 2017 posts, but reprinted a couple of days ago)?

https://tinyurl.com/SnopesBaby

#2 Mike Peterson
December/7/2018
@ 9:15 am

I respect Snopes, but they do better on fact-checking than opinion-opinionating. Too much “on this hand, but on that hand” in their take.

I’m sticking with Variety and the feminist “get over yourself” take that has been running around social media — except when I look for it.

#3 Kip Williams
December/7/2018
@ 12:22 pm

You may be right about Baez, but I can’t hear her sing “Sweet Sir Galahad” without feeling it.

Say, did you ever hear Barbra Streisand’s classical album? She sings art songs “wrong,” but so sweetly.

#4 George Corbett
December/7/2018
@ 8:29 pm

Your comment about Joan Baez’s voice – that amazingly clear soprano – reminded me of Richard Dyer-Bennet, who had a similar quality tenor voice. He was at the opposite pole from Dave Van Ronk, but I really liked them both.

#5 Paul Berge
December/7/2018
@ 10:56 pm

Please no — not #MistleToo!

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