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CSotD: On the Eve of the Eve

Macanudo, because why not? Also because, if you want to read something cosmic into it, it’s there. And if you don’t, it’s not.

I don’t say that lightly. When I wrote about Leniers’ appearance at the combined CXC/AAEC convention this spring, I spoke about his puckish willingness to be silly one day and moderately profound the next, and how he laughed off the furious readers:

People will put up with a bad strip. They simply won’t read it. But if they don’t understand the strip, they will hate you!

Words to live by.

 

Or, at least, words by which to introduce today’s Rex Morgan, in which Terry Beatty pulls a leg or two while playing on one of the most sacred cliches in all of Comicstripiana.

He’s goofing with all of us, kid.

 

Meanwhile, Retail addresses that cliche with a different way of keeping it fresh, and this goes back to my favorite rant about this strip, which is that every newspaper should have picked it up the moment it launched, because it appeals to the demographic they most need to serve, and who they do the worst job of attracting.

I was working in an office made up of circulation and advertising people when the “Retail” sample folder arrived from King, and I passed it around to the folks there, young people in their mid-to-late 20s.

All work halted, because they were in absolute stitches. While they were now in more lucrative, professional positions, they’d every one of them put in time at the mall.

I have no idea how many papers the strip is in, but it ought to be in all of them.

I guess it’s probably in all of the papers that have a goal of attracting new, young, successfully employed readers rather than just catering to the fading, dying demographic of their existing, fixed-income, not-large-enough readership.

I hope that’s enough newspapers to keep Norm Feuti going, but I know it’s hardly a number that bodes well for the industry as a whole.

 

And, on that topic, this update:

Back at my old CSotD blog, I had a link in the gutter about How to Conduct a “Comics Survey,” but thought I had lost the actual piece we ran in the paper to invite reader input.

However, while spooling through some old back-up CDs looking for something else, I discovered a forgotten copy and that’s it. Note that, while we did call it a “survey,” we didn’t promise that numbers would make the choices and, in fact, were careful to emphasize that we were editors looking for guidance, not waiters taking orders.

Follow the link for a report on how it all worked out, but — spoiler alert — we got very few reader complaints and we kept the same number of comics but had four-figure cost savings.

(And, yes, I used Comic Sans, but (A) it was 2003, (B) the topic was comics and (C) bite me.)

 

Now where were we?

Rhymes With Orange got a smile because, as a kid, I was fascinated by Champagne corks, and thank god my father wasn’t so sophisticated and uptown that he twisted off the cork in his hand.

Dad was an engineer with a degree from MIT, but he was also an amateur cartoonist and had a puckish sense of humor.

He also, I think, knew that Champagne itself is kind of a so-what beverage and that 90% of its appeal is in the process, which includes rocketing that cork around the room and making your kids squeal and chase it.

 

Meanwhile, back in the swamp

Jim Morin toys with this view of the shutdown, because “Congress never does anything” is a cliche for the simple-minded yahoos who don’t know how it all works.

However, in this case, it happens to be true: The Congress has been locked in a pissing match between parties and has accomplished very little, which fact, combined with the extent to which Dear Leader’s credibility has been shot, meant that, when he posed with a stack of end-of-session bills to sign, it was assumed they were blanks.

 

Trump might have been truthful on that occasion, but Kevin Necessary has a bit of fun over his preposterous claim that Democrats have been flooding him with demands that he stick to his guns on the matter of the Wall.

You know — those Democrats who are the vast bulk of the federal employees who have been furloughed. (And therefore deserve none of our pity or concern, because they are from the enemy tribe.)

 

Unfunny Juxtaposition of the Day

(Brian Adcock)

( and )

Two very different looks at the same issue on two different continents.

Adcock puts his European-based  message into a single panel, while Alba and Driver offer a multi-panel journalistic examination at the Nib of things North American.

It occurs to me that, while the emptying-out of the Third World into First World countries won’t have the impact that occurred when crowded Europe began to pour into the New World 500 years ago, there is a similarity.

This time around, we have the technical and medical resources to prevent us from being as blind-sided as our indigenous people were then, but I think both Europe and the United States are going to have to genuinely rethink their identities.

It won’t be easy, but neither is it avoidable, and, if we’re going to deal with the inevitable in a sensible manner, our leaders should go to the Middle East and into Central America to genuinely see it on ground level.

I’m thinking not only of when Bobby Kennedy visited the Mississippi Delta to understand poverty, but also when Red Cloud and Sitting Bull each went East to get firsthand views of what they were up against.

It’s not a matter of changing your mind or values, but of recognizing the realities and adjusting your approach accordingly.

 

Let’s go out on some genuinely good news

From Steve Sack, whose sharp pen we’ve seen too rarely lately:

Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
December/31/2018
@ 11:32 am

Comic Sans? Looks like one of the brush scripts to me. Still, I join in any perceived annoyance at the universal dismissal of a font that’s not all that different from my printing, but less messy.

I liked it when someone at a party was crafting the champagne corks into delightful little items, like a sleigh. That’s gotta be harder when you’re a mouse.

Hm. Added Necessary to my GoComics list, annnnd the morning routine gets another minute or three longer.

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