Comic Strip of the Day: Of sharks, schools and old flicks

Ann Telnaes scores with her weekly strip, Mo, which began in May at GoComics, updating each Monday.

Aside from the speed at which she works — this is the first “Truth isn’t truth” piece I’ve seen — she’s also hitting stride with the strip. Every new strip needs to find its legs, and the combination of Mo’s general inability to cope and the bartender’s imperturbable personality seem work together better when it’s not utter panic on one side and super-dark cynicism on the other.

I’ve got two pages at GoComics: One for “regular” strips and one for editorial cartoons. Mo is on my “regular” page and perhaps it belongs on the editorial page, but the perspective of regular characters commenting on, or reacting to, the news is different, and I’m keeping it where it is.

My only quibble being that Giuliani has leapt that shark so many times that it’s almost not news anymore: At one point, he claimed that Hillary Clinton — Senator from NY at the time — had never bothered to visit the 9/11 site despite photos of them there together.

Well, truth isn’t truth anymore, and he’s probably the right attorney for someone who can’t go a day without telling at least seven lies.


Meanwhile, as Mike Peters suggests, the president is working on a system to ensure loyalty.

I’m less concerned with the things he and Rudy say that are demonstrable lies than with this latest burst of demanding loyalty. Not only is he openly admitting that he’s stripping clearances from his critics, but the other day he referred to John Dean as a “RAT” (his all-caps) rather than a “whistleblower.”


That’s the term you use if you’re in the mob rather than on the side of the law.

Here’s the thing: Jumping the shark is less of an impressive trick when he’s your pal.


And a salute to Baby Blues for going against the tide of Back-to-School gags in which the kids are horrified and the parents delighted.

Come to think of it, I never saw any Office Depot “Most wonderful time of the year” commercials this summer, which may be a commentary on their fiscal health or on the fact that I don’t watch a lot of TV beyond news and sports. But it’s been nice, either way.

It’s one of those accepted laws of Comicsland that parents are thrilled to have the kids back in school and the kids are dismayed, just as it’s an accepted law that dogs hate mailmen and everybody hates mothers-in-law.

My dog adores letter carriers because, until a grumpy postmaster took over here, they carried treats.

And I not only loved my mother-in-law but, in the three major relationships that followed, when things were over, I missed the mothers as much as I did their daughters.

As for back-to-school, as a kid I was sorry to see summer end but eager to get back with my friends, while, as a parent, I was sorry to lose that easy hangout time.

Specific to today’s Baby Blues, however, there was about a two-week break-in time while you adjusted to new schedules, new teachers and new rules, and that went for both kids and parents.

Sometimes, of course, the thing of deciding when to speak up and when to let the kids deal with it took place over more than two weeks, because things tended to dribble out over time.

I didn’t, for instance, mind finding out that the science teacher believed in flying saucers, because it’s a big universe and who knows what’s out there?

I did, however, object to a science teacher who saw flying saucers.

Particularly when he interrupted his teaching to run to the window for a better look.

But wotthehell, it was eighth grade and they considered him a welcome bit of entertainment in an otherwise dull day.

And it was a Catholic school, so I was just happy the guy believed in heliocentricity.


Juxtaposition of the Day



Flashback to a kickass movie and one that left me saying, “What was all the fuss?”

First of all, Caulfield, the hair and clothes in “Bullitt” were very much to be admired, if not to be remembered.

Plus the man in them: McQueen’s character was, compared to James Bond, like Spiderman compared to Superman.

Real, with flaws, the way we’d be if we had superpowers.

And a good guy, like Frank Serpico, not like that fascist bastard, Dirty Harry Callahan.

But, yeah, okay, we mostly remember the chase. It was a bodacious chase!

I don’t want to say too much more about it, however, or somebody will decide to do a remake with Melissa McCarthy in the Steve McQueen role.

As for “The Blair Witch Project,” there was so much hype around that movie that I guess it had to be something of a disappointment, starting with my inability to believe the damn fools couldn’t find their way out of what looked like a five-acre lot.

I didn’t hate the movie so much as I hated the fact that I had fallen for the hype. It was like getting suckered into a time-share presentation.

Even “starter films” like “THX1138” and “The Return of the Secaucus Seven,” for all their amateurish flaws, were really interesting and showed signs of what was yet to come.

For all the great stuff John Sayles did after he had learned more and found funding, even clunky, uneven “Return of the Secaucus Seven” had more consistency and depth than the slick, silly “Big Chill” that ripped it off.

And that kid who did “THX1138” turned in some pretty good work later, too.

Meanwhile, the old gaffer in Monty appears to have the Blair Witch crew pegged.


I need to watch this one again.

Not sure I can recapture things, though, since the supporting cast now appears to be everyone who ever did bad television in the decade that followed.


4 thoughts on “Comic Strip of the Day: Of sharks, schools and old flicks

  1. Peters’ depiction of Trump is unusual. He’s out of his suit and long red tie, unshaven and unkempt hair. I can’t think of another one like it.

  2. Trump is a fine one to call someone else a rat. In 1986, Trump was caught in a sales tax scam with the Bulgari Jewelry Store in NYC. Trump (and others) would buy jewelry, and leave an out of state address that the store would send an empty box to, while Trump walked out of the store with the item, and saved around 8% in state and city sales tax.

    When the authorities cracked down, they decided to prosecute the store rather than the customers, but the word is that Trump testified against the store.

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