Comic Strip of the Day: Random laffs

It has been reliably reported, though not officially announced, that mysteriously anonymous Nancy cartoonist Olivia Jaimes will be appearing at CXC in two weeks.

If it’s a true reveal-and-talk rather than a stunt, it’s going to be interesting, but I can’t guarantee I’ll cover it, since it’s not on the conference schedule.

I’m already missing a session with the creator of Macanudo because it’s scheduled opposite a session in which Kevin Siers talks to Rob Rogers about his experience of being driven off the pages of his newspaper.

So we’ll see if I cover it, but here’s an alternative: Columbus isn’t exactly in the middle of the country, but it’s kind of pretty much in the middle of the Eastern half of the country, so it’s within range of a lot of people and possibly you.

It’s all free and it’s growing along interesting lines into a must-go for those looking for comic content rather than movie promotions and cosplay. It’s September 27-30 and here’s the link.


And, speaking of going places, Frazz offers a small salute to the Portland that I identify with, though I don’t speak like a Mainer. I don’t know how necessary that is, given the number of people “from away” who have moved to Portland in the past decade or two.

Which makes it a bit confusing because both Portland, ME, and Portland, OR, have thriving artistic communities, though the East Coast Portland is less groovy overall. This is counterintuitive, given that the West Coast Portland is nearly 10 times the size of the one in the East and they can’t possibly all be groovy, but there you have it.

In any case, when you announce an artist appearance or other such thing happening “in Portland,” it would be nice if you’d be a little more specific.

(And if any of this makes you think you should move to Portland, Maine, trust me, you’d hate it. Don’t move there. Stay away. Oregon is much nicer, really. And 10 times bigger, which is their own damn fault.)


Norm Feuti keeps tossing this recurring Retail gag up and I rarely fail to take advantage.

The “It must be free” joke may be old to the folks working the registers, but they can blame their own management.

There was a time, O Best Beloved, when every can and box in the grocery store had either a price label or was stamped with the price. When a shelf was stocked, the first step was to open the case and pop a price onto each item.

It was more efficient to put a label on the shelf, though there was consumer resistance, since we — at least, those of us on tight, young-adult budgets — were used to being able to recheck our prices later on down the aisle and track what we were spending.

But the real problem was that this was part of the introduction of scanners, and there was some confusion of “what it scanned” vs “what we sort of remembered it had said on the shelf,” and a lot of Ann Landers OMG stories of people being ripped off by those scary robot things.

The honesty and competence of the system was at risk, so many stores — including King Soopers in Colorado where I shopped — had an initial policy that, if it didn’t scan right, you got it for free.

Which meant they gave away a fair number of cans of peaches and boxes of instant pilaf while they perfected their internal system of entering codes.

Not sure when the policy ended, but it ended for me the day I tried to buy a new coffeemaker and it wouldn’t scan.

I said, “So I guess that means it’s free” and nobody laughed.

Oh well. I knew the policy wouldn’t last forever.

And, yes, I realize that the clerks hearing the line today were not yet born then.


More Humor for Old Folks pops up in today’s Argyle Sweater, because, while we all chuckled at the “no more phone booths” gag in the original and as far as I’m concerned only Superman film, Scott Hilburn is right that the booths didn’t provide much visual privacy, either.

The concept of changing in a telephone booth predates those glass-and-steel booths, but even the old wooden ones had windows.

So, yeah, the phone booth thing never would have worked.

We all must have been a lot more trusting back in those days, before DC had to come up with explanations for how Clark Kent shaved and cut his hair and other science facts.



And, while too much science can ruin a gag, I really like the realism in today’s Bizarro.

Not, of course, that I think snakes ponder things on that level, but I laffed, and mostly, I like his head, which is exactly what a nonvenomous mouse-swallowing sort of snake would look like and helps establish the snake as a victim of his own foolishness, which a more frowny viperesque type of face would not.

As for the rest of the science, real snakes are not tremendously philosophical and, in a case like this, he’d likely just keep going forward and sleep it off inside the walls.

A friend of mine had a tenant move out and, as they were going through the apartment, they discovered a python of pig-swallowing proportions curled up under the gas stove, apparently enjoying the heat of the oven pilot.

Probably a good thing they found it, rather than renting the place out to someone of less hardy stock.


I once fostered a snapper hatchling until he was hockey-puck sized and, while I love my dog’s goofy, half-baked intellect, I was fascinated by the fact that Howard had no intellect at all.

His entire being was bound up in cold, reptilian response, within a world divided into things you could eat and things you should avoid and f-all else.

And if you know why I named him “Howard,” you are both very old and very Canadian and will almost certainly tear up over this:

5 thoughts on “Comic Strip of the Day: Random laffs

  1. Actually, even old comic book Supe didn’t *need* a phone booth — I recall a couple of times when he simply used his superspeed to change into or out of costume so rapidly that no one could see the process.

    I suppose he still had to be out *direct* view of any civilian, though, since, if not, the viewer would see Clark Kent suddenly blink out of existence, followed either by Superman standing in his place or a whoosh of air from Superman immediately rushing off. But of course the traditional phone booth trope would also involve the possibility of a bystander seeing Clark Kent enter the booth and Superman leave it, so that wouldn’t really have been any more foolproof.

    I think Kal-El was just kinky about phone booths. Which, of course, is what this cartoon is also suggesting. (I wonder if there was a support group for that?)

  2. My first thought was that Olivia Jaimes is one of the creators already on the schedule and she will reveal herself there. I envision Lynn Johnston arising when they request “will the real Olivia Jaimes please stand up.”

  3. When the first “Superman vs Spider-Man” comic special came out in the 70s, writer Gerry Conway had some fun with the phone booth trope. A Menace shows up, there’s a moment of confusion as heroes rush to change costume. Peter Parker nonplusses Clark Kent by demanding to know where the phone booths are, and the ‘booths’ turn out to be a bunch of those little kiosks on sticks.

    (Not the first phone booth joke in Spider-Man, now that I think about it.)

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