CSotD: Friday Funnies

I’m enjoying the current Thimble Theater storyline but this panel stopped me in my tracks. Decades before the current move to reframe Popeye for the Teletubbies demographic, Olive Oyl had been reduced to a damsel in distress, while Wimpy simply wandered around asking for hamburgers.

They were far more dynamic in 1935, particularly Olive, who was, after all, the sister of short-tempered conman Castor Oyl, and I continue to be impressed with the depth of Elzie Segar’s cast.

Which I suppose is as good an excuse as any to suggest once more that you subscribe to Comics Kingdom and to GoComics, because times are getting rather fraught, and the ridiculously small per-day cost of supporting cartoonists and their syndicates won’t make a dent in anybody’s budget.


Speaking of comic strip women who caught my attention this week, Reply All expresses a humongous amount of truth here.

Lizzie often … well, I was about to say she often challenges team building and mindfulness and other psychobabble happy talk, but she doesn’t challenge it so much as complain about it and see through it while still being dragooned into participating.

She hasn’t had the “click” Ms magazine used to talk about —  the click! of recognition, that parenthesis of truth around a little thing that completes the puzzle of reality in women’s minds—the moment that brings a gleam to our eyes and means the revolution has begun” — the moment of insight that might turn her into Jill Kaplan of Pajama Diaries, whom I recently praised for not swallowing the Lean In and “You can have it all” narrative.

Lizzie is smart enough to know better but she’s not bold enough to break free and, meanwhile, she is in a relationship that would probably be improved if she would quit whining and hinting, and simply say what’s on her mind.

No, he’s not reciting from the right script, which is about as brilliant a way of phrasing it as I’ve ever heard.

Of my major relationships, the best in this regard was with a woman who, after we’d dawdled and chatted over the last scraps of dinner, would say, “Well, let’s get these dishes done so we can relax.”

No crap about who cooked and who therefore is required to do the dishes, or whose turn it is or any of that contract-negotiation bullshit.

And, especially, no letting things get out of control until the moment she decided that housework had suddenly become our immediate, non-postponeable priority.

Drew’s a good man, Lizzie. Tear up all those passive-aggressive scripts and start ad-libbing along with him.


And now for something completely different: Bizarro on the unexpected return of Don Johnson.

What’s with the not-shaving thing? I’m seeing grown-ass men on CNN and MSNBC programs with ungroomed stubble, and I don’t mean five o’clock shadows or even — to be fair to a long-gone, unmourned style — the carefully groomed ungroomed Don Johnson/Yassar Arafat look.

I’m seeing guys who must have thought they were going to be appearing on the radio, and it’s getting to be like country music, where the women look like they’re headed for the prom and the guys look like they are in the middle of cleaning the hen house. (And I’ve lived out West — real cowboys clean up to go into town.)

At least they haven’t reverted to aqua shirts and white sport coats.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Pooch Cafe)

(Off the Mark)

Some dogs have so little to do that their owners are required to come up with ways to amuse them, and those Kongs and cubes and other devices are a great way to keep a dog occupied.

So long as you have no furniture, or, at least, so long as your furniture is flush to the floor.

Otherwise, if you’re lucky, the game ends when the thing goes under the couch.

If you’re not lucky, you come home to find evidence of desperate, futile canine excavation attempts.

And “Off the Mark” cracked me up because of the frustrated husband factor but particularly because watching a dog work really makes me want to tell it how good it is and give it a pat.

Granted, I greet any dog who passes by, but I’m particularly attracted to the bomb-sniffers at the airport because they’re so focused and so clearly enjoy having a real job to do.

And it’s not just me.

I once did a Career Day at an elementary school where my table in the gym was next to the drug-sniffing dog. The classes would come through and stop at my table so I could tell them about newspaper careers while they all looked over at the dog and waited for me to shut up so they could go there.

But it gave me a chance to talk to the guy between sessions.

Turns out that sniffer dogs have a limited work life before they get bored and start phoning it in, and so this pooch was about to retire and become his handler’s personal pet.

Which made me think that any young man who showed up for a date with the K-9 cop’s daughter should be extra clean, because “retired” doesn’t mean “forgot how.”


Sherman’s Lagoon speaks truth today, though it’s more about courting the press than it is about pleasing the public.

And none of those dried-out Danish frisbees or those sticky little mini-muffins from Costco.

You want good coverage, put out some good pastry.


Not Funny 

Leaving aside the funny part of funnies, it was very encouraging to get this update on Eaten Fish, the young cartoonist who was so horrifically mistreated in an Australian refugee stockade.

But that good news is balanced by not-so-good news from cartoonist Pedro Molina in Nicaragua, here at Bado’s blog and also in this Al Jazeera report.

If you’re looking to improve your tax bracket before year’s end, you might consider a donation to the Cartoonists Rights Network International.

A revolution gone bad can be worse than one that never happened.


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