CSotD: Where do the children play?

Half Full is one of several cartoons about the switch from Good Ol’ Reggaler Time to Daylight Saving Not “Savings” Time, but it’s my favorite.

Maria Scrivan is more iconic than gag-oriented and this is a topic well-worn enough that there aren’t a lot of good gags left, but an illustrator with a sense of humor can still nail it.

And did.

The transition was easy for me this year because I spent the latter part of the week in Denver, at a workshop for my young reporters there, so I was already two hours behind the ball and the switchover came on my travel day home which was going to wreak havoc on my circadian rhythm anyway.


Arlo & Janis managed to tag both topics, in part because, when I told the kids to call me if they ever had a question they needed answered, I also reminded them that I’m two hours ahead and they should try not to have emergencies after about 8 pm their time.

But mainly because, in our session on photography, I was urging them to take a sample shot first thing, and check it for lighting and focus, and then to take a million shots of everything in order to guarantee one good one.

And I told them about the Good Old Days when we had a limited number of shots on each roll of film and no idea if anything had come out until the film came back.

And realized even the parents in the back of the room were barely old enough to remember shooting film.

Well, some of them were that old.


I like Pickles for the same reason I told my kids not to start a story with a question.

That is how condescending adults write for children — it’s a stylistic pat-on-the-head: “Did you ever see a dog?”

A major reason for the success of Pickles is that Brian Crane doesn’t talk down to seniors, or mock them.

Similarly, the secret to JK Rowling’s extraordinary success is not the fantasy and magic so much as the way she treats kids as intelligent readers.

It’s hard to work in someone else’s demographic, whether it’s gender, race or age, and that came thundering home in a mock press conference that was part of our work on interviewing.

As Opal notes, young people are not over-supplied with serenity.

I role-played a school superintendent announcing that a rural school was adding a family health clinic as part of its renovation, in a partnership with a distant hospital.

The reporters — who range from 8 to 14 — had a lot of questions, and I was prepared for them, though I was surprised when someone asked if we’d be laying off the current school nurses.

What stunned me, however, were the number of questions about security. I had explained that there would be a separate driveway, parking lot and entrance so that cars arriving at the clinic would not tangle with buses or wandering kids.

I also said that, while the doors to that parking lot would be open, students coming for first aid or tummy aches would come and go through an interior secure door that would require a card, so that the public wouldn’t be able to enter the school itself.

Didn’t matter. I’d say a third of the questions, maybe half, were related to the public having easy access to the building.

I’m sure older people are more serene than younger adults, and I laughed over Earl’s theory that we’re too tired to worry.

But I do worry that our kids are so concerned about the security of their schools, and about their own safety.

It’s a cliche to say that I learn as much from the kids as they do from me, but it’s true, only that wasn’t something I wanted to learn.

I guess it was something I needed to, however, if I’m going to be working in their world.

So let’s add to it:


Juxtaposition of the new stresser

(Non Sequitur)

(Tank McNamara)

The coronavirus strips are beginning to hit, and this is a topic where lead time is going to be crucial, because it’s okay to joke about it at the moment, but if things get out of hand, a gag written a few weeks ago might not be funny anymore.

Both Wiley Miller and Bill Hinds play with the gap between paranoia and Pollyanna that we’re all trying to bridge at the moment, with Wiley putting the viewer more in Bob’s position of not quite getting it, while the Tank gag assumes we have a moderate sense of propriety so we laugh at the fellow who doesn’t.

In both cases, it’s a nice job of tightrope walking, particularly, as said, because they need to deal with lead time considerations.

Editorial cartoonists, by contrast, can work much closer to the bone, which brings us to this

Juxtaposition of the same guy

Ben Jennings strikes twice with gags that cross the Atlantic quite well, though the “Keep Calm” one is clearly a reflection on the tradition of Britons rising to a crisis.

Mister, we could use a man like Winston Churchill again!

His second cartoon makes me want a Homer Simpson Zero-Protection mask, and that warning at the bottom is as funny as the mask designs themselves because we won’t need masks until the shit hits the fan, at which point even good ones won’t make that much difference.

And, as he notes, we’ve already totally blown the “Keep Calm and Carry On” thing.

I saw people wiping down their seats on the plane, and, no kidding, a flight attendant go down the aisle before takeoff with a trash bag, calling out, “Wipes and Trash!”

Alive, alive, O.


Finally, this chapter in the ongoing Buckets arc coincides with my experience going through airport security with a urostomy from my 2016 bladder cancer, a brand-new hip and enough surgical mesh to build a bird cage.

“Okay, Steve Austin, how about a little secondary pat-down …”


And now for something completely different:

Herblock winner Michael de Adder interviewed on CTV