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CSotD: I announce my choice for Friday Funnies

 

This story arc from Wallace the Brave — which starts here — is so totally ridiculous from beginning to current moment that it would be futile to try to point out where it went so wonderfully off the tracks, were it not for this segment.

To set the scene, Spud was been picked up by a near-sighted animal control officer who thinks he is a raccoon. A talking raccoon, yes.

I have no idea what Will Henry’s thought process is like, and it would probably ruin the strip to know.

For instance, I have to wonder at what point he decided to have animal noises coming from the other cages, and at what point he had to choose between erasing the rabbit and drawing something else, or figuring how to write what rabbits say, before deciding to hell with it and going with what you see in that middle panel.

It’s not that it doesn’t matter. His choices do matter. And they are why this strip takes me back to my childhood, when I used to read funnies that were way over my head and know that they were funny even though I had to accept being puzzled from time to time.

Which is why I hate people who talk in movie theaters: Most of the time they’re asking for explanations for things that you’re just supposed to absorb and accept and maybe it will be clear later and maybe it won’t and wotthehell.

And I’d urge you to go back and read this story arc from the beginning because Will Henry does Anton Chekhov one better, but you have to be in at the start to appreciate it.

 

I don’t know if R. Sikoryak’s latest project is at the other end of the surreality scale, but it’s at the other end of something or other.

He previously rendered the iTunes terms of service in graphic format, which was wonderfully amusing, but mostly to other artists who could appreciate both the overall absurdity and the various homages involved.

Now he’s done it to the Constitution, which is another document few people have actually read in its entirety but which they should, since it’s the United States’ terms of service.

Boing Boing has an article and review that will fill in many of the details, to which I will simply add that I’m going to order a copy and, after reading it myself, send it off to the grandchildren so they can enjoy the parts they get and puzzle over the parts they don’t and absorb the whole thing.

You may want to also order it, before it’s all gone.

Not the book. The Constitution.

 

Which leads to this Rhymes with Orange, and I have to think that Hilary Price was recently frustrated by local government, because her partner on the strip, Rina Piccolo, lives in Canada, where everyone’s nice and nothing like this ever happens. (Thassa joke, son.)

It brings to mind a current situation here, where someone wants to erect a four-story apartment building adjacent to my backyard, the property line being the division between a commercial zone and a residential zone.

The neighbors are universally against it, but, unlike Dear Leader’s version of privileged suburban NIMBYs, they are not against the overall project. They just want it scaled back to something a little less oversized and imposing.

In fact, they recently turned out en masse to support a project that will bring a group home for developmentally disabled adults next door to me.

Still, the planning board seems determined to, as RWO puts it, have a period set aside to hear their concerns, followed by a period set aside to dismiss them. We’ll see.

To which I will add that the genius visionaries who want to run third party candidates for president might perhaps refocus their efforts on seizing control of local government, (A) where you might actually be able to pull it off and (B) where it would make a constructive difference.

Oh well. Let’s have a

Juxtaposition of the Week

(Sally Forth)

(Reply All – new address!)

So Ted is back in the office and Lizzie is not. Ted has to find a way to reintegrate social norms into daily life, after a nice long vacation from them, while Lizzie attempts to adjust to the new normal on the assumption that it’s permanent.

And that it’s based on office supplies, which brought an extra laff because I’m decluttering and have just tossed out a ton of binders and folders and weird outdated things like printable labels for DVDs, remote work having finally brought about the paperless revolution we were promised 30 or 40 years ago.

Meanwhile, however, Tribune Publishing — an endless font of really toxic decisions — has announced that it’s shutting down the offices of the NY Daily News, with similar closures possible at the Chicago Trib, the Baltimore Sun and the Orlando Sentinel.

Their spokesperson says

With no clear path forward in terms of returning to work, and as the company evaluates its real estate needs in light of health and economic conditions brought about by the pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close the office.

Which is a steaming pile.

I recently retired from a newspaper controlled by a holding company that sold their downtown building before the pandemic, set up offices in a distant production building and then started picking off the staff one by one.

When that’s refreshingly transparent, the industry is damn sure in trouble.

Self-serving lies aside, for 10 years, I telecommuted my job — editing and mentoring middleschool reporters — from 2000 miles away, so I understand how remote editing works.

The main regret I had was that I couldn’t give kids the experience of working in a newsroom where an editor could call you over to his desk and say, “Look, this is what I want to change in your piece, and here’s why …”

That’s mentoring, and it matters.

Assuming you care half as much about your product as you do about your stock price.

And assuming that monkeys are gonna fly … y’know …

 

(Damn!)

Community Comments

#1 Mary McNeil
August/14/2020
@ 4:47 pm

The Tribune Media statement is vaguely reminiscent of the USPS answer to all questions lately. Actually, NOT vaguely. Pretty overtly.

#2 Kip Williams
August/15/2020
@ 10:43 am

Will Henry’s thought processes please me more and more. Today (Saturday), he showed up at the head of the comments to Wallace, just to say “First.” Because he can.

In Edward Eager’s book Seven-Day Magic, I learned something that I’d never thought about–that silent movies were far from silent, because every audience had several who just had to read the dialog captions in an outside voice. I’ll just leave that there, and not comment on it.

It pleases me so much to see someone drawing in Alison Bechdel’s style, even more than the Marvel love comic mode (Buscema? Mooney?). I haven’t been so tickled by a choice of parody fodder since Shary Flenikin channeled H.T. Webster in the Air Pirates tabloid I neglected to purchase in ’76.

#3 Bob Crittenden
August/15/2020
@ 11:28 am

Theater audiences providing the audio for silent movies never occurred to me. This morning, I watched the silent Don Juan from 1926 – I can’t imagine having to hear a mixture of voices speaking for John Barrymore, Werner Oland, Mary Astor, and a host of others. (Then again, if I had watched it in 1926, I wouldn’t have known what they were supposed to sound like.)

#4 Mark Jackson
August/17/2020
@ 10:00 am

If I remember the cartoon parody Serta commercial correctly – I think it appeared in /National Lampoon/ – rabbit sounds are “snick, snick, snick” except for the one who says “Hi! I’m Joey Heatherton!”

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