CSotD: Sunday Funnies, ’cause so little is

Perhaps it seems this way from the far shores of Australia, but I don’t think many US cartoonists are echoing Alan Moir (Sidney Morning Herald)‘s view.

From the beginning, Trump has offered far too much for the opposition and far too little for the loyalists, leaving a very thin slice in which to be thoughtful.

For his opponents, Trump’s firehose of outrageous statements leaves them in the position of the Pointless Man who told Oblio, “A point in every direction is the same as no point at all.”

Meanwhile, cartoonists who support him are left with little more than unsubstantiated accusations about Hunter Biden, which are thin gruel indeed when you are trying to advocate for a guy who inherited his wealth and has hired his kids for jobs that seem to mostly consist of being his kids.

So let’s put politics aside for the day, because, fortunately, today’s Funnies offer fertile grounds for reflection.


For instance, in every election year, we get cartoons of kids scaring people by dressing as the candidates; it’s as predictable as Dagwood hanging off the gutter. And this year, you can add “kids dressing as a coronavirus” to that category.

But Lio (AMS) tackles the current situation with some wit and fun, and even a bit of a message on the front of his own mask. I particularly like the choice of dressing the kids in typical dime-store costumes and having them tote a variety of semi-commercial dime-store candy containers. (We used pillow cases, thank you.)

Meanwhile, Lio himself is in a minimalist, traditional black eye mask, complimenting his Halloween-orange Covid mask.

Smartest guy in the room once again.


Speaking of being the smartest guy in the room, Zits (KFS) tackles an issue in which you once had to be that, but in which it hasn’t been the case for some time.

I’m so old that I can remember when AP Classes really were on the level of Freshman Year college courses, and, in some districts, were offered at the local college rather than in the school itself.

I’ll admit I didn’t follow it all that closely, but I do recall that, while being selected for AP courses was initially a mark of distinction, parents began pressuring schools to admit their progeny and I heard rumors that the coursework is correspondingly more appropriate for that wider demographic.

I do know that more kids are taking AP courses than at the start, creating a kind of Lake Woebegone factor where all the children are above average.

Here’s something a little more esoteric: Most of what I know about education, I learned in New York State, whose Regents requirements mean that kids on the academic track expect to take statewide tests each June, not simply pass their own teacher’s final, such that a college knows that every student who got an 88 on the chemistry Regents knows pretty much the same things about chemistry.

That makes it less daunting for New Yorkers to take the AP tests, whose national uniformity is one of the benefits listed in this practical discussion of whether it’s all worthwhile.

We could go on at length on this topic, but I’ll simply add that, since Jeremy is generally portrayed as a slacker of great charm but middling talent, he’s an excellent choice for this particular gag.

Either Hector or Sara would have been more logical choices for taking AP classes, but, then again, they wouldn’t bitch about the workload.


The Lockhorns (KFS) put the shoe on the other generational foot. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the car to drive with a GPS, but you’d better make a good choice in selecting your app.

My problem — being an old fart who never goes anywhere — is that I don’t remember to look into better versions of the program between trips, so I find myself setting out and using the same old default app.

When I was in Columbus for the 2019 AAEC/CXC, asking my app to take us to a venue would result in about a 10 minute tour that would deposit us back at the hotel, while last month it turned what should have been about a 9 mile drive from Northampton to Westhampton into the Great Race.

The obvious solution is to use a map, but our smartphones have already made it such that we don’t know any phone numbers anymore and it likely won’t be long before we’ve lost the ability to read maps, too.

Or maybe it just won’t be profitable for anyone to make them anymore.

I hope our grandchildren will be offered AP Cartography.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Mark Trail – KFS)


(The Other Coast – AMS)

I’m trying to be cool about the changes over at Mark Trail, and, if the dailies become a fun fest, it’ll be better than the dull slog they’ve been in the past.

My concern is with the Sundays, because I grew up with them, and while I’d have never spotted today’s subject in my wanderings, I often came across, for instance, a tree sporting sections of stripped bark that I knew, from Mark Trail, were the work of a porcupine.

I’ve treasured my Sundays with Mark Trail and will savor the last two classic versions.

But The Other Coast brings up another bastion of those bygone days, because, when I was a kid, no predator ever got a meal.

Besides feeding us mythical crap about lemmings, and anthropomorphic drivel in which Rex Allen narrated the inner thoughts of coyotes, Disney was clearly on the side of the gazelles, or perhaps was afraid of giving us bad dreams.

We were no more likely to see a lion kill a gazelle than we were to see Annette’s belly button. (Different kind of dream.)

By contrast, my grandkids are growing up with more fact-based nature shows, and know that the Circle of Life is indeed a circle, not a one-way street.

Their generation seems pretty well tuned in to the necessary balance of the environment.

And the idea that death is simply nature’s way of telling you “Something’s wrong.”


11 thoughts on “CSotD: Sunday Funnies, ’cause so little is

  1. The mindset of Disney ‘documentaries’ lives on. I looked in on a series (Netflix, I think) about small creatures, and all the characters have rich inner lives with dreams and aspirations. We meet a young kangaroo rat whose fear and timidity hold it back from achieving its dreams. There’s an evil spider (just plain evil), and an evil snake, and I think there’s an evil bird in there too. I was surprised that the kangaroo rat wasn’t working on a novel.

  2. just a comment about the Rex Allen documentaries: The 90s cartoon show Animaniacs did a wonderful sendup of them in one episode.
    it forced the main character of the episode to give up his aspirations of being an actor and resort to being a director instead.

  3. Your Mark Trail strip put me in mind of another favorite if my youth – Our New Age, by Athelstan Spilhaus (I even remembered how to spell that one!),so I looked him up – interesting guy! Those two strips were some of this geeky kid’s childhood favorites. Thanks for sparking that memory. (Spilhaus, among many other things, was commissioner on the 1962 Seattle World’s fair, which gave us not only the Space Needle but the Pacific Science Center, which is STILL one of the best reasons to brave Seattle traffic!)

  4. “[D]eath is simply nature’s way of telling you ‘Something’s wrong.’” is a stunning quote!

  5. I feel like a real dunce, but what is an “AP” Class?

    I thought it was a general rule of journalism (and it ought to apply to comic stripdom) to show the full meaning of something before going on to use its abbreviation…

  6. Interesting article, and thanks for that. Since we only get a “real” newspaper every other day, it’s difficult to follow most of the comics. And, I’m living blue in a red state, (Kentucky,) so our editorial cartoons aren’t my favorites.
    Thanks again for your take on some of my favorite comics.
    And I agree with your assessment of today’s AP classes.

  7. Oh my, I’ve finally run into someone who remembers the special that was on TV sometime in the late 70s or early 80s that was called the point. With a musical score by Nillison. Hope I spelled Harrys last name right, I’d hate to do him an injustice

  8. Hunter Biden is guilty. Trump will be President of the United States of America for another four years!

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