CSotD: Critter titters

Seems like a quiet day in the cartooning universe, but a lack of stark drama allows for some more quiet appreciation.

For example, in his weekly taking-of-the-wheel at Bizarro (KFS), Dan Piraro touches on one of my pet peeves — see what I did there? — which is “Lady and the Tramp Syndrome,” a bit of genetic foolishness seen not just in that classic movie but also in “Turner and Hooch,” where it added bathos to what had been a touching ending to an enjoyable comedy.

In case you didn’t know, when two different breeds of dog mate, the result is not some of each.

Though thank god it isn’t this, either.

And, by the way, if we were going to list the various breeds of dogs in those examples, the rule is that place names are capitalized and other things are not, so that, in Hooch’s case, you would write “dogue de Bordeaux,” and one would also write “Chihuahua” and “old English sheepdog,” but then we run into that frequent difference between usage in style manuals and usage in real life.

Plus the fact that nobody capitalizes “chihuahua” brings in at least geographical ignorance if not xenophobia or racism or something.

Grammar Girl suggests you do either whatever the person who is paying you wants or whatever you want, which jibes — but for gods sake does not “jive” — with my own advice.

In this case, Dan Piraro jives with my experience of dog breeding and we’re all the better for it.

To which I will add that when a wandering Chihuahua mates with an old English sheepdog, the traditional observation is that his friends must surely have put him up to it.

To which I would also add that, in this day of Designer Mutts, this is one of the few combinations I haven’t seen anyone do intentionally, perhaps because they haven’t come up with a cute name for the result.

That being the difficult part, since dogs don’t actually have to be trained to do the other part and in fact it’s hard to train them not to.


Willie ‘n Ethel offer what would be a harmless bit of canine humor if dogs were, this week, their usual font of nonpartisan hilarity.

Far from it.

On the right, we have a pair of what I believe are technically called “wankers” calling out Major Biden for looking his age, to which I will observe that at least he doesn’t need two paws to take a drink of water.

Meanwhile, on the left, the crowning horror of the Cruisin’ Ted Cruz saga is that he left his dog home for a planned four-day vacation.

If Deep Pockets Doghrety has any size clientele, he has likely often been hired to look in morning and evening on a dog left at home for a few days, as was Cruz’s security guard.

Some dogs love going to the kennel, others find it stressful and would rather be home alone, even if it requires curling up on the bed and tucking in your nose.

Though I’m sure first responders in Houston have had nothing better to do this past week than to field phone calls about that.


Elsewhere in the animal kingdom, Rhymes With Orange (KFS) offers an unexpected bit of undersea kink, a topic which, up until now, was limited to Lloyd Bridges’ air hose (a bit of humor for the old folks).


Sea Hunt’s Mike Nelson had his air hose not simply kinked but cut by bad guys regularly, but Johnny Hazard had it happen seven years sooner, in 1951, as seen this week on Comics Kingdom’s Vintage pages, and then — Sufferin’ Susie! — a giant octopus got involved.

Johnny Hazard is well-plotted and well-drawn enough that it’s not just campy old-time adventure, though it’s also that.

Doesn’t feature homards en bondage, though, or, at least, hasn’t yet.


And, as if to prove me the King of Segues, Tim Campbell (WPWG) offers a gag about a less consensual form of bondage.

Artists frequently complain about being asked to do things for free or for absurdly low amounts of money, and they’re right in that I don’t think living next door to a guy with a lawn care company would induce you to ask him to cut your lawn for free.

OTOH, lawyers and doctors get peppered with requests for free professional advice all the time, and plumbers are regularly asked to take an off-the-books look at a friend’s leaking toilet.

One problem is that, while people understand that replacing a sink trap is easy and replacing the whole sink is more complex, they have no idea what it takes to design a brochure or create a poster.

It probably doesn’t help for artists to post short videos in which they pencil, ink and color a strip. You shouldn’t let civilians see how quickly stuff finally comes together after you’ve carried it around in your head for a week or two.

The classic rejoinder is that they’re not paying for the time it took to do the work but for the lifetime it took to learn how, but that’s ducking the point. A good mechanic has also spent a lifetime learning his trade, but all I want is a set of brakes on my Honda, not a Rolls Royce built from scratch.

I had a nearly-sustainable freelance thing going back in the mid-80s, until the magazine and the newspaper that bought most of my writing went belly-up within two months of each other.

My little fill-in brochure jobs couldn’t pay the rent, in part because someone else would always charge less.

So I took a job as a reporter, where I sort of got paid by the hour except that, when I was thinking about a story in the shower, I didn’t have the gall to write down the time.

Though we did have a rookie who, assigned to do a book review, put in for overtime for the time she spent reading. The editors nearly went nuts because how could they say she was wrong?

By not assigning her any more book reviews, that’s how.



8 thoughts on “CSotD: Critter titters

  1. I watched an episode or two of Sea Hunt that I found on a streaming channel, and what really charmed the socks off me is that Mike, on the show, is a huge fan of a regular weekly TV show about a deep sea detective with a silly name that I’ve forgotten. He hates to miss it. This one fact has elevated Sea Hunt in my esteem for not taking itself too deadly serious.

  2. If memory serves, one of the Muppet movies showed the offspring of Kermit and Miss Piggy: a green piglet and a pink tadpole. That’s just science.

  3. It is also better, as is portrayed, if the female is the larger of the two if you want both dogs to survive.

  4. That Bizzaro was the funniest cartoon I’ve seen in a month. Of course genetics doesn’t work that way. A coyote doesn’t keep running off a cliff until he looks down, either. I have a friend who complains about cartoons that don’t take advantage of the medium. He won’t be able to complain about this one!

    I’ve gotten so I just can’t be bothered to crank up the contempt-for-all-humanity when someone says “home in” instead of “hone in” (mostly because I can’t recall which is the original usage). I am still willing to go to the mat for for “effect vs. affect,” though. Guess we all have our pet peeves when someone’s language fails to jive with ours.

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