See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

CSotD: Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight

The political stuff today is mostly awful, so we’ll deal with that tomorrow and just go for silliness, starting with Bizarro (KFS), an exploration of the wonderful world of poop signs.

I don’t know what there is about dog poop that makes sign painters become so illiterate, but, besides this, there are also a number of photographs floating around the Intertubes of signs that say, “If your dog poops, pick it up” and people holding large dogs in their arms.

There are signs at our park that say that owners must remove excrement immediately, which is going to be a real hassle for the dog walkers and the clients they’ll have to phone at work. It reminds me of the old joke,

“Does your dog bite?”
“No.”
“OWCH! I thought you said your dog didn’t bite?”
“He doesn’t. That’s not my dog.”

We also have signs that say “Pick up after your dog. It’s the law.” But clarity is no fun.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Super-Fun-Pak Comix – AMS)

(Red and Rover – AMS)

(Wallace the Brave – AMS)

Three looks at adventure, and Super-Fun-Pak Comix is just sad, though I suppose a plethora of planned activities are better than having small kids home alone. Maybe the Work-From-Home trend will lower the latch-key factor, since I think we’re evolving to a point where people don’t care whether it’s Mom or Dad who do the childcare routine.

The issue is economics, not “women’s lib.” When our kids were little, then-wife carried the economic burden while I was home, keeping an eye on the little guys while I tried to be JD Salinger. Things were a little tight at first, later she kept us in a nice middle income lifestyle, but few people can subsist on one income anymore.

Red and Rover is set somewhere in the Sixties, which is good, because, yes, there were overprotective mothers then, and, like Red, we worked around them to maintain our ability to have adventures.

For instance, we knew not to have any adventures near Keith’s house, because, if his mother looked out the window and saw us having fun, she would come running out and put an anxious end to it.

Thank god for Wallace the Brave, set in the present and bound for adventure. The details of which his parents will learn about at Thanksgiving, 25 years from now, when he and Sterling are laughing over the things they got away with.

 

While, on a related note …

Normally, I’d just run the first strip in this Non Sequitur (AMS) story arc, but I’m feeling generous today and will trust you to follow the rest of the story on your own.

Not only does it fit the above narrative, but having Danae in charge reminds me of when we first moved to the country and, at 6, I ventured off into the woods with my faithful dog, Puddles. I returned to find my city-bred mother in panic, but I assured her that I was in no danger of being lost because I knew the dog would lead us back home.

She remained unconvinced that a cocker spaniel was a qualified Adirondack guide.

 

Diversity Watch

(Sunday, July 25)

(Thursday, July 29)

I’m pretty sure this is not deliberate, but, then again, if Spiderman can spontaneously become African-American, the title character in Daddy’s Home (Creators) can transform from his Anglo origins, too.

This change happened Monday, but I waited a couple of days to see if it was going to stick, though, since the colorist was likely doing a whole batch at once, it may persist for a while and then snap back.

Come to think of it, I think it would be really cool if there were a colorists’ strike in which they changed all the characters into minorities. Best part is that editors never look at the funnies before they run, so that, if Dagwood and Mary Worth suddenly became African-American, the newspapers would be blindsided by the flood of furious phone calls.

I’d be un-retire and go back just so I could be there to watch.

 

Fan Service: The Missing Buz Sawyers

Comics Kingdom lost a week of Vintage Buz Sawyer strips, so here they are. For those joining us late, Soviet skindivers attached tracking devices to American warships, but Buz and his intelligence contacts figured it out and swapped them onto merchant vessels.

Ah, what the hell: As long as I’m poking around in the archives, here’s what came next, April 13, 1958:

 

Correction/Clarification

Clay Jones has noted that the kerfuffle over women’s uniforms was not at the Olympics but was confined almost entirely to the European Handball Federation (and one solitary ref at a Paralympics competition).

I’m impressed with his diligence, and particularly with Steve Sack who, after a note from Jones, changed his already-out-there cartoon to reflect the facts, as seen above.

I also confused the facts, though I had singled out the handball people before dragging in the Olympic people, who, I would note, are given the option of more modest uniforms, though the US Olympic team has chosen bikinis for reasons sort-of explained by their coach.

Meanwhile, it’s tough to comment on Simone Biles’ withdrawal, because I do think it’s a very good thing for young athletes (and actors and people named Britney Spears) to know that they don’t have to perform on command. Anyone attacking Biles for “letting down the side” is a heartless, clueless idiot.

On the other hand, enough is enough, and if good journalism didn’t suggest focusing on what’s happening instead of what isn’t, the fact that excessive publicity is part of her problems might also suggest backing off on the obsessive coverage and cheerleading.

I blame the networks for most of it: The performances of Florence Griffith and the women’s volleyball team appeared to come out of nowhere in the 1984 games in LA, and nobody knew how to pronounce “Comanici” until she popped a 10 in Montreal, but now the networks decide who the stars will be long before the torch is lit, and they plan their coverage around them.

Which, when their pre-selected favorites stumble, leaves them without the flexibility to crown new, unexpected heroes.

But enough seriousness. Today is for farce.

 

Community Comments

#1 Paul Berge
July/29/2021
@ 7:23 am

I was all set to draw a cartoon about the volleyball bikini thing until I couldn’t find any news reporting to tell me which Olympic women’s volleyball team was in trouble with the IOC.

It did get me wondering about men’s Olympic swimwear, though. Divers wear next to nothing, whereas swimmers now wear shoulder-to-kneecap suits scientifically engineered to give them an advantage over the next lane over. The swimmers also shave their bodies from armpit to toe to reduce drag, although I’ve noticed that a few of them sport diamond ear studs which you’d think would counteract the shaving and the suits.

Unless diamonds cut through water better.

#2 Mike Beedebeede@thunderlobster.com
July/29/2021
@ 7:56 am

My understanding is that in order to counteract the unavoidable body asymmetry, they wear a slightly-larger cubic zirconia stud on the “light” side. Since it is 70 percent heavier by volume to start with, it can shave an immeasurably small (but nonzero) time off each lap.

Okay, there’s enough fake news that I have to admit I just made that up, but it seems all of a piece with swimming’s (and bike racing’s) obsessions with tiny technological advantages. Given my profession, you’d think I’d care, but … I so don’t.

#3 Bob Harris
July/29/2021
@ 8:01 am

FWIW, Buz Sawyer dailies were carried by The Tuscaloosa News and The (Lexington, N.C.) Dispatch, both of which are available for free in google news archives.

news.google.com/newspapers?nid=XUmZziu-z7kC&dat=19580412
news.google.com/newspapers?nid=Itmi1h0dExoC&dat=19580412

#4 Kip Williams
July/29/2021
@ 9:06 am

Beautiful draftsmanship in Buzz Sawyer, with the nigh-photographic potential of Duotone shading. The foreground pops right out, and the stage is drawn in economically but convincingly. The slight cartooniness of the characters makes it somehow look easy.

#5 Hank Gillette
July/29/2021
@ 5:23 pm

If you can find the missing comics, and other people can find the missing comics, why can’t Comics Kingdom find them? After all, they are charging us to read them.

I think they just don’t care (I would say something else if I was not complying with your rules). It makes me want to reconsider my subscription.

#6 Bob Harris
July/29/2021
@ 6:30 pm

@Hank I was a CK subscriber for 15 years before I decided to let my subscription lapse at the beginning of 2021. This decision was based on (a) the lapse of customer service of the past couple years, and (b) on an increased need to depend on customer service.

Price wasn’t an issue for me. I think it’s still be ?$20 per year(?).

What I discovered after becoming a non-subscriber is that I can still read all the same comics at CK that I used to. I think all I have lost is the ability to look back through archives. Nonetheless, I’d be happy to support them if it weren’t for all the customer service issues.

#7 Bob Harris
July/29/2021
@ 6:36 pm

@Kip What amazes me is how well Crane’s shading has survived. The dailies Mike posted had almost certainly been copied to/from microfilm.

#8 D. D. Degg
July/29/2021
@ 7:10 pm

And guaranteed Mike didn’t just grab the first paper he came upon. He had to do some searching for those great repros.

#9 Mike Peterson
July/30/2021
@ 4:32 am

When I fill in for missing strips, I go to newspapers.com, search for the title and date, then scroll through for the best reproduction. As seen on the Sundays, this time it was the Medford Oregon paper. But that was April, 1958 — another date and their copies might not have been so clean or microfilmed so well.

I urge people to subscribe to both GoComics and Comics Kingdom to support the artform, and to consider a few Patreons if they can. It’s like contributing to NPR — no, you don’t have to, but if you’re going to use their product, it’s only fair.

And it’s only $20 a year. You do tip in restaurants, don’t you? More than $20 a year?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.