CSotD: True Comix!

We’re working today on the premise that cartoons can contain a lot of truth, and starting with Wallace the Brave (AMS) because, yes, at the age of 11, I got lost in the woods, came upon another set of snowshoe tracks and began following them.

The humor here, of course, is Wallace’s theory, which he may or may not believe, since terrifying Spud is an ongoing game. In my case, I played the role of Spud, foolishly trekking along in my own footprints until I found another set of tracks joining in the march.

At that point, I don’t know if what kicked in was the stories in Sports Afield I’d read at the barber shop, the tales in Boys Life which came with my Scouts membership or the Expotition in search of Heffalumps from Winnie-the-Real-Pooh, but I recognized my inner Spudness and back-tracked the original set to my backyard.

It is not a tale I tell often, because one does not brag of having been a Spud, or even a Pooh.


Daddy’s Home (Creators) picks up on the topic of snow and sparks a memory of living in Maine, editing a small community newspaper, the kind that will survive if none of the big papers notice and absorb them.

We had a major snow dump just before Presidents’ Day winter break, and, since I was “from away,” my reaction was that people would have trouble getting to their planes for Orlando, and that the kids would spend the vacation snowed in, drinking hot chocolate and playing board games.

But my little-old-lady town columnists — the backbone of small community newspapers — were unanimous in celebrating the blizzard, since it would give the kids so much snow to play in while they were out of school.

More than that, we had a major housefire in mid-day, and, as I drove up to cover the story, I thought the volunteer fire departments would be badly depleted by the combination of members working in the paper mills and those on vacation in Florida.

To my surprise, the place was swarming with firefighters, because they were not in Orlando, but neither were they at work, because they had all taken vacation to enjoy winter break snowmobiling with their kids.

And this note: When the winters get rough up there, you dasn’t complain, because the universal response is, “Well, ya live in Maine …”


On the far end of the Grump-O-Meter is Leroy Lockhorn (KFS), which suggests that neither Bunny Hoest or John Reiner are Catholic, because the collection in Catholic mass takes place after the sermon.

Which I remembered with a particular guffaw because I had a family member who really did base his contribution on how he felt about the sermon.


Meanwhile, Sergio Peçanha had a good illustrated response to the Pope’s saying that buying pets instead of having children is selfish.

Pope Francis was talking about the importance of adopting children, not the glories of unbounded childbearing, nor was he specifically trying to discourage pets.

Still, it seems foolish for a sworn celibate to judge the way couples handle those decisions, even given the official position of the Catholic Church towards birth control.


I’ve raised kids and I’ve had pets and I was devoted to each, but in a far different way. The Pope — having taken the name of the patron saint of animals, whose October 4 feast day is celebrated by the blessing of pets — has neither children nor pets, which makes it doubly ironic that St. Francis is also the patron of Not Dying Alone.

I really love these PSAs that have begun appearing on television lately, but the commitment they represent is both awe-inspiring and intimidating.

With all due respect, Your Holiness, you have no freakin’ idea how much you’re asking.


On a more innocent question of pets and reality, I got a laugh out of last week’s Pooch Cafe (AMS), which featured Poncho dreading being kenneled while his owners went on vacation, and I’d note that Paul Gilligan did depict him as being in the midst of a wonderfully fun place but grousing nonetheless. The days of being locked in a cage are long gone.

But I’d suggest that the days of getting more than a cookie or a tiny bag of pretzels are also long gone, unless — ahem! — you fly first class.

Cartoonists who still riff on bad airline food or seats that recline more than an inch and a half make me question how much they’re really suffering for their art.


For those artists who aren’t flying first class, Barney & Clyde (WPWG) offers a very solid marketing tip.

Back when I was selling TV advertising spots, my boss went on one of those land-developer sales tours, to score the free gift and see how they did things. He said as the salesman drove him around, the radio kept chirping “Lot #365 has been sold! Lot 84 has been sold!”

“It could have just been a tape recorder under the driver’s seat,” he said, “but, damn, I started really wanting to buy one before they were all gone!”


Life does offer some benefits for those of us in the cheap seats: Half Full (AMS) rings true because I’ve switched to T-Mobile Internet, so my wifi comes through the air, not through a cable, the “feng shui” being the need to place the unit where it can pick up the signal from the nearest cell tower while dispersing it throughout the apartment.

And, since I’m also streaming TV, I can move a portable TV around wherever and whenever the feng shui dictates without dragging wires.

I suspect the days of cable companies, with their high rates and monopolistic town contracts, are doomed.

And it won’t take as long as it took MCI to break Ma Bell’s back.


Finally, Deflocked (AMS) takes us back into the winter woods, because you’re very apt to think you’re smelling a skunk in the forest around here, but it’s intended to attract rather than repel.

It’s mating season for foxes, who apparently enjoy an overpowering level of strong musk, more than flowers, more than money.

While they’re never so desperate that they can’t throw an absolutely awesome wedding:

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