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CSotD: Double Mandatory Comic Sunday

With today being Super Bowl Sunday and tomorrow Valentine’s Day, cartoonists are under some pressure to cite one or the other, but, before we get into forced timing, here’s a bit of the serendipitous kind: This Arctic Circle (KFS) actually ran yesterday but was surely written and drawn before thugs in big rigs were a news item.

As it happens, this obnoxious minority indeed seem to only be listened to because they have the power to obstruct, not just in Canada but in Australia and New Zealand as well, and public patience is beyond “at an end.”

We can get into the nuts and bolts another day, but this was quite a piece of lucky timing.

 

As long as we’re letting ourselves be distracted by politics, I’ve been critical of Michael Ramirez (Creators) often enough that it’s only fair to point out when we agree. I said yesterday that the wall of Trump loyalty is showing a few cracks, and here’s an example of thoughtful conservative analysis: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, indeed.

It would be good to see more conservatives step up, and my advice to those from the left side of the aisle is to accept allies, in part because they may have some valuable points of view you hadn’t considered and because they may well be positioned to switch votes among their right-leaning cohort.

I’ve become a fan of the Bulwark and of Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, a collection of people I pushed back against a decade ago.

You’re far more stubborn than smart if you can’t adjust to changing times and remain open to potential allies.

Now, onto Super Bowl and Valentines and such:

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Edison Lee — KFS)

(Willy and Ethel)

One of the strong points of Edison Lee is that his overpowering intellect is both celebrated and mocked. There are times he is the voice of reason and, as today, times when he is simply out of touch.

Nobody is forced to enjoy sports, just as nobody is forced to enjoy ballet, and dismissing one with a sneering “sportsball” is like asking, of the other, “Why don’t they just hire taller girls?”

Ignorance as a self-deprecating joke is funny, but it makes a damn strange point of pride.

For all his intelligence, little Edison is no Renaissance Man, and much of the humor of the strip is in his tunnel vision. I wish we’d see more of Katie Franklin, because she’s equally his match in the classroom but a more well-rounded individual.

Anyway, he’s not a snob. He’s simply preoccupied.

Meanwhile, we’re established that Willie and Ethel barely have one television, which makes me hope Willie can stay down at Leon’s and catch the game there.

It could be worse: She might have decided to have everyone over for a Super Bowl Party and then he wouldn’t get to watch the game at all.

Which brings us to Steve Breen (Creators)‘s commentary on the cratering TV ratings for the Where’s Peng Shau Olympics, though we should note two caveats:

One is that we can’t take too much pride in the notion that people are tuning out because of China’s ghastly human rights record. Maybe they’re just tired of esoteric games in which the commentators seem more excited than they are.

The other, as that linked article notes, is that a whole lot of people are still watching, and Olympic ratings can take a massive fall and still be better than most prime time shows. Though that also suggests what happens to prime time network ratings when you’ve got 120 channels instead of three.

Also, people who genuinely like a particular sport may be seeking more complete coverage through streaming.

But here’s the Willie ‘N Ethel connection: I hosted a housewarming one time that happened to be during the Olympics and found the women huddled around the TV intently watching the figure skating while the guys were in the kitchen casually chatting.

A kind of gender-swap Super Bowl party.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Sherman’s Lagoon – KFS)

(Clay Bennett – CTFP)

Forrest Gump notwithstanding, you certainly can tell what’s in a box of chocolates if you take a moment to learn the chocolatiers’ code of shapes, colors and swirls.

Agnes (Creators) explained it back in 2007, but were you listening?

Similarly, if you’re reading Sherman’s Lagoon, you should expect bathos, and, if you’re reading a Clay Bennett cartoon, you should look for deadpan commentary, and if you can’t tell them apart, well, you’re gonna eat a lot of accidental rumballs.

And, sure enough, Sherman made me laugh again, in large part because the characters are so well established that they reinforce the gag, just as we began laughing as soon as Howard Borden walked into the Hartleys’ apartment.

That’s how situation comedy should work.

There’s less a laugh than a visible clue to hidden sweetness in Bennett’s piece, as he offers a Valentine’s Day salute to true love, which, as Janis told us, involves more than wearing nice shiny armor until there’s a dragon for to slay.

Because, to shift generations a little, people want to know what love is, and they want you to show them.

Start with a mask, two vaccinations and a booster, okay?

I guess the nice thing is that you can figure someone out before social distancing is even a topic.

 

And now for something completely different

Comment of the week, during a rough week of glitches at Comics Kingdom, was someone’s observation that you could buy a print of their standard trouble slide, and I can laugh because I worked in TV back when we used to air trouble slides several times a week.

The missing comic was this Sunday Juliet Jones, which is basically a recap anyway, but which I found after some significant rooting around. I’m not asking for a medal, but simply noting that, in the process of looking for the missing episode from July 25, 1965, I found these gems:

And also this, which is less a gem than a semi-precious tie-in to a TV show that set teen hearts pitter-patting:

Community Comments

#1 Paul Berge
February/13/2022
@ 10:30 am

in re: Breen’s cartoon, doesn’t anyone else feel that a newspaper editorial cartoonist poking fun at a TV network’s low ratings is like a buggy whip manufacturer taking delight in the woes of the corset industry?

#2 Rich Furman
February/13/2022
@ 1:03 pm

Paul, just think, there are still niche markets for both.

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