CSotD: Wait, what?

When I saw this morning’s Prickly City (AMS), I thought it was going to win the “Bad Timing” award, dropping, as it did, the morning after the House preserved the nation’s credit rating, pending Senate approval which seems a lead pipe cinch.

Of course, we still have to see how Wall Street responds to the deal that will avert default, because it’s not always logical, but it sure seems unlikely that the international markets are going to dethrone the US dollar as the default currency against which all others are mentioned, or US bonds as the favored investment, though German bonds are looking pretty good right now.

Anyway, it’s better than we thought 48 hours ago, and Carmen’s cynicism notwithstanding, most observers were predicting some sort of bargain. Which happened.

However, Tony Carrillo made a good bid for a timing award of some sort with this F Minus (AMS), which is Good Timing in that Disney is shutting down its Splash Mountain ride, but Bad Timing in that some woman made the news by climbing out of her log midway through the ride.

The judges need to confer on this one, because the woman — as you’ll see in the video on that link — simply walked away before things got all that scary, but, then, it doesn’t look like Disney is abandoning the ride itself.

Instead, they’re changing it from a celebration of Song of the South to a celebration of The Princess and the Frog, which offers a level of conceptual whiplash to match the potential physical whiplash of the world’s longest flume drop, which I gather will still be there.

In both cases, it’s good whiplash, since Joel Chandler Harris’s attempt to preserve African-based folk tales was clumsy enough to begin with and didn’t survive being Disneyfied, while the Princess and the Frog did a credible job of promoting New Orleans’ mixed-race culture.

Everything I know about Splash Mountain, I learned on-line. When I visited Disneyland in 1959, the Matterhorn was the big new ride, and I don’t think there was anything controversial about Third Man on the Mountain.

By contrast, Patrick Chappatte notes the popularity of summiting a for-real mountain, Everest, a task which was a real challenge 70 years ago, but which now, with better equipment and established routes, has become a tourist event.

However, while Chappatte exaggerates the crowd, he’s 100% accurate that there are dead bodies littering the pathway, and that’s only the most grotesque part of what tourists have left behind.

Which, to echo the dialogue here, makes you wonder the cost of those selfies, to the mountain and to Sherpa culture, if not to the tourists themselves.

I’m all in favor of eco-tourism, but this ain’t it.

In contrast to Chappatte, Marty Two Bulls celebrates a lazier style of foolish tourism, specifically the dimwits who approach bison thinking they’re, what, big doggies? If they thought they were like cattle, it would still be pretty stupid to try to pet them or take selfies with them or what have you.

Although, for that matter, a lot of city folk don’t realize how foolish it is to wander around cattle, and even believe those tales of “cow tipping.”

In contrast to the crowds on Everest, I’m all in favor of getting more tourists out to Yellowstone, because most of them are sensible and the park is large enough that there’s plenty of quiet space that the drive-thru tourists don’t disturb.

And what they do see, from their cars, from their campsites and at the well-marked pull-off areas, should teach most of them the beauty of nature, even if they’re getting a somewhat refined view of it.

The ones who bother the bison or step off the boardwalks into the boiling water are a very small percentage, but Two Bulls is right: They’re genuinely there.

Meanwhile, Alex Hallatt’s characters aren’t cutting the anti-enviro group a whole lot of slack in Arctic Circle (KFS), and, while I don’t expect everyone to go off the grid and live in yurts, this is a pretty impressive check list of unnecessary self-indulgent products and behaviors.

I particularly like the way the joke is structured, because I know a lot of people who could feel good about the list until they got to that last one.

The odd thing about it being that we’ve entered an era of magical overpriced coffee, but my experience with coffee pods is that, on one hand, they are immensely popular but that, on the other, they make lousy coffee compared to anything but maybe instant.

And I know there are pods that claim to be environmentally friendly, but I can top them with two words: French press. Equally fast, better coffee, biodegradable.

Juxtaposition of Itself

One of the recurring themes in Candorville (KFS) is Lemont’s obsession with grammar, and I had already pulled out yesterday’s strip to point out that “in your court” relates to tennis, where the court is both the overall playing surface but also the divisions within that surface. A ball in your court — whether on service or in play — is your responsibility.

I was going to add that his objection to “for a ride” made no sense either, but this morning he admitted it himself and suggested that maybe he was simply imposing personal rules.

Yes, yes you are.

But, having been an editor for a dozen years or so, I’ve wrestled with this one.

I tried to cure my young writers — ages 8 to 14 — to avoid actual bad grammar, as well as nails-on-the-chalkboard idioms like “based off of,” which makes no sense.

And I begged them to avoid “awesome,” which tells the reader nothing, and “overall,” a junk word that teachers love but that editors despise.

I also admitted to them that some of these things were simply constructions that I, personally, hated, but that, whether writing for teachers now or editors in later life, they’d have to adjust to please the boss, even if it didn’t matter otherwise.

When I retired and we shut down the publication, one of my reporters sent me this farewell message.

It’s nice to know you got through.

Speaking of popular idioms, today’s Argyle Sweater (AMS) was a real head-scratcher, until you realize that Scott Hilburn’s colorist, whoever/wherever that might be, didn’t get the joke or recognize the expression being spoofed.

And had never read Christina Rossetti’s poem.

4 thoughts on “CSotD: Wait, what?

  1. It helps (really, really, REALLY helps!) if cartoonists provide notes to a syndicate–and directly to a colorist if possible–about color critical elements of a gag. We have to work fast (really, really, REALLY fast!) if we’d like to make at least as much as hamburg flippers do today. That leaves little time to figger things out and sometimes, well, hues happen. I know there’s at least one other Daily Cartoonist regular reader (talking to you, Anne Hambrock) who knows of what I gripe.

  2. Frank is right – it’s easy to beat up on colorists but readers should know a couple things. First, the average colorist is working on multiple features – I color 50 strips every week and I know colorists who do even more. When you have that many files to process you have to be as efficient as possible and generally don’t have time to research anything in the feature that is not immediately straight forward. I always read the joke in case the joke itself relies on color but still I might get something wrong if it’s a reference that escapes me. Secondly, funny things happen to files when they get transferred from one place to another and this can affect the “true” color that you wind up seeing on the web. Oranges and Yellows are particularly prone to what I call “color pollution”. A 100 percent yellow can suddenly become 96 yellow, 2 cyan, 3 magenta, 2 black for no reason whatsoever. So there’s even a possibility that the orange was a nice light orange color that morphed into a mustard yellow.

    Colorists often get a really bad rap – we are generally doing the best that we can as quickly as we can – Frank is right about the pay too – and the more information we have the better for everyone.

  3. Sorry Mike, but if disposable diapers are still allowed I’m keeping my coffee pods (1 a day, used twice).

Comments are closed.