I hope this is good news and not just a temporary storyline, but over at Zits (KFS), Jeremy has got a decent job that he’s good at and seems enthusiastic about, working at a hi-tech start-up, and, as we see today, he’s become thoughtful.
Assuming it is an actual shift, it’s a welcome one. The strip had become so enmeshed in Jeremy-the-Slacker that I have been close to taking it off my watchlist. For one thing, there hadn’t been a new gag in awhile, just variations on same-old same-old, and, for another, I don’t much like slacker teens in comics because it seems like hostility projected on kids by cartoonists (and editors who buy the strips).
I suppose such kids exist, but my boys didn’t hang with them and so I didn’t know any, and my boys were different enough that they took in a wide sweep of acquaintances. And I never had to pester them to get jobs; rather, each of them came home one day and announced that he had one.
Which didn’t stop either of them from getting into some Merry Adventures, most of which I never knew about until grownup Thanksgivings when the stories and laughter began going around the table.
As Jeremy heads into senior year, it would be good to have more Wally, Eddie and Lumpy action. Let the copycat strip handle the slacker stuff.
Blast From The Past
A little comic strip history here: Rob Harrell once did a brilliant strip called Big Top, which was full of talking animals but which he shut down in 2004 when a health emergency took one of his eyes and occupied a great deal of his time and energy.
But this week, Adam’s obsessive search for more powerful coffee resulted in an accident and, for readers, a temporary flashback.
A very welcome temporary flashback. I miss these guys! (Though they’re still available in reruns.)
This is a “thanks for the memories” gag from Frazz (AMS), because I used to live about half an hour south of Montreal, which is a great city to visit and, in particular, has a boulangerie on every corner and a patisserie in the middle of each block. Those folks take their baked goods seriously.
So every time I went up, I’d pick up a baguette, but Caulfield is right: The next day, it would be hard as a rock.
Which was okay, because a lot of times, it didn’t even make it home.
Quite the opposite sort of memory from Meredith Southard at the New Yorker. One of the nice things about being a few years removed from trade shows is that I no longer have a coffee mug on my desk filled with crappy pens that barely write.
The only person I’ve found who liked trade show handouts was an XGF who was teaching at an inner city high school in Los Angeles. When I went to a convention there once, I had everyone save their spare pens, pads, notebooks and other handouts when it was over and she came and filled her car’s trunk and back seat.
Even crappy stuff was better than what her kids had. They were thrilled!
Rhymes with Orange (KFS) turns an obvious gag into a good one by showing the cardboard box and having her say the line so many people get when they are awarded the box. But I got an extra laugh because it reminded me of the time I booked a psychic on my talk show and she showed up 10 minutes late, having had trouble finding the studio.
Yes, I asked her why she hadn’t told me she’d be late. She took it well, all things considered.
She also turned out to be pretty amazing. She’d asked me to bring a metal object, so I had a large wrought-iron key, which she identified as being from back East (we were in Colorado) and being the key to some place cold.
I told her it was actually from the Midwest, which puzzled her — she was sure it was farther East than that — but I said it was from a relatively cool place, being the key to the elevator of the underground mine in Michigan that my grandfather had worked in.
She seemed dissatisfied with that, too, but the rest of the interview went well, and she helped a caller find a lost piece of jewelry.
A night or two later, I was on the phone with my folks and told them about it and they said, “That’s not from the mine. It’s the key to the icehouse in Cornwall.”
Cornwall, Pennsylvania, that is, which is on the East Coast. And icehouses are indeed cold.
She couldn’t have drawn it out from me in conversation, because I didn’t know it.
We ended up giving her not a cardboard box but a show of her own.
Juxtaposition of the Day, Second Runner-up
A pair of Darth/Luke gags to mark Father’s Day. I like how Tim Rickard switched styles to better capture Mark Hamill, whiile Whamond attached a most excellent twist in Vader’s punchline.
Juxtaposition of the Day, First Runner Up
I have no idea why Stahler and Lemon each came up with a Scrabble gag on Thursday, though perhaps they’re working on a roughly two-month delay. Still, I found it spellbinding. Or at least Eightball did.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Godzilla destroying cities is a comic strip staple, but little Goliath destroying sand castles is a new one on me and I’ll bet Carrillo and Parisi had no hint that anyone else would draw this gag, and certainly not for the same day.
I would add that if anyone is teaching cartooning, this is a good example of how a gag operates differently in different styles. Carrillo manages to inject a very slight sense of menace, though the size and setting make it absurd, but his style wouldn’t have worked with the silly proud mother aspect the way Parisi’s looser style does.
Now, having planted the earworm in my headline, I’ll scratch it: