CSotD: Threads and Needles

(Adam Sacks)

(Joy of Tech)

So I got on Threads (comicstripoftheday) and yet, unlike Scrooge, my life has not been transformed.

I don’t much like it, because it seems crowded, but maybe that’s because I don’t much like looking at things on my phone because they seem crowded. I’m assuming Threads will eventually come to desktops, and I also hope it will let me set up groups so I don’t have to scroll through everybody in search, for instance, of cartoonists.

But I differ from Joy of Tech in this: I’ve managed to work out the negatives of Facebook and Twitter.

Granted, Facebook is full of inane photos of food and people I don’t know smiling and blocking the scenery they want me to see that they saw, not to mention questions from scam artists hoping to harvest addresses to exploit.

But, as Shakespeare or possibly John Donne wrote, “It is what it is.”

Twitter was easier to tame: Just follow people you want to follow and block people you don’t want to hear from. I wouldn’t know what Elon was up to if people weren’t forwarding his tweets and ditto with MTG and TFG and LSMFT. If you curate your page intelligently, Twitter remains a good place.

So we’ll see how Threads shakes out.

BTW, I link to a lot of cartoonists on Twitter. If you’re leaving, provide an address where your work can be found, and make sure it isn’t behind a paywall. Much of why I do this is to help build your fan base. Don’t disappear.

Colorful Controversy

Guy Venables’ project to repaint the covered-up cartoon murals for refugee children ran into a predictable bureaucratic roadblock: The people who didn’t want to comfort kids still don’t.

Here’s how the Immigration Minister who ordered the destruction explained it:


So instead, Venables and his merry band of cartoonists are creating a 100-page coloring book for little migrants, and you can read about it here, but that paywall will cut you off after a reading or two, so be forewarned.

Here’s what Guy said there:

The books (plus crayons!) will be free for the kids and also sold as a fundraiser for refugees, to which I add this piece of unsolicited advice: Auction off the originals.

Gatis Sluka (Cartoon Movement) asks why people would rather watch a concert on their phone at the venue than on a much larger screen at home.

It’s a two-sided issue. On one hand, it’s reasonable to ask why you don’t just put your phone in your pocket and enjoy what’s happening, whether you’re at a concert or a wedding or on the rim of the Grand Canyon. You’re never going to watch the video anyway. Live in the moment, ferchrissake.

The other issue is why you would want to sit in the nosebleed seats of an event you could have seen more clearly at home. This is not so much about concerts: A good concert is a unique combination of music and vibes, though the best concerts I’ve been to were in intimate settings.

But shifting to sporting events, I really question paying a couple of hundred dollars to look at little dots on a distant field and watch the game on the Jumbotron. The view is better at home, and the beer is cheaper.

Also, when you watch on TV, you get to see commercials for betting sites that mislead you about free money and, as Tank McNamara (AMS) suggests, raise questions about fairness on the field.

My first contact with the Mafia was a high school kid who sold betting slips for his uncle. The uncle, who later became a friend of mine, was mobbed up, though not on a level where he committed crimes beyond running a sports book as a side gig or, more likely, turning it over to someone higher on the ladder.

Anyway, I’m more comfortable with illegal betting. I only bought two or three slips from the kid, but that’s two or three more ventures into the deal than I’ve made with the slick legal guys on television.

I like people who are who they appear to be.

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Steve Breen — Creators)

(Matt Pritchett)

I looked it up, and Breen is right, which isn’t a huge surprise, given that he’s in San Diego and Comic-Con is happening in his backyard. The Directors Guild signed a new contract in June, so they aren’t on strike and can appear at Comic-Con.

Assuming they don’t mind crossing a picket line. And pushing past people they might have to work with at some point.

The situation raises all sorts of questions, like are you being a scab if you are a cosplayer portraying actors’ characters? And what would happen to Comic-Con if it had to be about comics instead of about movies and TV shows?

As for Matt’s idea, there’s nothing Hollywood loves more than movies about itself. If you look at the list of Oscars, you’ll see a whole lot of flattering cinematic mirrors.

But you’ll get more nominations than statuettes for movies that depict the dark side.

While Bizarro (KFS) is kidding about awards being handed out for celebrity drivel, the name on the cover seems more important than the words inside and why write 100,000 words when you can get away with 1500 if they sound like an extended Burma Shave sign?

A number of cartoonists are creating graphic novels for kids, which is a good way to deal with fading exposure (and pay) in the newspapers. But they’re experienced in telling stories in a graphic format, so it’s a natural crossover.

Though they operate at a disadvantage, since they have to actually write and draw the books themselves, rather than hiring a ghost writer.

Major praise to Lalo Alcaraz for pointing out a tradition of condescending racism in today’s La Cucaracha (AMS). The more you explore indigenous people anywhere, the more impressed you become at both their technical skills and their political sophistication.

The theory that someone smart must have come and helped them — either in flying saucers or pre-Columbian ships — is not simply ignorant but deeply insulting.

Though it’s a good excuse for keeping them “in their place.”

Finally today, if Pearls Before Swine (AMS) is gonna stick me with an earworm, I’m gonna share it:

10 thoughts on “CSotD: Threads and Needles

  1. What an excellent column today. And the point about paywalls is spot-on. Exposure for artists by reputable, respected sources is a good thing.

    1. It’s no accident that much of that Atlantian-secret-civilization stuff began with white supremacists along with the whole “the British are the REAL descendants of the ancient Israelites” nonsense.

  2. lol yeah, I’ve always felt that ‘Ancient Aliens’ type shows were hilariously racist. Like the #1 driving factor in these shows is “Indigenous peoples living in Ye Olden Tymes were far too stupid and weak to come up with these amazing structures on their own”. Nevermind that pyramids can be found in most places on Earth, largely due to being a very basic, very stable shape (there’s a reason they’ve stood for thousands of years). It’s also not like these ancient civilizations were building mile-high skyscrapers using bronze age tech, they did remarkably well with what they had.

    And yes, it’s hard to seek companionship while not coming off as either too desperate or too detached. Ironically, it helps to not “try” at all.
    Then again, I’m also a lonely basement dweller, so what do I know…

  3. I was writing about pre-Columbian natives for a teaching guide and found a Catlin painting of Lakota hunting on snowshoes (having no horses yet). But when I got the high-res copy, I saw what looked like a dogsled in the background. I thought dogsleds were purely north of 60, so I called the tribal historian at Standing Rock, who said it was a “hauling piece.” It looked like a bass boat, with a curved front, but he told me the lines were attached not at the front but at the back, which makes perfect sense — otherwise, you’d jerk the front of the piece off. This kind of technological common sense doesn’t match the way earler people had bred a grass into the full-sized maize we know, but it’s a good example of the daily, sophisticated technical skills of native people.

    BTW, I asked him the Lakota word for the hauling piece and he laughed and said, “You don’t want that. It’s really long!”

    1. Mike, to which LSMFT are you referring? We’re of a similar age, and I have questions.

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