CSotD: A New Year for Old Folks

Adam@Home (AMS) is in an optimistic mood as 2024 has launched, though not quite as much in a hurry as his wife, who I suspect is only trying to encourage him, given that they’ve been married long enough to have a couple of kids on the brink of middle school.

After all, encouraging him has worked so far, and we could all use someone who believes in us, regardless of how realistic their faith is. And I don’t know that Adam has ever let her down, though he’s not always come up to his own expectations. Seems like a good balance.

Meanwhile, the fellow in this Non Sequitur (AMS) has modest expectations, though they do call for a certain degree of consistency. That is, if he doesn’t keep his June resolution, he won’t likely keep July’s either.

I’ve often remarked that I don’t have a bucket list, and that the things I’ve wanted to do, I’ve done, and the rest don’t matter. But Earl is right: Phil is a big picture guy, and if that’s the extent of his bucket list, I’m willing to sign on.

On the other hand, I’ll be watching the story arc unfolding on Big Nate (AMS), because we were just talking about this the other day. My mother is 99 and my father checked out at 69. I’m glad to have lived longer than he did but I can’t possibly afford to live as long as she has.

So we were talking about a commercial that shows a young man caring for his elderly grandmother and getting advice and supplies, and how it seemed both more touching and more practical than the ads that show how to find a Luxury Resort For Mom and that don’t explain how you pay for the pool and all the cinnamon-scented candles.

It is a puzzlement, so I’m back at Non Sequitur: My plan is to keep going and see what happens. I’ve heard that “Que sera sera” isn’t a real phrase, but Google Translate says it’s French. Good enough for me, because I’m getting to the point where the future is, indeed, mine to see, which is better than not seeing it, n’est-ce pas?

I’m younger than the fellow in this Bob Eckstein cartoon, at least in spirit. I expect to write 14 checks in the coming year: 12 to my landlady, who prefers them, one to register my car and another to register my dog. Maybe 15, depending on how I deal with the IRS.

Beyond that, it’s all electronic and theoretical, which is fine with me. Even the laundromat takes cards, and I can use one if I need to pay for parking, which doesn’t happen out here very often.

I don’t carry cash, either, but I can round up at the co-op, and that squares me with the homeless and hungry. (And, no, they can’t.)

I’ll admit to being as old and square as Leroy Lockhorn, not because I don’t understand QR Codes but because I hate my telephone, which I hope doesn’t work very well because it sure doesn’t work very well for me.

I want to get a new one that doesn’t shut itself off or open unexpected apps at random, but I’m afraid of finding out that my issues are what we used to call PEBCAK errors.

BTW, the Lockhorns showed up on both my Comics Kingdom and GoComics pages today. Hope that means Bunny and John are getting paid twice!

Who’s the leader of the Free World that’s made for you and me?

Peter Schrank

Patrick Blower

Quite a coincidence in this Juxtaposition of two British cartoonists joking about an American cartoon character (or three), but I get nervous when people get excited about copyright expiration. It’s somewhat akin to handling a gun that you are absolutely sure isn’t loaded even though you aren’t an expert on guns.

For one thing, only the oldest Mickey Mouse features are now in the public domain. This is akin to last year when people explained that E.H. Shepard’s bear-naked Winnie the Pooh was fair game but if you put him in a red shirt, he was Disney’s Pooh and still under copyright.

And, for another thing, he’s trademarked, and that doesn’t expire, so there are ways you can use Mickey and ways you can’t.

Here’s an excellent article that all creative types who are itching to play with the Mouse should read. It covers the ground, though I find it a little more optimistic and encouraging than I would be, for the third reason.

That third reason is that you should never mess with Dr. Seuss, the International Olympic Committee or Walt Disney. They are extremely litigious, and, while you might well be in the right, I very much doubt your wallet is as thick and well-padded as theirs are. It’s a good chance for you to win the battle and lose the war.

Be careful out there.

Juxtaposition of the Elderly

The Duplex — AMS

Bill Day

As noted before, I have the advantage over other Old Farts of having worked with kids, so ran into Taylor Swift at least a decade ago. Some of her fans from those days are out of college by now, and I don’t know if they still like her music, but she’s hardly news to anyone under 30.

The practical side of all this is that Swift has (finally!) come to the attention of editors who like to seem hip and who buy cartoons, which explains why we’re suddenly seeing so many of them.

She’s a good influence and makes sure her audience knows about elections and the environment, but she’s barely on my radar anymore. I’m no longer working with kids, and, while I’ve got granddaughters in her target demographic, I haven’t heard about her from them one way or t’other.

Meanwhile, Leigh Rubin cracks a Joni Mitchell/Judy Collins gag in today’s Rubes (Creators), so there’s no reason for us old folks to feel neglected on the funny pages.

However, you miss out by purposely ignoring the youngsters. Tal Wilkenfeld is just three years older than Taylor Swift, and here she is at 21 in 2007, jamming with Jeff Beck, who was old enough to have been her grandfather and cool enough not to fret(!) over it.

13 thoughts on “CSotD: A New Year for Old Folks

  1. I’ve discussed the Mickey Mouse copyright expiration ad nauseum over the past year, so I won’t again go into how stupid it is to believe that anyone but Disney will make anything off of the situation for at least another decade, and even then, it will be on unlicensed merchandise and not any creative product, animated or drawn, when even Disney isn’t making anything but its bargain-basement basic CGI Disney Jr. TV series. There haven’t been any
    new regularly published MM comic books since 2017, and the comic strip ended in ’95.

    But the essence of the whole concept is that people want something for nothing, exploiting something you had no hand in creating or developing, as well as the very real deprivation of inherited property because it’s intellectual rather than physical. Imagine that the house you inherited from your grandparents had an expiration date, after which anyone could occupy it the minute you left the premises. Or your silver set or that painting on the
    wall or anything else older than just under a hundred years could just be taken by anybody at some date in the future. I don’t see the difference.

    Of course, it’s a tacit admission that you can’t come up with your own creation, which, if you are unfortunate enough to have a success with, will pass from your descendants’ control in 95 years.

    And, hey, the ONLY reason these characters are still known is because the copyright holder kept it an active property. I don’t see anyone clamoring for Little Nemo product, despite its public-domain status. And talk to all of those comic-book publishers who’ve attempted revivals of golden-age superheroes. I’m sure they’ll admit that the value of their product was just about equal to their free investment in them. When you’ve been out of print for 56 or even 28 years, nobody remembers you but a few thousand old guys who may still be collecting, no matter how many expensive reprints have been issued in book form.

  2. I was never a Swiftie, but even I was aware that she was a thing for the past decade or so.
    The only reason she’s all over the place now is:
    1. She has a boyfriend, and celebrity couples are all it takes to get the media riled up
    2. She tells young’uns to get out and vote, and also to be mindful of the environment, which are all it takes to get MAGAts and old folks riled up

    1. Didn’t say you couldn’t win. I said they likely have more money to spend on lawyers than you do. Peggy Lee would be an exception, given her prominence. The graphic designer Laurel Strand mentions won, as well, but had to sell her studio to pay her lawyers. Not everyone has a studio to sell.

  3. Mike, is that comment above by falep10178 a troll, or a bot, or a crap AI?? the comment is not only WRONG but it makes no sense. I can ignore it. But, I’m afraid if this nonsense spreads more it will overwhelm all rational work on the internet (if it hasn’t already)

Comments are closed.