DeathMatch! Update (With bonus CIDU)

Didn’t take long to get started: Saturday, Nathan sent me this Mr. Lovenstein strip (which seems to be designed to make copying the comic impossible; if this becomes a trend, we might be out of business).

So Death drew first blood.

And then Sunday:


Clown Cars would have been on the board if we saw through the window a tiny parked car:

clowns mark

And maybe we should have let Pinocchio compete:

pinocchio rhymes

pinocchio mgg

And okay, while we’re here, let’s hit the second one, the Mother Goose and Grimm, with a CIDU tag. Yes, Jonah and Pinocchio both ended up inside whales (though Jonah a few thousand years earlier, but whatever), but why is Jonah holding a sheet of paper (?) and why is Pinocchio disassembled? Is the whale actually an Ikea popup?

Anyway, after the first weekend, it’s Death 2, Russian Clown Gesundheit 0.

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here)


  1. So we have a consensus thay the Ghost of Christmas Future IS NOT synonymous with Death?

    If there are no opposing arguments, I will remove the point.

  2. For pages like Mr. Lovenstein’s that disable the context menu on comics: Using Firefox, right-click in a background area and select “View page info.” This opens a new page; go to the Media tab, find the image you want (in this case it’s the first PNG), select Save As. Can be tedious when there are many images.

  3. I didn’t want to jinx myself by saying it before it worked, but it’s dead simple if, like me, you run with scripting turned off.

  4. Mark, that’s basically how I save GoComics comics; but last night, right-clicking (using Firefox and Opera) gave me no menu at all.

  5. @Arthur – however that is not the whole comic – you miss out the aftercomic or punchline or payoff or whatever it is, where you see that Death’s work is not scything through the residents of the retirement home, as the colour panels suggest, but is an actual menial job washing floors.

  6. ” . . . but is an actual menial job washing floors.”

    I saw that panel and didn’t make the connection; thanks for pointing it out – adds another level of funny.

  7. I believe Jonah is reading a name tag or something similar; otherwise, how would he know Pinocchio’s name?

    As to the time discrepancy, isn’t it more bothersome that Pinocchio escaped from the whale intact if not alive (yet)? Would it be funnier if Pinocchio (and Gepetto) found Jonah’s remains instead (even though Jonah also escaped intact)?

    Or maybe it’s a different Pinocchio; the remains of a puppet boy named Pinocchio would be exactly what you might expect to find in any whale.

  8. I think Pinocchio is dissassembled because that’s like his skeleton. Not a brilliant concept.

  9. As for copying, there’s always screen-capturing.

    The Jonah one is a real CIDU. The “nobody’s fuel” one was funny.

  10. “As for copying, there’s always screen-capturing.”

    But that gets you a poor quality picture that has to be cropped in some other program.

  11. Mark Jackson: even easier, when you find the right graphic, right-click and Copy, then paste that into the address bar and you’ll be viewing just the graphic.

  12. The Ghost of Christmas Future showed Scrooge his grave, so I think you can say the character is at least an aspect of Death, if not Death itself.

    Also, the image is so clearly the image of Death in popular culture that it immediately brings the character to mind regardless of what you call it. Calling an image of the Grim Reaper “Steve” wouldn’t change the visual impact, for example.

  13. Re: CIDU Bill

    On a PC you can use Ctrl-[minus] and Ctrl-[plus] to make the size of the screen image smaller and larger, respectively. [Ctrl-0 resets the screen to the default size.]

  14. This one is iffy (I might need a panel of judges):

    So to keep things neat, I’ll take Andréa’s suggestion and give half a point to the Zits, and then half a point to today’s Lio, restoring the score to Death 2, Russian Clown Gesundheit 0

  15. I suppose that the Mother Goose and Grimm strip imagines a universe in which Pinocchio failed to escape from Monstro and, as one would expect in such a circumstance, died in the normal course (whereupon he was found by Jonah thousands of years earlier – as Bill noted, there is an issue with the timeline). Then apparently the acids of Monstro’s stomach somehow cause Pinocchio’s joints to disintegrate, while the principal body parts are damaged but remain. While that is not how it would work, the picture is obviously intended to suggest the effect that there would be on a human corpse, where the tendons connecting the bones are gone long before the bones themselves are. And somehow Pinocchio’s nametag (or something) is still around, so Jonah was able to identify him.

    My question is: Why is Jonah calling out Pinocchio’s name? It looks like a cry of recognition, but there is no story in which Jonah and Pinocchio have previously met. And if they had previously met, Jonah would have been able to recognize Pinocchio (as we can) without reading his nametag.

  16. The Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon strikes again!

    ‘One such game, known variously as “Smear the Queer”, . . .’
    (sorry, the political INcorrectness is NOT mine)

    We had a get-together here on Saturday (10 dogs, 7 people, NO politics), and a friend who was raised in Georgia mentioned (I don’t remember the context) this name of a street game she played when she was a child; we (the humans) were aghast, and thought it was maybe something HER friends had made up; turns out to have been widespread enough to be mentioned in WikiPedia, in the article linked above.

  17. I’m surprised that no one has yet been That Guy who points that, while Pinocchio was indeed swallowed by a whale, Jonah is said to have been swallowed by a “giant fish” (or somesuch depending on translation), and of course a whale is not a fish. Thus, Even Further Fail.

    So I guess I’m self-appointed to be That Guy this time. But I’m happy to see someone else run with the quibble next time, O.K.?

  18. I’m skeptical that we know that Jonah was not swallowed by a “whale.” A “whale” is indeed not a “fish,” since the modern meaning of “fish” excludes mammals. But Jonah was swallowed not by a “fish” nor a “whale,” but a דג. I doubt that we know Biblical Hebrew usage well enough to know that the meaning of דג excluded mammals that lived in the sea.

  19. Ah, but Pinocchio was swallowed by the Terrible Dogfish, also not a whale, so no inconsistency.

  20. You’re right; I misspoke. They ARE fish, tho. (And please don’t tell Hubby I said they weren’t sharks; he’s swam/swum with them and would be appalled I said that.)

  21. A millennium or two ago, when the legend was created, they considered whales to be fish.

    Arthur (FEBRUARY 3, 2020 AT 12:54 AM): If you have a Mac, just use Shift-Command-4 and select the area you want to capture. Sorry if Windoze can’t do that.

  22. Shrug, as The Other Guy, I could point out that a book of fairy tales written by people who live in a desert is unlikely to be the best marine biology text.

  23. Within the mythology of the story (sorry if that offends anyone) the great fish could be exactly that, a creature created by God for the purpose.

  24. @ Boise Ed & Arthur – Thanks to your comments, I finally looked it up and discovered why I was never able to remember the correct modifier keys (Ctrl, Alt, etc.) to use with “PrtScr” in Windows(*): the idiots in Redmond seem to have changed the combinations in progressive versions. So try “PrtScr“, “Ctrl+PrtScr“, “Alt+PrtScr“, (etc.) until you find what works for the version you have. (This only gives a single window or the whole desktop, respectively.)
    P.S. For free-form rectangular captures, a “Snipping Tool” is available in Windows 10 (and possibly as early as Windows 7, but given Windows’ susceptibility to viruses, I wouldn’t recommend connecting anything below Windows 10 to the Internet).
    P.P.S. (*) – “Windoze” translates into German as “Windoof“, the adjective “doof” means “silly” or “stupid”.

  25. @ CIDU Bill – Does that mean that when I send you the actual .GIF file from GoComics as an attachment, you do a screen capture from the e-mail instead of just using the attachment?

  26. Kilby, when you send an attachment, I usually use Snipping Tool rather than downloading it, because it allows me to name he comic. The results are identical, of course.

  27. in Win10 PrtSc works for me the same as it always has. PrtSc by itself captures the entire screen, and Alt+ gets the active window.

  28. Boise Ed: “A millennium or two ago, when the legend was created, they considered whales to be fish.”

    Do you have a reference for this? (Not a challenge, this sounds right to me; I’m just curious.)

  29. Whether whales are fish or not depends on your definition of “fish”. Whales, birds, fish, insects and humans are all animals. There are other animals, and the word for one of those other animals is “beast”. Samuel Johnson’s dictionary (published 1755) defines “beast” as “An animal distinguished from birds, insects, fishes, and man.” A lizard is a beast that is not a mammal, and a man is a mammal that is not a beast.
    In Genesis Chapter 1, on the fifth day of creation God said (KJV) “‘Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and foul that may fly about the earth in the open firmament of heaven.’ And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
    On the sixth day, God said “‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind:’ and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
    The KJV and most other translations do not use the word “fish” at this point, but in Genesis 1:28 got creates male and female humans and tells them “Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
    Johnson’s Dictionary defines “whale” as “The largest of fish; the largest of the animals that inhabit this globe.”
    The word “mammal” was not used in English until half a century after Johnson, and it was borrowed from Latin usage.
    So to Johnson and the KJV translators, if it’s one of us it’s a man, else if it looks like an insect it’s an insect, else if it flies it’s a bird, else if it swims it’s a fish, else it’s a beast. Breasts are not used for this classification. Fish and whales on the fifth day, beasts on the sixth.
    The book of Jonah doesn’t say “whale”. It says “fish”.
    But in Matthew 12:40: “But as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Meaning of course the night from Good Friday to Holy Saturday, the night from Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday, and the night from Easter Sunday to … hey, wait a minute …

  30. JPS translates it differently: “And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that creepeth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after its kind, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good.”

  31. @ Bill – The results are only the same if your e-mail program has enough screen space to display the attachment at full resolution. It also means I’ve been wasting my time carefully renaming every attachment to (strip’s name)+(publication date).

  32. P.S. @ Brian in StL – Thanks for the feedback. When I looked it up, one of the references cited the “Windows” key as the necessary modifier, but I didn’t bother to test that, because I almost always use the Snipping Tool. I’ll have to try both combinations sometime and compare the results.

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