Revisiting the FAQ

  • We mostly discuss individual daily comics here. Comments such as “I hate this comic strip and its artist should never be allowed to work in this business again” are not productive. The CIDU page is a place for people who love comics, and the artists deserve respect.
  • I think of this place as my virtual living room, and you all my guests. My guests are welcome to disagree with one another, and with me, but I expect civility.
  • Thread drift is fine, but we steer clear of politics: this is a safe zone.
  • Everybody’s first comment gets sent to Moderation. Once your comment is approved, which should happen fairly quickly, your subsequent comments will sail right through. Except when they don’t, since sometimes the Moderation program flags comments for no apparent reason. In fact, it sometimes randomly picks on a particular person, flagging every one of his or her messages until… it randomly stops doing so.
  • We have a number of categories here other than CIDUs, including the Ewww Files, LOL, and the Arlo Page, for comics you don’t want to explain to your kids. By the way, the Arlo Page is named after Arlo Guthrie. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
  • The Arlo Award, on the other hand, goes to the writer of a syndicated newspaper comic strip who manages to sneak something totally unacceptable past the syndicate’s censors. Obviously this doesn’t apply to Internet-only or self-published comics.
  • The site is updated with a new CIDU every weekday at 12:02am Eastern Time — except for an indefinite period following both “spring forward” and “fall back,” when WordPress is still trying to figure out the time change. Then the comic could go live either an hour earlier or an hour later, pretty much randomly. Don’t ask.
  • Saturday morning is reserved for the Ewww Files or other special categories, and Sunday is the aforementioned LOL collection. Other posts might be scattered throughout the day, but the 12:02am update is a constant.
  • I also run the website for Crime, Justice & America magazine, and I link to any articles I think might appeal to the people visiting CIDU. These always include “CJA” and/or “Crimeweek” in the subject line (except when I forget). Likewise there are the occasional off-topic posts, cleverly labeled “[OT]”
  • We don’t encourage artists to explain their own comics, because they’ve already had their chance to make us understand. Also, it’s more fun this way.
  • Finally, if you have anything to send me, please e-mail it to me at cidubill at Even if you know my personal address, please use this address for submissions: it’s less likely to get lost in the shuffle. When you’re submitting a comic, please (if possible) give me a link to it, and attach it — because sometimes attachments don’t survive the trip, and sometimes links don’t work. I don’t ignore anything, but I’m not as good at keeping current with my e-mail as I might be. This site is my “fourth job,” after all. If you send me something and you don’t want your full name used, sign the e-mail with your first name, or the nickname you commonly use here. Or if you want to be absolutely sure, just add “Call me Bob.” Please don’t expect me to remember from a previous time, because I’m lucky if I remember my own kids’ names.
  • I’m almost certain I’ve left something out here.


  1. Chak, nothing really changed: I just like to re-post this once a year or so.

    Brian, I was just thinking that line needs to be changed: CJA is pining for the fjords, and I long ago changed the website’s name to Crimeweek.

    Or changed it back, really, since Crimeweek has existed since the late 90s, and is why I got hired to run CJA in the first place.

    Same with Facebook page, by the way, which is a lot more active than the website (though it still uses my favorite CJA cover as its icon). I had the foresight to keep both of them unde my control.

  2. @ Bill – Can you add a link to this FAQ to the left-side menu? If it can’t go right under “Your Random Comments”, it could be added to the text under “The Page Formerly Known as Random Comments”.

  3. Kilby, I thought I mentioned that the sidebar serms to be set in stone. I can only work with what’s already there, which is why there’s such a roundabout path to the current Random Comments.

    And why there’s a link to the FAQ from the Random Comments page.

  4. @ Bill – That’s why I said “If it can’t…” — Just like the header of the original “random comments” page contains a link to the current page, you could also place a link to the FAQ there.

  5. P.S. I missed the fact that you had placed the link on the current random comments page. That’s good, of course, but you could still add a second one to the original page.

  6. You seem to be saying I can add another link to the sidebar of the main page. This is precisely what I cannot do.

  7. B.A., that is indeed what it is.

    The cover story was about the “juvenile death penalty,” a somewhat-inaccurate term for executing prisoners (often decades after the fact) for murders they committed before their 18th birthday.

    Each issue, as a rule, I was given a few cover designs to choose from, but this time around the art director was stuck and wanted suggestions. This wasn’t my job, and I had no illusions that I could come up with a cover design. Finally I said “I don’t know, Miriam, just put a baby in an electric chair!”

    My language might have been a bit saltier then that, actually, because I was getting a bit annoyed.

    So fast-forward a month, and the Big Boss emails me and asks what I was thinking. Turns out Miriam thought I was being serious.

    It was too late to do anything about it at that point; but when I looked at it I realized I really liked it. There were some complaints — not everybody thought a ridiculous cover was appropriate for such a serious topic — but it’s the only cover I have framed in my office.

  8. @ Bill – No, NOT to the sidebar! When you click on that sidebar link, it leads you (first) to the original Random Comments post. You can (and already have, multiple times) edit the paragraphs at the top of that post (on the right) – that’s how you provided the link to the current Random Comments page. Just like you did on that current page, you could (if you want) put the FAQ link on the header to the “original” Random Comments page.
    P.S. To be perfectly honest, I had not noticed the FAQ link on the current random comments page (that’s why I suggested this in the first place), but I still think there is some value in showing that link one level “higher up”.

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