1. The NewYorker one with the piñata makes me think of the mini-trend a few years back of having children act the parts in an adult script, maybe crime-oriented. Maybe the most notorious and prime example of how this goes wrong, was a version of “Bugsy Malone.”
    A little different in plan, and quite successful critically, was Rian Johnson’s 2005 “Brick” which sort of translated a noir detective story into a high school milieu.

  2. Not so mini: it crossed the ocean. In 2006, in France, we had ‘Big city’, a horrendously bad western with children actors. Horresco referens!

  3. I don’t get the “this is priceless one”.

    I also don’t get the Mythtickle one but I know why I don’t get it and its pretty obvious that I could get it if I did the slightest research. (Hmm, “ricin” isn’t any word I know and wouldn’t the “c” be soft.?)

  4. The friction/non-friction one doesn’t work (well, it works in that you get what they’re getting at, but it doesn’t make sense logically): when the books are packed in, the lack of friction isn’t going to make them fall, whereas, when there’s only one or two on the shelf, and tilting at precarious angles at then, then then they definitely will fall…
    So as pictured, the house-right shelf cannot be non-friction, where-as the house-left full shelf could be…

  5. larK, before submitting it, I also had some trouble with the friction / non-friction assignment; but the intent of the joke, and the sound-play, was good enough to give me a laugh and send it in. (To make it more confusing yet — for me — I had been looking at a series of pet cartoons, and at first studied this to find the cat who must have climbed up on the shelves a moment ago, or some trace of its passage besides the toppled books. I guess not, finally.)

    BTW, if some CIDUers are not familiar with this oddity, at some point Harry Bliss buddied up with prominent comic actor Steve Martin, and they came up with some gags, which Bliss later used in his comics. Thus the “Bliss / Martin” signature in this panel.

  6. The two books on the non-friction shelf are obviously misplaced: they should go on the other shelf but people are so careless.
    The non-friction books are on the floor because they cannot be handled; they’ve been pushed curling-like towards their shelf, but at the first draft, they’ll glide every which way again.

  7. On children acting parts in an adult plot — back when we first got cable TV, thirty or more years ago, I was flipping channels and saw an example which I’ve semi-remembered ever since, though I never saw it or saw it mentioned again. So, given the amount of obscure knowledge shared among this group, does anyone remember a western plot in which all the actors were young children (maybe five or six years old) and in which the plot was advanced through song, including the chorus “Here comes the stranger, stranger in town, Two-gun stranger to shoot his man down”? (Another fragment of song I recall went something like “The gambler is good but he’s crafty and crooked, His [something is something] and his deck is all stacked, He’ll give you a shuffle and turn up five aces and the price for complaining is lead in the back.”

    Note: I’m not thinking of TERROR OF TINY TOWN, which had a western plot performed by midgets (and, as I recall, had little or no music involved).

  8. I thought the friction / non friction one was a solid oy.

    The Death butchering lyrics gag got away from me, as I was also thinking a variation on “Dust In The Wind.” Instead it was “Carry On, Wayward Son” he was lampooning:

  9. The first two were definite LOL’s for me. I’m not familiar with MythTickle, so maybe I’m missing something. Death is carrying a weed whacker for some reason, and getting the words wrong for some reason. I do agree with the suggested alternative though.

  10. It was a thing in 19th century England to put on little productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operas cast entirely with children.

    Lewis Carroll was very upset by such a performance of “H.M.S. Pinafore” when the children in the chorus all sang “He said damme [damn me].”

  11. @woozy (just emerged from moderation?) – ricin does have an /s/ sound for the letter ‘c’ in the middle. I didn’t pay much attention to the song so don’t follow whether you mean it spoils the fit.
    The substance ricin is a plant-based poison, which can be weaponized, and has been implicated in a terrorist attack at least once.

  12. I googled the lyrics

    The line that the comic mangles as

    “Don’t chew rincin, Mo. No.”


    “Don’t you cry no more”

    Can’s see how “cry” can become “rincin”. And considering “Don’t chew rincin. Mo. No” makes no sense in or out of context you could replace it with anything with a hard “c” and it’d be better. “Crime” “crypt” “christ” “cripes” “crepes”….

  13. Well, darn. The image didn’t survive. I used an html image tag, but it appears to have been excised by the blog software. So I’ll try a simple link:

  14. I’d like to see larK try to get frictionless books to be “packed in” on a shelf. (Hint: without friction, it would not work).

    It’s true that a non-friction book wouldn’t be able to be propped up the way two of them are on the right shelf. But I can understand why they were drawn there.

  15. Not really my problem how to get them there, I am merely reacting to the situation as given. They could have been created in that position, or maybe friction was turned off at some later point — not really my problem. What we are presented with are two shelves, and told one is friction books, and one is non-friction — which is which? As I posted above, the one with the leaning books cannot be the frictionless ones, the one with the packed books could be the frictionless ones.

  16. @larK – Finally, I understand your post. I’m glad I was here to see your final follow-up. Perhaps if I’d read your first post 5 more times I’d have noticed the leaning book problem, which, in the writing of my short-lived-but-long-winded dissertation-sized comment, never showed itself.
    What I saw were 2 bent books, a situation that stops my breath as I will myself back in time to prevent it.

  17. Rather than the C sound, I went with the long I in the first syllable of ricin, rather than the second syllable. Let the consonants be the difference rather than the vowel sound, and move the extra syllable ahead one.

  18. I’m not convinced those seemingly leftover books won’t slip off their respective shelves at any moment. This could just be a snapshot in time, and to conclude that those are not frictionless books is nick-picking. 😛

  19. Oh, thank you for MythTickle. I’m going to spend some time going through the archive.

    I love that drawing style.

  20. The drawing style is indeed lovely The writing is sometimes less so. And in the early strips he seems to boldface random words in the talk balloons, which annoys me no end. But eventually he seems to have realized that boldface is not used for decoration. Recommended.

  21. @ Treesong – I wish Justin Thompson could teach that concept to McDonnell. Ever since “Mutts” was switched to an imitation handwritten font, his use of bold to emphasize words has become increasingly annoying. It wouldn’t be so bad if he had a better hand on which words to emphasize, but he seems to have a talent for picking the wrong ones.

  22. I have always associated random use of bold with the worst tendencies of American comic books so it’s vaguely distressing to find it cropping up in other places, kind of like unironically quoting Bulwer-Lytton.

  23. @ DiB – As a teenager, I once carefully re-read through an entire issue of “MAD Magazine”, and verified that every single sentence of dialog ended with at least one exclamation point. They may have used periods in the fine print, but they sure didn’t use them in any of the comics.

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