1. Actually, I submitted the CTH as a CIDU. I simply can’t buy the premise : how did the kids get there?

  2. Hah! Oliver, I also submitted that strip as a CIDU for the very same reason! Can anyone tell us how they got up there, and why that is funny?

  3. The kids got up there by the witch using her supernatural powers. It’s not a kid in costume, it’s a real witch. That’s the joke.

  4. I figured that the ghost floated up there, the witch flew up there, and the alien came down to there. But yeah, is there a [missing] caption?

  5. Someone at GoComics reported that their local paper included the caption: “Don’t look at ME! I don’t have the SLIGHTEST idea how they got out there!”

    Which is just mundane enough to be plausible, but I don’t have any visual evidence of truth.

  6. Apologies if we’ve gotten send-in-as credits confused. Please bear in mind that, by and large, notes on a particular comic appear under the image. Also that classification does not loom as large as “noticed it”
    does for everybody.

    That said, and now speaking just for myself, seeing that a cartoon presents a mystery or impossibility, and that that is amusing, and is the point of the gag — is to understand it just fine. Even if there are things that can be added to (fully or partially) resolve the mystery, that doesn’t mean we haven’t understood it before that point.

  7. “I figured that the ghost floated up there, the witch flew up there, and the alien came down to there.”

    There appears to be a fourth kid (?) — a microminaturzied one holding a teensy swag bag — to the left of the other three. Probably small enough to have hitched a ride on a bird or something.

  8. I agree, the kids-on-the-balcony is simply quite funny, because we clearly see the impossibility of them being there.

  9. I thought they were the couple’s kids and they just walked out onto the balcony from the apartment. Also might explain the different expressions on the parents: Mom thinks it’s charming, Dad just thinks it’s stupid.

  10. As a condo dweller, I simply see it as kids getting up the unit, where normally in condos and apartments, there is not much trick-or-treating going on. You buy the candy and wait and wait and every year, there is no knock on the door. The lady looks thrilled to have trick-or-treaters this year.

  11. Upon reading the John McPherson, I decided the kids that live in that apartment. And the mom is feeling the adorable-ness of them in the COVID era. The dad is all “really?” The mom’s reaction gave me a warm feeling.

    However, I’m growing to like the mystery-of-how-they-got-there explanation; With that, the different reaction of the man and the woman makes me laugh.

  12. So what’s up with the charcoal grill on the balcony below? Is that some kind of Checkhov’s gun graphic device?

  13. The McPherson comic would have worked better for me if the woman hadn’t been speaking. The reported caption sounds like something the squirrel would say.

  14. Well, it’s definitely not at GoComics.
    The comment at GoComics referred to claims “(It was printed in our local newspaper.)” but that doesn’t carry much authority for me.

    One thing I did learn from the comments at GoComics is that the little alien is named Bleeb. Several commenters mention it, and some use variants of the name, but a reliable-looking user Uryra71 says “To expand on others’ comments, that’s Bleeb. Can find him in every strip since Aug 2018. Little alien dude from Zorkon. https://www.facebook.com/closetohomefans/posts/3479613928746848

  15. I see it as CaroZ does. But I see it as pretty weak and not really funny.

    And if the joke is “how did they get there” I have to disagree with Mitch. To recognize something is impossible is not a valid joke if it is not in anyway amusing.

  16. Charcoal grills are definitely NOT allowed on balconies, in Boston at least. Fire and carbon monoxide hazard.

  17. Covid joke? The kids aren’t allowed to trick or treat or really leave the apartment, but they want to show up at a door and yell “trick or treat.” In an apartment complex, the only door available would be the one leading to the balcony.
    Same idea as CaroZ, but explaining why they are on the balcony instead of the front door to the apartment.

  18. I think a caption would help this comic. Anyone want to take a crack at it? Here’s my suggestion, based on CaroZ’s theory:

    “Trick. They ain’t getting back in. Break out the Chardonnay!”

  19. Has this comment thread been entirely on that one cartoon? I thought some of the others were genuinely funny.

    “Taking inventory” would be, for her, counting sheep. Hence fell asleep!

    “Man’s best friend” swerves away from trying an adultery joke ; but almost lands in a certain other, even more disapproved, outlet.

    Now what is the name of that oddly celebrated fort in old San Anton’? I always forget, never can remember the.

  20. “I don’t know what to do. I gave the last of the candy to the previous group that rappelled down.”

  21. @ Dana K – The conversation has centered on the “Close to Home” panel because all of the other comics are understandable, funny, and well-drawn.

  22. Am I remembering wrong, or did Bill Bickel used to put the text regarding a cartoon above the cartoon itself? (Not the cartoon’s caption, but Bill’s wry observations, comments about who submitted it, etc.)

    Not that I’m complaining, but it does take me some time to figure out which comment goes to which cartoon.

  23. Ah, I see that Mitch4 already addressed the comments being under the cartoon.

    Should have read that first.

  24. Thanks, J-L! Actually, we have been putting some thought into exactly that question, but obviously not solving it entirely.

    In the weekend “collections” posts, if there is a one-line remark that is mostly the attribution of who sent it in, that we think goes right under the comic image. (Not as Caption [part of an Image block], but as a Paragraph constituting the next Block. This parens is addressed to those who have worked in the Word Press editor.)

    When there is a story to tell, or remarks that go beyond the comic and its questions, that should go on top, we are thinking. Or at least, start on top. That might apply even for the “collections” but mostly is meant for the single or double-comic posts. But if it is not at all OT, and is not long, may still belong below the image?

    Another option, an innovation departing from Bill’s practice I think, is the use of the drop caps. Take a look at the post with the polls and see if you think the drop caps do anything to delineate the sections (as was the intent).

  25. This might be better in “Site Comments”, but since the discussion started here, I think it’s OK to continue here.
    1) Bill placed the “submitted by” line below the comics only because it was (much) easier for him to do it that way (he disliked tinkering with technology beyond a certain point). If you can find a simple way to change the order, I think that such notes should always appear above the comic, and never afterwards (no matter what the context is). It’s simply easier to parse “This comic was suggested by XYZ:” and remember that, rather than discovering the identity of the submitter while still parsing the joke. Besides, the colon (:) is a clear indication that the line belongs to the comic below.
    2) The “drop capitals” are (or were) an interesting experiment, but their appearance is just too jarring, since they rarely “fit into” an accompanying block of text. The primary problem is that just like with “blockquotes”, the CSS has set the point size far too large. If you could cut their size down (by a third or even a half), I would be willing to look at them again.

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