Covid (in)consistencies, part 2

Some more covid (in)consistency comics.

From Andréa.

Here the “consistency” issue arises when the character watches old movies.

Dreams also needs to be consistent!

A GoComics commenter commented: ” Nancy (the strip) has had a bit of an uneasy relationship with the pandemic. I don’t think masks have been needed in the same way they were in, say, Arlo and Janis or Luann or Betty, but it makes it a little weird when they’re needed for the joke.”  

It took me (Winter Wallaby) an exceptionally long time to parse the sequence of events in this strip.


  1. The character in Zippy is Griffy, a stand-in for the strip’s creator, Bill Griffith. More often he appears in conversation with Zippy, for some meta discussion of what he is doing to the strip – but not as focused or disciplined with that sort of meta appearance as Overboard or Pearls Before Swine. But recently Griffy has made some solo appearances for memoir-like episodes, like the young cartoonist making his start in San Francisco. This one kind of fits that latter model.

  2. @ Mitch4 – I don’t see a consistency issue at all in “watching old movies”; I’ve noticed the same effect when watching various game shows, or anything filmed with a live studio audience. As soon as the audience is shown, it becomes obvious that the show is a re-run.

  3. P.S. The thing I liked best about this “Zippy” strip was the wavy copyright line in the gutter between the second & third panels.

  4. Kilby says: @ Mitch4 – I don’t see a consistency issue at all in “watching old movies”; I’ve noticed the same effect when watching various game shows, or anything filmed with a live studio audience.[…]

    Good thinking, excellent comment. But I have no idea why you would be addressing it to me in particular. My comment above on this strip was about the meta aspects of Griffy appearing within the strip that “he himself” draws, and not dealing with consistency issues. (Though I guess it ought to have been, since that was the post’s topic. But probably thread-drift can start with the first comment!)

  5. I didn’t use to be much of a fan of PBS, but at some point turned a corner and now like it considerably most of the time.

    Scrolling back a couple days from Todd’s link, I see this one, which fits with what seems to be my private counterpoint theme for today, the meta appearance of the artist within the cartoon:

  6. What is inconsistent with the Nancy cartoon? Even though they talking through the computer, they use the masks to kill the feedback loop of yawning. Not exactly “slap your knee, bend of laughing” funny, but it is consistent.

  7. The bosslady in Working Daze is something of a sad case, isn’t she? This dream of the employees celebrating her is so badly unrealistic that it should have been her clue that “it was all a dream!”. But she can’t recognize how wrong that is, and instead grasps at the absence of masks as the sign something was off base.

  8. Kilby/TedD: Yeah, these weren’t exactly “inconsistencies” internal to the strip. I just included them as things that were related in some way. Zippy because it brings up the issue of the movies being inconsistent with life now, and Nancy because it’s “weird/inconsistent” with the lack of masks in other strips. But I admit, they were stretches.

  9. As long as we are discussing inconsistent pandemic behavior, it’s hard to beat XKCD #2391:

    P.S. Alt-text: “I can’t wait until this is all over and I can go back to riding my horse through the mall.

  10. I don’t think any past the Mythtickle (which is supposedly a rerun with the second panel– why just the second panel) are inconsistent. The Zippy is consisitent: Because of covid every time I seen an image of a crowd I instinctively cringe– doesn’t matter if the image is from before covid. In the Working Daze dreams don’t need to be consistent. (Just last night I had a dream about a costume party/cafe/classroom/walking with a friend with no masks… I don’t think I’ve had any dreams about mask, although I have had about social distancing and catching the virus). The Nancy would be inconsistent in the opposite direction if one didn’t get it (one doesn’t need a mask on zoom call) but the joke is the use it to prevent yawning makes it consistent (as with the Foxx Trot in the other group).

    Meanwhile that Dilbert is a perfect example of an inconsistency in mind (…. unless the pointy haired boss is so selfish he has declared all non-management employees must work in the office but he’s allowed to stay home)

  11. P.P.S. @ Mitch4 – Sorry, I misinterpreted your add-on about Zippy as indicating that the comment under the strip was yours. I should have checked which Editor had created the post.

  12. @Woozy and others who are being tough with these examples — check out Winter Wallaby’s comment from 8:40AM. The point isn’t strictly to “convict” a comic of not correctly following Covid restrictions! 🙂 (And I admit I contributed to that kind of take when I posted those TV screenshots and said there was no reason the characters would be able to take off their masks.) It seems to me just as thread-appropriate to look at one which explores the topic in some interesting way.

  13. “. . . (…. unless the pointy haired boss is so selfish he has declared all non-management employees must work in the office but he’s allowed to stay home).”

    And that’s EXACTLY how I interpreted it, knowing that PHB is both stupid AND inconsiderate.

  14. Andréa, thanks for that Overboard. He has a real command for doing that meta thing but not losing sight of the story and making a joke.

  15. [begin rant] I know that this is thread drift, but I HAVE to comment on this because it relates to a COVID inconsistency I experienced this Thanksgiving . . .

    Publix, the nearby grocery chain we [‘we’ means ‘Hubby’] use had ham or turkey Thanksgiving dinners . . . for 8-10 persons. Excuse me?? We aren’t supposed to gather this year, yet you only offer pre-made dinners for 8-10 people?? And nothing for those of use who don’t cook but are staying home ’cause no restaurants are safe, either. [end rant]

  16. They run the Mythtickle every year – I think in previous years it’s been his little flag that fell and Karma was getting it for him (and not wearing a mask herself).

  17. One of my odd TV viewing habits is The Masked Singer. It’s cheesy, but I like it, and I don’t feel guilty. Anyway, when the new shows started, I wondered what they were doing about the live audience. I knew that they had added “super fans at home” who were voting. I looked into it, and they’re basically faking the studio audience with some CGI and clips from past years. The super fans are doing all the audience voting. Makes sense.

  18. I haven’t had any dreams with masks but it’s not uncommon to walk halfway across the parking lot before I remember that my mask is still in the car, so I really wouldn’t expect them in dreams.

    Mask shaming comic strip characters still seems like a weird thing to do, but I guess if you can’t ride your horse in the mall then how can you pass the time?

  19. Lucky just halfway. I walked all the way into Home Depot without one, but they directed me to a box at the door, saving a trip back out.

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