A Watson Sampler

I saw one somewhere, and didn’t quite understand it, so have explored a little at his home site, WatsonStrip.com . The New Readers page sets out some history and admirable goals for the strip; but the new reader, not knowing the backstory, may be at a loss sometimes. The Facebook page of course would be the place for recent chronological archiving, plus reader commentary.

The current A recent strip, with a topical reference to “Wordle” — but what is Silly Putty doing here? Geezers may recall transferring printed material (comics) from newspapers via Silly Putty.

Aha! The word being tried out in Wordle is “Wayno” — so that’s where I ran across this, on Wayno’s blog!

Next, here when Watson says “We’ve got penguins.” is that like “We’ve got termites”?

This one I don’t get at all, but it feels like it might be clear enough for somebody who knew these characters and enough backstory to understand what the blue-wrapped entrepreneur is charging for … ah, could it be a dog-walker?

I think the one below is the first one I ran across [no, it was the Wordle one, via Wayno], with an explanation of the Snow Monkey in the footer text, but an intriguing speculation over whether pickles and ketchup is a normal meal in this world.

This one seems to be about letting oneself just enjoy a lame joke!


  1. The purpose of the Silly Putty is to let the toddler have some fun with Wordle, without having to read anything.
    P.S. I really dislike having to login to Facebook to read ANY comic (not even Breathed’s rebooted “Bloom County” is worth risking that timesink of a rabbit hole).
    P.P.S. As for that last strip, there’s always this:

  2. The blue wrapped entrepreneur is actually a fire hydrant. The dog has been going in the backyard so he hasn’t been using the hydrant. The hydrant is like Netflix where you pay whether you use the service or not, I’m sure we all have a service we pay for but use only occasionally.

  3. The penguins are from the strip Arctic Circle. I don’t think that’s necessarily germane to the joke; I suspect the cartoonist just thought, since he was using penguins anyway, it would be funnier to use ones from another strip.

  4. Kilby says: The purpose of the Silly Putty is to let the toddler have some fun with Wordle, without having to read anything.

    Okay, except I don’t think Silly Putty will work to pull anything off the screen of that device. The tradition with newspapers involves literally pulling off some of the physical ink.

  5. Powers, what is your time line for classifying something as a fad? We played Jotto on paper in the 1960s; even though the adaptation branded as Wordle may or may not last, the game as a whole seems past the fad stage. Though I’d have to agree the current surge of interest is very much on the fad pattern.

  6. Usual John – Oh, right! The penguins with their individual forehead featherings are from Arctic Circle — which is appropriate for the climate consciousness both strips manifest.

  7. Oops, I forgot that Wordle is (currently) only online, I was thinking of “Junior Jumble”.

    P.S. Silly Putty was actually a series of fads that lasted exactly the same amount of time in every household: from the moment the egg was first opened, until the kid tried impressing it into the upholstery, carpet, or sister’s hair, which immediately ended the fun.

  8. We did a Yankee Swap for Christmas a few years ago with a bounty of dollar store toys; though it was only adults participating, we still blackballed Silly Putty when we made the purchases for the reasons Kilby cites, and considering how hard it is to find 10 or so OK things to buy from the dollar store, it was a sacrifice, ’cause an egg of Silly Putty was a decent looking toy…

  9. Mike P, thanks, I wasn’t aware of Bulls and Cows.. It really shares the fundamental ideas of noting both “matches somewhere” and “matches in position” with Jotto and Wordle!

  10. “The penguins with their individual forehead featherings are from Arctic Circle — which is appropriate for the climate consciousness both strips manifest.” — Well, that’s a joke in itself, I think.

    (Penguins don’t live in the Arctic…. sshhh! Don’t tell anyone!)

  11. By “log on to Facebook”, do you mean going to the site at all? I just went there, and while it did throw a popup encouraging me to log in or sign up, dismissing that didn’t seem to prevent reading the strips there.

  12. Thanks, Kilby. I get that. But what’s the deal with penguins being in a strip called the Arctic Circle? See what I’m saying?

  13. @ Tom – Calling the strip “Antarctic Circle” might be scientifically correct, but it’s too pedantic for marketing purposes. 😉

  14. Speaking of penguins and the Antarctic, my Chicago almost-neighbor Prof. Jerry Coyne will in a week embark on his trip to Antarctica, and on his blog Why Evolution is True (which takes its title from one of his books) for today describes his preparations, and posts pictures of a previous visit there — with some landscapes and some penguins.

  15. @Tom: The premise of the strip is that the penguins have moved to the Arctic Circle. Also that they talk, engage in business, and follow the news.

  16. Well, it’s good that the professor is going in the spring, so it will be getting warmer in the Antarctic!

    PS: I know.

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