Random Comments, February 2022 Edition

Same as the previous series of Random Comments threads (which have each been closed to further commenting because they’ve gotten too long), this will be accessible from a link in the left sidebar (under “triple-line” icon 1st tab).

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93 Comments

  1. My comments so far related only to the concept of comic submissions.

    I don’t have anything against letting an occasional post get sidetracked by an image or link included in a comment, but I do not think that this should be encouraged as an official posting/publication path. The normal route (via e-mail) serves as a “gateway of rationality”, making sure that only relevant (or “acceptable”) material gets placed in posts.

  2. Very interesting illustrated essay from Tom Falco on his Tomversation blog today: https://tomversation.com/2022/05/12/my-cartooning-styles/

    I really don’t share his skepticism at those who directly enjoy New Yorker cartoons. But I will admit to an element of “taking a stand” when defending Frog Applause, or Lugnuts, or even old Klibans, that come in for the “you can’t tell me that is even sincerely meant to be funny” variety of criticism.

  3. At some point during the past months (or year?) I saw a beautifully rendered comic showing a global map of reported UFO sightings, confirming that the vast majority of them are within the continental U.S. I cannot find it at GoComics, and a Google search turns up nothing.
    Does anyone remember seeing it? The snarky tone of the surrounding text might have been from Doonesbury, but as I said, a GoComics search is unable to find it.

  4. @ Grawlix – That was an amazing article. I would have loved to have been able to see the exhibition, but since it ended in 2019, at least I didn’t “just barely” miss it.

  5. It looks like he’s trying to import 2200 pages of old material and make them work in a new (different) template. The most irritating aspect is that it is impossible to navigate to the next page from the “full” view: you have to go “back”, click from there to “next”, and then reopen that to full page to read everything he’s written.
    I was amused to discover that the oldest post in the archive were all about the technical problems he had when he switched over to wordpress in 2008. In his newest post (the first since Dec. 2021), he writes that “a lot has changed with WordPress in the short time I’ve been gone”, but it’s obvious that one thing has not changed: it’s still massively difficult to implement anything after wordpress insists on “improving” its “features”.

  6. Besides “Cow Tools”, there’s also the “King Kong ‘incident'” panel, which could have been appropriate for the next “Ooopses” collection, except that harping about a woefully inaccurate façade nearly 30 years after Larson drew it doesn’t seem quite fair (not that it stopped me from doing it here).

  7. Somehow I have the impression of recently having seen a “Cul de Sac” strip or short sequence in which Alice wants to get a big stone fountain for the backyard. But I can’t find it in the recent items in the GoComics feed. Can anyone else locate where this could be seen recently? Or, has anyone sent that in as a CIDU submission? (And if so I apologize for losing track of it.) Thanks!

  8. @ Mitch – I think I remember seeing a reference to the fountain, but I don’t recall seeing the entire arc recently. Here’s the beginning of the “big ugly fountain” (Dec. 2009). It goes for a week, then re-appears at Christmas for another three strips, but there’s at least one additional mention later on:

    P.S. As of today GoComics has only three more daily strips, and two Sundays remaining, before the CdS rerun cycle will have to start over from the beginning. I’m not sure whether they will show Thompson’s “farewell” Sunday strip (which was also a re-run, but by special request). RIP.

    P.P.S. In addition to Calvin & Hobbes and Peanuts, someone has taken the trouble to create a text index for all the Cul de Sac strips at GoComics. Now if we could just get them to do B.C., ….

  9. Thanks, Kilby! My question came up from an allusion in a reader-submitted CIDU email, coming up soon. But I knew I had recently seen the CdS strips dealing with this, and assumed they had been recently in the reprint cycle — but I couldn’t find them. Now my best guess is that somebody sent this in as part of a different submission and I’ve lost the email; or I saw the strips at a different reprint archive or in some web essay.

  10. There was an earlier arc — I was thinking it was an earlier, disconnected portion of the same storyline — but it appears to be a separate story based on the same idea.

    It starts here.

  11. I am looking for the circa 1975 Tumbleweeds where Wart Wimple receives a grave digger PhD correspondence course. When asked why he wanted a PhD he said, people call you Doc, you get a front seat at meetings, and you can ?????
    What was that third reason? 40 years I’ve been saying “you can wear what you want”, but I know that’s not it. HELP

  12. Sorry I can’t help you with that, FungiForager. But I did enjoy Tumbleweeds when it was around.

  13. At his blog https://tomversation.com/2022/09/09/its-all-about-the-color/, Tom Falco compares two versions of one of his cartoons, showing a small but significant re-thinking, and using that Word Press block gizmo called Image Compare, which we have also used a few times here at CIDU.

    (Actually I earlier got his newsletter with approximately the same content about why one version improved on the other – but the images in the email were of course presented separately and he asked readers to look back and forth from one to the other. So I got all excited and was going to write to him to suggest he could look into using the Image Compare block gizmo… And visited the Tomversation site to see if in fact it is under Word Press, and realized he was already on top of it!)

  14. The only suggestion I can offer to thefungiforager is to find someone who has a top-level subscription to the King Features website. Since the vast majority of their comics are hidden behind a paywall, they do not get indexed by the search engine robots, and are therefore unfindable by normal means. There is of course no guarantee of success, so I would not suggest wasting any money on a new subscription for this attempt.

  15. A lot (most? all?) of the TUMBLEWEEDS strip from that and later eras were reprinted in mass-market pbs from Fawcett and/or trade-size pbs from I forget whom. I’ve got many of the Fawcett pbs somewhere but not sure I can find them, but with so many other comics fans on this list probably others do as well and might enjoy the excuse to skim/reread the funny strips of those days?

  16. @ Shrug – Well, heck, I would be perfectly happy to take care of the reading, but of course for me to do that you would have to ship all those books across the Atlantic (not really a workable solution).

    P.S. I purchased nearly every Fawcett comic paperback that was offered in all those book sales in elementary school, but none of them survived my move to the west coast for college. Of course, even if I had saved them, they would be falling apart by now. The paper used was cheap and did not age well, and the bindings were only glued, not sewn.

  17. and it’s a good personal cartoon. I felt like that after an Article 13 when I lost my stripe (circa 1965 Air Force)

  18. Is Tumbleweeds online? I don’t see it on the current Comics Kingdom lineup. I realize that it ended years ago.

  19. My apologies, Brian is absolutely right: not only has Tumbleweeds been completely removed from the King Features archive (probably many years ago), Ryan’s own “official” website is now an orphaned URL.

  20. @ Brian – What an incredibly revolting development. The efficiency experts who care about nothing except the bottom line have finally determined that they cannot sell a single newspaper subscription by adding good comics, so they are going to cut their losses and dump most of them. As implied in the article, the most sickening sentence in the entire press release was describing “Peanuts” and “For Better or For Worse” as “new”. We can only hope that readers will protest this cynical profiteering by dumping their subscriptions.

    P.S. They may be dumping a lot of comics, but they are keeping the horoscopes. Nitwits.

  21. It seems strange that Nick Galifianakis would need to make the announcement himself, but a review of the NCS website shows that it might take anywhere from one to three years before they get around to updating the lists of winners there.

  22. I got today’s Sunday Post-Dispatch. Here’s the lineup. (N-new):
    Garfield
    Baby Blues
    Peanuts (N)
    For Better or For Worse (N)
    Pearls Before Swine
    For Better or For Worse (N)
    Pickles
    Crabgrass (N)
    Argyle Sweater (N)
    Luann (N)
    Frank & Ernest (N)
    Jump Start (N)
    Rose is Rose (N)
    Marmaduke (N)
    Lio (N)
    Baldo (N)
    Doonesbury
    Born Loser (N)
    FoxTrot

    The overall quality of the strips has dropped significantly in my opinion. I mean, lose Breaking Cat News and gain Marmaduke? Two rerun strips. Even with the stipulation that all the strips come from the same syndicate you could put together a better list than that.

    There are some others available online to subscribers, but as they are Universal syndicate strips you can get them from GoComics anyway.

  23. It was pointed out to me in Breaking Cat News comments that I have FBOFW in the list twice. Rest assured that’s a cut and paste issue.

  24. Now for the strips that were removed from the Sunday Post-Dispatch (U-Universal Syndicate):
    Breaking Cat News (U)
    Dilbert (U)
    Zits
    Non Sequitur (U)
    Mutts
    Blondie
    Funky Winkerbean
    Sally Forth
    Slylock Fox
    Hi and Lois
    The Family Circus
    Beetle Bailey
    Rhymes With Orange
    Mother Goose & Grimm

    Most of the casualties were King Features strips. I’m sure Scot Adams has a conspiracy theory as to why Dilbert was axed.

  25. @ Brian – The average age of the strips in that “new” lineup is 37 years. Four daily strips available only as re-runs, four others that are legacy zombies. So much for the value of original creativity. As Watterson once wrote, the competition for newspaper space is “Darwinian”.

  26. @ Brian – The near synchronicity in the upper right corner just happens to provide a brand new graphic definition of the lowest circle of hell: paying to subscribe to a newspaper that prints only ten strips, and wastes 10% of that space on an artistic atrocity called “Close to Home”.

  27. Considering the huge stable of comics in the Andrews McMeel/Universal syndicate, Lee Enterprises must have requested a bargain-basement package. I’m bit surprised they even included Garfield.

  28. The online comics section hardly makes sense with all of the strips available through GoComics. It’s true you have to read with the ads unless you have a Premium subscription, but it’s still not much of an attraction for online readers.

  29. Here’s a suggestion for a sort of structured-commenting game, from Bill$Dollar (aka dollarbill):

    I know, let's have a pun-fest. Nothing is out of bounds. Or just say, let's ignore the strips comments online and limit our comments to one at a time until we've had a go-round-ish, then time for the second pun from those still in the game. We could accept just plain comments without some wordplay also, by mentioning that as one of the rules for this particular comic.

    Any thoughts on how this could work? Responses here or also at Site Comments.

  30. @ Mitch & $Bill – Having submitted a reply under Site Comments, I vote that we all focus the discussion over there. Duplicating the proposal in two separate threads does enhance its visibility, and may increase the chances that more CIDU readers will see it, but it also runs the risk of diluting the discussion across two parallel threads.

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