16 Comments

  1. In comparison to most of the Bliss cartoons that have appeared at CIDU, the charcoal shading here on both the squirrel and the tree is extremely detailed and exact(†). His “non New Yorker” panels are generally in color, which renders the shading less important, of course, but another tendency (with a few exceptions) is that the syndicated panels generally have the dialog in a below-the-panel caption, instead of using a speech (or thought) bubble in the frame

    P.S. (†) – The strangest thing about this panel is that after all that extremely careful shading, the (hand-) lettering here seems rather jerky and primitive.

  2. Meanwhile, on the CIDU front: seems pretty straightforward to me. “Squirrels have dreams too.”

  3. I suspect Bliss was watching Caddyshack the night before he drew this and really wanted to build a gag around a Bill Murray quote.

  4. Inner dialog reminicent of Bill Murray’s monloge form Caddyshack.

    Honestly, who hasn’t liven up a dull chore like this?

  5. Thanks, TedD! That puts it in another light.

    I had figured out that Squirrel was imagining himself in an athletic competition, and was creating this broadcast-commentator type narrative for his run. But had no idea it was an allusion or adapted quotation.

    Next question — are we supposed to think Squirrel has seen that movie and is reciting from it? Or is the comic in a world where there is no such movie and the squirrel is creating this from his experience of sports coverage on TV?

  6. Oh, and a process clarification: The comments from Blinky and billytheskink both were hiding in Spam, and were noticed and extracted after some delay. So they were not repeating each other nor was TedD repeating them. It happens.

  7. For those not be familiar with typical shot lengths, each of the clubs that Murray “selects” is far too short for the distance he claims to be aiming for.

  8. Kilby – It goes beyond the mismatch in club choice and distance left. The distance he hits each club is also way out of whack. I think he hits a 2 iron something like 100 yards after “he got all of that.” The scene was adlibed by Bill Murray. The other two shots are similarly completely nonsensical. Which makes sense for a comedy bit.

  9. When I read the commentary, I had a momentary “comment I don’t understand”. When I got to “the ways Harry Bliss cartoons for the magazine differently” I had logged in the word “cartoons” as a noun, so when I hit the adverb there, I got a mental record scratch. I had to go back over the sentence to realize it was a verb. Of course, had I just kept going, later parts would have clarified it, but the brain works the way it works.

  10. Brian, sorry for causing that stumble. I hesitated quite a bit over that “cartoons” as a verb, but never found a quick rewrite I was happy with.

  11. Had the same thought in my head about Caddyshack. I have played an actual game of golf one time.

    In high school we had golf in gym class – inside the gym using a Barbie doll sized wig instead of a tee to start the ball from. (Yes, golf balls careening around the inside of the gym is great fun and so safe to do.)

    Robert’s dad had him take golf lessons as per his dad it was necessary to play as a “businessman”. (And Robert ended up not being a businessman, but a director of a mental health center instead.)

    We went to one of the big Catskill hotels once (over 40 years ago) and Robert brought his golf clubs. We played a round on the 9 hole course. (“No one who is serious plays on the 9 hole course, so we shouldn’t bother anyone.”) We found out that I hit the ball rather far in the wrong direction, while he hits the ball in the correct direction (mostly) but only a few feet. We never did find the 8th hole and jumped from the seventh to the ninth. As usual, no matter how hard I try to lose at a game with him, I won. (Played a chess game once during the pandemic and I moved the pieces randomly and still won.)

  12. @ Boise Ed – Well, at least CIDU is better that the snide “CWAA” caption that some cynics like to apply,

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