Keep up, and try to focus, okay?

From Brian in STL, successfully using the Suggest-a-CIDU form. His message starts from puzzlement, but arrives at a theory your CIDU editors are also happy with: It’s not entirely clear to me what’s going on. In a way, the first panels look like the preliminary sketches a cartoonist does. So is the coffee affecting him? Or is Jane now able to “focus” since she’s had coffee?


  1. Also, haven’t read BC in years, but I remember the two females as not having actual names, just descriptions ending in “Chick.” Pretty obvious why those changed, but I’m curious WHEN the Harts made the change?

  2. WHEN the Harts made the change?

    Per the Wiki page: 08/29/2019

    Jane: a bossy cavewoman who enjoys clobbering snakes. Until August 29, 2019, Jane was referred to in the strip as the “Fat Broad”. She is named after Johnny’s wife Bobby’s mom Janie Indiana Finch.

    Grace: a quiet but intellectual giant in a world of crude men. Until August 29, 2019, Grace was referred to in the strip as the “Cute Chick”. She is named after Johnny’s mom Grace Anna Brown.

  3. @Andrea, there certainly is a widespread observation that coffee (I don’t think it is often made specific to espresso) can give the drinker jitters. The joke here is in turning that around — as the sender-in is quoted as saying, Jane is apparently suffering (as routinely in the mornings) from subjective lack of mental focus (or just as well, subjective “jitters”), which is relieved once she has had some coffee. But the subjective condition is shown externally by the way she is drawn.

  4. I remember reading an anecdote about a soldier who was repeatedly hospitalized for intense migraines during the Korean War. His “symptoms” cleared up quickly each time, and his superiors assumed that he was faking it all to avoid combat. The solution to the mystery turned out to be simple: in the hospital he had access to all the coffee he wanted, which of course was not available on the front lines.

  5. Needing a cup of java to get going in the morning is as much of a trope as the effects of too much coffee. This worked just fine for me.

  6. She feels sketchy until she’s had her first cup. (Side note: people with ADHD can sometimes lessen the symptoms by increasing caffeine intake, as someone I know recently had to do as a result of their medication being on backorder.)

  7. Thanks to Max for digging up not just the date of their renaming, but also the antecedents for both names. I remember reading about the name changes shortly after they were introduced, but the reason why Mason & co. chose those two names was not discussed in that article.

  8. Dvandom says “She feels sketchy until she’s had her first cup. ” [Itaics added]

    Precisely! That’s why the artwork in those panels is done like a sketch.

  9. Thx Max! That lasted until 2019? Also, how did the one mom feel about having the Fat Broad named after her?

  10. This would be some sort of commentary or response, except that it’s also somewhat hard to process, and CIDU-adjacent. (Six Chix, Patrinos)

  11. It seems to me Horace from Dark Side of The Horse might have something to say regarding not having enough coffee to start his day.

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