When retiring his comic strip Bloom County, Berke Breathed remarked “a good comic strip is as eternal as a ripe melon.” Personally, I think that’s bullshit, and reflects more on Breathed’s motivation, or lack thereof. A good comic strip lasts a lifetime. We still pass around clippings of The Far Side and Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, decades after they were printed. A cartoonist who can’t perpetuate over changing times has inked themselves into a corner. Or dried the well.
If a comic strip is still hilarious long past its sell-by date, it is a successful comic strip. That is the acid test.
Before you ask, the “flip book” of Dan Quayle eating a Twinkie actually works. Quite well.
Long ago, in the Before Times, I was dating a woman with a very young daughter. I had not yet gelled as an artistic entity, and was in the process of learning that I’m really not cut out to be a father, even a surrogate one. This became apparent on two occasions. Both were attempts on my part to make a connection with a kid. Both failed hilariously.
The first was the purchase of a “children’s book”. I spent hours at Books-A-Million (down the block from Media Play) hunting for just the right one. It had to be colorful, clever, and not condescending. I refused to buy anything “kiddie”, on principle. It had to be something that enticed, thrilled, and sparked the imagination, like the books I read in my grade school library.
Although I predicted that Donald Trump would become the 45th president of the United States, I did not vote for him. If I had, I’d be seeking help from a medical professional.
Despite being based in a hypothetical (admittedly coarse) quote, this is a terrific cover. Note the careful handling (pun intentional) of the depicted act; the woman is smiling and the finger is uncovered.
Not because I’m insane, you asshole. Because I’d be paranoid that a significant percentage of Americans want me to die in agony. And I don’t need that shit. I didn’t struggle to become who I am so that some high-school dropout could make me a statistic in a bullshit battle of “who’s the fascist”. Continue reading →