Archive for April, 2009

La Cucaracha (4/30/09)

April 30, 2009

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I used to drink whole milk, but have long since switched to skim (or occasionally two-percent). The taste can be a bit of a shock if you’re used to drinking the heavy stuff, and can certainly seem watery at first. After a while, though, you come to see skim milk as regular milk and enjoy it as a complement to cold cereal or chocolate chip cookies. In fact, I’m sure a glass of whole milk would seem unbelievably rich to me right now – like liquid cheesecake or, as today’s La Cucaracha puts it, water with fat.

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Daddy’s Home (4/29/09)

April 29, 2009

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While it’s true that newspapers earn revenue from individual sales, it’s a stretch to suggest that their business model relies solely on subscribers. In fact, a large chunk of their revenue comes from display ads and classified ads, and the decline in both (thanks to the recession and Craigslist, respectively) is what has brought many newspapers to the brink of bankruptcy. On the other hand, newspapers that extract high enough rates from their advertisers sometimes choose to give their product away for free. Chicago has several such rags, including the thriving Red Eye (a wafer-thin collection of wire stories and entertainment news aimed at commuters) and the struggling Reader (a once-proud alternative weekly that still manages to publish interesting political stories and movie reviews from time to time).

Rose is Rose (4/28/09)

April 28, 2009

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When I was in college, some friends of mine rented a three bedroom apartment across the street from the projects for $600 a month. The rooms were small and it was something of a hike from the train station, but it was also one of the epicenters of my college experience. I spent many an evening weaving from conversation to conversation inside that tiny apartment, sneaking out to the spacious back porch for fresh air when the crush of people made it difficult to hear, think or breathe. Most of my friends lived at home or in the dorms, which meant this charming gray-stone near campus was my one (admittedly vicarious) taste of independence. I can only imagine the freedom it must have afforded the 18- and 19-year-olds who forked over their hard-earned $200 every month to take up full-time residence.

Candorville and Pearls Before Swine (4/27/09)

April 27, 2009

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It’s always interesting to see cartoonists draw characters from other comic strips since it offers readers a fresh take on a familiar drawing style. Today’s Candorville features an homage to Rat, the surly lead character in Pearls Before Swine. It’s a nice approximation of both drawing style and attitude, and comes across as a friendly shout-out to another fine comic strip.

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Of course, there are also examples of cartoonists coordinating their crossover strips so that they appear on the same day. That may be the case here, given that today’s Pearls Before Swine blatantly poaches a Candorville storyline from December 2008, when bailout strips still seemed fresh.

Mutts (4/26/09)

April 26, 2009

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I spent the latter part of this morning moving my dad from a third story walk-up to a ground level studio apartment. It was just the two of us and, as luck would have it, the skies opened up and poured down rain for the majority of the move. To make matters worse, we used a rented pickup truck and were unable to protect his mattress from the elements. The entire move took less than three hours, after which the sun came out and shone gloriously for the rest of the afternoon, just like in this comic strip.

Dilbert (4/25/09)

April 25, 2009

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Perhaps the firm that Dilbert works for is trying to upstage Apple by including a camera flash as part of its smart phone package. This would be an improvement over the iPhone, which does many things well but still fails to include a basic zoom function or a camera flash for low-light situations. As a consequence, the camera does a terrific job capturing close-up subjects on sunny days but renders everything else a blurry, grainy mess. Of course, if the price of integrating a camera flash into a smart phone is the face melting annihilation of each and every human subject then it’s probably best that Apple and its competitors leave well enough alone.

Pooch Cafe (4/24/09)

April 24, 2009

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It’s bracing to see cats, whose behavior can seem driven by irrational and egocentric desires, engaging in calm, rational discussion regarding the hypocritical habits of human beings. A cat will whine and scratch and swipe incessantly when his food dish is anything close to being empty. Then again, we humans may have given our feline friends a complex by assigning them names like “Mister Fuzzywinkle Dumpling Truffle the Third.” I’m even willing to bet that the “mister” in this moniker is a full-fledged part of the cat’s name and not simply a title that’s been added out of formality.