Archive for October, 2010

Mister Boffo (10/31/10)

October 31, 2010

Today is Halloween, and my wife and I are naturally and appropriately focused on candy. We bought Kit-Kats, Butterfingers, Almond Joys, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (both milk chocolate and dark chocolate varieties), Hershey’s Kisses, and Hershey’s Cookies n’ Creme Bars. These goodies are ostensibly set aside for trick-or-treaters, but we plan to eat our fair share as well. However, once November hits, my wife and I will go back to eating vegetables. That might sound lame, but we really do enjoy them. We’re even partial to peas and squash, despite their unappetizing names. Grilled squash? Lightly buttered peas? Who could ask for anything more?


9 Chickweed Lane (10/30/10)

October 30, 2010

Wow, this strip is pretty gruesome, even for All Hallows’ Eve Eve. I’m no expert on beheadings, but it seems to me that panel three does a realistic job of depicting the aftermath of one. That’s an awful lot of blood gushing down the wall and the effect is unsettling. In fact, I can’t think of another comic strip that’s been this graphic in its depiction of violence. (I’m not counting underground comics, of course.) I’d be curious to know whether any editors refused to run this strip, especially given the number of editors who’ve refused to run strips with mild sexual or political punchlines.

Monty (10/29/10)

October 29, 2010

Okay, summer is over. Real summer is over, Indian Summer is over and, apparently, Chicago’s string of unseasonably warm weekends is over. Which basically means, no more grilling until spring. Yes, I did touch my grill this week, but it was only to tie it to my neighbor’s fence so it wouldn’t be blown over by 70 mile-per-hour gusts of wind. Cold wind. Cold, rainy wind. The upshot of all this is that I won’t be eating the rest of the hot dogs in my fridge. It’s simply too late in the year to grill them. Sure, I could boil them on the stove, but it just wouldn’t be the same.

Pearls Before Swine (10/28/10)

October 28, 2010

What do you think happens when Pig goes directly to jail? Is he made to sit in a cell for hours? Is he forced to sleep on the bottom bunk? Or is he brutally raped by a larger, more violent offender? I’m thinking it’s the third option. For years, prison rape has been seeping into the mainstream humor lexicon. Why do we tell these jokes? Is it because we feel powerless to stop these crimes, or is it because we think prisoners deserve to be raped, “cruel and unusual punishment” be damned? Whatever the reason, I feel like the jokes are getting old. There are many, many envelope-pushing topics I’m willing to laugh at. Rape is just not one of them.

One Big Happy (10/27/10)

October 27, 2010

The World Series starts tonight and I find myself rooting for the San Francisco Giants. The team has a lot of things going for it: a stellar pitching staff, a funky closer with an amazing beard, and a fan base that’s waited years for a championship. The Giants are also a National League team and, all things being equal, I tend to root for the National League. But those positives only barely outweigh the sordid history they have with Barry Bonds, baseball’s illegitimate home run king. Of course, few (if any) teams have managed to avoid the taint of steroids. The Giants’ opponent, the Texas Rangers, employed Rafael Palmiero for 10 seasons. My favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, duped its fans into rooting for Sammy Sosa. Even the generally clean Chicago White Sox, whose best slugger, Frank Thomas, spoke out against steroids, sullied themselves by allowing unrepentant steroid cheats like Jose Conseco and Manny Ramirez to don the uniform.

Bizarro (10/26/10)

October 26, 2010

Moooooooom! Fortunately, my parents don’t delight in telling embarrassing stories from my childhood. Nor do they have an abundance of baby pictures lying around. My mom has some pictures of me on her bookshelves, but they’re all fairly innocent; sidewalk chalk and bike riding, mostly. There are no temper tantrums, no bouts of cross-country car sickness, and no bizarre incidents in which I accidentally lock myself in a cage in the backyard. Not that those things wouldn’t be funny in retrospect. One of my favorite memories of my grouchy childhood cat is the time I went to pet her and startled her so badly that she fell behind the radiator. She ended up being okay, but man did she ever meow for the minute or so that she was stuck.

Daddy’s Home (10/25/10)

October 25, 2010

I’m going to assume that this strip’s reference to Nosferatu as a “Hollywood” vampire movie is an honest mistake. Nosferatu was indeed released in 1922, but it was made in Germany by the wonderful director, F.W. Murnau. (He would come to Hollywood four years later, only to die tragically in a car accident in 1931.) Still, it’s worth noting that foreign language films were not necessarily off-putting to American audiences during the silent era. That’s probably because there was no dialogue to subtitle or (gag) dub using American actors. Title cards could be easily translated, which meant foreign films were as accessible as domestic films. In that sense, Nosferatu had the opportunity to grab a much bigger audience in America than, say, the 2008 vampire flick from Sweden, Let the Right One In.