Archive for the ‘Jump Start’ Category

Jump Start (12/8/10)

December 8, 2010

Does anyone really remember being born? Some people say no, but I met a guy once who convinced me otherwise. He described, in unsettling detail, his journey from the womb to the outside world. The reason I believed him was because his story was filled with graphic sensory details – not the kind that come from a third-person perspective, but the kind that come from a first person perspective. This otherwise not terribly lucid guy described feelings and sensations that could easily be ascribed to an about-to-be-born baby. It was as intense and weird a tale as I’d heard in my life.


Jump Start (9/20/10)

September 20, 2010

I’m not sure where this comic takes place, but it must be an awfully strange place to work. For starters, people are encouraged to visit a creepy hand-washing website. (Is the site designed for customers, so they can verify that employees have actually been washing? Or is it designed for employees, so they can learn proper hand-washing techniques, share photos of clean hands, and play germ-related Flash games?) Then, if the website weren’t enough, the contractors who built the bathroom decided to forego a mirror in favor of a large concrete slab. It’s…just gray…nothing but gray.

Jump Start (8/29/10)

August 29, 2010

My wife’s 10-year high school reunion is approaching and she has mixed feelings about it. She’s not eager to impress her old classmates; in fact, she already stays in touch with her good friends from high school. She’s also Facebook friends with almost everyone else she might want to chat with, so the reunion seems beside the point (open bar, notwithstanding). Regardless, she’s bought one name-brand dress (at a thrift store) and convinced me to buy another boutique-made dress (for her birthday). She’s also been working out twice a day in anticipation of the reunion. Maybe there really is something about seeing your old classmates in person.

Jump Start (8/11/10)

August 11, 2010

One of these days, in the distant, distant future, my basement will be finished. I’ll have a newly sealed foundation, mildew-resistant drywall, a laminate floor, a re-tiled bar, and abundant recess lighting. I’ll also have a TV on the wall, which will be an important feature. Putting a cable box in the basement will require my wife and I to ditch the one we have in our bedroom. (Adding a third cable box would be excessive). That means I’ll never have to fall asleep to E! or The Style Network again. If ever there were an incentive to work hard on the basement, that would be it.

Jump Start (8/8/10)

August 8, 2010

Most basketball fans would associate the baby powder toss in this strip with LeBron James. After all, the once and future “king” made a habit of throwing chalk into the air before each home game, to the delight of Cleveland Cavaliers fans. But how quickly we forget that Michael Jordan also had a pre-game chalk ritual. Before each Chicago Bulls game, he made sure to clap his dusty hands in the direction of long-time game announcer (and former Bulls coach) Johnny “Red” Kerr. It was a low-key ritual compared to James’, but I think Bulls fans can take solace in the fact that Jordan won six championships in his six trips to the NBA Finals.

Jump Start (6/15/10)

June 15, 2010

Is there anything that divides us more than texting? The question might sound facetious, but think of the huge gaps in our attitudes toward the thumb-busting practice. A lot of older Americans have never texted and don’t see any reason to start now. Teenagers, on the other hand, text dozens (or even hundreds) of times a day. And then there are those of us in the middle who send sporadic messages to iron out middling details (skim milk or 2%). But what if we changed the content of our texts from pedestrian to poetic? I’d like to think people of all ages could embrace the occasional haiku darting lyrically across their smartphone screen.

Jump Start (4/27/10)

April 27, 2010

I’m no expert on comics coloring, but something seems awry in today’s Jump Start. The above strip, scanned from the pages of the Chicago Sun-Times, shows a black man talking to a white woman. (Or a light-skinned Latino woman, given that her name is Ruiz.) I clipped the strip because the way the woman was drawn in panel two made it look like she was wearing a mask. I thought that was a cool (if probably unintentional) effect. Then I went online and found the following version, in color:

It turned out the woman in the strip was dark-skinned, not light-skinned, which seemed to me to lessen the mask effect somewhat. (Generic masks are usually white, including many of those I saw on my recent trip to Venice.) But no biggie, I figured I would convert the image to grayscale and:

Okay, wait a minute. This image looks completely different from the one I saw in the newspaper. It appears that the woman’s face was lightened for publication, for reasons that escape me. Of course, the change in skin tone could be the result of human or mechanical error (although I’m not sure how that would be possible.) The whole thing seems pretty bizarre, but at least it resulted in a nifty Phantom of the Opera-type effect on the comics page.