I’ve found that most of the time when someone tells me that they thought I was their friend, it’s because I don’t want to do something no good friend would ever ask for.
In high school I knew someone who worked at a restaurant with their best friend. One night, the best friend stole all of the checks in the register instead of dropping them at the bank. This was the second dumbest crime I’ve ever heard of. It’s not like he could deposit them to his bank account or anything.
Anyway, the check thief went to the guy I know, asking for help covering this up. The person I know suggested that he turn himself in, which caused the thief to play the “I thought we were friends” card. In the end, the thief got arrested and convicted, and the person I know, whose crime was not immediately turning their friend in, lost their job.
On the positive side, this was the event that taught me it’s possible to learn from other people’s mistakes, and this gave me an opportunity to learn from several mistakes in one go.
Woodstock took place in 1969.
Kurt Cobain died in 1994.
As of this writing, it is 2019.
Fifty years have elapsed between Woodstock and today, and Cobain’s death is the mid-point, 25 years from each. When I was a kid, Woodstock was ancient history. It might as well have been the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Cobain’s death, on the other hand, feels like it happened a few years ago.
If that freaks you out, think about this. Fight Club, The Matrix, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and The Mummy (The Brendan Fraser / Rachel Weisz version) all came out in 1999. Those are twenty-year-old movies! Do you ever flip through the channels on a Saturday afternoon and marvel at how much more current the movies they show to fill time on basic cable now are than the ones they showed when you were young? Yeah, THEY AREN’T! To a current teenager, the Matrix might as well be The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.
My point is that I’m getting old, and people my age are also getting old. We have to keep that in mind before we try to foist out cultural tastes on younger people.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to explain to anyone who’ll listen why Picard is a better captain than . . . whoever’s captain on Discovery this week.
The film, by the way, was Jean De Florette. Here’s the trailer:
It is, by all accounts, an excellent film, but a bunch of high school juniors from Sunnyside, Washington were not exactly the target audience.
“Oh, that poor man lives on a farm somewhere that it doesn’t rain much. That must be awful.”
(Note, the trailer doesn’t really go into a lot of detail about his crops, but a clip available on YouTube shows that he grew corn, marrows, and rabbits. It’s the thirsty rabbits that really stuck in my head.)
I get the feeling unlimited hydroplane races are sort of a Pacific Northwest thing.
There was a big race in the Tri-Cities every year. People would line up along the banks of the Columbia River to sit in the sun, drink beer, and watch rooster tails in the far distance. This was a welcome change of pace from what they did every other summer weekend, which was to sit in the sun, drink beer, and try not to think about the fact that they lived in the shadow of the country’s largest depository of nuclear waste.
This comic came out right at the beginning of when people started to see how ridiculous the whole sexy-costume industry had become.
Now I think the new frontier would be to take traditionally sexy costumes and market un-sexy versions. Next Halloween, I want to see Harley Quinn fighting a head cold, wearing baggy pajamas, an old stained bathrobe, and carrying a wastepaper basket full of used tissues.
If a young woman wore that costume, guys would still hit on her.
Spock 2 is real, as is the episode with the wizard-pilgrims.
Also, the Enterprise crew was befriended by a Satan-looking guy named Lucian, and all of the crew-members got magical powers.
So Sulu . . .
Used his powers . . .
To make a woman in a long-sleeved one-piece swimsuit.
Uhura seems unimpressed.
Then Sulu made his move.
This is not just an embarrassing freeze frame. This is how he approaches her, slowly, ON THE BRIDGE, IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY!
Then she turned into Lucian, who seemed horrified, and asked Sulu “What are you doing?!”
When I was in elementary school, on any snowy day most of the kids in my class, myself included, had bread bags on our feet to keep our socks from getting wet. I’m proud to say that we had the good taste to wear the bread bags INSIDE our boots, not outside, as that would have been gauche.
Monopoly was originally designed to be a teaching tool. The idea was that it would demonstrate the evils of monopolies by making most of the players slowly descend in a spiral of poverty while one person becomes filthy rich.
One popular house rule is to place all taxes and fines into a pot in the middle of the board, which goes to whomever lands on the Free Parking space. This rule breaks the game to a certain extent, but in a way that makes the game more fun, as it gives the people who are behind a fighting chance to win.
It also demonstrates that one can succeed by skill and intelligence, but that blind luck works just as well.
This strip is slightly exaggerated, but not as much as the Sunnyside, Washington chamber of commerce might hope.
I’ve been pretty mean to my home town, and I intend to continue. But it’s not really so bad, as small towns go. It’s just . . . I have this theory that there are two kinds of people who are born in small towns. Some reach their teenage years, look around, and say “Yeah, this is good. I think I’ll stay here.” Others reach that same age, look around, and say “I need to get as far away from here as possible, as fast as I can.”
My older brother still lives in the Yakima Valley, only a town or two away from Sunnyside, and seems quite happy there. I live in Phoenix, Arizona – a huge, sprawling metroplex. I like it, even though I live in a scrub-infested desert with regular sandstorms and, inexplicably, there are feed lots and corn fields within a five-minute drive of my house, things I complain about in this comic.
Oh, and we did build a fort out of tumbleweeds when we were kids. It was scratchy.
Jenkins’ point in panel four is that a non-defeatist cantaloupe would be called a canaloupe. It’s the rare joke that’s funnier if you don’t tell the punchline.
Of course, what we Americans call a cantaloupe is not a real cantaloupe. What we call cantaloupes here, technically, are called “musk melons.” It’s not hard to see why grocers decided to call them something else.
They only made one iPhone model at the time I wrote this. It might have been two, now that I think about it, but the point is, there wasn’t a lot of choice. It looks like now they make four models, so that’s twice as many options!
Of course, there are hundreds of different Android phones on the market from many different manufacturers, so there is no shortage of options. If you have specific tastes and preferences in a phone, odds are there’s a manufacturer who caters to your needs. For example, for a while last year, I had The Essential Phone. It was the perfect device for someone who wanted their phone to be small, beautiful, fast, and incapable of receiving a signal almost anywhere.
I’m told many people ignore the “Instructions” when reading Basic Instructions and just concentrate on the dialog. I understand that. I have referred to my cartooning-style as “the wall-of-text method.” I don’t recommend reading it that way, though. Often the instructions enhance the joke in the dialog.
I don’t know what Basic Instructions would have been like without the instructions part, or even if I could have done it. Often, I’d come up with one panel and the topic would give me a framework that led me to the other three jokes. Trying to come up with all four panels without the topic as a guide would have been much more difficult.
The drawing of Mullet Boss I used in panels one, two, and four were originally drawn for use as closeups, so they are drawn with a thinner line, and have more detail. The drawing in panel three was meant to be used in more distant shots, so the lines tend to be thicker, and the drawing shows less detail. Creating the strip the way I did, choosing drawing for their pose, not their line weight, I often ended up with drawings meant for distance shots being used for close ups, which can be jarring.
I say this was an unfortunate result of my chosen style at the time.
Others would say it was an unfortunate result of the cartoonist being too lazy to draw new images.
Neither of these positions are wrong.
In a recent commentary, while discussing season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery, I brought up the character Sybok, Spock’s half-brother who was never mentioned before he showed up in the fifth movie, or mentioned again after the fifth film ended.
At first I said that the name of the fifth movie was Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country. That was an error. The fifth movie was Star Trek: The Final Frontier. The Undiscovered Country was the sixth film. You would be surprised how embarrassing I found the error.
The fact that a week later I’m forced to write a commentary for a comic that specifically mentions the fifth and sixth Star Trek movies is just fate rubbing my face in it.
I don’t have much to say about this comic. I’m sort of running out of things to say about me heaping abuse on Rick.
I will say that when we took the pictures I based these drawings on, I had no idea how often I’d use that exaggerated cringe pose in panel four. That and the slightly irritated look in panel one make up half of that character’s personality.
My family and friends from Washington came to see me when I lived in Orlando and had unfettered access to Walt Disney World, more often than they do now that I live in Phoenix, and have unfettered access to extreme heat.
I do not blame them for this, just as they don’t blame me for rarely coming back to my home town, where they have unfettered access to tumbleweeds.
A kart racing game starring elderly people on mobility scooters is one of my better ideas. It’s not nearly good enough to pursue, mind you, but it’s still one of the better ones I’ve had.
NOTE: I have been made aware of the game Coffin Dodgers. Thank you.
I like this one. Oddly, I have no memory of writing it at all.
I’m a huge fan of the show The Venture Brothers. Every time a season of it comes out on video, I watch every episode again, because the two guys who write the show, Jackson Public and Doc Hammer, do the best commentary tracks I’ve ever heard. They were part of the inspiration for me to start writing these commentaries on my comics.
Anyway, the Venture brothers are twins. In one episode, one of the brothers, Hank, says to his twin, Dean, “Sometimes I forget how young you are.”
Dean replies, “You’re five minutes older than me.”
Hank say, “Then maybe, in five minutes, you’ll understand.”
In the commentary for that episode, Jackson admits that he wrote that joke, and isn’t proud of it. Doc tells him that he thinks it’s a great joke, and that he should be proud of it. Jackson says that he thinks it’s kinda hokey.
Doc told him, “No, it’s good old-fashioned joking!”
I bring this up, because panel one of this comic also strikes me as an example of good old-fashioned joking.