Thursday, October 22, 2009


Believe it or not, I'm always happy to look at wallet photos of people's families, especially if the person showing them to me is someone I find appealing. That's because looking so often reveals couples who look genuinely happy in each other's company. That's no small thing. I find pictures like that to be bracing, and seeing them makes me feel good for hours after.

Some people manage to find that one in a million person who's exactly right for them. Take the people in the picture above. You can tell the guy loves to tell his wife jokes, and you can tell that she loves to listen to them. Isn't that interesting? Man, someone pretty with breasts and a charming personality to laugh at your jokes...that's Heaven on Earth. What more could you ask for?

The amazing thing is that nice people like this manage to find each other. What are the odds? I mean the person who's right for you could be selling cigarettes in Khazakistan. How on Earth would you ever find that person? I have an answer, but I warn's not logical.

My utterly unprovable belief is that that a supernatural power finds that person for you, and makes sure that you collide with each other on the street. It's as simple as that. If the cigarette seller in Khazakistan really, really is the right person for you, then a supernatural force will arrange for that person to be in your town, on your street, and bump into you. Bam! There go the groceries all over the sidewalk! All you have to do is not be a loser and ignore the gift that's just been given to you.

One of the cool things about finding the right person is that you'll have cool children, and when they grow up they'll also have cool children, so you'll have a little dynasty of coolness going for a couple of generations. Somewhere down the line your progeny will turn into serial killers who can never find their keys for all the heroin needles that are lying all over the house, but there's not much you can do about that, so why worry?

Above, an example of cool children. I could look at pictures like this all day.

Many thanks to CAM Thompson who told me about the site where I found these pictures, a blog called "Sexy People." Jorge Garrido turned me on to something else, which I direct you to below....

....a caricature of me by Aaron Philby! I look like I'm 95 years old here, but the age gives me...gravitas. Thanks, Aaron!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Haw! I almost feel sorry for Walmart because the recent spate of "People of Walmart" pictures on the net are going to cost that chain millions of dollars in lost sales. I say "almost," because it's hard to shed a tear for that store. Besides being a major outsourcer, Walmart's prices are fairly high relative to their production costs. I wonder if the the small discount we get at the cash register really compensates for the lost manufacturing jobs.

There are legitimate bargains in the store, but you have to have an eye for finding them. An awful lot of what's on the shelves sells for the same price competitors charge. Amazingly this doesn't deter the customers from buying there. Maybe people some people go just to watch the human show.

My guess is that people deliberately dress weird (above) when they know they're going to Walmart. There's a kind of year-round Mardi Gras going on there and you don't want to get caught dressing conservatively when every one else is cutting loose.

Notice how Walmart men flaunt their beer bellies. Outside on the street a gut is something to be ashamed of, but inside the doors of Walmart it's carried proudly. You park yourself in a whole aisle devoted to ketchup and mustard and just be, just allow people to admire the belly.

Not to be undone, the ladies strut their stuff.

You may think this woman (above) is revealing a lot...

...but it's all relative.

The store is bleak and ugly but to be fair, there's plenty of color. It comes from things like fluorescent cookie boxes and day glow juice containers.

I kinda like these women (above).

What do you call this (above) style? Is this what people mean when they talk about "Glam?"

Of course goths would shop at Walmart. It was made for them.

You do see a lot of hot pants in this store. I wonder if there are doggie hotpants in the pet section?

Lots of cheerfull tee shirt slogans (above).

More tasteful tees (above).

A Mohawk and out-of-the-pants boxers.


Red people.

More red people. This (above) is my favorite picture in the post. I like the combination of the red family with the red vending machines, and the phone and out-sized doorknob are a nice touch.

Where do you buy shirts like this (above)? At Walmart?

I'll restrain myself and not make a tasteless joke about finger-sniffing. Oops! I just did!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I'm afraid I'm still down with the flu. I'm just too zonked to write a blog. Cold pills help a lot, but when I take them too frequently I get dizzy, so I have to go off them once in a now. Anyway, I thought I'd post some of Don Martin's drawings, the ones where the characters look the way I feel. Nobody draws sickly and gruesome like Don Martin!

Here (above) the character is depressed rather than sick, but the guy sure looks sick. That first drawing where he drinks and claws the bar is genius. Click to enlarge.

Here's how I feel (above) when I'm not on cold pills.

Sick people (above) are self-absorbed and oblivious to the world's problems. That's one benefit of being ill: you're closer to the zen ideal of being in the here and now. It's strangely comforting to put your worries and anxieties aside and see yourself as a shellfish on a beach struggling to survive.

The next time a family member gets sick, I highly recommend cleaning their room for them and giving them fresh, clean sheets and a meal in bed. Do it for them even if they're not quite sick enough to need it. Being pampered when you're under the weather is one of life's great pleasures. If you were hit by a car and had minutes to live, I wouldn't be surprised if one of the images that would flash before your mind was how good it felt to slip between crispy sheets and have a smiling face give you a cup of soup.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I'm sitting here with a flu, struggling to put together coherent thoughts and sneezing all over my you mind if I make things easy on myself by revisiting an older subject? I thought I'd return to the subject of early comic strips that failed to find a public. Maybe I'll get closer to the articulation that eluded me last time.

Most of these strips are from 1904-1906. Evidently that era produced a glut of funny cartoonists who learned their craft in the 19th century book and magazine illustration. First-rate cartoonists were a dime a dozen; they were everywhere you looked. It was too good to last, and it didn't.

Within the space of a few years the public taste changed and a cartoon depression settled in. Suddenly books and humor magazines preferred more realistic drawings with funny captions. Some humor publications folded altogether. Tough luck for cartoonists who had families to feed.

A few cartoonists were able to bail out into the newly emerging medium of the newspaper strip but the culling process was brutal. Most illustration-trained cartoonists just couldn't adapt. They couldn't tell a story and create memorable characters. I shudder to think what happened to many of these people.

Here's an artist (above) who would probably have been more at home drawing illustrations for Dr. Dolittle books, but who is forced by necessity to try his hand at comics.

Poor Zim. He was such a funny illustrator, but his newspaper comic pages just didn't take off.

Evidently there was a perception among newspaper editors that Germans had a special feel for the comic strip. That's natural I guess since they pretty much created it. Lots of now forgotten strips had German characters who looked like they just stepped off the boat.

Newspaper cartoonists tried lots of experiments in their quest to tell stories. Here's one (above) that resembles a film clip.

Here's (above) a little-known strip by Opper who, as we all know, did make the transition from illustration to storytelling. No static and repetitive panels for Opper...his whole page has a visual flow that carries the reader along and invites him to take the characters more seriously.

I imagine the great number of unemployed illustrator-cartoonists must have regarded the comics cartoonists with envy and acrimony. Probably the new style of cartooning (above) looked too simplistic to the older guys. "Sure it has flow," I imagine them saying, "but that's all it has. The drawings suck!" Well actually that's true, though there are exceptions. Overly simplified drawing styles eventually killed the comic strip.

Man, that's a depressing note to end on! See what happens when you try to write when you're sick? I've gotta take the curse off that ending...maybe with something on my desk...maybe with...Hmmmm....okay, here, I've got it! I'll just whip this (below) on the scanner... do you like it? My new toupee! I got it a few days ago. It looks like a giant bug and I constantly have to resist the temptation to stomp it. John says it should have come with a conspicuous string to hold it on.

Okay, I'm going to get some cold pills.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I know what you're thinking: that this is a trivial subject for a post. Well, maybe, but it might turn out to be a pretty important one. We'll get to that in a minute.

Believe it or not, upside-down houses aren't that uncommon now. I'll bet every big city has one or two (I claimed more than that originally, but Lester caught my exaggeration). Los Angeles has at least two, and probably has a bunch. I'm guessing that the reason is that lots of people built them thinking they'd be the only ones. Imagine their grief when they discovered that the world was packed with "only ones."

I think I understand why people built these things. Every kid lies on his back and imagines what it would be like if the ceiling was the floor. That may be the main reason kids think they're superior to adults, because they think of things like this and we don't. It's a stretch I admit, but this superior genius fantasy that kids have could've been a contributing factor to the whole youth rebellion in recent times.

The thing to understand is how many kids have had this reversed house fantasy, how many believed it was actually a good idea, and how deeply it effected their development. Lots of kids grew up thinking they were keepers of the flame of imagination. They were all so convinced of the genius of this house idea, that they developed contempt for what they considered dim-witted adults, who were obstacles to it. They reasoned that only a dinosaur-brained adult could fail to see something so obvious!

Actually I think it's kids who are the stupid ones. Imagine the staggering inconvenience of living in a house where all the furniture was on the ceiling, and you had to take an upside-down bath. The whole youth movement was based on a dumb idea. It's funny how things happen like that.

Maybe kids like the idea because they're so short that they don't have to worry about hitting their heads on the ceiling furniture.

Now if somebody ever figures out a way to actually walk on the ceiling.......

But I shouldn't monopolize the conversation. Let's see what Theory Corner commenters think about this stuff:

BEAULAH KRATZ: "I don't know Uncle Eddie...that's really a stretch, even by Theory Corner standards. You should take a rest."

GLADYS PINWHIPPLE: "It's a dumb idea, but I've decided to believe it anyway. I like the thought of little rugrats buggering everything up because of a stupid fantasy."

Sunday, October 11, 2009


PSYCHIATRIST (V.O.): "You're just in time. Have a seat on the couch and tell me about this recurring dream of yours."

DREAMER (V.O.): "Okay...I'll tell you about the one I had last night. It's fairly typical."

DREAMER: "Just like in all the other dreams, I dreamed that I woke up on the floor of my apartment."

DREAMER (V.O.): I got up and took a look around. I can't explain it, but everything was off kilter somehow. And why was it so quiet? I could hear the sound of my own heart beat."

DREAMER (V.O.) : "I went downstairs to ask my landlady about it, but the house was empty."

DREAMER (V.O.): "And the streets, too. Something happened while I was asleep, but what?"

DREAMER (V.O.): "If there was an answer it had to be in the city, but getting there required crossing the bridge. I had to be careful. Giant shark attacks had been all over the news lately."

DREAMER (V.O.): "In the city the public buildings were empty. There were a few people on the street, but not many."

DREAMER (V.O.): "What was that in the sky? It looked like a zepplin, and it was searching for something."

DREAMER: "Like I said, the buildings all seemed to be deserted, but...wait a minute... I thought I saw someone in a house. Good Lord! That man just pushed a woman down the stairs! I shouted, 'Police! Police!' "

DREAMER (V.O.): "Then, at my side..."

STREET KID: "Shhhh!"

DREAMER (V.O.): "Huh?"

DREAMER (V.O.): "Nearby in a plaza a train circled endlessly while a crowd watched. I ran over to tell them about the get help."

DREAMER (V.O.): "That's when I saw the zepplin again. I think it was following me."

DREAMER (V.O.): I tried to speak to the train watchers but no one was interested. They just stared at me out of the sides of their eyes..."

DREAMER: "Most looked indifferent..."

DREAMER (V.O.): "...but one face in particular was positively malevolent. It seemed to take pleasure in my frustration. I got the feeling that it wished me evil."

DREAMER: (Gasp!)" That's when I saw that thing again! Something in me snapped."

DREAMER: "Who are you!? What do you want with me?"

DREAMER (V.O.): "Why don't you leave me alone!?"

No answer.

DREAMER: "The zepplin made it's way into the distance leaving me stranded on the tower. Night was creeping in. I'd never be able to climb down in the dark, yet to stay up here was impossible."

DREAMER (V.O.): "I saw weird things up there in the heights, things I just never bothered to notice before."

DREAMER: "It was getting cold and windy. I knew I'd never last the night. Then I thought, 'Maybe I could use my jacket to glide down down to the rooftops below.' It was a one in a million chance, but what else could I do? I braced for the jump."

DREAMER (V.O.): "Holding my jacket edges firmly, I leaped into the air, but I'd calculated wrong. The wind blew the jacket off almost instantly. The ground rushed was horrifying!!!"

DREAMER: "That's when I woke up. I always wake up before I hit the ground in these dreams. I don't know how I know, but I have a strong intuition that if I ever did hit the ground that I'd die for real. "

PSYCHIATRIST: "Fascinating! Well, that's enough for today. Next time we'll induce sleep and let you finally hit the ground. I think that'll end the dreams once and for all..."

PSYCHIATRIST: "...yes sir...once and for all!"