Re: Okay, so Mothersbaugh is Guaraldi, but who's Devo?

1

That Planet Patrol nitwit is just so darn unlikeable, though. Does this make me Lucy?

I did like The Life Aquatic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 10:45 PM
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Captain Planet? What the fuck's the name of that band?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 10:45 PM
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Phantom Planet. Tools.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 10:45 PM
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I strongly disliked The Life Aquatic, but if I was more depressive, it might have spoken to me. On the other hand, I don't know that making a movie about joylessness gives you the right to make a joyless movie. Especially if it's in a joyful style.

Matt Zoller Seitz's video essays, however, are terrific and highly recommended, especially for their formal aptitude. He's especially good at doing split-screen comparisons.

I loved Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, enjoyed Royal Tenenbaums and have dragged my heels on Darjeeling Express because of TLA. Whatever my wavering Anderson feelings, the essays make clear he's not pulling it out of his keister.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 10:50 PM
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Bottle Rocket is good, if only because it was the only thing in 90's independent film that was even remotely Bottle Rocketty.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 10:54 PM
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Texas Library Association? Transportation Lawyers Association? Temporary Living Arrangement? Three-Letter Acronym?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 10:59 PM
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6: Timeport: Los Angeles


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:00 PM
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Bottle Rocket is best. I'd say more, but I am going swimming to bed.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:04 PM
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Temporary Like Achilles?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:04 PM
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Tokamak Love Atoms


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:07 PM
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The Life Aquatic.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:07 PM
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But "Three Letter Acronym" is very good.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:08 PM
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12: as a band name or a pseud? The internet is confusing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:20 PM
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I generally like his movies, and so long as there's only one guy making Wes Anderson-y movies, and they only come out every few years, I will probably continue to generally like them.

That said, I agree that Rushmore probably was the best (though I have not seen Bottle Rocket yet) despite its greater frequency of cringe-inducing moments due to Max's awkward youth. It would be interesting to see if he'll take on a story with as ambitious of a scope as the Royal Tenenbaums again.

The Life Aquatic has almost entirely faded from my mind, apart from fleeting bits of industrial-purity whimsy and the brilliant lines:
Steve: [handing Ned a gun] Here.
Ned: Oh, no, no, no.
Steve: No exceptions. Everyone gets one. Anne-Marie! Do the interns get glocks?
Anne-Marie: No. They all share one.

From those fragments, it seems like it was probably worth watching. Can't say for sure though.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:25 PM
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He's especially good at doing split-screen comparisons.

Those were my favorite parts of the video at the link. Except the only cinematography class I've taken was in Chile, so all the terms I know are in some weirdo foreign language. Contrapicado, I think, and then I struggle for the term in English.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:25 PM
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Damn tags screw-up

Also, I can't wait until people stop referencing Peanuts as a hearkening to classic Americana and start referencing Calvin & Hobbes instead. Then I'll finally be able to tease out these sorts of connections.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:26 PM
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Peanuts is great, though. You could brush up on your Peanuts knowledge.

Peanuts was a lot more despairing, at times, than Calvin & Hobbes ever was.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:28 PM
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The meta-narrative of Peanuts, where Schultz kept drawing it even as he totally lost his faculties and lost all appetite for jokes, is also pretty compelling.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-09 11:34 PM
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18: I recalled that there was some controversy on the portrayal of Schulz in a recent biography. Described here in a NYTimes article and this thread at a comics site has a number of comments from family members, especially his one son, disputing both facts and tone.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 5:44 AM
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But the dispute appears to be mostly over the emphasis of the portrayal, there seems to be no question that he had a melancholy streak. She [second wife] quoted her husband's frequent response to why Charlie Brown never got to kick the football: "Happiness is not funny."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:08 AM
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Much as I love C&H, it's aspirational: Oh, to have such spunk! Whereas early, melancholy Peanuts feels autobiographical: "A person shouldn't have to lose all his dignity at six years old." Tell it, brother.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:40 AM
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19, 20: Most of the dispute, near as I can tell, is whether he used his melancholia as an excuse to be a dick. Since everyone pretty much agrees that he was extremely gracious and un-dickish to outsiders, the only ones who can really gauge his dickishness are his family. And there seems to be no consensus on that matter. My take is that the family shared their stories, not intending to reveal dickishness; the biographer heard the stories and thought, "What a dick," and wrote accordingly. Since the family wasn't saying, "CS was a dick," they freaked out at the book. What's most unclear to me is whether the biographer was insightful - the family was in denial about CS' dickishness - or just looking for sales-through-controversy.*

* I don't mean complete corruption, just that he maybe shaded things, thinking "this is better copy."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:52 AM
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Wes Anderson films seem to draw acclaim and criticism of roughly equal vehemence.

Can acclaim really be vehement?

The Life Aquatic is one of my favorite movies ever.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:17 AM
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Schultz sponsored a yearly oldster hockey tournament that my dad still goes to. I don't know much about CS, but that event was a really positive contribution.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:19 AM
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I'm finally getting caught up on Peanuts again, thanks to the Fantagraphics books. Really funny, really sad stuff. I'd remembered all of Charlie Brown's constant humiliations, of course - but what I'd completely forgotten was that everyone in that strip, pretty much without exception, is miserable or unfulfilled in some way.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:27 AM
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Early Peanuts: As great as Calvin&Hobbes.

LaterPeanuts: As great as Garfield.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:39 AM
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They're all fantastic. Tenenbaums most especially so.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:40 AM
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26: I'd say that the day Snoopy first went up into the skies over France was the jump the shark moment (Wikipedia indicates that was in 1965). A lot of decent stuff after that, but it heralded the increasing Snoopification of the strip.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:49 AM
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I hated Bottle Rocket when I watched it in college. I thought Rushmore was amusing, Tenenbaums was brilliant and that The Life Aquatic was not quite as good as Tenenbaums but awfully close.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:50 AM
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26 has it right.

They're all fantastic. Tenenbaums most especially so.

I walked out on Tenenbaums, couldn't stand the preciousness and had no comprehension of what it was trying to do. But I could see another person, not me, legitimately liking it a lot. It was clearly trying to do something interesting, but something I couldn't relate to at all.

Since everyone pretty much agrees that he was extremely gracious and un-dickish to outsiders, the only ones who can really gauge his dickishness are his family. And there seems to be no consensus on that matter

Families are tough. I think if there's no consensus among your family that you're a dick, then you're probably a passably OK person.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:52 AM
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The Schulz biography looks to me like a standard American literature ressentiment biography, where a not-so-good writer seizes on a better writer who's helpless and dead and methodically takes them down a peg. (I call the the "Ultimate Failure Of" series: Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Melville, Twain.... Someone who took those bios seriously would be baffled at how the books ever got written at all, and still more that they were any good.)

He seems to have started with what one of the media critics calls a "storyline" -- you start with the canned conclusion and then gather evidence.

Using anonymous sources and leaving out contradictory sources willing to be quoted is pretty bad. It also seems that Michaelis was working from the Bradshaw family theory, where 95% of all families are so disfunctional that the kids need extensive counseling. (Not cheap, but well worth it! Sign on the dotted line.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:53 AM
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31: The Exile did a great takedown of that style of biography in a review of a bio of PG Wodehouse .


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:01 AM
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Bottle Rocket is a work of sublime genius.
Rushmore is a good film, but represents the beginning of the decline.
The Royal Tenenbaums is occasionally clever, but ultimately unsatisfying in its conventionality.
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou is self-indulgent and self-plagiarizing.
I have no plans to see Darjeeling Express, as it looks trite and neo-colonialist.

Hollywood should stop ruining potentially great filmmakers with money. Bunuel never took more than $50,000 for directing a film, and usually quite a bit less than that. Anderson could be right up there with Alexander Payne and Todd Solondz if he hadn't been seduced by mediocrity.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:05 AM
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The Darjeeling Limited rather. It's an express train to BORING.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:07 AM
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where 95% of all families are so disfunctional that the kids need extensive counseling.

well, 95% of everyone could use extensive counseling, but it's not their families fault. It's just human nature. Blaming it on the family is just a selling point.

Also, chances are your counselor needs counseling too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:12 AM
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28 seems about right, although it's critical to note that the tension between the mass marketing of the strip ("Happiness is") and the actual strip ("I got a rock") existed for a surprisingly long time.

Also, the very late strip still had some very good moments of absurdity: "If you wish somebody Happy Thanksgiving, they should give you a pie."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:31 AM
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My only sibling who's had counseling turned into a very cheerful Fox News Republican. It was related, too. Her counselor taught her not to worry about the big stuff but just live her own personal-family-job life. Fox helps you with that kind of cocooning because it gives you a quick, easy view of the world that makes you feel good about yourself. Michelle Bachmann is very happy. Sarah Palin is very happy. (Christianity helps, too, of course and little white pills.)

I also suspect that Michaelis had trouble figuring out less-urban flyover people of the older generation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:39 AM
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Thanks for the pointer to the article. I'd always related Anderson to Salinger much more strongly than anyone else, and I'm one of those dopes who still likes to re-read Franny and Zooey now and then. FWIW, Anderson's films seem pretty clearly ranked as:

1. Rushmore. Perhaps my favorite movie.
2. Royal Tennenbaums. The Glass family on film.
3. Bottle Rocket. A simple story well told, but he didn't have all his chops as a filmmaker developed yet.

-- Big Break --

4. Darjeeling Limited. He's clearly repetitive and telling the same story in different ways by now, but it was still touching in parts.
5. The Life Acquatic. Trying too hard. Only goes to prove the point that there are no good films made on water.


Posted by: Dan | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:40 AM
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Bring back the SPK!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:40 AM
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IANAFC, but I've espoused the theory that the thread that connects Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and Tenenbaums - and what makes them great - is the pursuit of forbidden love. Life Aquatic moves away from that, and Darjeeling (which I haven't been interested enough to sit all the way through) doesn't really have it at all, making the last two films that are all (beautiful) surface and no filler.


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:42 AM
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Have any of you actually read the Michaelis biography or have you just read the reviews?



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:54 AM
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26: Ok, I may have to look into early Peanuts sometime. The latter-day stuff I would see in the comics page never really struck me as worthwhile, nor did any of the specials I caught as a kid.

Some of the strips posted on EotAW that were in response to Vietnam and school integration looked better, but I don't think the three- or four-panel format lends itself well enough to subtle exposition of an idea. You're left either trying to bash the reader over the head, or only getting across a wisp of the potential idea in the limited space.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:55 AM
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Neither, but the whole Schulz family with one possible exception is appalled, and what they say seems pretty reasonable.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:56 AM
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40: Or the thread that connects them is that Owen Wilson was his co-writer on the first set of films and not on the others. Owen Wilson is the genius here! (No, really.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:57 AM
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I agree with 44. Although Anderson's very good with the technical stuff.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:59 AM
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43: I guess we have no point of contact -- I've only read the book and reviews, but not much about the familial response.

I thought it was a pretty good book and not a take-down.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:06 AM
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Selfish and neocolonialist it may be, and as ingenuous and precious as the other movies, but the end of The Darjeeling Express, when that Kinks song comes up while the brothers are running for the train, kicked up a surprising volume of dust in my row of the theater. Sort of like the "I've had a rough year, Dad" moment in TRT.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:23 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:35 AM
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42: Go down to your local bookstore and look at one of the Fantagraphics Complete Peanuts collections from '55 to '62. Give it at least a few months' worth of strips - there will be some basic, comicsy gag strips, but you'll see some pretty bleak, intense stuff as well.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:38 AM
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Early Peanuts: As great as Calvin&Hobbes. one of the greatest comic strips ever.

I grew up reading the collections of peanuts that my dad had as a kid, from the 50s. So reading the fantagraphic collections has nostalgic appeal for me, but the first 10 years really was amazing.

On top of everything, the art is occasionally just superb.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:45 AM
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Oudemia - never thought of it that way. You're probably right.

Owen Wilson's autobiography will be really interesting to read one day...


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:47 AM
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50 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:50 AM
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49: if you're going to do that, why not get one of those collected books of Krazy Kat instead?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:02 AM
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53: Well there's no reason not to get both. It's from the library so it's free!

They are both great.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:07 AM
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50 replaces what is struck out with its exact equivalent.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:31 AM
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Can acclaim really be vehement?

Of fucking course it can! But more seriously, I sat and thought about this very point, and decided the person from whom I acquired this link was in fact wonted to acclaim Mr. Anderson vehemently.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:35 AM
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55: That was my thinking also.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:02 AM
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Can acclaim really be vehement?

That's an amazingly great question - profound and absolutely brilliant! Anybody who doesn't think so is a fucking nitwit.

(I just wanted to develop Stanley's theme in 56 a little more.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:06 AM
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Ok, I may have to look into early Peanuts sometime.

FWIW, the strip's entire print run is online (legitimately) for free. Start here.

I think I've mentioned before that I finally saw A Charlie Brown Christmas last year. I felt physically uncomfortable watching it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:11 AM
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Oudemia's point about Owen Wilson is pretty critical. I was really saddened to find Life Aquatic so unbearable, because it was co-scripted by Noah Baumbach instead of Wilson. I've watched Kicking and Screaming a dozen times, and Squid and the Whale was sublime.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:11 AM
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50 replaces what is struck out with its exact equivalent.

I am aware that I hold Calvin and Hobbes in slightly less esteem than most people of my approximate age.

My top 3 comic strips would be, unordered, (early) Peanuts, (early) Doonesbury, and Pogo (I haven't read the Krazy Kat collections).

I would place Calvin and Hobbes at the top of the second group, ahead of (early-mid) Bloom County


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:38 AM
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Early Doonesbury must be much better than mid-90s Doonesbury.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:41 AM
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For those of you mourning the desertification of the contemporary comics page, Ballard Street is consistently inspired.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:41 AM
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I am aware that I hold Calvin and Hobbes in slightly less esteem than most people of my approximate age.

NickS is a member of the greatest generation.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:50 AM
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Unfortunately, the Wilson brothers created themselves an extremely retrograde reality matrix by allowing themselves to get involved in stuff that was not spiritually aligned for them at all levels.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:53 AM
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I'm pretty sure Doonesbury tracks an readership that's roughly Trudeau's age. I'd be astonished if nosflow got much from it, and I wouldn't blame him at all.

Calvin and Hobbes must be an American thing. I found it about as funny as the instruction leaflet on my kettle. OTOH, early-mid Bloom County had some real high points.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:55 AM
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Early Doonesbury must be much better than mid-90s Doonesbury.

A leap comparable to that from early to late Peanuts. Most felt that Doonesbury had already flamed out by the mid-80s.

FWIW, I found it worth reading in the early '00s. Presumably opposition to Bush helped a lot.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:59 AM
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||
Baby goats have incredibly cute faces. Like, cuter than any other baby animal, including kittens and baby monkeys.
|>


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:59 AM
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66.last boggles my mind. I wouldn't have thought of it as being especially culturally-grounded. Although Waterson was very consciously rooted in his forebears, so that there's a lot of comics culture even if there's not a huge amount of interacting with contemporary society culture.

Altho I think Bloom County has really gotten the shaft, in terms of how it's remembered. Before C&H got started, BC was the funniest strip going. By a lot.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:04 PM
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68: jms is Kaus!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:04 PM
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Much C&H isn't really funny, actually.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:07 PM
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Early Doonesbury must be much better than mid-90s Doonesbury.

I stand by my previous opinion.

I know that first book is a selection, and doesn't contain every strip from the time period, but it is astonishing how many memorable stories and characters are introduced in those first years.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:14 PM
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71: Well, no, the one where the raccoon that he finds dies isn't funny, per se. And Waterson himself admitted that he got preachy a couple times about the environment.

Or do you mean something else?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:15 PM
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NickS is a member of the greatest generation.

No, but my favorites in both music and comic strips contain a disturbing tendency amount of material from the 70s.

I'm not completely sure why that is.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:22 PM
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I sometimes think that if I could comprehend why Trudeau was so easy on Bush 2, then I'd understand how Bush 2 got away with so much. Given Trudeau's history, I can't help but feel that Doonesbury was one of the institutions that failed us in this decade.

I still like the strip even today, and I disagree with JRoth that Doonesbury plummeted the way Peanuts did, but, yeah, during the '70s it was often unbelievably great.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:35 PM
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75: Could Jane Pauley have had anything to do with it? She's pretty establishment, IIRC.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:44 PM
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75: I was trying to articulate what I think happened with Doonesbury. Early Doonesbury was like an 8, and it's now maybe a 4. Peanuts was a 10, and ended up a 2 or 3.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:45 PM
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68 is insane. Dangerously disconnected from reality. The only thing cuter than a baby monkey is a preadolescent young otter, and even then only when its actually playing. Baby raccoons can tie with baby monkeys within the margin of uncertainty inherent to relative comparisons of cuteness.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:48 PM
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What dead-tree media comic is better than Doonesbury today?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:49 PM
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Only the last Calvin & Hobbes book is really preachy, aside from the occasional environmental or "humans, they're so much worse than animals" strip. I think the last book was written after it stopped appearing on a weekly basis.

As someone who read every Bloom County and Outland book over and over around ages 10 to 14, I probably know more about Jeane Kirkpatrick and the Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh than anyone else my age.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:49 PM
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I sometimes think that if I could comprehend why Trudeau was so easy on Bush 2, then I'd understand how Bush 2 got away with so much

See, I didn't read it that way. I recall him using some fairly oppositional stuff that had first surfaced on blogs - not exactly MSM behavior. But I think that he was very committed to his characters, and didn't really go too far beyond their storylines - did he introduce any new, Bush-associated characters? Not that I recall. But the Iraq stuff was pretty strong, I thought.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:50 PM
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Baby goats, you say? CTSO.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:51 PM
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78: Red pandas.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:52 PM
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I mean, here's the Sunday strip, which strikes me as a pretty sweet 8-panel evisceration of US war strategy.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:53 PM
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No, but my favorites in both music and comic strips contain a disturbing tendency amount of material from the 70s

Sorry. Dumb amphiboly joke on my part.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:53 PM
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Assuming 79 is to 77:

My rating of Doonesbury is against the full spectrum of postwar comics - it may now be better than most (indeed, surely is), but that's mostly because current comics are pretty sucky. That said, Lio, Get Fuzzy, and, sometimes, Over The Hedge (?) are pretty good, and at least in the conversation for better than current Doonesbury.

But I only read current comics sporadically, when I'm someplace that has a newspaper lying around.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:54 PM
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Baby pigs are awfully damn cute, but neither pigs nor goats can beat the concentrated cuteness of newborn albino pygmy marmosets.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:54 PM
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I love Calvin & Hobbes every time I encounter it but for some reason I've never read much of it. I guess I'm saving it for that very bored afternoon. Or for whenever someone feels like buying me the complete set.

Also, baby goats are ridiculously cute (except when you see them directly after birth and they're still rather smeared with placenta - though the wobbly legs of the first 3 hours or so might come close to making up for it), but I can't get on bored with the cutest baby ever claim. There's just too much competition. Baby sea otters are also adorable. Also, while baby birds are in general pretty ugly, baby sea gulls - grey little poofs of feathers - are cute.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:55 PM
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87: ZOMG. Teeny tiny wookiees!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:56 PM
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All baby mammals are cute as long as they have hair. Comity!

Adult animals: this picture sort of clued me in as to why someone might be scared of birds.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:57 PM
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81: Certainly part of what happened is he became interested in the grunts-eye view of Iraq, and I agree that stuff was character-based and often quite strong.

But compared to "Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!" and Reagan's Brain, Trudeau appears to have made a conscious decision to lay off the politics. Lord knows Bush 2 provided plenty of material.

I suspect that, as an artist, he'd already been there and done that - there really weren't that many new wrinkles in Bush's approach to governance.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 12:59 PM
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The motherlode for cute baby animals.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:00 PM
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78: Red pandas.

I don't appreciate these crude ethnic caricatures.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:01 PM
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From 92, this can't possibly be a real picture, can it?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:04 PM
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I was a big Bloom County fan until its last couple of years. Yes, selfconsciously zany, but I don't mind that all that much. And I grew up on old Doonesbury collections. I'm surprisingly attached to the characters -- I was really kind of wrecked a couple of years ago when BD lost his leg in Iraq. It's not as good as it used to be, but I'm still involved.

Calvin and Hobbes was a great strip, but low on narrative arc for me -- I don't get sucked in unless the characters have a history (not, mind you, a history of meaningful character development or anything, just events in a row).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:04 PM
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And this guy is also pretty damn cute. That site really is the motherlode.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:06 PM
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94: Check the posting date.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:07 PM
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98

94. Read the comments. (Check the date).


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:08 PM
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99

Holy shit. Also.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:10 PM
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All baby mammals are cute as long as they have hair. Comity!

So it's okay that most newborn humans sorta squick me out.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:10 PM
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97/98: ah. I was very suspicious.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:11 PM
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People always link to baby mammals. Why not birds?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:15 PM
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baby goats are ridiculously cute (except when you see them directly after birth and they're still rather smeared with placenta

Really, does anything look cute when it's smeared with placenta?

(Don't you start with me, Mineshaft parents.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:16 PM
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same species as 102


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:17 PM
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OMG, 99.1 just made me go blind from cuteness.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:18 PM
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I am a complete zooborns addict. Borns!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:19 PM
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107

I am also addicted to Daily Otter.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:23 PM
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Perhaps Doonesbury has weakened politically for generational reasons -- whatever's happened to Trudeau's politics, it's clear that his characters, particularly Mike, have drifted right. If he wants to do something aggressively anti-Bush, he doesn't have a lot of characters to use as mouthpieces


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:25 PM
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107: Are you trying to ensure I never get any work done?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:26 PM
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I don't remember Mike ever being very left wing. He flirted with Anderson. He flirted with Forbes. I think he's meant to be politically totally confused. Slackmeyer was the token leftie. And he married a Nazi (his words).


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:28 PM
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109: Misery Cooing loves company.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:32 PM
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does anything look cute when it's smeared with placenta?

I'll bet Hayden Panettiere would still look cute smeared with placenta.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:36 PM
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I'm surprised there isn't a link in 112.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:39 PM
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114

Not one mention of Mary Worth?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:41 PM
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Mary Worth would not look cute smeared with placenta.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:43 PM
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Lies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:44 PM
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Dr. Jeff is smeared with placenta practically all the time. He doesn't look very cute, though.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:44 PM
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118

That strip was all downhill after the one in which Mary advises a friend to commit suicide.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:46 PM
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119

As close as I could find.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:48 PM
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I, for one, welcome our new placenta-smeared overlords.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:53 PM
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121

120 to mouseover text.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:54 PM
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110: Yeah, I'm not sure I have the dynamic nailed. But there's something there -- having Megaphone Mark shouting "Guilty, guilty, guilty!" about Reagan was demographically plausible in a way that getting exercised about Bush II wasn't. That's still not exactly right -- it's not that people weren't horrified by Bush -- but the tone of criticism has been different.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 1:59 PM
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having Megaphone Mark shouting "Guilty, guilty, guilty!" about Reagan

You mean Nixon, right? Or else my memory is really collapsing.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 2:00 PM
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122: Also, Bush I and Saint Ronnie were before the rise of the right wing smear machine. Criticizing Bush II would lead to a chorus of freepers trying to get you fired, and perhaps succeeding.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 2:03 PM
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having Megaphone Mark shouting "Guilty, guilty, guilty!" about Reagan

John Mitchell, in the original.

According to wikipedia, "In January 1987, politicians were again declared "Guilty, guilty, guilty." This time it was Donald Regan, John Poindexter and Oliver North"


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 2:04 PM
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125: Right, I was remembering the Iran-Contra one, rather than the Watergate one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 2:11 PM
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Bush I and Saint Ronnie were before the rise of the right wing smear machine. Criticizing Bush II would lead to a chorus of freepers trying to get you fired, and perhaps succeeding.

The outcry over the "Reagan's Brain" series did succeed in getting Doonesbury banished to the editorial pages of many papers.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 2:19 PM
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So it's okay that most newborn humans sorta squick me out.

Usually, I'm as big a sucker for the newborn humans as there is. But recently I had to confront the harsh truth that some babies really are just funny looking breathtaking.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 2:25 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 2:46 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 2:55 PM
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The outcry over the "Reagan's Brain" series did succeed in getting Doonesbury banished to the editorial pages of many papers.

I'd forgotten that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 2:57 PM
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Hayden Panettiere

I always read this name first as 'Hayden Planetarium', so I briefly thought of the place placenta-smeared, like a Christo/Damien Hirst collaboration.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 3:04 PM
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ToS is rational, JBS's insanity, nothing is stable
i recalled i picked up the name after 'read more' of some folded post, perhaps the new person could be link, if to follow my methodology of picking up the pseud


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 3:06 PM
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i read Panettiere as like small bread, from Japanese pan perhaps, she looks like a bun too, cute and rosy


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 3:09 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 3:10 PM
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132: I cannot for the life of me think of her as anything other than Hayden Planetarium.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 3:17 PM
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ToS sounds nice, why not to pick it up, what people name you is the most like apt name perhaps, and it's nothing mean or derogatory
but i like how ToS' comments get deleted, it's like a very clever method to avoid any permanent internet presence, hopefully they are getting less abusive too


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 3:19 PM
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136: I've been trying to compose lyrics for "Welcome Home Planetarium" for like seventeen years now. It's tough.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 3:37 PM
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95 speaks for me.

Doonesbury is perhaps still the richest comic, but it's kind of got emeritus status. Last Sunday's was particularly funny. Most of them are just kinda good, but there's a lot of For Better and for Worse character-following happening.

Lio and Get Fuzzy are routinely very good. Candorville is amusing. La Cucaracha was better when Lalo Alcaraz was just doing single panel stuff in the LA Weekly. Mutts is wonderful to look at but not very funny. Foxtrot has occasionally funny nerd stuff, as if it will be xkcd when it grows up.

But seriously, people Ballard street just cracks my shit up.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 3:39 PM
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136: Me neither.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 4:13 PM
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Foxtrot has occasionally funny nerd stuff

Definitely my guilty pleasure comic. The Jason bits in Foxtrot are sometimes extremely good.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 4:19 PM
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What dead-tree media comic is better than Doonesbury today?

Garfield. The Family Circus. That soap opera about the lady reporter pirate who is a lady reporter and also a pirate. The jumble.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 4:23 PM
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142: What makes those things better?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 4:24 PM
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142: Standpipe knows.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 4:30 PM
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Part 3 of Seitz's video essay is up. It compares Anderson's work with that of Hal Ashby, of whom he's talked much in interviews, and takes Anderson to task for never approaching the social and political realities of Ashby's work.

No Peanuts though.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 4:31 PM
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basic instructions is OK


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 4:35 PM
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I can't believe people are seriously discussing comics. If you want to flagellate yourself with the stupidity of the median American, they're great. Otherwise, not so much. Apart from the Far Side, which you should all flagellate yourselves over not mentioning.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 5:01 PM
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Oh, and red meat. But that was only in the guardian and such.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 5:02 PM
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It was in the onion as well.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 5:15 PM
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MS Paint Adventures is great.

Thesis: Wes Anderson is Hal Hartley + paisley.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 5:16 PM
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Why don't papers carry Jerkcity? That's what I want to know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 5:37 PM
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Thesis: Wes Anderson is Hal Hartley + paisley.

Hal Hartley plus paisley sounds like a pretty promising start - not that that describes Wes Anderson.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 5:55 PM
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I've actually only seen on Hartley movie.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 5:59 PM
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Which one?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:04 PM
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They don't seem much alike to me. Hartley (whom I adore) has aggressively non-naturalistic dialog, lighting, etc. Anderson may be twee and mannered in his own way, but it isn't the same thing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:07 PM
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Amateur.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:12 PM
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Henry Fool was one of the most depressing movies that I've seen. I liked Flirt though it was clearly a minor work.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:16 PM
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128: I often find newborn babies ugly. I mean, they're babies, cute! But when you really stop to look? Ugly. Past a couple of months, though, they all tend to look cuter too me.

I was completely spoiled, however, by being gifted at age 7 1/2 by the most adorable baby sister ever. Strangers used to take her picture, she was that cute. (Note: she did go through two brief ugly periods, at say, 1 month, and then again at about 8 months. But the rest of her babyhood and toddler years? Scarily adorable!)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:19 PM
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That soap opera about the lady reporter pirate who is a lady reporter and also a pirate.

Brenda Starr!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:26 PM
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Re: Far Side, up above I edited myself to compare BC only with other strips. I recall my dad bringing us copies of the Miami Sun comics section for the Far Side when it wasn't in the Herald.

Evidently xkcd needs to get off my lawn.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:27 PM
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XKCD needs to get off everyone's lawn.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:28 PM
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Brenda Starr is/was a pirate? Wow, who knew?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:39 PM
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Speaking of twee, XKCD pushes that button sometimes. They get away with it because it's geeky, but I'm not sure that they should.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:43 PM
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As a kid, I liked Mark Trail. Learned from Wikipedia that Ed Dodd, its creator, had a studio in a Frank Lloyd designed house outside of Atlanta. From later in the '60s I quite enjoyed Dan O'Neill's "Odds Bodkins". His out of print collection, Hear the Sound of My Feet Walking .. Drown the Sound of My Voice Talking .. is available online. Also recommended is The Collective Unconscience of Odd Bodkins .


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:44 PM
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They get away with it because it's geeky, but I'm not sure that they should.

Oh, but it does not. Not with ME!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:45 PM
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Speaking of something not completely divorced from twee, If you want to flagellate yourself with the stupidity of the median American, they're great.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:48 PM
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I was happier when xkcd was less popular, because then I didn't have to listen to people tell me how it sucks.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:48 PM
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XKCD's gweeky tendencies are among its worst.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:48 PM
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It's always hard to hear about your failings, Walt.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:49 PM
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While it's very easy to hear about yours, neb.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:51 PM
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Oh, xkcd is great, don't get me wrong (they had an impromptu meetup about six hundred yards from me, and I felt bad for missing it). It's just so accepted among the intelligentsia and so very annoying every so often that I feel the need to dissent.

And 166 makes no sense to me. Am I misusing "twee" or is he?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 6:58 PM
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Speaking of twee, I assume this is the NCAA thread?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:06 PM
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I can't be the only person here who thinks that Red Meat sucks.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:07 PM
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Regarding Mark Trail, I've been weirded out ever since someone (maybe someone here?) pointed out the overuse of exclamation points. Cf. recent comic chosen at random.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:09 PM
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173: nope, not now that I'm no longer 15.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:11 PM
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I can only assume that the comic linked in 174 is part of a multi-strip parody of Blow-Up.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:12 PM
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I can't be the only person here who thinks that Blow-Up sucks.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:13 PM
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Am I misusing "twee" or is he?

"twee" seems exceedingly flexible. I've never been clear on its use; these days it just seems to be synonymous with "precious".


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:16 PM
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But you know who's really great? Ruben Bolling. Or to be more precise, the person who uses the pseudonym 'Ruben Bolling'.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:18 PM
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Possibly relevant.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:20 PM
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How quickly we discard that which sustained us! I probably wouldn't find Red Meat funny these days, but I'd sooner acknowledge fascist ethics than disavow its influence. Why it's supposed to be a liability when folks are openly discussing an emasculated Doonesbury is a puzzle for the ages,


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:24 PM
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I'd never read Red Meat. Not bad.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:35 PM
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I can't be the only one here who thinks this NCAA tournament sucks. I'm sure the North Carolina fans disagree, but the dullness of this tournament has been truly incredible.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:40 PM
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Dersu Uzala is overrated.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:54 PM
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185

If you haven't sampled some Krazy Kat and some Winsor McKay, you owe it to yourself.

What freaks me out about Mark Trail is the camera pulls out to show a nature scene, but the conversation is still going on, so a word cloud appears to originate from a hawk, or a snake, or something.


Posted by: rm | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:00 PM
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Heels, bitches eb!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:11 PM
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zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:16 PM
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171.2: Am I misusing "twee" or is he?

I probably stretched it too far even for "not entirely divorced from".

And like so many comics, the Mark Trail of today is far, far removed from the Mark Trail of yesteryear.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:40 PM
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RAISE UP, EB!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:55 PM
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Rah had to remind me that there was a game of some sort tonight. I was catching up on Chuck. We flipped over to the game every few minutes to see if anyone had thrown a hand grenade onto the court.

My soon-to-be-co-workers will be very happy, I expect.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:32 PM
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Part 4 of Seitz's video essay is up. Good stuff on J.D. Salinger and Anderson's character fetish objects.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:26 PM
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The best hair products you can find


Posted by: Ethnic Hair Products | Link to this comment | 01-18-10 9:55 PM
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