Category Archives: comic strips

Wake Up Sunday Morning!

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As weekly rituals go, one of the most important ones came every Sunday morning when I was a kid.  My parents were 50’s people.  By that I mean they were teenagers and young adults during the post war boom of the 1950’s when everything seemed hopeful and bright and alive with wonderful possibilities.  As a kid in the 1960’s the Sunday morning routine was this;

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  • Wake up grouchy from staying up too late to sneak a look at the late-night monster movie on Saturday.
  • Read the funny papers.
  • Learn life lessons from Family Circus, Dagwood Bumstead, Pogo, Lil’ Abner, and Steve Canyon.
  • Eat scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast.
  • Complain about having to go to church and Sunday school.
  • Go to Sunday School and church at the Methodist Church in Rowan, Iowa.
  • Complain about having to go to church every Sunday on the way home from church.
  • Pray over Sunday dinner and be really, actually thankful for all the positive good things in life.

Obviously the most important thing in that routine was complaining, because I listed it twice.  But when it got down to it, we were thankful for all the good things about life.  We were positive people.  We sometimes listened to Norman Vincent Peale on the radio.  We knew we ought to be positive and thankful and love goodness and be kind.

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Somewhere along the way, though, the world forgot the life lessons of Family Circus.

Somehow we managed to screw things up.

Environmental scientists like Paul Ehrlich, who wrote The Population Bomb, warned us that the world could soon be ending.  And we ignored them.

Richard Nixon taught us not to trust politicians any more.

We stopped believing in things like the wholesome goodness of scrambled eggs.

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We let corruption in our government and inequality in the economic sphere become the norm.  The greedy people who were cynical and had no empathy for the rest of us took over.  That is how we ended up with someone like Donald Trump.  Racism, fear, and complaining now rule the emotional landscape in America and most of the world.

So, what is the answer?  What do we do?

Well, The Family Circus is still out there.  We can learn from it, laugh a little, and apply some of those life lessons.  Especially this one;

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Filed under cartoons, comic strips, commentary, goofy thoughts, humor, inspiration, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Because Rabbits Are People Too

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Today’s Paffooney paffoon cartoon is a puzzler.  I have this Rabbit People cartoon scene in my head with no punch line, no dialogue, and basically no idea.  It just popped into my head doodle fashion, and then flowed down through my pencil and pen onto paper.

What is boy bunny Benjamin asking or saying to young buck about town Bernhopper Bunny?  And what is Bernhopper’s answer?

Maybe like this;

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But that’s bathroom humor.  We all know the Easter Bunny lays chocolate eggs for Easter, so bunny bathroom humor gets you wondering about about chocolate chip cookies from the Easter Bunny.  And that’s just gross.

Maybe it should be more like this;

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Now that’s downright bad citizenship advice.  Surely we can do better.  And does the story have to be about the fireplug?

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Okay, gotta squelch the sexual innuendo.  When it comes to rabbits, that kind of humor leads to lots more rabbits.  I’m not really sure how this comes out.  Maybe the story should involve fat Barry Bunny who secretly prefers bananas to carrots.  Or maybe it is about beautiful Bingolette Bunny who plays the bongos and writes monumentally horrible love songs in her spare time.  I just can’t figure out rabbit humor!  It is so frustrating!  Maybe you have suggestions in the comments.  (Is that a challenge to your creativity?  Just a test to see if you really read this junk?  Or am I just too lazy to write my own cartoons?  I’ll never tell.)

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Filed under cartoons, characters, comic strips, doodle, foolishness, humor, Paffooney cartoony, rabbit people, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Three Books at Once

No, this isn’t some kind of multiple-book book review.  This is an ungodly silly claim that I can actually read three books at once.  Silly, but true.

Now I don’t claim to be a three-armed mutant with six eyes or anything.  And I am relatively sure I only have one brain.  But, remember, I was a school teacher who could successfully maintain a lesson thread through discussions that were supposed to be about a story by Mark Twain, but ventured off to the left into whether or not donuts were really invented by a guy who piloted a ship and stuck his pastries on the handles of the ships’ wheel, thus making the first donut holes, and then got briefly lost in the woods of a discussion about whether or not there were pirates on the Mississippi River, and who Jean Lafitte really was, and why he was not the barefoot pirate who stole Cap’n Crunch’s cereal, but finally got to the point of what the story was really trying to say.  (How’s that for mastery of the compound sentence?)  (Oh, so you could better?  Really?  You were in my class once, weren’t you.)  I am quite capable of tracking more than one plot at the same time.  And I am not slavishly devoted to finishing one book before I pick up the next.

I like reading things the way I eat a Sunday dinner… a little meatloaf is followed by a fork-full of mashed potatoes, then back to meat, and some green peas after that…  until the whole plate is clean.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is the meatloaf.  I have read it before, just as I have probably had more meatloaf in my Iowegian/Texican  lifetime than any other meat dish.  It’s pretty much a middle-America thing.  And Treasure Island is the second book I ever read.  So you can understand how easy a re-read would be.  I am reading it mostly while I am sitting in the high school parking lot waiting to pick up the Princess after school is out.

fbofw1Lynn Johnston’s For Better or Worse is also an old friend.  I used to read it in the newspaper practically every day.  I watched those kids grow up and have adventures almost as if they were members of my own family.  So the mashed potatoes part of the meal is easy to digest too.

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So that brings me to the green peas.  Green peas are good for you.  They are filled with niacin and folic acid and other green stuff that makes you healthier, even though when the green peas get mashed a bit and mix together with the potatoes, they look like boogers, and when you are a kid, you really can’t be sure.  Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter wrote this book The Long War together.  And while I love everything Terry Pratchett does, including the book he wrote with Neil Gaiman, I am having a hard time getting into this one.  Parts of it seem disjointed and hard to follow, at least at the beginning.  It takes work to choke down some of it.  Peas and potatoes and boogers, you know.

But this isn’t the first time I have ever read multiple books at the same time.  In fact, I don’t remember the last time I finished a book and the next one wasn’t at least halfway finished too.  So it can be done.  Even by sane people.

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Doom is Imminent, It’s Time to Sing!

Yessir, the Cubs have a chance to win their first World Series since 1908 tonight.  They have not won the title since Tinker to Evers to Chance was the double-play combo of poetic proportions.  They have never won in my lifetime, and I am quite old.  So, there is proof positive the world is about to end.

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Yes, I can even describe the mechanics of the thing.  Donald Trump will be elected President of the United States thanks to Mr. Comey’s timely reveal of more scandalous emails that he has not read and chuckled about yet.  You know, the ones that he couldn’t have actually read yet because they come from potential pedophile Anthony Weiner’s computer, and he had to have a separate warrant from a judge to read anything that may have to do with Hillary, even though probably none of them contain nude pictures from Hillary, and she probably didn’t even write those emails.  The world had to know about that right before the election, especially members of the Republican House Committee for examining Hillary’s every boo-boo.  So, the Donald will win, because nobody is doing any press conferences on the FBI investigation on his ties to the Russian government through the biggest bank in Russia.  ‘Taint important, Pogo.

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And once the great orange pumpkin-head is our next president, our health care will no longer be under the misguided protection of Obamacare.  Instead, it will will be taken care of by “something terrific” that will make high profits for somebody, and make certain that I will never be able to pay another medical bill (since those who are deceased rarely do).

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And, of course, President Pompadoodle will be able to declare that we no longer have to believe in the climate change hoax.  The result being that we will soon be able to buy beachfront property in Iowa and Missouri, be able to purchase our breathable air in factory-made brick-form, and possibly grow a helpful third eye from the mutating effects of nuclear radiation.

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And, lastly, I would like to thank the late great Walt Kelly for illustrating today’s post.  One wonders how a cartoonist can look so far ahead from the 1960’s to do such a fine job of illustrating the problems of 2016?  Will miracles never cease?  I mean, really, we could probably do with a few less of these industrial grade miracles made out of recycled elephant poop.

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Filed under angry rant, comic strips, commentary, conspiracy theory, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, humor, politics, satire

Doom Looms, Dear Ones

 

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Wisdom from Pogo by the Great Walt Kelly

I get down and depressed when things continually go down hill and life becomes a depository for piles of disappointments, busted plans, and reversals of fortune.  I recently got rejected again by a publisher.  They told me they didn’t want my work, and subtly hinted that they really didn’t think it would be a good idea for me to submit any more to them.  And this, of course, was not one of the big five.  They don’t even accept submissions from a goof as lowly as me who thinks he can write stories.

I take things like that with a grain of salt anyway.  Twenty years ago I was told by a published writer that my writing was good enough to be published, and that all good writing eventually gets published.  But I chose the coward’s path back then, continuing to invest my time in teaching hormonal and homicidal brats to read and write English in a poverty-pocket of South Texas where they barely pay teachers anything.  I chose that cowardly path because it challenged my abilities and seemed a fulfilling life… and besides, I loved working with kids.  Now, my life is winding down.  I am retired on a full pension which is surprisingly good compared to what most teachers get nowadays, earned at a time before the Grinch became Emperor of Texas and declared the teaching of Science and making students think were acts of pure evil.  My health is failing now, and getting published in the age of the internet is now a much more iffy sort of thing where hacks can make fortunes and good writers are ignored.  Even small publishers aren’t interested in my work.

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Yes, I tend to say “Gork” a lot because it doesn’t matter where I go from here.  I have lived a good life.   Now, as I dissolve in illness and pain and disappointment, I have no regrets.  I fought the good fight and did good work.  If the writing thing doesn’t do anything more for me than let me entertain myself in my last days, then that is good enough.  I have one book published, and I mean to continue banging away at stories that I have always intend to tell, they will continue to exist after me, at least for a while, and will represent me well when I am gone.

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So, I am bound to die, and fairly soon, and we are going to have the racist Orange King as our next President, so the economy will collapse into the pocketbooks of a handful of billionaires.  Doom Looms… a phrase I borrowed from a Walt Kelly strip that cut to the heart of the matter long ago.  While we live, we are all together as passengers on Spaceship Earth, and we are the only enemy available to contend with.  So, instead of being bummed out about bad fortune, I choose to count my blessings and seriously contemplate what I can do to make things better… whether it is in a big way, or just a little bitty one.

Fools

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Filed under autobiography, battling depression, comic strips, education, health, irony, novel plans, Paffooney, publishing

Rise of the Bargain Bin Goon

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One of the biggest problems with being an action figure aficionado with raging hoarding disorder is the fact that every new dolly has it’s own personality… and sometimes its own evil agenda.  Once you own too many of these things, especially the evil ones, it is no longer possible to properly pay attention to what they are up to.

The last installment of Action Figure Comics had the hero, Captain Action (specifically Captain Carl Action) thwarting the evil Doctor Evil by taking away his evil removable brain.  (I know I use the word evil far too often in describing the evil Doctor Evil, but he is also repetitively redundant.)  I had thought this Achilles’ heel of Dr. Evil’s… er, rather, this Achilles’ brain of the evil Doctor Evil was just too convenient a solution to the problem presented by this irrepressible evil bad guy.  But as a rule I find ignorance is bliss.     I know now that I was wrong.  That was a terrible rule to follow.  As a former teacher you are supposed to know that ignorance is not bliss… it is evil.  After 31 years of fighting the War Against Ignorance in my classroom, you would think I would remember this.  I should’ve been watching Emperor Ming of Mongo more closely… or should that be closlier?  Battle scars from the War have left me unsure.

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One has to recall that Evil Emperor Ming is really just another incarnation of the evil Doctor Evil under his mask… although not one with a removable brain.  Notice that his minion, the evil Doctor Mindbender is no less evil when it comes to redundant use of the word “evil”… and he even commits the further sin of repetitively saying “no-good goody-goody”.  “Ach!  Ja!  Evil use of bad grammar makes my battle scars hurt more!” cries the former teacher driven to write this hopeless drivel.

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What’s this?  He means to destroy the new bargain bin wrestler doll… I mean, action figure that I just bought?  I had meant to keep that as a mint in box collector’s item until the lucha wrestling fans of Sin Cara are as old as I am now.  Then I will find one of them with hoarding disorder and sell it for possibly eight dollars.  I will have made a whole dollar by the time I’m 109!

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Yes, I should’ve been watching that dang evil Emperor Ming more closely!  Now he has ruined my mint-in-box action figure by taking it out of the box.  What bad thing will he do next?  Stay tuned to this goofy old blog.  You never know, I may actually continue this story if I can keep better track of what these goofy little dolls are doing.

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New Pages For Old Comics

Here are the newest pages of Hidden Kingdom;

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If you would like to see how it fits into the whole of chapter 2, then you can visit it at my vault with this link;  Hidden Kingdom – Chapter Two

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