Because he’s going to kill a bunch of snails??


Just for the record… I’ve abandoned the Death Watch, because I think it’s been well-established by now that Death shows up on the comics page more often than Marvin references his bodily functions.

That won’t keep him from appearing for cause, of course, as in this CIDU.


  1. This is not Death: this a driver who died waiting for a snail to creep across the road (notice the cobwebs?).

  2. Here’s a ballpark translation of Olivier’s comic:
    “I agree that this number has never been seen before, but it’s long, very long. It’s just too long.”

  3. On the guard rail on the right side of the comic, what is that eye-y-looking thing on the ground, and that firecracker-y thing on the rail?

  4. I was just about to send this. Glad others figured out the joke because I didn’t. And the placement of the eyeball and dynamite just up ahead on the side of the road probably made new readers even more confused.

  5. OK, I guess this has ripened for me to finally post a gripe about it: I hate the easter eggs of this strip — they are way too self indulgent, and now are actually getting in the way of the gag of the strip. It was cute when Hirschfeld did it, but face it Piraro, you’re no Hirschfeld, and Waymo or Wayno or whatever — even less so. I wouldn’t care, but when this crap gets in the way of the actual primary purpose of this gag-a-day strip, then it’s fair game: way too many easter eggs, they’re way too pointless for the casual reader (and even when explained, they’re “meh”), and just way too f!@$*ing self indulgent. It was cute with Hirschfeld, he was so in love with his daughter, he snuck her name into his art (and it really was sneaking in the early days — editors would almost certainly have not allowed it). It never got in the way, you could appreciate his art and never know about the hidden easter eggs; if you were clued in, it was an extra delight. This crap, on the other hand…

  6. So, tell us how you REALLY feel.

    Actually, I agree, but to a lesser degree; I’ve managed to ignore them. They’re like the floaters in my eyes – part of the scenery, but I don’t really see ’em anymore.

  7. The gas gage is showing full empty. The driver died there waiting for the snail to cross the road. Somehow even after the driver has been reduced to bones (8 to 12 years) the radio is still playing.

  8. You guys keep saying the radio is playing, but I don’t see any sign that the radio is actually playing. There’s no motion lines showing anything moving, and you can’t even see any speakers.

  9. I just ignore the Easter eggs in this strip, although I agree that they sometimes confuse the joke. But they probably do engage some readers who hunt for them every day, and it’s a rough world making a living as a cartoonist.

  10. I agree with larK: Sometimes it seems like more effort goes into the Easter eggs than the comic itself. They’re confusing when it’s a CIDU, and distracting when it’s a LOL.

    Would anybody really miss them?

  11. Zbicyclist, I really don’t think finding them is all that engaging: They’re not all that cleverly hidden.

  12. The easter eggs seem self defeating. It’s an absurdist strip where the joke is that the thing we are seeing is absurd or unusual. If rolling eyeballs and aliens, slices of pie on the floor and sticks of dynamite are a regular part of the universe than the front action really are no longer absurd or unusual.

    Hirschfield wasn’t so much a gag strip as a line-art caricature strip in which case a word in the drawing would accentuate and highlight the strip. (That *is* the art of caricature, after all: to present and image in what is basically only lines; hiding a written word as though it is an image would only serve to point out one was successful.) If one day he were to do a cartoon in which the punch-line was a sky-writer was including subliminal messages well… then his “NINA” would be distracting and shoott the cartoon in the foot. But as that was unlikely to ever be the punchline it wasn’t a likely problem.

  13. So I just tried to get through that link Andréa provided, and I’d like to take back my assessment of “Meh”, and escalate it to something that will probably get me moderated. Have I used the term “self-indulgent” yet?

  14. “So I just tried to get through that link Andréa provided, and I’d like to take back my assessment of “Meh”, and escalate it to something that will probably get me moderated. Have I used the term “self-indulgent” yet?”

    Heh. I have the opposite reaction. The self-indulgence of that page is so over the top I think it’s deliberate satire and it’s actually funny and increasing my acceptance and appreciation.

    Until we go back to the strip and its irritating again.

  15. The radio looks to be a modern one with a display, so if it weren’t powered on it would not be showing the station.

  16. Radios don’t show call letters, they show frequency. (This is changing as the car increasingly integrates a computer terminal rather than discrete controls.)

  17. “Radios don’t show call letters, they show frequency. ”

    Did anyone say otherwise? And … many radios *do* show call letters. Hell, my 18 year old BMW’s radio shows the call letters. Most modern car radios not just display call letters, they display the artist of the music the station is broadcasting.

    Point being they don’t display *anything* if the battery is dead.

  18. The radio in my wife’s car — which is, by the way, about ten years old — not only displays both the frequency and the call letters, but in the case of NPR, the name of the program.

  19. I almost always turn on NPR whenever I’m driving, for the simple reason that the signal from the Berlin station (104.1 FM) is not strong enough to reach any of the radios inside my house. The car radio doesn’t have any problems isolating the signal, but that’s the only place I can get it.

  20. The Venerable Bronco has an old cassette stereo. I bought a converter that allows you to connect up any device that has a 3.5 mm audio jack. I use the iPod I got as an anniversary gift from MegaCorp. So the display shows either the time (usual) or TAPE.

  21. In part a matter of whether you’re using “plain old FM” or what they’re calling HD FM. The HD provides some sub-carrier or side-band space, some of which can be used for Radio Text, and some of which is for a separate feed. Our Chicago NPR affiliate sends their main (mostly NPR) feed over plain-old FM 97.1 and also on 97.1 FM HD1+. On 97.1 FM HD2+ you get “Vocalo” their alternate urban music station … which is also heard on 91.1 of plain-old FM.

  22. I don’t know… I kinda like the Easter eggs. Some days the only amusement I get out of the strip is finding them. And other times, such as in this strip, I have to spend some time trying to figure out what the gag is. I thought this joke was worth the effort once I got it. Absurd, but amusing.

  23. Oh … he’s wearing a white dress shirt with the cuffs buttoned. THAT’s how you know it’s not Death, because Death wears that cloak and no shirt.

  24. @ DanV – I liked the Easter Eggs better when there wasn’t so many of them. The daily panels used to have 0, 1, or 2 special symbols, but now it’s almost always three or more, so I tend to ignore them. I sometimes make an exception for massive numbers that appear on Sundays.

  25. Radio (bottom of the line in the bottom of the line car model) in our 2011 Chevy will show up to the station number, name, show name (if one), if music – song being performed and who is performing. This all depends, apparently, on what the station is sending out as info.

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