Hmm… apparently SOMEBODY doesn’t work with a three-week lead time…

felicity.jpg

Is That is Priceless in newspapers at all? Maybe the three-week thing only applies to print comics, even if you’re working through GoComics  or another syndicate?

By all logic, I think, in 2019 comic strip artists should have the option of being as timely as editorial cartoonists: it’s not as if they have to put the physical drawing in an envelope and mail it in.

82 Comments

  1. I don’t think this comic appears in papers. A lot don’t use color for their daily comics and wouldn’t want to print some of the strips where the work of art is potentially NSFW. Both Skin-Horse and Two Party Opera run at GoComics without a delay. The new run of Bloom County lags about a week behind Breathed’s posting on Facebook. So the rules are clearly different for webcomics. I think the lead time for syndicated comics these days have more to do with syndicate editors having time to find objectionable things, otherwise you’re right about the long lead times no longer making sense.

    This was actually a CIDU for me. I had no idea who Felicity Huffman is and had to do some Googling to figure it out.

  2. Well, since the “cartoonist” here doesn’t even have to do artwork of his own, he can presumably post very quickly.

    If this were printed in a newspaper, I think the comic would be compromised. Shrunk in size, details would be lost I’d think.

    This post gave me a sense of deja vu. I recall asking about the lead time of web comics some time ago.

  3. Grawlix, the amount of time it takes to physically draw the comic isn’t really a huge factor (unless you’re doing Prince Valient).

  4. Good point, DemetriosX: the newspapers would need to have their own Arlo Pages.

    (though… I guess if Britain’s Sun can have its Page 3…)

  5. By the way, I have no idea why it’s legal to spend 7 figures to build an auditorium to guarantee your kid gets into into a school, yet illegal — and the whole world gets their collective panties in a twist — when somebody pays a 5-figure bribe to get his kid into the school.

  6. CIDU Bill: I had pretty much the same reaction. I actually read an article where someone used that comparison to condemn the bribers, saying “This isn’t like a case where someone donates a wing to make sure their kid gets in, this was an illegal bribe.” They seemed to think it was self-evident that the cases were different.

    One difference I can think of is that when you build the auditorium, there’s probably no explicit quid pro quo agreement.

    I haven’t read about this in detail. Why is it illegal to bribe your way into a private university anyway?

  7. Paying with an implicit hope is not the same as paying to have test results altered or lying about being about on a certain athletic team or other of the “tactics” used by this scheme. The first is not honorable, but it’s hard to prove the quid pro quo for a crime; the second are a slam dunk.

  8. If you have your own comics website, the lead time would be as long as it took to make the comic and upload it. In this case, finding the right artwork and making up a caption, plus maybe two minutes to upload. I know I can change anything on my websites within minutes.

    However, if you are on GoComics or ArcaMax or ???, I don’t know if you upload your own comics, or if they have to go thru another person before they are uploaded.

  9. “By all logic, I think, in 2019 comic strip artists should have the option of being as timely as editorial cartoonists: it’s not as if they have to put the physical drawing in an envelope and mail it in.”

    Still needs time to go through editorial, to make sure it won’t twist the undergarments of the customers (that is, the newspapers that still buy comic strips). Plus, of course, a three-week lead time means that the syndicate has something in the pipeline if they have problems (or somebody at the syndicate takes a two-week vacation).

  10. If you scroll down on that Claytoonz page that Andréa posted, there’s a video of the complete process of drawing, shading, and coloring the single-panel comic electronically. He does a lot of undo’s when he’s starting up. I did start skipping through it; still, I found it to be a real treat.

  11. Back before Breaking Cat News was in newspapers there was a couple of months were Georgia Dunn was posting comics on her own site the same day they posted on GoComics, so non-newspaper strips on GoComics can contain references to current events that are still current.

  12. The celebs allegedly involved are charged with wire-fraud and/or mail-fraud, among other things.

    The applications willfully misrepresented the students.

    This all seems like a big deal to me.

  13. When EvilCorp donates $5 million to a senator’s campaign, there’s no explicit agreement that the senator will vote in favor of the upcoming bill that will give EvilCorp a billion dollars in tax breaks; but seriously…

  14. The difference is that when a rich person donates a large sum to the school, the school and all of its students benefit. When a rich person gives money to a school official or coach and presents them with falsified credentials for her kids, that’s a bribe and fraud. The school receives no benefit.

  15. “By the way, I have no idea why it’s legal to spend 7 figures to build an auditorium to guarantee your kid gets into into a school, yet illegal — and the whole world gets their collective panties in a twist — when somebody pays a 5-figure bribe to get his kid into the school.”

    Bill, I think you understand this perfectly well. Legally, this case is not about the unfairness of college admissions. It’s about the bribery of coaches and SAT proctors to violate their duty to their employers.

  16. “The celebs allegedly involved are charged with wire-fraud and/or mail-fraud, among other things.”

    That’s because the federal government ordinarily has no jurisdiction over fraud.

  17. “When EvilCorp donates $5 million to a senator’s campaign, there’s no explicit agreement that the senator will vote in favor of the upcoming bill that will give EvilCorp a billion dollars in tax breaks”

    No, but the $5 million does get you (or your lobbyist) the opportunity to explain your concerns about pending legislation. That’s why EvilCorp donated to both candidates.

  18. “Legally, this case is not about the unfairness of college admissions. It’s about the bribery of coaches and SAT proctors to violate their duty to their employers.”

    Normally, I would expect employees who violate their duty to their employers to be dealt with by their employers, either by firing them, or with civil suits. If the employees committed crimes in the course of violating their duty to their employees, I would generally only expect state criminal charges if the employers referred the matter to the police, and would virtually never expect federal charges.

  19. Winter Wallaby: Yes, the employers would certainly have preferred to deal with the employees by firing them and covering it up. But somehow this came to the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice (I don’t think we know how just yet.) And unfortunately for the defendants, DOJ had less interest in perpetrating a cover-up. There were serious crimes involves, there was federal jurisdiction, state law enforcement would probably have had difficulty dealing with this multi-state criminality, and enforcement was likely to result in favorable publicity. It must have been an easy call.

    In contrast, whatever you think of the plutocrat who buys admission with a large contribution (which generally needs to be much larger than the amounts involved here), it is not illegal. Universities can admit who they want, as long as they do not engage in actionable discrimination.

  20. Legally, this case is not about the unfairness of college admissions. It’s about the bribery of coaches and SAT proctors to violate their duty to their employers.

    Okay, this part makes sense to me: focus on the conspiracy angle.

  21. the $5 million does get you (or your lobbyist) the opportunity to explain your concerns about pending legislation. That’s why EvilCorp donated to both candidates.

    They’re still getting a direct quid pro quo for their quid, no?

  22. I forget the legal term I came across, but the illegality has to do with (as quoted from one report), “For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, hard-working student was rejected.”

    By getting in while unqualified, you’re keeping out someone who is qualified, and thereby causing them harm.

    I’m not sure I’m in favor of that being illegal, but it currently is.

  23. “They’re still getting a direct quid pro quo for their quid, no?”

    They’re definitely buying something of value for their money, or they wouldn’t do it. But they aren’t necessarily getting what they want.

  24. “For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, hard-working student was rejected.”

    Strictly speaking, you don’t know this. They may have created an additional slot for the bought-his-way-in student. After all, if they don’t really belong in the school, how long will they stay with it?

  25. One of the commentators was saying that this would likely be beyond just embarrassing for the parents. He expected actual prison time for some. Of course it’s likely a delight for the top legal firms around.

  26. I saw a so-what-else-is-new comment that asked something like, ‘How do you think Dubya got into law school with a 2.35 GPA?’ I do not vouch for the accuracy of this accusation.

  27. Usual John: What I’m saying is that it’s strange for you to frame this case as about employees violating their duty to their employers, because then the injured parties are the employers, and the injuries that they sustained are not of a nature that is normally seen as requiring federal criminal charges. If you are correct to say that the employers would have preferred to “cover it up,” then that makes doubly strange for you to frame it as a case where the employers are the victims.

  28. Arthur: But if the injured party is the student who would have gotten in, doesn’t that require that they had some right to get in under a “correct” admissions process? It’s not obvious to me that an applicant, at least to a private university, has a right to be judged on their qualifications. They have rights to not be discriminated on based on certain specific legally defined categories, but my inclination is to think that that probably private universities are otherwise free to set their admissions procedures by whatever criteria they wish. I don’t know if there’s any governing law on this, though, would be happy to learn of it.

  29. Also, among the schools targeted by the cheating ring was UCLA.

    My initial inclination on hearing about this was to wonder if it should be a criminal case of fraud (handled in the criminal court system), or just a case of academic fraud (handled in the institution(s) affected.) I was thinking just of the parents/”students”, because I didn’t realize that the ring had bribed test proctors to look the other way while the cheating was happening. So, the test proctors who violated their duties might be criminally liable, because they got paid by the testing service to make sure there was no cheating, and then they knowingly allowed cheating.

  30. “How do you think Dubya got into law school with a 2.35 GPA?’”

    I don’t think you should take advice from someone who thinks W went to law school.
    (He went to Yale as an undergraduate, and Harvard Business School.)

    Current 1600 Pennsylvania Ave occupant went to Wharton. I, for one, and not convinced he actually learned anything while there.

  31. The federal government has the standing to enter this matter as the universities in question receive taxpayer funds in excess of $10,000. A low bar, but that gets the fed camel’s nose under the tent flap.

  32. “There is a public interest in preventing a punishing bribery, even when the employer of the person bribed might prefer that no criminal action be brought. ”

    This sounds like a conclusion… but it’s stated like a premise.
    If you start by assuming your conclusion is true, your logic will always lead you to believe your conclusion is true… but the logic won’t be sound.

    Throw a conditional in there… there may be a public interest in preventing and punishing bribery, even when the employer might prefer that no charges be brought.

  33. ” A low bar, but that gets the fed camel’s nose under the tent flap.”

    The feds get in because mail fraud is inherently a federal matter.

  34. I think it’s the same difference as that between bribery and campaign contribution. It’s illegal to say, “I’ll give you $100,000 if you make sure I get that contract” but perfectly fine to say, “Here’s a $100,000 campaign contribution, and while I’m here, I’d like to talk about that contract.”

  35. My first comment to Robert when the news broke was “who is going to run the cafe on “When calls the Heart” when they fire Lori Laughlin? ” He said that would not fire her over it. I said they would. Meryl right again.

  36. And why wasn’t William H. Macy included in this scandal? The one and only article I read on this stated explicitly that he was NOT ‘part of the scandal’ . . . she did it without him knowing??

  37. According to the government filing, https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/press-release/file/1142951/download, William H. Macy knew about and was involved in the scheme. However, the government has Felicity Huffman on tape discussing it. Apparently there is only hearsay evidence against Macy. With no admissible evidence against Macy, and no way to get any (testimony from Huffman would have been barred by the spousal privilege), the government had no basis to indict Macy.

  38. If you have your own comics website, the lead time would be as long as it took to make the comic and upload it.

    I remember one time when a web comic strip referenced a news story so quickly, it hadn’t even been widely reported yet.

  39. Bill, you’re thinking of the spousal testimonial privilege. The spouse communications privilege, which is involved if a spouse is asked to testify about marital communications, can be invoked by either spouse. Huffman wouldn’t have been able to testify about what Macy said to her if he objected (as, presumably, he would). And it seems that there would be no way to proceed against Macy without evidence of what he said to Huffman.

  40. That said, it is possible that the feds could have found an exception to the spousal privilege, or ignored it just to put additional pressure. I think it shows good judgment that they did not seek to destroy the Macy-Huffman marriage that way.

  41. Usual John: I was about to make the same comment as you, but then I saw this.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spousal_privilege#Communications_privilege :

    “…further scenarios defeat the spousal communications privilege: if the confidential communication was made in order to plan or commit a crime or fraud, or . . . In these five situations, a court will not allow either spouse to assert the privilege to block the testimony.”

    (My knowledge of spousal privilege is admittedly based on TV and this wikipedia page, though.)

  42. Winter Wallaby, as explained in this case (which is controlling law here), https://casetext.com/case/us-v-bey-19, the government must produce evidence of a spouse’s complicity in the underlying, on-going criminal activity before the district court may admit testimony regarding confidential communications between the defendant and the spouse, although the spouse’s involvement in the criminal activity need not be particularly substantial to obviate the privilege. So possibly the government could have come up with something here.

    There are a number of tactical reasons why that probably would not have been a good idea. It depends on Huffman flipping, and you’ve got nothing without that. And what do you offer Huffman anyway, to make that happen? It enormously complicates what is currently an open-and-shut case. It risks very bad publicity, for very little contribution to the public good. It risks destroying a marriage, and there is no evidence that these are people who really shouldn’t be married. Having his wife convicted, and he himself being convicted in the court of public opinion, is probably punishment enough for Macy, under these circumstances.

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