Random Comments, Late 2020 Edition

Same as the previous series of Random Comments threads (which have each been closed to further commenting because they’ve gotten too long), this will be accessible from a link in the left sidebar (under “triple-line” icon 1st tab).

Please remember that this is intended for public comics-related (or comics semi-related) comments only: if you want to send the editors a CIDU, or a comic for some specific folder (Ewww, Oy, etc), or you want to inform us of a typo, please e-mail us at .  “Comics-semi-related” may in practice include your observations on life and language… 

However, as an experiment starting in October 2020, we will be trying out a second, parallel open comments thread, for a specific area of topics: ideas for how to maintain or develop this site.   Look for the link in the left sidebar (under “triple-line” icon 1st tab).  The headnote for the first Site Comments is HERE

Also: A list of the site’s most recent comments can be found in the left sidebar (under “folder” icon 2nd tab). A database of all the comments, compiled by larK, is here.

And the site’s FAQ is here.


  1. It was getting unwieldy, so it’s been split between archives, this new thread and a ‘site comments’ thread where most currently happens as we’re discussing what we want to improve next.

  2. Say, any other Comics Kingdom users? Does it look to you that they are stuck at Friday, October 2nd, and not yet showing Saturday’s comics as of late evening Saturday?

  3. @ Mitch4 – The only King Features strip that I follow is “Rhymes with Orange“, but I gave up on the Comics Kingdom website a couple of months ago, after it jammed and stopped producing any RwO content. Instead, I switched to Arcamax, which seems to be a satisfactory source for anything that GoComics does not carry.

  4. @ Mitch4 – The only King Features strip that I follow is “Rhymes with Orange“, but I gave up on the Comics Kingdom website a couple of months ago, after it jammed and stopped producing any RwO content. Instead, I switched to Arcamax.com, which seems to be a satisfactory source for anything that GoComics does not carry.
    P.S. This is a repeat, because the version with embedded links was sent to Moderation.

  5. Yeah, I only recently found ArcaMax, when GoComics dropped Reply All. (Not really one of my top faves, but I like it enough and didn’t like seeing it disappear without ceremony!)

  6. I only read Sally Forth. Thanks for reminding me to check back in an Saturday’s strip.

  7. Thank you all for continuing this site. So far, you’re doing a great job and it honors CIDU Bill.

  8. I read the half dozen or so Comics Kingdom strips that I follow (and that my local deadtree paper does not carry) via the Seattle Post site. They get their CK strips from CK so when that’s down those strips are down for them also, but I like their clean interface much much better and also like the idea of at least symbolically keeping the verdammit CK at “arm’s length.”


  9. There are a few Tribune strips that run on GoComics. The two I know of are Dick Tracy and Gasoline Alley. I think they used to run on CK as well, but don’t anymore. They are on Seattle PI, listed under Comics Kingdom.

    There have been a few occasions where the strips were late showing up on GC. However, yesterday those were on time even though CK was late.

  10. (In the previous Random Comments thread,) Brian in STL said:
    Wings are not devoid of meat. The meat to bone ratio is somewhat lower than other cuts. Then there is the great “flat versus drummette divide”.

    For various reasons I won’t call “excuses” , I recently got a take-out order from the Wingstop that has been at my corner for about a month. I had ordered from them before, but at that time tried the “boneless” wings, which were a real disappointment. So this time I got some “classic (bone-in)” wings.

    Not bad!

    But what I was looking for, as a side note, was the nature of the pieces, as noted by Brian and a couple articles I read in conjunction. From wikipedia:

    Wing: Often served as a light meal or bar food. Buffalo wings are a typical example. Comprises three segments:
    the “drumette”, shaped like a small drumstick, this is white meat,
    the middle “flat” segment, containing two bones, and
    the tip, often discarded.

    Also, from their Buffalo Wings article,

    The chicken wings used for Buffalo wings are usually segmented into three parts: drumette, flat, and flapper or pointer, the last of which is usually discarded, although some restaurants serve them with this latter part still connected to the flat. Traditionally, the wings are deep-fried in oil, without breading or flour until they are well browned. Alternatively, they may be baked, grilled, or broiled.[37]

    The order from Wingstop clearly had two kinds of pieces, which must be the (1) and (2). I didn’t know whether the “tips” were discarded or were attached to the flats, but they weren’t present as separate pieces. The number of pieces in the order as given on the menu was met by the number of pieces of either type present.

    Brian refers to the “flat versus drummette divide”. Is there a debate out there? I thought the drumette pieces were more like an order of chicken, and the flats, while okay, were bordering on what Andréa remarked as “If it’s just a way to carry sauce to the mouth, I’d rather just spoon it up and forgo the chicken bones, senkuveddymuch.”.

  11. @ Shrug – Thanks for the reminder about the Seattle PI. I used to read comics there occasionally (whenever I got fed up with the long load time and repetitive click-through requirements at GoComics), but alas, no longer: they’ve given up on the GDPR, and do not permit users from Europe to use their website.

  12. @ Chak & Olivier – What about “B. A.” (or “B.A.”, as the case may be)? Neither I nor larK’s comment harvester can find anything from her since September 14th. We could use a bit of her levity around here again.

  13. P.S. Another person I would dearly like to hear from is “Elyrest”, but she hasn’t been seen here since before the server meltdown.

  14. Hi everyone. This is Robin, Bill’s wife. Not sure this is the best place to post this but I hope people see it.

    I want to thank everyone who posted on the funeral home site. Seeing all the beautiful messages and how many lives he touched was very special to me.

    Bill loved doing things for others. The last email he sent me on the day he died was asking me about a whisk he had seen on Amazon since mine had mysteriously gone missing.

    In that spirit, I’d like to send anyone who would like one a Hanukah card once the season arrives These cards are created and designed by our youngest, the very talented graphic designer Zachary. I am putting this out early so I’ll have plenty of time to write out addresses neatly (Bill did all the card addressing since he claimed my handwriting could not be deciphered). Send it to my email with tag CIDU so I’ll know. My address is my first and last name, one word, all lower case at gmail.

    He would often regale me with stories of that day’s thread drift which he always found amusing. And he was always impressed by the breadth and depth of knowledge he found here. Thank you for being such good friends.

  15. @ dana verdant – No need to apologize, there’s nothing wrong with placing random (off-topic) comments here, that’s exactly what this thread is supposed to be used for. It would be legitimate to discuss whether or not it’s a good idea to place the text as a Twitter link, but the subject matter is perfectly ok.

  16. P.S. In the minute or two that it took me to write that comment, one of our astute editors was kind enough to convert the Twitter link to a blockquote. Just as distinctive, but less dangerous.

  17. @Kilby 3:42 AM – Thanks for assuming the good, not the worse — but it is an optical illusion. Of the technology. When you refresh this page, Dana’s Twitter embedding shows up first, momentarily, as a blockquote/ Then it resolves into the stable Twitter design. Somehow Twitter is decorated as a special subtype of blockquote. And you can text-select their text from inside the Twitter box, it’s not like a screenshot. Very odd.

  18. there’s nothing wrong with placing random (off-topic) comments here,

    Really? The header says, as it always has, “Please remember that this is intended for public comics-related (or comics semi-related) comments only.”

    How is this sexist comment above comic related? It’s not like it spawned from one either, this is out of the blue. I think it should be deleted. Or is Random going to be a political post friendly thread from here out?

  19. Okay, let’s slow down.

    We can use posting-moderation better, but let us not jump to deletion that easily.

    I agree the tweet does not seem even tangentially comics-related.
    But Brian, I’m not sure which polarity of sexism you see in it — really.

  20. Brian in STL, I am not one of the editors, but I’d like to respond to your recent comments. If the editors wish to strike my comments, I’ll state in advance that I realize I might be invading their editorial prerogatives and will hold no ill-will for that act.

    You are not complaining about Dana’s comments being off-topic, per se. If that were your only criterion, you’d have also complained about Mrs. Bickel’s offer of Chanukah cards. You’re complaining because you don’t like the content of her post. You saw it as sexist. I didn’t. To me, Dana was commenting on sexism, which is not the same thing as making a sexist comment.

    You asked why the posts were still there, something I rather doubt you’d have asked if Bill were still running the site. This may no longer be Bill’s site, but neither is it yours or mine. It’s fine to have an opinion and to state that you don’t think Dana’s comments are apropos. But the way you stated it, you sound to me as though you believe that your opinion is of greater weight than other people’s opinions.

    I never noticed arrogance in your previous posts. I hope you’re just having a temporary rough time and reacting badly because of that. Our loss of Bill on top of everything else this year could affect anyone badly.

  21. Really? The post is assuming that Nobel winners will be female, and males restricted to shared prizes. That doesn’t trouble you? Unless I’m somehow misinterpreting it. If so, perhaps someone could explain it to me. More importantly, what does it have to do with anything related to this site? When Bill was running it, it was his site and I generally deferred to his judgment. Now we’re supposed to be a communal effort, so I’m going to question decision that I think are taking us off-track. Like this.

  22. Brian, thanks for the clarification. I’m glad I mentioned “:the polarity” of the perceived or attributed sexism. as I rather assumed your complaint was that it was a case of pretty-standard anti-female prejudice (‘ the women were getting prizes somewhat unearned but because the awards committees had decided this was the year of the woman’) — and that you might be surprised that one could also see it taken as anti-male. Then Surprise!, you articulated the latter as your concern!

    I also read it roughly that way, but did not see it as malign. I took it as celebratory — saying it’s about time more women scientists were recognized, for actually major accomplishments. And that the committees could be seen to be keeping honest by including the male collaborators or precursors. (I mean, Penrose is never anybody’s token!)

    But we can be more careful in reviewing the relevance and potential offense of future posts.

    I don’t see anybody benefitting from an actual deletion at this point. Whatever the political intention, there is no patently offensive language, and nobody would take anything anybody says here as an agreed position of the site or other participants.

  23. Now that the tweets have been retracted, Brian’s objection would now appear to refer to my two “outreach” comments about B.A. & Elyrest. In view the “gender” issue, I find the irony highly amusing.

  24. @Kilby, I am contacting Brian privately. We can also remove the other comments in this dispute thread if he agrees, and this part will also I hope serve as checking with you.

  25. Just for the record, I highly dislike retroactively rewriting threads — what was said was said, you can’t alter history. Let it stand as a record, so at least we all know what was said.
    I alluded in another thread that I didn’t like it when Bill did it, but a) he did it very rarely (as far as I know!), and b) this was his site, he could do what he wanted, whether or not it made me uncomfortable. I am much, much more uncomfortable entering this new era without Bill that we seem to be more intent on removing comments. I don’t want to live in some 1984ian discussion board, where we’ve always been at war with Oceania. Let the record reflect what actually happened, not some polite version of events we would prefer to believe about ourselves.
    (Yes, I know obvious spam should be removed, and this is where the slippery slope starts; I wish to register my view that the bar should be very, very high on removal of posts — obvious spam only, and let’s err even there on the side of caution and let’s not set bad precedents, especially this early in the new era!)

  26. Yes, I follow and generally agree.
    In this instance I have already offered Brian the option of deletion, so feel it would be better not to go back on my word, if he wants that option. Otherwise, let history be history, agreed.

  27. I disagree that removal of comments is Orwellian. The point of removing comments is not to rewrite history and pretend that the conflict never occurred. The point is that if the comments that triggered a strong conflict are still there, it will require unlikely amounts of self-control for the participants to refrain from continuing or escalating the conflict, or for other spectators to refrain from jumping in. Then the editors are left with either closing the thread to new comments (and leaving one of the participants with the last word), or continually monitoring the discussion to make a individual judgments over whether each comment is within bounds for civility. Without Bill’s mechanism of removing comments, I do not think this blog can maintain the civil atmosphere that we’ve come to expect. The course of the comments in this debate illustrates perfectly why Bill’s method worked: with the original triggering comment removed, Brian no longer had the comment to review, and the debate ended. We should view this as a feature, not a bug.

    I fully understand and agree that the editors are not Bill, and that their decisions are not entitled to the deference that Bill received. However, I disagree with the idea that because the blog is a communal effort, we should feel free to have public debates about deletion of individual comments, and demand explanations from editors for individual moderation decisions. General moderation policy (e.g. as in larK’s comment) is a good topic for communal discussion, but decisions about individual comments are not. Part of this is my admittedly selfish desire to not be stuck with the work of not only moderating comments, but also ending up in protracted discussions explaining my decisions, many of which will involved difficult judgment calls and matters of interpretation. However, I believe I would hold the same view even if I were not an editor. The sort of protracted public debate that we had here about whether or not the original comments were offensive, exactly what they meant, and what the editors should be doing about them, is much, much more likely to damage the blog community and atmosphere than any individual comment.

  28. I have a continuing ambiguity and trepidation about whether this site should even be continued after Bill’s passing. I was reluctant to comment early on, and continue mostly just to watch and see what develops. Bill called this site his virtual living room, and I think that was a very apropos and useful analogy: we were all invited guests, and it encouraged a certain level of decorum in us, our public manners, but in an environment that is friendly enough that we feel very at home — but we never forget that we are present at the pleasure and forbearance of our host, and he can at any time eject us from his home … but who would be gauche enough to misbehave in such a way that that should become necessary?

    But what happens now that the host is no longer with us, but his very living room continues to be open to guests? Some of us have stepped up to take over the host role, but it is awkward at best. We all feel we have equal rights (whatever those may be) to the living room; only Bill has final say over the space, but he is no longer here. I know I certainly don’t want to be in charge — it’s not my living room, I’m just a guest here like everyone else; there are certain people who vex me more than others, and given the power, I know I would certainly feel tempted to make my will be felt — which is exactly why I don’t want that power. I find it boring to surround myself with only agreeable people. That’s why I liked coming to Bill’s living room: to see other points of view, and I’m not the host, so I don’t have to worry about it. Bill had a very deft hand at keeping things under control while leaving everyone feeling very at home, and I admired that enormously, which is why I kept coming back.

    But now we are in the awkward place of simultaneously trying to craft something new while preserving something old, and it may ultimately turn out to be impossible. We all have different views of free speech and the inviolability thereof, and so we all have different ideas of how to implement it. Before, Bill’s views were the de facto standard, and I stuck around because for the most part his views seemed to align well with mine, or close enough anyway, because after all, this was his site. But now he is no longer here, and so do we try to form a consensus on what our new view going forward should be (and as the cartoon Kilby posted elsewhere, will probably leave no one happy), or do we try and maintain what Bill had, whatever that was, and spend our time instead fighting about what that was?

    I have no answers.
    I’m still watching to see what happens.

  29. I get more confused. I haven’t complained about any other messages. I have been uncertain about some interpretations in other messages. I’ll reply to the email.

  30. “But now we are in the awkward place of simultaneously trying to craft something new while preserving something old, and it may ultimately turn out to be impossible.”

    I agree. But I’m going to stick around until it’s proven to be impossible. This was one of my favorite sites, with some of my favorite people. As long as we have volunteers to run it, I’ll be watching and commenting, unless it does turn into something not worthwhile. I’ll hope for the good while being aware that the bad is possible.

  31. I think I saw a previous mention of “Woke,” a series on HULU. It’s interesting as a fictionalized account of Keith Knight’s career choices as a comics creator. Anybody else following it?

  32. @ Danny Boy – If Andréa has not already heard about it, I think she would be very interested in seeing it. I know that she follows Knight’s work.

  33. Oh, I know about it – been following its production since Day One (I’m a Patreon of his). Unfortunately, I don’t have HULU, so I’m not able to see it. I DO miss his comics, altho he sometimes sends one out – usually an editorial comic – and I’m reading his reruns on GoComics
    (https://www.gocomics.com/theknightlife ).

  34. QUESTION: Is Arlo & Janis going into reruns? Yesterday’s and today’s seem AWf’ly familiar. In fact, I think both of these were discussed here some time ago . . .

  35. @ Andréa – If you look in the gutter between the third and fourth panels, you can see that both are copyrighted © 2017. The interesting part is that Johnson re-inscribed a new handwritten date for the re-run.

  36. Your eyes are better/younger than mine! I didn’t see the gutter dates. Any idea why these are being repeated? Nothing was in the GoComics comments about it.

  37. My local deadtree paper had the “[creator] is on vacation; these strips have previously run” note for ARLO AND JANIS, and also for PICKLES. Of course, they also have that note for GET FUZZY, and have had it thus for three or four years.

    For daily DOONESBURY they have the note, but say “hiatus” rather than vacation. But PEANUTS reruns are aren’t noted as such; I guess they assume all of their readers know that Charles Schultz isn’t coming back….

    SPIDER-MAN is of course also in reruns, but my deadtree doesn’t carry that one.

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