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).

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  1. Thanks for both of those article links, \_()_/ .

    Of the cancellations mentioned, the only one I’ve bothered to chase down elsewhere is/are the Reply All pair.
    Of course, had they not recanted about Frog Applause, I would have been among the outraged.

  2. If GoComics is really interested in cleaning up their act, they should get rid of all those superfluous “classic” features (not the straight reruns like “Calvin & Hobbes”, but the ones that operate in parallel with a regular strip, such as for “Peanuts”). Ditching a good comic while still retaining that detritus is supremely insensitive. However, when it comes down to it, GoComics doesn’t care about readers, the only arguments they listen to are (primarily) financial.
    P.S. I have to admit that I do not follow any of the comics listed in either of those two articles. Actually, to be honest, I had not even heard of any of them before “Frog Applause” was mentioned here at CIDU.

  3. Kilby: “However, when it comes down to it, GoComics doesn’t care about readers, the only arguments they listen to are (primarily) financial.”

    I agree with that, but isn’t that a little odd as a complaint? They’re a business, of course they’re in business to make money. I would assume they care about their readers to the extent that unhappy readers might leave and cause them to lose money, but in the end, I assume all for-profit businesses are primarily focused on financial arguments.

  4. @ Mitch4 – I really had not even heard of neither “Reply All” nor “Frog Applause” before this issue arose. I went and sampled both features, but in both cases neither the artwork nor the captioning style appealed to me. I’m happy that people who like them can still read them (at Arcamax and GoComics, respectively), but I won’t be adding either one to my daily list. If an example shows up that is worth posting here, that will be enough for me.

  5. @Kilby, sorry I didn’t mark that I intended “mock horror” when exclaiming at your not being a Reply All reader. I actually wouldn’t consider it as your cup of tea. It isn’t perfect for me, either, but as a counterpart to Stone Soup, Pyjama Diaries, Between Friends, and such, I think it similar but just enough less cloying, and with a better balance of office and home/family elements. Anyhow, it turned out I did miss it enough to seek it out elsewhere.

  6. I think the Bull and the Bears (numbers 1 and 2) are new, but the museum and Noah scolding the animals (3 and 4) are held over from a previous release group.

  7. Wow, I don’t think I got a single one of those. The last one at least I understand the setup, just don’t see the joke, but the others? (and I guess the third one is verboten to even discuss…)

  8. Well, maybe you’re looking for a different brand of humor. Here’s the best I can do in explaining:

    (1) Just a take on “bull in a china shop”. We have that expression, and can readily imagine what extensive damage it would be. Now this comic shows us a scene that appears to be exactly that. But Sherlock, or a Sherlock stand-in of some sort, thinks there has to be some more subtle explanation, and is preparing to solve it rather than accept the obvious.

    (2) In the narration bubble, the bear had wandered into a cave with some early humans, sitting at a fire and under a wall-painting of some previous encounter with wildlife. One is alarmed about the bear, in wide-eyed exclamation. Then, in the present, the bear is telling the cubs about this encounter, and amusedly mimics the wide-eyed fear of the human.

    (3) Yeah, pretty flat-out political commentary.

    (4) From somewhere I remember a comedy routine (could it be Bob Newhart?) about all the actual practical problems Noah would have had on the ark. Among them, cleaning up and disposing the tonnes of dung daily. But in this drawing, there is one rather tiny and tidy pile of droppings. Yet there he is, pointing and demanding to know which creature in his care is responsible.

  9. I’m confused by the first one. Is Sherlock right? Or being incredibly stupid? Is the bull dead because a policeman shot him? Or was he found at the scene like this?

    Some level of ambiguity can be good and/or not matter, but here I find it distracting.

  10. Yeah, I too had problems with the story-level “decoding” of the first one. My issue was not yet the solution to the murder mystery (or if there is one!), but the identity of the characters. I started to ask if they are the real Holmes and Watson, which of course they could not be, but you know what I mean. Or the characters from some modern “updating” version. Or simply two local codgers going in for some cosplay or pranking. Or two delusional guys, who believe they are the real Holmes and Watson but are not.

  11. I was disappointed that it was cut off before the ‘cleaning the ark’ part, altho I’m sure other YouTube videos carry it.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Bob Newhart also did a similar routine . . . don’t know which of them was a standup comedian first.

  12. Well it is a University building, but not a library. The location is close to the somewhat controversial planned Obama Center.

    I can’t find it right now, but I had a two-section paste of the main libraries of UChicago and our friends at the other end of town, Northwestern. The layout is different, but the materials and general style are identical. They were both done around 1967 by Walter Netsch at SOM.

  13. Mitch,

    Walter Netsch was the jerk who designed a couple of buildings at UIC. They look great from the air, but go inside and you’re almost guaranteed not to come out the same door. Staircases that narrow as you go up are fine if you’re walking alone, not so much if you’re with another person. EXTREMELY confusing layout. I went in once to a job interview, got so lost I was 20 minutes late, and when I told the interviewer that I’d been unable to find her office, she apologized to me. And when I left, she actually had to escort me to the exit. The wrong one, but I didn’t care.

    Everybody tells me that those buildings have won architectural awards, and I tell them that architects love to give each other awards for buildings that real people can’t live or work in.

    Okay, I’m climbing down off my soapbox now. I do hope that those libraries are better inside.

  14. (BTW, as an Illinoisan you might be aware of him foremost as spouse of Dawn Clark Netsch.)

    I have spent no more than one afternoon sitting in the Northwestern library, and can’t speak to the ease of finding your way around. But the Regenstein at UChicago is really quite nice inside. Well, the inside has been redone, but that still counts.

    During my time as a consultant / contract worker for CPS, one school on my regular rounds was Carter G. Woodson (well, two schools: Woodson South Elementary and Woodson North Middle). Incredibly weird idea to design a public school around pentagonal and hexagonal areas and unpredictable angles. No matter how often I visited, I coulld not count on turning the right way to find the comparatively direct passage from the office (where you sign in) up to the computer lab. Or when leaving, the tech coordinator would helpfully send me to his preferred staircase, which “simply” takes you down to the back door of the cafeteria, which you walk thru at the right obtuse angle to get to the school entrance pod.

    If you want to try Google’s street-view/360 of the school, it is here

  15. Whilst on a ‘field trip’ for my library assistant degree, we went to a library that was just a tube (I thought it was Northwestern, but I see it wasn’t). We were told – and I wonder if this was apocryphal – that the library was sinking because THE WEIGHT OF THE BOOKS hadn’t been considered by the architects during the planning.

    The most beautiful (inside) library I’ve ever been in was the new one in Yuma, AZ. One wouldn’t think a dinky city, 20 miles from the border, with over 33% unemployment, would have such a lovely and practical building, but it does. And I loved it, for the short time I was there.

  16. Y’all are making me homesick for the Midwest (I lived just north of the IL/WI border for almost 60 years) and spent a lot of time in Chicago.

  17. NU (not NWU, by the way) has several libraries – the one I posted is the main library, but your visit could have been a different one.

    I’ve heard that “library sinking from weight of books” trope from lots of places – here is a quick check at Snopes

  18. Well, I don’t pay much attention to what a library looks like, but I never forget its smell. Clemson University’s is the most memorable one for me.

  19. Going back to weird windows, check the ‘cloud towers’ in Nanterre

    Those with trypophobica are might not be fans.

  20. (Replying to my own comment in the GoComics thread, from 11/18) I’m uncertain about “Lay Lines” — archive seems to still be there, but there was not a weekly new one this Monday.

    Well this week yes there is a new Lay Lines at GoComics — though black and white and very overtly partisan-political. https://www.gocomics.com/lay-lines/2020/11/23

    Oddly, the comments there show that others also noticed the apparent skipped week. But Lo! Another comment pointed out some back-and-fill. Now there is one dated 11/16, the Monday that was missing. https://www.gocomics.com/lay-lines/2020/11/16

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