. . . Tom Tomorrow

. . .

What's out in comics? Tom Tomorrow! Its "spend three panels setting up a straw man and for a punchline say he's made of straw" formula wasn't funny in the first place, and the passing years have made it as endearing as a three-day hangover. Only Tom Tomorrow and Linux were lame enough to think about using penguins in the post-"Bloom County" era.
What's in in comics? The smooth 3D posed-puppet look! Pioneered by Viewmaster reels of Huckleberry Hound and the Flintstones, it's recently been taken up by that master of "I loathe myself and I loathe you too"-1990s-humor Leisuretown and by the photographed scenarios on Playmobil toy boxes. During our last long Xmas-shopping stint at Mr. Mopps, we compulsively went through rows of stacks of the latter, but our favorite little story was probably that of the Renegade Warriors: first panel shows a cute coyote sniffing at a box; second panel shows the warriors opening the box; third panel shows the warriors happily dancing around with the rifles that had been in the box....

. . .

There but for the grace of a slush pile reader go I

I was saved from this guy's fate by having sent my query letter while they still had decent writers at the National Lampoon and didn't need skinny teenage morons to do anything except buy the magazine and masturbate to the ads once in a while (the 1970s version of "click through").

Speaking of the old Lampoon, I see that its most famous advertising slogan has been stolen by Tom Tomorrow for the punchline to his Salon advertisement, but fuck if I'm gonna link to it.

. . .

We Have Always Already Never Been Modern

Robert Musil and the NonModern
by Mark M. Freed, Continuum, 2011

I picked this up because I felt peevish over somebody-wrong-on-the-Internet calling Musil's work "an attempt at an answer to aesthetic questions," and I thought Freed might at least give Musil credit for more ambition than that.

As it turned out, Freed instead credits Musil with ambition to pass an oral exam on Heidegger, Habermas, Lyotard, and Latour. By his dozenth intervention, I was picturing Percival Dunwoody, Idiot Time-Traveler:

I've come from the future to warn you: turn off the stove!


nescientity is the mother of intervention
Forget it, Jake: it's Continuum.
Musil was actually studying to pass an exam on Mach, Nietzsche, and Simmel...which yielded better results, it would seem. Thank god.

. . .

Things that scare me ha-ha

I used to describe Ruben Bolling as "Tom Tomorrow except funny." Now I view him through a more beatified glow, like a cross between Herblock and St. Cassian (except funny), the one public voice perceptive and honest enough to have frozen into a continuous throat-shredding scream of disbelief and horror. How better to enjoy Hallowe'en than with his remake of Gaslight?


But, as Dr. Josh Lukin knows, nothing scares me more than dissent:

And a voice said, Nah, nah! You thought it was good...


Copyright to contributed work and quoted correspondence remains with the original authors.
Public domain work remains in the public domain.
All other material: Copyright 2015 Ray Davis.