Friday, March 14, 2008

Wake up Cat

Four million viewers can't be wrong!

This is fun stuff.


Chris said...

Wait a minute...this thing has 4.2 million views, has been on YouTube for five months, and is a funny animation...and I HAVEN'T seen it? What the hell?

Thanks for posting it, Scott. It brought a big smile to my face to see that guy get clobbered with a baseball bat. Serves him right for not having an alarm clock...and for having a cat in the first place.

I remember that back when I was, oh, 12 or so, I would never want to get up early in the morning. So my dad would come in with a wet washcloth and wash my face with it. That's marginally better than getting bashed by a cat, I suppose.

Chris said...

Completely unrelated:

Last summer you posted a link to the Comic Curmudgeon and wondered whether it was harmless entertainment or spawn of Satan, then asking us to discuss. There was no discussion. I nver actaully checked out the site...until last week when I finally decided to see what the site was like.

It's hilarious, in my opinion. I know the cartoonists whose work is being made fun of are probably not very happy, but I can't help myself from laughing. Josh, who writes the blog, really knows how consistently write funny commentary. Although he seems to prefer to make fun of soap opera strips (which are easy targets of course: "Judge Parker," "Rex Morgan M.D.," "Apartment 3-G," "Mary Worth," "The Amazing Spiderman," "Gil Thorpe," "FBoFW," "Funky Winkerbean," etc.) I personally think his strongest material is when he's writing about "Family Circus" or "Dennis the Menace." Seriously...I clicked on the tags that allow you to read all the posts dealing with either one and I couldn't stop laughing. He's undeniably clever, and what you have to love about him is how he clearly enjoys reading the comics, and even if he dislikes the cheesy twists in soap opera strips or the unfunny antics of the "FC" kids or the unmenacing ways of "Dennis," you can tell he is eagerly anticipating them.

Just my 2 cents.

Chris said...

A case in point: His most recent "Dennis" post, in response to a strip in which Dennis wakes his parents before dawn, saying, "Guess what? I beat the sun up again!":

"This may seem on the surface to be more run-of-the-mill submenacing, but what if by “I beat the sun up again” Dennis means not “I woke up before sunrise” but “I bested the sun in hand-to-hand combat”? You have to admit that if an eight-year-old kid managed to pummel our sun, which is 800,000 miles in diameter and has surface temperature of 9 million degrees, into submission, that would be pretty menacing — both because it would be a bad-ass achievement in and of itself and because it would send our planet’s temperature plunging close to absolute zero, killing all life on its surface. Henry and Alice will barely have time to bestir themselves before the very atmosphere freezes solid!"

Scott Nickel said...

I’m glad you brought this up again, Chris.

While I think the Comics Curmudgeon is a very talented and witty writer, I still think he picks easy targets to mock: soap opera strips and traditional family comics.

And, in my opinion, it IS mockery. It's well-written mockery, but mockery nonetheless.

What I find interesting is that Josh seldom posts comments about strips that are done well. I've never seen a post praising the cleverness of PEARLS BEFORE SWINE or DILBERT, or any number of funny contemporary strips. Last week's DILBERT storyline was inspired ("It's Pronounced Hay-Soos").

Again, this is my opinion, but if the Comics Curmudgeon really cared about promoting comic strips, instead of showing off his wit, he'd focus more on those strips that ARE funny.

Another problem I have with the whole “deconstructionist” school of ironic commentary is that it gets a bit tiresome. Any comic strip can be picked apart; what’s the point?

I’d much rather see Josh – and others like him – create something of their own, instead of poking fun at the hard work of others.

But, as they say, your mileage may vary.

I’d love to see others discuss this issue.


Chris said...

Scott, just a quick response:

I mostly agree with you there. Josh is a very witty writer and he definitely knows how to parody these strips well. However, his writing is indeed mockery, and he does indeed pick easy targets, as we both wrote above. While all of this is true, the fact is that he can truly comment on these strips in a very funny way, and even if it might be mean or inconsiderate to hardworking cartoonists like Mr. Keane or Ms. Johnston, he can certainly do it well. Furthermore, he can make even the least funny installment of “Family Circus,” “Pluggers,” or “Dennis the Menace” seem funny simply by making it ridiculous. In spite of the great respect I have for these cartoonists, the fact is that certain strips are simply going to be made fun of (even by industry insiders, i.e. “FC” or “Garfield” – sorry Scott and Mr. Davis), and I’d rather have someone who is witty and clever (and cultured? 3/15’s post references the painter Dali) doing it than some random blowhard or that guy who did the “Dysfunctional Family Circus” a few years ago.

For the record, I don’t agree with all of Josh’s positions on the strips he mocks; I actually like “Curtis” and I think that Ray Billingsey is a very good cartoonist, and (being fully secure in my masculinity) have become somewhat invested in and even touched by “For Better or For Worse.”

However, you do have a good point about how Josh rarely posts about strips that he enjoys or thinks are good. This leads me to wonder what, exactly, the stated purpose of this blog is supposed to be. Is it intended as a way of pointing out the (alleged) low quality of the comics today in general, or merely the low quality of certain comics? Based on what I’ve read of the archives, he has occasionally posted positive comments about “Get Fuzzy,” and based on comments to his posts some of his fans are “Pearls Before Swine” fans. Still, I think your point is valid. As for the “deconstructionist school of ironic commentary,” I can see where it could get tiresome but it seems that Josh has the capability to keep it continuously funny…after all, he has done this since 2004.

By the way, I agree completely about this past week’s “Dilbert” storyline. It was very funny, very inspired, and very well-executed. Furthermore, it seemed like a throwback to the ‘90s when “Dilbert” had more offbeat humor such as the World’s Smartest Garbage Man or the Bob Dinosaur strips, along with more extended storylines. In the last couple of years, however, I’ve been thinking that the strip has gotten more and more repetitive and less and less funny. So the Jesus storyline (pronounced “hay-soos”) was a breath of fresh air, and indeed this year so far has been much better and much funnier than the previous ones. Scott Adams is having a bit of a resurgence, I think.

Speaking of Scott Adams, have you seen his protégé Scott Myers’ strip “Basic Instructions,” which debuted on GoComics recently? It’s great stuff.

Anonymous said...

lol @ today's EEK! but what's with the h&h reruns?