Central Snark

See You in the Funny Papers by mattresspolice
Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 8:56am
Filed under: funny..., Pop! goes the Diesel

DieselSo last week I gave you some advice on how to promote your blog, and the week before that I told you how to be funny. That’s pretty much all you need to know, so I’m not sure why you’re still here. I’m not hiding Easter eggs up my ass, if that’s what you’re thinking. Not after last year’s debacle.

Actually, the more astute among you may have realized that I was being somewhat facetious (not to mention downright grumpy) in my blogging advice. On the bright side, if you were dumb enough to follow my advice, then you probably don’t… what? Hey, come back! Oh, I see. You got distracted by the bright side. Come on, over here. That’s right, focus. Good. I know you have trouble with shiny objects. My mistake.

Here, let me make it up to you by giving you some real advice this time. No, really. I’m going to tell you how to be funny.

First of all, aim low. Stupid people will laugh at anything. For example, Johnny Hart, the creator of the comic strip B.C. just died. I know, very sad. But the bright side is… hey, come back! As I was saying, the bright side is that at least newspapers will stop printing that godawful comic strip that hasn’t been funny since… well, since B.C. Right? RIGHT?!!

Sadly there is no bright side. They’re going to continue the strip with someone else writing it. Which means that my assumption that newspaper editors have simply been humoring an old man for the past few millennia was mistaken. Apparently people actually LIKE B.C. Which means that people think that this is funny:

And trust me, I didn’t spend hours searching for the worst B.C. comic I could find. They’re ALL like this. And now, thanks to the cro-magnons at Creators Syndicate, they will continue to be like this forever.

Ok, no more picking on Johnny Hart, God rest his unfunny soul. The fact is that B.C. isn’t even the worst comic strip these days. Our local paper runs a strip called The Born Loser. A sample entry:

There is simply no explanation for a comic strip this bad. First, how does no one ever notice that the second and third panels of this strip are basically photocopies of the first one? Second, if you were going to photocopy something, why on earth would you choose that? The characters are ugly and badly drawn. Even their furniture is ugly and badly drawn. Third, the joke is stupid. Fourth, the joke is poorly executed. It’s like the artist, Chip Sansom, is afraid of his own punchline (such as it is), so he deliberately softens the blow, cushioning the meager punch his joke packs.

An improved version:

It’s still bad, but it’s not painfully bad. The joke ends with some punch, at least. Now if he could maybe replace the characters with better looking ones and find someone who can draw, this Chip Sansom guy might be able to get published in a few more reputable papers. What? The Born Loser appears in hundreds of newspapers and has been around since 1965, when it was started by Chip’s father Art? And it won the National Cartoonists Society Humor Comic Strip Award in 1987?

I was going to offer some more tips on how to be funny, but I’m starting to feel a bit ill. Also, I apparently don’t know shit about being funny. Just draw some stick figures, photocopy it a couple times, and paste the first asinine joke that comes into your mind into the speech bubbles. People will eat it up.

At least humor-blogs.com and my mother think I’m funny.

~Grumpy Diesel


19 Comments so far
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humor-blogs.com, your mom, and me, Diesel, ‘cuz i think you’re freakin’ hilarious (as opposed to “fucking Goofy” which would be wrong, not to mention a possible infringement on some stupid Disney Copyright)…

but then, we know my humor standards are nothing, if not painfully low, so that might not be saying too much! (this i say as one who kind of grew up with BC and used to think it funny. i mean, “Hello, I am an Apteryx, a wingless bird with hairy feathers”?? that’s comedy gold, i tell ya, comedy gold!) 😉

Comment by One Hot Puppy

That just tells me that Johnny Hart hasn’t been drawing Johnny Hart for, like, decades now. So as far as the comics are concerned, he died long ago. Just after he was saved …

I presume the only reason you didn’t mention Garfield was your fear that WordPress would blow up in your face.

Comment by oceallaigh

Um… I am still stuck on the easter eggs up your ass part… or how they are not up your ass… or how they are but you just won’t pull them out… not that we would eat them were they actually to be up your ass and were you to pull them out for us to eat.

That would be sick.

I need to lie down.

I am nauseous now.


Comment by Catty Yummy Mummy

Thank you for pointing out what others are afraid to say, Diesel. I never read the comics page.

The only comic strips that I can recall ever being funny are (in no particular order):
The Far Side
Calvin and Hobbes
Bloom County (and its many incarnations)

And even those all went through down-times. It’s a tough medium.

Oh..I forgot Sally Forth.

Comment by CrummyJoel

O’C: what? you don’t like Garfield? who doesn’t like Garfield?? (or am i the only one who does?) xox

CYM: chica! hahahaha! not laughing at the fact you have a migrane, dearest friend, but at your “Easter egg up Diesel’s ass” concerns… oy. now I need to lie down! xox

CrummyJoel: dude. you forgot to mention Tumbleweeds. now that’s a funny strip (or it used to be, back in the “day”) seriously, some of my best lines were culled from the funny pages — most from the likes of Tumbleweeds and/or all the others you mentioned. (i’d be dating myself if i confessed to remembering/reading the very first Doonesbury comic, back in the 70’s, wouldn’t i? yeah, that’s what i thought…) xox

Comment by snuppy

This is a whole comedy act…the comments, I mean…your post was good also Diesel…actually great!!!
I am a distant relative of the Apteryx as I am a Dinornithidae…well I am extinct…but we both came from New Zeland…Wait if I am extinct then I would not get the comic strips anyway…but I did notice that Joel knows a lot about what he does not read ;>
What was my point anyway. Oh!!!yes look up Moa…a flightless bird with a 40 foot wingspan…I am probably not extinct at all, only with my head in the sand.
Hopefully you have not had an encounter with a Dinornithidae egg…Ouch!!!

Comment by Mo'a

by the way, i lovelovelove Diesel’s updated version of that comic strip. so much better than the one i’d have done:

“You watch too much TV, you little asshole.”
“Seriously, dumbshit, what would you do if the power went out?”
“Get high, kill you, and stab out my eyes?”

oh… to be edgy and/or funny. what more could a girl ask for?

and Mo’a: girlfriend, i laughed and laughed and laughed at your comment, until i looked up Dinornithidae, and found out you weren’t joking! still… hahaha! love that! 😉 xox

Comment by snuppy

Thanks, everybody. I have to admit that I once thought B.C. AND Garfield were funny, but I assumed that it was because I was four at the time. But maybe they really have slipped that much.

I pretty much agree with Joel’s list, although there are a few others that are pretty good. I like Rose is Rose sometimes, and Pearls before Swine is often pretty funny. Oh, and Dilbert is usually pretty solid, even thought it’s badly drawn. That’s part of its charm, I guess.

Scott Adams actually did an interesting post a while back about his 2 of 6 rule for being funny. Go read it; it’s worth your time if you really want some advice on how to be funny. Personally, I think there’s more to it than that, but then, I’m not Scott Adams, am I?

As for comics being a “tough medium,” that means that you, as a comic artist, have 2 choices:

1. Be a genius (Charles Schultz)
2. Quit when you feel yourself slipping (Bill Watterson).

Actually, BW was a genius too, so he wins on both counts.

Comment by Diesel

Bloom County…sigh
How I love Berke
BC never appealed to me, even at 4

Comment by logo™

I never understood how some of those tenured comics were kept in syndication until I served jury duty and sampled the intellect of some of my peers. That and the past two presidential elections. I mean has Family Circus ever been funny?

Comment by furiousball

I have to admit I feel the same way about most comic strips. Sunday, I decided to give the ‘ole comic pages another look…I tried to laugh, really I did…nothing…how do they make the money they make and I make myself laugh almost everyday and no one pays me?????

Comment by rjlight

I’ve never heard of Born Loser. Feel better:)?

It is hard to write good comic strips, and I really admire those who do. I have to agree that BC wasn’t funny. How about Family Circus? What’s up with that?

I don’t like The Fusco Brothers–in fact, I think it really stinks, and I’m hoping it’s pretty local…

Comment by actonbell

oh bad comics…….I think it is a universal thing, or maybe there is no such thing as common humour?
anyways Diesel, it is in your hands to turn the page quite effienctly without ever reading or squinting at those three boxes that make you nauseaus 🙂
I´ve been doing it for years 🙂

Comment by Penguin

Thank goodness somebody finally said it…comic strip art is just horrible. Billions of great artists and cartoonists in the world and only the crappy ones get syndicated. Thank you for this opportunity to vent.

Comment by katcampbell

I must say snuppy’s version of that comic was the absolute funniest!

Comment by Claire

My memories of reading the local daily afternoon paper as a child is reading and never laughing at the funny pages. In fact, I too wondered how anyone could think any of it funny. That is until I read the LIFE IN HELL comics (I was no longer a child) and I found them to be pretty funny. In fact Diesel, there are some good post ideas in the Recurring Jokes section of the link.

Claire, I too liked Snuppy’s version of the comic. That Snuppy. Not to say that you’re not funny Diesel, just ask your mother.

Comment by LAMPSHA

Well, my brain stopped at “Easter eggs up your ass.” Those must be some tight pants!

Comment by Manola Blablablanik

Fox Trot wasn’t bad for a while either. I forgot about it.

Comment by CrummyJoel

[…] April 17th, 2007 Which is to say, I’m not feeling very funny. Maybe my sarcastic “advice” on how to be funny has come back to bite me on my non-Easter-egg-hiding ass. Maybe […]

Pingback by I Feel Funny « Central Snark

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