Tuesday, December 23, 2008

But do they sell screaming gas?

Making your patients uncomfortable is cheaper than laughing gas, yes.

TV Binge (and Purge)

Since 2003, when it got really crapalicious, "Sesame Street" has been required by federal law to include this warning.

Don't you see? The Beast is inside all of us, inside our wallets!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The e'er-broken toaster causes more problems

Toaster problems aside, it seems likely that Ziggy is about to stumble into some sort of organ-harvesting cult. That guy in the window has the awkward posture and stilted facial expression of a creature wearing a suit of skin.

My Rear Window-style aspersions onto the nature of reality in comics have never been proven false, exactly, in the sense that it's really impossible to prove anything false.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Criticize the Art Monday!

Does searching through luggage make you that sleepy? And maybe he should dose his NyQuil instead of chugging it straight from the bottle.

Ziggy's hand does a remarkable job of staying cohesive, even as he holds his arms several feet apart.

No art criticism here - Ziggy's adorable cluelessness is readily apparent - but what clientele is that ice cream man trying to court? People walking from town to town?

No landmarks, no points of reference, just a blue void. Sounds like my brain come finals week.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mr. Fix-it

Depressed repairpeople often lie to avoid unpleasant tasks. Mr. Fix-it here seems to be barely holding to life - perhaps every appliance reminds him of his failed marriage. "Libby and I used to have a toaster", he thinks glumly.

It's interesting for Ziggy to be so savvy, though (though I suspect this is just an accident), as the "Framistan" is a long-rumored Apple product that never saw the light of day (really). Considering that Ziggy uses his iPod to scrape snow off of his car I suspect this reference was unintentional.

Now get some more awkward swans together and make a bevy

Wait a minute - that swan has land palsy! Medic! I find this strip oddly compelling.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Too controversial and too awesome for actual children

The usual tendency is to make some sort of "Why, I never expected to see this warning before [some sanitized show like Lawrence Welk]." Then it occurred to me that some of my friends actually enjoy Lawrence Welk in an ironic way, and that edgy shows often use these types of warnings as a way of complying with network standards while intriguing people into subversive programming. So this isn't really parody.

Aesop was right!

Chicken Little was more of an environmental apologist than a financial pundit, but I supposed that Chicken Little would be "right" in any situation that involved something trending downward. Although in this case it has less to do with chunks of the stratosphere raining down onto your head and more to do with child care and fending off inevitable starvation. Stop buying the fancy mustard, guys!

Genuine Bonafide Electrified

"Yes, that's right - your very own anti-Semitic automotive visionary buddy for those long car trips! It collapses! It sputters anti-immigrant propaganda! It dies in 1947! Be the first on your block to throw yours away!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One-Liner Tuesday

Yes, for the record - "One-Liner [Weekday]" is just a convenient way of catching up when I fall behind by banging through a week's worth of material. With that in mind, let the shamelessness commence:

By the looks of it, Jerry just lit Tom's tail like a fuse and blew the sucker up. Of course, in real life the cruel carnivore always wins, so I have no qualms about subverting reality for television programs.

Well, seeing as he's eaten all the pets, you might as well make him a new character.

Demon Mirror Ziggy seems to show little respect for the fourth wall.

"And in your park, you can hunt wabbits without pants!"

Actually, it's usually about Ziggy's father.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Don't buy the Judge Parker Crunchies, kids!

Actually, Ziggy's eating "Trail Mix", the only snack food fully licensed and endorsed by outdoorsman/animal-loving ranger Mark Trail. Maybe a look at the ad will give some proper context:

Bad things happen when you only have MS Paint available.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Midnight murder?

My parents warned me about trolls. Way to not look suspicious, guys!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The deli experience

The fact that a beak is made of very firm bone and incapable of distinct vocalization means that even a super-intelligent bird (with a highly-developed birdbrain to match) would be completely unable to beg in even the slightest capacity. This leads to a fair bit of frustration and occasional miscommunication - the bird meant to ask for some of that sweet, sweet meat.

This bird wants to ask you for your lunch.

"Your money's blood will water the MINES!"

Most private citizens have little to no hope or understanding the current economic crisis - ascribing blame without information to any particular group is really no different than blaming oil prices on redheads or acne on the Jews. But this bank teller deserves at least some minor condemnation for turning a financial downturn (or possibly even theft) into the kind of aphorism Ziggy is likely to shrug off and accept. As long as an explanation is delivered with lowercase "i"s and those bizarre, inconsistent exclamation points, it's completely Ziggy-compliant.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

One-Liner (Turkey) Thursday

Leering perverted aliens - Happy Thanksgiving!

Avian anal violation - Happy Thanksgiving!

A mechanic's negligence nearly leading to death - Happy Thanksgiving!

Ziggy's poultergeist finally starts following him around, Grudge-style - Happy Thanksgiving!

Today's One-Liner Thursday only had four strips, and was fairly dark besides, so I feel obligated to post the following once again:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Albertson's Park

Ah, yes - the attitude of the government toward the private citizen. What hasn't already been said? As history's proven, when the "taxpayers" own something, nobody really owns it. All of the regulation comes from small groups who micromanage each plot of land so thoroughly that taxpayer interest and input doesn't even come into the picture.

Kindred Spirit to Patty and Selma

Superstitious as he is, Ziggy really shouldn't expect anything more from such a tired woman. She's got that "mother of three toddlers" look in her eyes and is accustomed to shielding her sanity through doing the bare minimum expected of her. He might want to look up from the crystal ball and read this woman's body language: There's ten minutes left of Blue's Clues and I haven't had my morning cigarette.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

[Character] and the [Item or Event]


"What is it, Tom?"

"I found this old cartoon we were working on back in 2004. We had it colorized and everything, but never ran it."

"Son, you have no idea how glad I am to hear that. Send it off to the syndicate and get the tackle box."

"Dad, I should let you know that the humor is fairly dated -"

"Son, what did I say last time?"

". . . I'll address the envelope."

"And what?"

"And get the tackle box."

Monday, November 17, 2008

One-Liner Thursday

"Help! All of the puns are coming alive! RUN!"

Ziggy is using the sheer unbridled power of his anxieties for home security purposes. Those hulking, brutish behemoths stay not their hand.

You can say it. Troll? Big-nosed flipper-footed oaf? Purple-shirted. . . ah, you get the idea. The gist of this strip is that Ziggy gets no respect, not even from cross-eyed button-pushing carrot-haired - whoops, I'm doing it again.

I'm not touching this one. I'm not even telling you the jokes that I'll avoid making about this one.

The goldfish's bags under his swollen eyes attest to the disease that will soon kill him. I guess this is what you'd call a "cute" strip.

When did Ziggy surpass Frinky Wankerbean in dishing out daily doses of depression? The difference is that most strips with suffering do it sequentially, allowing characters to overcome or be overcome by trials and eventually come to terms with things. Ziggy's life is more of a Sisyphean nightmare. He'll have one leg in the grave one day, only to throw out a warm generalization about proper financial planning the next.

Maybe he's already dead. Maybe that's the "twist".

No Turn For You

Love the watercolor look in these strips, but I would think Ziggy would be above making fun of the unusual speech patterns of minorities. And only in the world of Ziggy do street signs sport italics.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The worst part is that it's running Vista

Wait a minute - Ziggy bought that evil, disembodied computer? One that speaks and hates Ziggy and all humanity by association? And all it does all day long is carp and criticize Ziggy's behavior while providing little if anything of use in return?

You were thinking of somebody. Don't deny it.

Glop-Tarts (There's probably a better pun out there)

Ziggy usually handles slapstick pretty well. But shouldn't that thing be, y'know, warm? I can barely hold a Pop-Tart when it comes out of the toaster, and Ziggy's covered in its molten gore. His lack of screaming and eye-clawing indicates to me that the thing must have "popped" while cold, which I feel points toward botulism. I'm aware that botulism is usually associated with canned goods, but the alternative is weeks of blister-faced Ziggy and nobody wants that.

Ziggy is one of the only features in newspaper comics with the cajones to refer to products and corporations by name. Suing Ziggy would be like knee-capping Fred Rogers.

Friday, November 14, 2008

This post does not contain the word "Verminator"

This is actually a pretty absurd and adorable strip if you can get over the dated humor and odd syntax in Ziggy's pseudosentence. That little wind-up squeaker working its roundabout way to the resident housecat, where it does. . . what? I prefer to think it's just a wind-up mouse, making the whole situation just that much cuter. I don't always see impending Armageddon in this feature.

So what happens when animals learn to make convincing facsimiles of themselves with hidden powers? I leave you with that sobering thought.

More topical humor

Aw, Ziggy was so excited to go to the bank today that he color-coordinated his outfit with the teller's desk! I wish bad checks really bounced, and that the universe interpreted a few more things literally as well. For example, if "rednecks" really had red necks you could know at a glance who not to hire as a public speaker (granted, in lieu of a crimson nape those people courteously give you other hints as to their status in society, mullet haircuts and t-shirts tucked into faded jeans among them). Imagine if partisan senators actually "drank the Kool-Aid", as it were. You could look at that plastic cup and know who shouldn't be put in charge of a bypartisan committee.

I hate to end on this note, but I think that Ziggy might be courting the teller at this bank.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

He also controls the stove of hellfire

Really? I'd love to read that Bible. Judging by the looks on both the cat's and parrot's faces (the dog being incapable of holding malice), Ziggy is the kind of God that you carve up and throw into a volcano.

Still, this gets into the question of worship through utility. Culture throughout history have worshiped some non-omniscient, non-omnipotent beings merely because they believed them to have control over some singular aspect of their existence. For hunter-gatherers it was fertility and protection from death and disease, while primitive agriculturists followed beings with control over the rain and invading pests. Modern Christians train their children to pray for random favors such as bicycles and generic "blessings" for others. After all, if you can't do it for yourself, then isn't there something remarkable about the one with that particular talent or ability? All of this is just a roundabout way to say that, within a limit subsection of Animalia, a God of can openers may not be that farfetched a concept.

EDIT: Somehow I printed this one on the wrong day. I doubt it will destroy the Ziggy chronology.

The well itself wishes for nothing. . .

If the Make-A-Wish foundation began charging a nominal fee for wish fulfillment, a protest cartoon such as this might be appropriate. Of course, Ziggy's about as politically-minded as your average teaspoon, but I'm sure he'd consider that merely adding 25¢ to any wish is an easy way to recoup that cost.

Assuming that its promise holds true, this well is like some sort of all-purpose wonder appliance. You could have somebody whacked for a quarter, find the love of your life (also for a quarter), or, for a quarter, polish your shiny, shiny head.

I've seen this well before. . .

Fill the world with surprise and horror

Ziggy was menaced by an unusually-aggressive lobster the last time he came here. The restaurant always dumps their secret breeding projects off on their most timid, introverted customers, like the time Woody Allen came in and was served a live puppy that could shoot its quills. After awhile you start wondering by Ziggy bothers to tie that napkin except as protection.

A twilight mailbox trip

The dog's teeth are completely straight and normal, so why do they look so sharp and menacing at first glance? This is possibly the most vicious I've ever seen this li'l pup, barring the possibility that the blue-nosed one is some sort of kindly alter-ego:

And what kind of pooping and barking inspires hate mail? For surely this dog is capable of nothing particularly deviant or predatory.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

They also call the stuff "waft"

Ziggy provides us with an inadvertent look at a horrible future - one where pollution, lethargy and decay have turned the world into a wasteland and the landscape is dotted with posh Oxygen Dens - hovels of iniquity where citizens gather together to "catch a breeze", as they call it, breathing pure, unfiltered 02 instead of the gaseous nutrition cocktail cooked up by the government. Cheaper still are the guys on the street asking "Buddy - want a whiff?" and holding out breathing masks, but you don't know where those ventilators have been.

And that's the only stand in the store

Ziggy has been reduced to performing illicit favors to pay his cell phone bill. Tell me this wasn't what the author intended.

I think Ziggy could climb right up a wall with those feet. *Spluck spluck spluck*! How did his race evolve like that?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The grave little toaster

I'd love to see this whole toaster thing (including yesterday's) develop into some kind of possession subplot. This being Ziggy, one of the few comic strips where you can still show horrible things happening and not get in trouble, I think it would fly. Of course, when you put twenty slices of bread into your toaster you've forfeited your right to act surprised when things go wrong.

One-Liner Tuesday

Welcome to One-Liner Tuesday, where I blow through five Ziggys so you don't have to. More astute readers may notice that I often use two or three lines on One-Liner day. This troubles my little OCD mind more than it should:

Everybody else's self-worth fluctuates with market conditions; I don't see why Ziggy should get a pass. Even that flower is stooping over in solidarity.

If this were Garfield, we'd have to sit through a "What's in this coffee?" joke. Seriously though - what?

Pushing Ziggy into insulin shock is the only way the hospital can keep billing Medicare. So the Z's in the hospital - does this mean the toaster thing was a hallucination?

If I found dialysis that cheap I'd go for it.

"But then it was cold, and goats starting biting my hair making me generally of a cantankerous and angry disposition. And if that's not inner peace, I don't want to know what is."