Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Gentle Reminder

Gad, I love it when Ziggy incorporates context into its daily despair-crawl. Most of what I said there applies here. Our friend has a look upon his face that says: ah, yes, the collapse of the solar system. I'd forgotten about that.

Big Sweaty Al's Big Sweaty Diner

I think Ziggy's trying every diner in town, sampling the veritable cornucopia of torments and dysfunctionalities that the local eateries provide. And it gets better: those houseflies are going to fight tooth and nail for their bean.

NOTE: Visitors to the United Kingdom will wish to avoid the usage of the phrase "put in the bean."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Godot Just Never Makes It

Poor Ziggy's psychiatrist never showed up. Eh - his patient looks happy enough.

Hell: Day 3

As Ziggy continues his foray through this Lynchian nightmare, he encounters a surreal, frightening image that is so arbitrary, so shamelessly cruel that we cannot take it to be real. In fact, it seems designed merely to terrify and unsettle him. If we were to allow for the possibility that this image is real, then. . . no, I cannot. I'm not strong enough. Nevertheless, rejoice with me, beloved readers, for our descent into Hell ends this day.

Apologies and Mindfreaks

Well, it seems that I'm once again behind schedule.

I do, however, have a bit of a consolation prize until I get that rear in gear and catch up with the current Ziggy. Do you remember when you found out that Eric Clapton had been the guitarist for a metal band, or that Bob Saget was a filthy, filthy comedian before starring in Full House? Finding out that somebody behind something mainstream has a subversive undercurrent can be exciting. This one is absolutely priceless.

Sally Forth
writer Francesco Marciuliano has been doing a webcomic for quite some time, one that I've been aware of but whose origin I've never known. (Yes, I'm talking about this Sally Forth.) It's called Medium Large and it's a webcomic in every sense of the word, with smurf murder and profanity and everything. Check out his neat June 20 riff on Ziggy:

Like most great parody, it's barely an exaggeration:

(An actual Ziggy.)

Read Medium Large. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hell: Day 2

This mundane Lovecraftian nightmare that Ziggy's gotten himself into sees no sign of stopping. Today, a shallow bowl smelling of flies and cleaning solvent.

I may be behind schedule, but I've taken a peek at tomorrow and know for a fact that a greater nightmare awaits us. Click the period on that last sentence if you don't want to wait.

Ziggy: Officially in Hell

Gad, that's cruel.

The Comeback Tour

Phase One of Ziggy's Comeback Tour has begun. I confess that the sight of Ziggy all Elvis'd up touches the pleasure centers in my brain like no image since the squid attack (and where has Ziggy's pimpin' coat gone?).

Out of that smallish box of hair has sprung a new Ziggy, a stronger and more confident Ziggy. Even his trademark frown has taken on a medicated rock star look, and it's arguable that a civilian can't get much more kingly than through emulation of The King. Too bad a guitar, resting on the ground, would cover his face.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Life in a Passive-Aggressive World

Hardly the sort of signs you'd expect to see in Oceania, or any other dystopian paradise for that matter, but it's a start. Much better than "Big Brother is Watching You", as it shows the particular brand of frustration and passive aggressive ambition it takes to dominate a world. Ziggy should reserve that special look of repulsed revulsion for special situations, instead of for everything; it'd be scads more effective.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Clutching Beanie Feels Loved

Wow - Ziggy's special Clutching Beanie is really getting a workout this week. I think it's one of those folding models that changes color when you flip it inside out. "I need it to pay off my ATM fees!" Ziggy explains nervously. Don't worry, Ziggy - we're with you on this one. Many of us recognize the monetary benefits of having a special Clutching Beanie, and a few of us even have special Clutching Beanies of our own, or some other FDIC-recognized equivalent.

Today, though, Ziggy seems to be retreating into his beanie, almost fetal in his craving for security. If things keep going this way, he might have to use the thing to cover his nether regions when he's naked and homeless.

"I. . . Declare. . . BANKRUPTCY!"

Ziggy's brought his special clutching beanie with him, the one reserved for financial uncertainty and rejection. Today he's either gone into some kind of back-alley tax advisement center, or preparing to go into tax asylum before entering the Witness Protection Program, perhaps as a direct result of the suspicious poison luggage a couple of days back.

Wait. . . is there a possibility that this is Ziggy's father? Remember what I said about the entertainment value of behind-the-scenes speculation.

Watch Out For Rabbits

Never speak of the time you went golfing in Teletubbyland, Ziggy.

Persons Unknown To You

I love these little mixups - remember the little coup with the Sailor Moon underpants? In this case Ziggy's obviously holding a bag that should never have made it through airport security in the first place. Barring the possibility that Delta Airlines has pegged Ziggy as some kind of flamboyant, homosexual dominatrix pirate (a most provocative image if ever there was one), you'd think that the Jolly Roger could still strike a bit of fear into the travel industry, despite its long fall from prominent use. I hope Ziggy manges to reclaim his proper bag - the one with the sequined daisies - soon.

On an unrelated note, even if the ol' skull and crossbones no longer represents modern piracy, we all know what it's come to mean and that it means nothing good:

I fancy meself a funnyman, apparently.

Pet Ciao

Ziggy's snuffed out his dog's little candle with off-brand Kibbles.

A Cup of Kafka

Sometimes the lamer strips require a little elaboration beyond the original authorial intent before they achieve the appropriate level of surreality I expect from this feature. Today, for example, I prefer to imagine that a guest of our protagonist's has achieved a remarkable transformation during his stay at Ziggy Manor. The hole in the wall is merely incidental - our guest still hasn't come to grips with why the stairs down were so difficult to navigate. I'm waiting for the double-take.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wash Your Hands First, Please

Cartoon characters with an oedipal abandonment complex are somewhat rare, but by no means nonexistent. Nevertheless, it's a matter of record that Ziggy has found a place where he is forced to take his medicine, and where the course order is determined by the server and not the customer. Exactly the way he likes it, it turns out.

This Macy's balloon of a matriarch is being a little too nice to Ziggy not to doubt her motives. And Ziggy's the only diner there - is he renting the place by the hour? And where does he get the money if he doesn't have a job? Gad, I love a strip that makes me think.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Pretty much every decision that Ziggy is ever confronted with involves some crazy life-or-death alternative. Word to the wise: cartoon characters do not have good experiences in diners. The diner is the refuge of the downtrodden, adrift cartoon character, and one of the few places that they can still smoke. In diners cartoon characters fail to pick up women, have their cars impounded, and eat things that the narrative strongly suggests came from mousetraps and species of unknown origin.

If it isn't obvious, the point I'm making is that Ziggy should save himself a quarter and a lot of trouble by getting his morning cuppa Joe sans attitude.

Fly Sauce

I originally wrote paragraph after paragraph analyzing avian dietary concerns, just which condiments go well with seed, and the courtesy of complaining about such a trivial element of such a beauteous bounty.

Then I figured that I was over-analyzing things and wrote the copout you see above. Bottom line - if you're a parrot who can talk and you're eating birdseed, it's your own fault.


Remember when Big Bird learned what happened to old Mr. Hooper? I think that it's about time for this scowling menagerie to learn what it means for a pet to "retire". The dog doesn't seem particularly upbeat - perhaps he already knows.

Ziggy has a duck?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Moment of Repose Before the Storm

Yum yummers! It's a veritable buffet of subpoenas! But you know it and I know it - Ziggy's problems with the uncaring, base world will not be solved through the law, but through a cold, hard wave of violence that would shatter the mind of any conscientious being. Ziggy's long glance at this door is merely a final look at salvation before the hammer falls.

When the carnage ends, the survivors will erect the following statue. All will look upon it and weep:

See: "Sucker"

What the hey - it's still better than this.

C is For Carnage

Yes! There's nothing better than sudden, unprovoked wrath from a deranged stranger, one who sees threats in the clouds and omens in the rainbows. This wrinkled old coot doesn't want to pick a fight, but goldarnit truth and virtue are at state.

The War of the Fortune cookie was a long one, a hard one. Many died, and none lost more than those near the Mongolian barbecue, between the bar and the ice cream machine at the Water Lily. A glance at this image ought to keep the memorials modest enough.

Scare Fare

Is this really necessary? I mean, for Ziggy? Ziggy's been beating down so thoroughly by life and adversity that he's incapable of reacting in any way other than resigned acceptance or an empty stare. Appropriately, the worst we've ever seen him is in response to imminent doctoral chicken probing. Given that the chicken quotient of this ride must be fairly low, he'd best leave that Tinky Winky-colored machine alone.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Blobby Blog Dog

Ziggy (the strip, as well as the individual) always places an odd emphasis on certain words within every sentence, but today's affront to the English language is particularly baffling. The emphasis on the word "tripping" in "PEOPLE KEEP TRiPPiNG OVER HiM!" seems to suggest that Ziggy expects people to do some other thing over the flabby little mutt, and I can't for the life of me figure out what he's referring to.

Realistically, the new sign may not even help. If a passerby wasn't already completely distracted by Ziggy's resemblance to a behammered, bedraggled lawn gnome, or how much his home looks like a cubist turtle, they may be observant enough not to miss the dog entirely. Still, Ziggy's flabby, big-schnozzed mutt could pick a more convenient place for a noontime siesta. As it stands he's a portly speed bump for neighborhood bike messengers.

Fire Sauce

"Dave" has built his chili palace of torment, pain and internal hemorrhaging - a proud fact that has not escaped the notice of his menu. The escalated pricing scheme for increasing levels of anguish only proves that Dave is the reigning monarch of this hellish mound of capsaicin and promises of future diarrhea. Even the napkins are laced with habaƱero extract. Meanwhile, Ziggy awaits his meal like a death row prisoner, keeping company with the sort of gustatory masochists who would frequent a place like this.

Ballroom Bliss

Yes! The mystery is solved! The guru's inconsistent behavior is at last explained, for Mt. Bulgy Peak has long found itself the scene of a territorial war between these magnificent, wizened creatures. Having lost sight of inner peace and transcended transcendence, these bearded sages now think only of dominance and the thrill of dethroning their rivals. I'd like to think that this peak's slope evens out at some point, rather than consider the fact that there may be a pile of identical dead gurus somewhere below.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mom and Pop Store

Ziggy looks especially pudgy today, and his feet resemble fleshy diving flippers even more than usual. He's also passing an establishment whose perpetual fear of the family patriarch must create some awkward dining situations. A sign like this in a restaurant makes "*Slap!* Get in the kitchen!" especially redundant.