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Archive for June 2004

June 16, 2004
Lieutenant Governor of Douchebaggery

The latest Republican attacks on Kerry, which claim he should resign his senate seat because he’s been absent from the senate while campaigning, is another non-story that will probably keep the focus off the Nixonian Memos and Ashcroft’s spurious scare-mongering for another week. Kerry Healy, the invisible republican lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, is spearheading this effort, in what is either an attempt to steal another senate seat, or shameless campaigning for Bush under the guise of “what’s best for Massachusetts.”

Maybe I’m retarded, but I was under the impression that the House and Senate have republican majorities, who almost always vote along strict party lines. One Democratic senator is going to be the deciding vote on jack shit this summer. I voted for Kerry to represent me, which he does, since I live in Massachusetts. I’m a little foggy on geography, but if he becomes President of the United States of America, I think that also includes Massachusetts.

The best part of this meme they’re starting to spread is that if you apply the same logic that they’re using to attack Kerry, you’ll have a stronger argument for asking Bush to resign. That fucker represents a shitload more people than Kerry and he’s taken more time off. You might have to include his photo-ops and fundraising to the official “days-off”, which as sad as it is, actually count as work for the shithead.

June 14, 2004
The Eugenics Wars

I rarely reveal my shameful secrets on this website, but I will confess that I am a Star Trek nerd. But I’m not a member of the cult that surrounds the series. I couldn’t care less about continuity between the different shows, and Enterprise, hated by friendless wonders everywhere, is my favorite Star Trek series. It started out as guilty pleasure, but the third season Xindi story arc was actually quality sci-fi programming. Really, I mean it. I can tell you’re judging me right now.

The only reason why I’m bringing this up is that the Eugenics Wars are part of Star Trek history. They’re supposed to have taken place some time before Warp Drive. And coincidentally, the subject of eugenics has come up in my other nerdy pastime, the news.

Eugenics, the idea that inferior people should not be allowed to breed, is universally loathed, and with good reason. Hitler used a bastardized form of it to advance his own agenda. He ruined comic facial hair, so why not an entire branch of genetics too.

This isn’t a popular opinion to have, but I don’t think morons, literal and figurative, should be allowed to make more morons. However, should a moron come into existence, I believe it deserves the same rights as me, as long as it’s not my job to try and teach it things. Obviously, rigorous tests, probably in coloring book form, should be done before a person is deemed a moron. It’s only fair.

James Watson, the man who discovered DNA, and an advocate for genetically removing diseases, a la Gattaca, got a lot of flack for calling stupidity a disease. Well it is. It’s genetic and with a lot of help from public school budget cuts, it’s been spreading like a motherfucking epidemic.

He also has some other ideas that are really dumb, like adding genes to the human genome. We don’t even know what happens when we genetically modify corn. I don’t think we should be adding anything to our own genes.

It’s largely morons, along with some greedy assholes, that put the current crop of shitheads into office. It’s a taboo subject, but stupid people breed faster than nerds. They need to be stopped or the wonk way of life will become extinct.

Also, Watson has many bad ideas that rival Dr. Moreau, but he is still awesome for this quote alone: “People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great.”

Holy crap. I just meant to procrastinate inking a cartoon. Fuck. I wasted a lot of time.

June 11, 2004
The Sedentary Games

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No lengthy commentary this week. This cartoon is just one of those dumb idea clearing houses I have to do every once in a while to purge my mind of nonsense.

I’m such a nerd for facts that I wasted about thirty minutes coming up with a name for the Greek god of sitting around. According to one translator I found, kathomai is Greek, or Grecian if you’re the president, for the verb “to sit.”

I think this cartoon works a lot better if you can visualize actual fat people performing the games. It’s a scientific fact that watching a fatty trying to get out of a bean bag chair is the most hilarious thing in the entire world. The rest of the cartoon was quickly built around that single idea.

June 10, 2004
Stop Motion Plus Wes Anderson Equals Awesome


Not even as a child did I look forward to xmas this early in the year. After seeing this post over in Blog, the bone chilling New England winter couldn’t return soon enough.

The Life Aquatic is the next Wes Anderson film and everyone who’s been lucky enough to catch a screening seems very happy. Fisherman chic, Pirates, Bill Murray, the good Jesus, and stop motion sea life all seem to indicate that Wes Anderson has created a film specifically designed to entertain me.

June 8, 2004
Piss Beer Pissing Contest

A couple weeks ago I mentioned how it was odd to see Bob Odenkirk in the new Miller campaign. The commercials were funny enough, but good ads don’t make shitty beer taste any sweeter.

It turns out they’re part of a longer feud between Miller and the other swill powerhouse, Budweiser. Bud’s rebuttals give the impression that they just don’t get Odenkirk’s humor in the Miller commercials. It’s as if Budweiser really believes there’s a presidential campaign underway to elect the president of beers.

Budweiser’s commercials are as mean and petty as the Bush Campaign’s, but they attack Odenkirk instead of Kerry. They also do some xenophobia baiting by pointing out that Miller’s owned by a South African company. If pointing out that fact is a successful advertising strategy, I’d like to start one that emphasizes that Fox News is owned by an Australian.

I didn’t mean to write a mini-treatise on beer commercials, but I am a dweeb. I doubt any of you are dumb enough to let commercials influence your beer preferences, but if you only want brews made in the good ol’ USA, I recommend checking out Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, or Harpoon, to name just a few. And they don’t taste like they ran down Robin Williams’ ass crack(NSFW).

June 5, 2004
Now They Can Name More Shit After Him

All the major news networks have been sitting on this story since before I got my driver’s license. Well it finally happened. Now they can air their carefully edited retrospectives and montages that have been getting quite dusty.

Six months ago, I made a cartoon about Reagan’s inevitable fate. It’s pretty sloppy compared to the finely polished turds I’ve been cranking out lately, but I figure I’d capitalize on the wave of Reagan-mania that’s bound to happen and mention it again in the blog.

Reagan was a shitty man who brought us closer to nuclear annihilation than any other president in my lifetime. Granted, that lifetime conveniently starts during the Carter Administration, but still, Reagan was an asshole. His policies made him one, but he seemed like a friendly enough guy. From what I can remember at the time, I thought of Reagan as a friendly Santa Claus type figure with a creepy dye-job.

I doubt there are any kids growing up in non-wingnut homes thinking similar things about the current president; except for the lucky few he read a story to for twenty minutes after the country was attacked.

June 4, 2004
The Probability of Having a Baby on Board

Every sperm is sacred

This cartoon is a response to the FDA’s rejection of over-the-counter sales of the emergency contraception drugs Plan B and Preven. I was going for a Philip K. Dick type of dystopia, like Minority Report, where pre-crime has been replaced with pre-pregnancy.

It was probably a little too high-concept for my limited abilities, but I hope I rescued the convoluted mess with a hearty joke about the money shot. To illustrate what a prude I am, I was seriously considering using the agent’s leg in the last panel to block out Ron Jeremy‘s ass. The only thing that prevented me was sheer laziness. I hope I didn’t scar you for life.

I’m sure it’s not very clear, but the point of the cartoon is that the FDA’s actions and those of reactionary pharmacists are done with the intent of protecting pregnancies that have yet to exist. I know there are a lot of people who think every fertilized egg is a person. They outnumber creationists, but that doesn’t make them any less wrong.

Michael Kinsley’s article, The False Controversy of Stem Cells, makes a better argument than I can. Essentially, it explains that a fertilized egg is just the potential to become a human being. A lot of things still have to happen before it can become a pregnancy.

I have no idea what the real numbers are, but I wrote this cartoon under the assumption that any in utero fertilized egg had an 80% chance of becoming a pregnancy. It’s probably less, but an 80% or even a 100% chance of becoming something at some point in the future is still not the same thing as that thing actually existing. It’s no different than the ridiculous idea of enforcing a 3% chance of a pregnancy occurring. We have free will and can alter those outcomes no matter what their probability is. That’s what I was trying to point out with the Minority Report analogy.

Even without any medical intervention, only a certain percentage of fertilized eggs attach themselves to the uterus. Are these fertilized eggs that never become attached biological debris, a single-celled lazy person, who couldn’t even get its shit together and stick to a piece of tissue when its life depended on it, Or were they murdered by gravity? What about the fertility clinics that create dozens of embryos with the knowledge that many of them will never be used?

I understand that people who adamantly believe a fertilized egg is a person pretty much have to oppose emergency contraception. Although they may prevent fertilization, the drugs primarily work as abortifacients. But a fertilized egg does not guarantee a pregnancy will occur, which was the point of the cartoon. It only has a certain potential of becoming a pregnancy. And taking the drug the morning after conventional contraception fails ensures that the pregnancy is prevented before it ever exists.

That’s why availability over-the-counter is so important. Being forced to get a prescription gives time for the theoretical pregnancy to become a real one. Although the drugs are technically abortifacients, they can’t end a pregnancy that has already been established. They can however, make some awesomely fucked up babies if taken too late.

Any cartoon that requires this much explanation was probably a bad idea.

June 3, 2004
Where One Person Counts

We all know that, statistically, your vote probably doesn’t matter. Elections are decided at the last minute by people who only use their noses for smellin’ and not for breathin’. I’m still going to vote and complain all the time about shitty policy, but I’ve decided to focus most of my energy on a cause where I can make a difference.

I want to become a Nielsen Family. Each Nielsen Family represents approximately 50,000 Americans. (Figures calculated from here) That is too much responsibility for people that were never elected, or went through some kind of congressional confirmation hearing. I know enough about probability and statistics to understand that Nielsen’s methods provide an accurate picture of what our country is watching.

But that picture is a sad and depressing one. America needs only one nightly entertainment newsmagazine, yet the Nielsen Families have allowed Pat O’Brien’s mustache to spread like a tumor across the dial. I could go on and on about the failings of America’s unelected Nielsen Families, but I will not go negative.

I want to be your next Nielsen Family. I will put an end to the Discovery Channel’s decline into shameless reality programming and ABC’s pork barrel spending that fills the coffers of the untalented and unfunny Jim Belushi.

Imagine a television landscape where the erudite and thought-provoking aren’t stuck on the premium channels in the wee hours of the night. Investigative journalism instead of sensationalism, Animal Precinct instead of When Animals Attack. It can all be yours, if you make me your next Nielsen Family.

Thank you for your support.

June 1, 2004
Onion AV Club

The AV Club’s Say Something Funny Section has been the most consistently funny part of The Onion since its inception. This week’s was written by Christian Finnegan of Best Week Ever Fame, which I ridiculed before I even knew it existed.

Since I’ve seen it, I’ve come to like the show, not just because it’s funny, but because it makes fun of VH1′s penchant for unoriginal programming, and mocks the movies that obviously use the show as a cheap advertising ploy.

Christian is one of the funnier commentators, up there with Patton, Paul Scheer, and Dannah Feinglass (AKA Dreamgirl 5000). So go read read his funny bit on celebrity gossip now.

But I’m not mentioning other funny parts of the intarweb as part of my incredibly generous nature. The AV Club is the internet’s most popular version of the alt weekly, and I think it’s a shame that it only features one comic strip. I read Pathetic Geek Stories all the time when it was included with the regular AV Club updates, but slacked off since it moved to its own domain.

I doubt they could improve their already ridiculously high traffic numbers by adding more comic strips, but I also think it couldn’t hurt. Obviously I’m only mentioning this because I think Big Fat Whale would fit in with their demographics, but even if they added a dozen more comics that weren’t BFW, such as Partially Clips or Boy on a Stick and Slither, I’d think the weekly internet publication would be vastly improved.

There’s no direct contact info on their page, so I have no idea how to shamelessly beg for placement on their hallowed pages. But anyone who successfully pleads the case for more comics on the AV Club’s pages gets a gold star and an official BFW tea cozy.

Choose Your Own BFW Adventure

A year ago at this time, Big Fat Whale wasn’t even a weekly comic strip. I updated the site whenever I felt like it. Occasionally there were flashes of several updates in a week, but most of the time, I was updating it once every 9-10 days. Even with that pretty easy schedule, I was sucking ass more often than not.

Once I held myself to an update every Friday, things have improved quickly, as has traffic to the site. I’m currently working with a Just-In-Time method of comic production, which leaves no room for any glitches in my schedule, or a week when I’m just not funny. For example, if I witness a baby falling out of a Volvo on the highway, I probably won’t be able to come up with anything funny that week, unless the baby bounces into the convertible behind it safe and sound, because, although improbable, it would be hilarious.

I need to produce a backup comic that won’t interfere with my rigorous procrastination and dicking around regime. The easiest way is to just use a recurring bit, whose format is already established. That removes the most difficult part of making any comic strip: staring at the blank page and swearing profusely.

I set up a poll in the Big Fat Whale forum for people to pick the bit they’d like me to use for this emergency cartoon. I’ll write that emergency cartoon first, and then fill its slot with the other results once it’s used.

The way the message board script is written, it won’t let you vote if you don’t register, even after I changed the settings to allow it. I’m too lazy to learn the proper HTML to make my own poll. But you don’t have to register to post, so either leave a comment with your preference here or in the forum.

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