Daniel Faraday Lives, and He Rocks!

It wasn’t until the promos for Jarvis Cocker’s new album Further Complications started coming out that I realized he and Lost’s recently deceased Daniel Faraday are the same dude.

I know one’s a fictional character, and the other is a real guy from Sheffield, but perhaps if you add a timeline change here or there, Daniel takes those piano lessons and becomes one cool-ass motherfucker.

The only other explanation is that skinny, hairy nerds are inherently cool, and nobody informed my high school classmates.

I Miss Baltimore

If I, an internet nerd, can’t even find a Micah’s Soul Food Cafeteria commercial on YouTube, there is no chance of me convincing others that the Baltimore of “The Wire” isn’t that far from reality.

This is a comedy sketch from Chicago, but it is also the only video I’ve found that captures the Kaufmanesque wonder of those Micah’s commercials. (For their Xmas one, they chanted “Go Santa, it’s your birthday” to a plug-in Santa.)

In case you’re still confused, this is a comedy video. It’s OK to laugh.

Earth Day Tips and Facts

I only know two things about Earth Day: 1) It was founded by a man named Gaylord. 2) And around this time of year, hippies with disgusting bathrooms say, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”

But since talking about saving the environment, as opposed to actually doing anything about it, is so popular this time of year, I’ve come up with a few simple strategies that could help our dying shitball of planet.

Don’t Reheat Leftover Pizza

If you couldn’t eat it all when it was fresh, tough shit. Cold pizza’s pretty good. Heating it up is a waste of resources AND gets burnt cheese all over the toaster oven.

No More Electric Vending Machines

Take them all off the grid, and hook them up to a bicycle/generator setup. Anyone who really wants a candy bar should have to work for it.

XXX Plastic Bags

Some municipalities impose a tax on those annoying and wasteful plastic shopping bags. Much like the itty bitty 5 cent bottle deposit, this is not enough of an incentive to get folks off the plastic pony and onto those yuppie-ass tote bags. Instead, all plastic bags should be printed to look like they came from a giant dildo warehouse. A law would be passed so that people who refuse to buy a tote bag, and continue to use these XXX plastic bags, can legally be slapped in the face with any dildos passers-by may be holding.

Genetically Engineering Triffid-People

If a branch can grow in some Russian dude, it shouldn’t be too hard to shove some chloroplasts into human skin cells, either physically, or through genetic manipulation. Mitochondria have been the darling of animal cell endosymbiosis for too long. Fix this, mad scientists!

Once we get these photosynthesizing tree-people going, they can live in all the polluted, shitty parts of the world, and happily convert the oppressive sunlight and CO2 into energy. We could then harness their energy into sweatshop labor. This would free up the regular, non-tree-people from their sweatshop drudgery, strengthing them for mankind’s inevitable battle with the triffid-people.

If we win that battle, we get plant-slaves and cleaner air. If we lose and mankind is consumed by the tree-monsters it created, Earth still wins.

Solutions for the Newspaper Industry

Solutions for the Newspaper Industry
click for comic

These are jokes, but it doesn’t make the slow extinction of newspapers any less frustrating. At some undefined point in the future, things will most likely sort themselves out, but right now we are living in a world where folks will pay $1 for the iFart to be installed on their iPhones, but not for comprehensive investigative journalism, or even scatalogical topical cartoons like Big Fat Whale.

I have no answers. I’m not a media guru. All I can do is look out for myself and try to scratch out a living in this new media environment. It’ll be tough. But we cartoonists had it easy for a long time. All we had to do was schmooze and dazzle a hundred or so editors and then they’d present our comic to hundreds of thousands of readers.

Now that those gatekeepers are obsolete, everyone has to cultivate their own audience. I’m just beginning to accept and embrace this. Webcomic authors will be slapping their foreheads and saying “Duh!” at this statement, but many of them most likely ignore the fact that papers exposed our work to thousands of casual readers. They liked our stuff enough to endure an ad or two, but not enough to buy one of our t-shirts or books. Sure they were lame, ineffectual, casual readers, but that kind of milquetoast support made HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS OF ADVERTISING DOLLARS. Unfortunately, that no longer applies, and readers are now too smart and too busy, and only read things that they LOVE.

In a world of infinite entertainment options, the only solution is to make something that enough people love to become invested in its success.

I’m not entirely on board, and hope for a revival of alt-weeklies’ comics pages.  But every newspaper closing makes me more and more likely to adopt the 1000 true fans approach, or that of Jesse Thorn, who, (please excuse my channeling of SCHARPLING) despite his refusal to ACKNOWLEDGE MY CRUDENESS by name on the most excellent Jordan, Jesse Go! podcast, has carved out a fan-supported niche that serves as an example to independent online content producers everywhere.

Matt Bors and Abell Smith have excellent cartoons on the subject as well.

Next Week: Shitty Jobs for Shitty People

Goofing Off

If I wasn’t goofing off every couple of hours on Twitter, there would be no release valve for my dumb jokes. They’d clog my brain, preventing me from coming up with better stuff for the strip.

But occasionally one or two will plop out of my brain-hole that is good enough to share beyond my re-tweeting circle jerk. This is one of those times, and you dear blog readers, are the victims of my generosity.

I started off mentioning that all the scrotum jokes surrounding these infernal “tea parties” were beginning to bore me.  That, in turn, threatened to reduce my output of cock n’ balls jokes, which are currently 33% of my total output. Then Dan Tobin, writer of the Urban Blah, requested a pie chart to find out what made up the other two thirds. Naturally, I obliged:

BFW Joke Pie Chart
click for pie chart

After looking at that, would you believe the guy who drew it is just a couple months shy of 30?

Enough with the Zombie Marches

There are two of them going on in the Boston area this weekend. One of them in my neighborhood. That shit was played out a year and a half ago when I did this cartoon. Be warned hipster douchebags, you are doing to zombies what goths did to vampires: turning them into pussies and punchlines.

Calm down. I love zombies too. I just don’t have to play dress up and LARP around town to prove my love. Can’t you assholes just hang out and talk about Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE over beers without all the attention-whoring pomp?

It was funny the first time around. Now you’re just repeating the same joke over and over. What are you? Little Britain?

Buffalo Bill Won’t You Come Out Tonight

I happened upon this video while dicking around last night. I was originally looking at a Lego-animated song from Silence! The Musical, and I went on a Buffalo Bill Google-Spirit Quest after that.  I didn’t think much of the song until I realized I was singing it in my head while showering this morning. It is wonderfully catchy. MANGINA ALERT!

My apologies if this was everywhere a few years ago and I just missed it. Here’s Greenskeepers’ website. It redirects right to their MySpace page, so click only if you are from 2006.

Smooth Career Move, Me!

I just found out about this latest bit of awesome from MIT’s Media Lab:

For those who don’t know, I was an engineering nerd before I became a cartoonist nerd. I probably don’t do enough math jokes to make it that obvious.

Anyway, this touchy-feely-projecto shit is going on just a mile or two down Mass Ave from where I’m illustrating fart jokes for pennies here in Davis Square. Clearly, there must be someone to blame for this injustice.

And it is 16-year-old me. If that curly-haired freakazoid did just a little better on his SATs, MIT wouldn’t have rejected him. He would have gotten his gentleman’s B thanks to MIT’s generous curve, and after some fuzzy steps I’m not too clear on, I’d be rolling profit. I’m kidding of course. One more year of programming or AutoCAD, and I would’ve gone mental.

I’m glad some folks can endure it to produce this cool shit. It won’t be long until my tweets are projected on public toilets.