Comic Strips I Don’t, Do Understand


I haven’t mentioned Charles Boyce’s Compu-Toon, the technology comic strip for that aunt you love but who wants you to stop making Google’s logo change into weird stuff for holidays or the birthdays of logicians or stuff, for a while but please be reassured that it still exists and is a thing that carries on. As proof of this I offer the installment from the 19th of October, which clearly means something, although I don’t know what. My best guess is very specific subsets of furry fandom.

Murphy was stunned that some of his friends have a link to a wolf in sheep's clothing web site. ... *What*?
Charles Boyce’s Compu-Toon for Sunday, the 19th of October, 2014.

Since it’s kind of dismal to talk about nothing but comic strips I dislike let me bring up Michael Fry’s Committed, which ended years ago but is rerunning something from 1999 and that hasn’t aged a day in the past fifteen years. OK, it’s funny in the way people from 1964 dissing the Beatles as this month’s flavor of boy band is funny, but it kind of makes me wonder what’s going wrong with pop culture that kids are still into Pokemon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Power Rangers. I know they have some new stuff that wasn’t around back then, but, I mean, we’d thrown out pretty much everything from 1984 by the time 1999 rolled around.

In 1999, Pikachu is warned of his pop-cultural ephemerality by a Power Ranger and a Ninja Turtle.
Michael Fry’s Committed, originally run 1999, rerun on the 27th of October, 2014.

So if that’s all things I don’t understand, fine, but let me share some things I do understand, in the form of comic strips that discussed mathematical topics, and that I discuss over on my mathematics blog. Enjoy, won’t you please?

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

4 thoughts on “Comic Strips I Don’t, Do Understand”

  1. The difference I think is that today’s parents are still into those things and force them on the kids from a young age! Lots of adults still play Pokemon, watch Star Wars, etc.

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    1. Oh, goodness, I did not realize that this baffling Compu-Toon had baffled me in the past, and that it was apparently exactly rerun. At least my attitude toward it last time was almost identically baffled.

      Anyway, I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun anyone has in Pokemon or Star Wars or whatever, as they grow up. It’s not like most people wake up any day realizing they have too many things to enjoy. But it feels weird to me that so many things are retaining popularity across generational cohorts. Wasn’t there a time when your parents liking something marked it as hopelessly square, back when people talked of things as being hopelessly square?

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      1. Sure, but those are things that you could really only appreciate as a teen. In other words, little kids can appreciate Star Wars, so when dad shows it to them, they are immediately attracted and retain that. I mean, I saw Star Wars in the theatre when it came out when I was 7 and I liked it without any parental intervention. But if you mean, for example, rock music, well clearly today’s teens do not like or appreciate the Beatles or Zepplin because you have to be a teen to even start liking it, and almost no parents force that down a kid’s throat (unless your parents are really into music).

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        1. You’re probably right. I suppose I just can’t shake the feeling that more pop culture ought to be disposable, although that could reflect that I was a kid in an era (the late 70s/early 80s) when cartoons and TV shows and toys were especially disposable, and it’s hard to adjust to how incredibly much better all this stuff got to be in the 90s.

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