The part that affect readers is that since the strip is leaving King Features, it has already left Comics Kingdom. And, as is Comics Kingdom’s way, they’ve removed the strip from their web site. GoComics has put Baby Blues up here, with strips starting from this Wednesday the 12th already in place. Jerry Scott said, on Daily Cartoonist, that they are working to get their archive of strips on GoComics. I don’t have information whether that means going back to the comic’s start in 1990, or “only” strips going back to when Comics Kingdom (and before that DailyInk) got organized.
And if you’re like me, you’ve been angry at Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean this past year, but can’t remember what specifically for. Oh, yeah, it was Les Moore. The Son of Stuck Funky snark blog is having its first Funky Awards, with voting through to the 16th of January. You can cast you Google Forms vote here. Among the many categories are Best Strip, Worst Strip, Story Arc of the Year, Standout Unnamed Character, and Most Punchable Les Moore. That last is a prank, of course, since every Les Moore is more punchable than every Les Moore before.
Distinctive Tiny Scented Soaps You’re Most Afraid To Use
Silverware And Plate That Together Make The Most Undefinably Eerie Scraping Sound
Most Refrigerator With The Crushed-Ice Dispenser You’re Not Allowed To Use
Room That Most Smells of Cedar Despite Having Nothing Cedar In It
Scratchiest Blankets Covering The Most Of The Sofa
Sleekest Television Set Put On Top Of The Widest 1970s Color Television Set That’s Easily Four Feet Front To Back
Land-Line Telephone That Most Has Push-Buttons But In A Circle Like It Was A Dial Phone Somehow
Most Boiled Selection of Off-White Dinner Foods
Room That Least Smells of Cedar Although The Cedar Chest Is In It
Reference: The Rocket Men: Vostok and Voskhod, the First Soviet Manned Spaceflights, Rex Hall and David J Shayler
A note about research methods. Some may accuse this department of focusing entirely on its own experiences and not adequately sampling the full conceptual space of grandmotherly presences. To this we answer no, we called our grandmothers ‘grandma’ and ‘mom-mom’, none of this casual ‘grammy’ stuff for us and so therefore nyah.
What happened is The Onion AV Club respects its duty to the parts of popular culture that aren’t really popular or part of the culture anymore. So it discussed the end of Apartment 3-G. Under the “Great Job, Internet” column they published an essay aptly titled “Comics bloggers say goodbye to Apartment 3-G”. And I got mentioned in it twice. As a result there’s been a rush of people reading my description of “disjointed and unfollowable” plots. As I write this the day (the 24th of November) isn’t quite over. But it seems plausible I might see a thousand page views for the day alone. That’s on top of 873 for the day before. Goodness knows what the next day will bring. I suppose fewer. It’d be odd if people were even more interested in what The AV Club says about what some other blogger says about a comic strip they weren’t following another day later.
I didn’t just get a stray link, though. I even got to be the second block-quoted text. I’m between commentary from The Lovely Ladies Of Apartment 3-G commentary blog and The Comics Reporter‘s essay on the conclusion. I am delighted to be quoted, especially since it’s as “Another blog, meanwhile”. Perhaps my name is just a little too implausible for the AV Club’s readers. I know most people trying to read my name are stumped by what to make of it. The “Nebus” part, I mean. Most folks know what to make of “Joseph”. They make “Joe” of it.
I know that when someone on the Internet says “I am delighted by” something, it normally means “I am not delighted by” that thing. But when I say “I am delighted by”, I don’t mean anything so complicated as “I am not delighted by”. I mean, simply, “I am delighted by”. The baffling of people by my name is only part of it. What also has me truly delighted is that the AV Club’s article was written by Joe Blevins. I know that guy.
Well, kind of know him. He and I were both participants, back in the 90s, on the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.tv.mst3k.misc. Usenet groups were kind of like web forums, except that you could read them using any software you like and they didn’t have ads crowding out your web browser and making them crash. And you could follow threads and sub-threads with ease. So you see why they couldn’t compete with the modern Internet experience. But he and I were both active members in the MiSTing community.
I’ve posted a couple MiSTings here. They’re the fan fiction version of Mystery Science Theater 3000, taking Usenet posts or bad fan fiction or whatnot and making fun of it. We’d post these to rec.arts.tv.mst3k.misc, which was for Mystery Science Theater 3000-related activity. This included fan fiction. I haven’t seen Blevins in ratmm, as we abbreviated a phrase that already included four abbreviations, in ages. But then who has?
So this makes things a tiny bit different. This isn’t just any old writer coming across my name and having no idea what to make of it. This is a guy with whom I collaborated in making fun of Marrissa Picard stories not knowing what to make of my name. The name “Marrissa Picard” may mean nothing to you. This is because your life has gone right in some important ways. Trust me on this. Point is, after experiences like that, I would expect my name to get recognized even after a decade.
So is Joe Blevins snubbing me? I can’t imagine why he would, unless he’s still upset about losing to me in the Web Site Number Nine MiSTing Awards for 2002, category Best Single Riff. Back then I won a devastating victory with a line in “Jaded Views”. That was a Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic about two characters who were kind of like the authors, only they were badgers and didn’t realize they made themselves out to be terrible people. I’ll own up, I don’t think my winning riff was the best one published that year, let alone the best one I’d written.
I’m not saying that “Just because they’re trapped in a desperate struggle for survival against a crushing worldwide war machine doesn’t mean they can’t maintain a very active theater community” isn’t a funny line. I just think that even in that same MiSTing, I did better with the credit “Based on a sneeze by Harlan Ellison”. I’m just passing on what the voters for MST3K fan fiction awards thought at the time. Other folks may have done beter, and Blevins may have even been one of them. While I was delighted to have a fanfic award long ago, it’s not as though I’ve spent four days a week gloating about beating him out about it. For goodness sake, there’s my award for writing that sketch in which Tom Servo gets all huffy and thoroughly debunks the theory that Casper the Friendly Ghost is the afterlife fate of Richie Rich. I’m much prouder of that.
I hope he’s not snubbing me. I’m certainly not snubbing him. I am delighted by all this. And I’m delighted to learn that a decade-plus after we last had contact he’s gone on to being a freelance writer for a leading pop culture web site. He’s always been a funny guy and I hope he’s doing well enough to support his writing habit.
Meanwhile, I am already reaping lasting benefits of an extra 1500 or so page views in two days. I’ve already had literally more than one new person subscribe by e-mail to new humor blog posts. And the readership boost hasn’t been as pronounced over on my mathematics blog, but it has been detectable. And isn’t “detectable” all that anyone on the Internet wants to be? Yes. Yes it is.