About The Spider-Man Comic Strip


The Amazing Spider-Man daily newspaper comic strip for today, the 9th of July, is first of all a thing that exists. Second, well, you saw it. It really is just what you saw there. No kidding.

Let me explain how things got to this point and please note that I am not fibbing or exaggerating.

In the strip — drawn by Larry Lieber and Alex Saviuk, and written by Stan Lee and a Markov Chain algorithm — Spidey, in San Francisco (never mind why he was there; it was stupid), needs to get to the war-torn republic of Some Latin America-y Country Where They Just Keep Having Revolutions. He needles his boss, J Jonah Jameson, to wiring him the money for a ticket on the grounds there’s pictures to be taken and Spider-Man’s going to be at the Revolution.

At the check-in line Peter Parker realizes that security might make him open his shirt revealing his Spider-Man costume underneath. Inspired by a bratty kid whining about how they don’t have private jets like the Avengers, he sheds his clothes and duffel bag and goes climbing the walls of the airport insisting he has to get on the plane without proving who he is besides doing the web-crawling thing. And that’s where we get to today’s strip, with President Obama saying it’s OK for Spider-Man to fly out of the country. How Peter Parker is supposed to explain his getting to Latin America-y Country when “he” doesn’t board the plane is left for us to guess.

All this may seem a very stupid way of going about things, but do bear in mind that in the -30- Universe of the Marvel Newspaper Comics, Spider-Man gets hit on the head a lot.

I admit that reading Spider-Man is among my ironic pleasures, and I have some thoughts about why reading something that just drizzles incompetence down on the reader is delightful, that I need to organize into a proper essay. For now I just want you to cackle at this.

The insanely colored United States flag in the third panel, by the way, is because like many newspaper strips this one gets badly colored for online publication by, apparently, people who can only do flood-fills on portions of the original artwork that are white. Since darker colors like red or blue get inked in as black, this means that December is visited with a number of Santas Dressed As Johnny Cash, and that early February sees Hi and Lois making Goth Hearts at one another. It’s not helped that there’s very little evidence that the people doing the colorizing even read the strips as they’re coloring them. There was even a Barney Google a couple months back (which I can’t seem to find right now) in which Snuffy Smith complains that a wanted poster of him is only in black-and-white, not in color, and sure enough, the poster got colored in, badly.

(I haven’t linked to the dailyink.com page with a comments thread about today’s installment and you will thank me for it because Internet Comments Thread With Something Vaguely Political Starting It.)

Another Round Of Dream-Based Apologies


Obviously, I have to apologize first to the President of the United States In My Dreams for my stunning inability to just deliver a birthday cake to him. But in defense of my failure I want to note:

  1. This whole cake-delivery responsibility was thrust on me at the last possible minute, and during a time when I didn’t have a car so I was wholly dependent on the bus situation.
  2. There wasn’t even a real container for the cake, but I had to hold it on a couple paper plates with tin foil kind of hanging somewhere near the cake vicinity.
  3. The bus driver, who was shockingly like Gilbert Gottfried in most ways, was not as helpful or as sympathetic as should be expected in these cases.
  4. While the bus was clearly labelled as one going to Singapore’s Jurong East Bus Interchange it instead let me off in a large and poorly-signed college building in the middle of downtown.
  5. I might have made quicker progress but was saddled with that hideously-smelling blanket which obviously had to be dealt with before any other chores could be tended, and I was apparently the only person in the city who could even be in the same room as it.
  6. The blanket, contaminated I believe by you-know-who, possibly by being vomited upon to the point of stomach acids coming out, I would have happily dumped in a trunk or a storage bin or such if anyone had been willing to help in any way, but again, campus security and the omnipresent Gottfriedesque bus driver were totally useless.
  7. The cake was one of those ten-by-fourteen homemade things cut in half and turned upside-down for frosting anyway, so it wouldn’t stay level and it just looked horrible. Cutting a ten-by-fourteen homemade cake in half after baking has never worked, and can we please stop pretending it does? Also who puts a cake upside-down to frost it? How is that even supposed to work in theory?
  8. And I might have managed yet if somebody had bothered to tell me where the President even was before sending me off to deliver a poor cake from him.

So in short, I’m sorry, everyone who was disappointed, but I can not and will not take exclusive blame for the fiasco.