This Is Getting Not To Be A Joke Even


Let me start, before getting to the bafflement, with a plea that you read Reading the Comics, December 30, 2015: Seeing Out The Year Edition. It’s my mathematics blog’s last review of comic strips for 2015. There’s a Jumble puzzle and everything. Now, on to a baffling comic strip:

A cat says, 'I hate the holidays! No one ever pays attention to me!!' And another cat asks, 'Will it always be this way, Mom?' Around the panel are a Christmas tree and two thin food dishes.
Margaret Shulock’s Six Chix for the 29th of December, 2015.

So. What does Margaret Shulock’s Six Chix for this Tuesday even mean? I keep feeling like understanding is dancing just beyond my reach … like … the cat is jealous of the Christmas tree? But then why have the cat’s daughter in on things? And why a Christmas tree standing in the middle of the floor? Why have the floor drawn to look like an ocean? Why the Shriner’s fezzes with a couple malt balls inside? At least I understand there being two copyright notices, since one seems to apply to the Six Chix concept while the other applies to the specific strip of the day. The other cartoonists seem to do that most of the time. But the strip still remains weird. I feel like, as with the last time Shulock appeared here, it feels like there’s something deeply personal going on that’s not quite open to us.

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Maybe The Art Wasn’t The Real Problem?


Besides writing Apartment 3-G Margaret Shulock was also one of the six women who share the Six Chix comic strip. Six Chix is a long-running project in which six women take turns drawing the daily strips, as well as the Sunday strip. It’s an interesting experiment, and I suppose it was particularly useful as an incubator for comic strip artists back before web comics and online distribution were remotely plausible channels. (One might argue whether they’re plausible today, but is one-sixth of a newspaper comic strip plausible either?) Shulock draws as well as writes her slice of the comic.

Margaret Shulock's signature sas, 'It's Christmas already! You ate all the candy, and I'm still dressed up like an idiot!' A woman in a witch costume with a Puritan hat cries for help. A cat hides behind a pumpkin. The label: 'The Halloween Witch Problem.'
Margaret Shulock’s Six Chix for the 15th of December, 2015. What does Pumpkin Cat add to the proceedings?

So here’s Shulock’s strip from this week. I admit this is one of those comics that sits on my head and makes me beg for mercy. I feel like this is very clear and understandable to the cartoonist but I’m baffled what any of it is supposed to mean. Also, that’s the least-pointy witch’s hat I’ve seen in a long time. It’s almost a better Puritan hat except for missing the buckle. And I’m going o go ahead and assume that Puritan hats didn’t actually have buckles in the era of the first Thanksgiving anyway because that’s always the way. So, any ideas, folks? Is it possible that Margaret Shulock is signalling for help in the only way that can get past her abductors?

If that’s done enough for you, then, please look over to my mathematics blog. It just did another round of mathematically-themed comic strips, including a Jumble feature. Those comics are all a lot clearer than this.