Fred Basset Acknowledges Queen’s Death; Andy Capp Still Silent

This event happened just before the Great GoComics Failure Outage Of 2022 so I couldn’t talk about it then. But Alex Graham’s Fred Basset has won the race of the English Comics In American Newspapers to acknowledge the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Or, well, at least the accession of King Charles III, which I suppose entails the former. It’s about as gentle as you would expect. I admit I’m surprised it wasn’t something closer to like what the strip did for the Jubilee earlier this year, but maybe Fred was afraid of going too far overboard.

Fred Basset, to the reader: 'A-ha! King Charles!' The panel widens to reveal a King Charles Spaniel being walked. Fred: '*A* King Charles --- not *the* King Charles!' The spaniel's walker says, 'Hello, Fred!'
Alex Graham’s Fred Basset for the 16th of November, 2022. Fred’s eye in that second panel absolutely conveys how he figured he had put one past us. I’m not being snarky here; that is exactly the expression the artist should want to present and he gets it exactly.

Andy Capp, meanwhile, hasn’t made any acknowledgement, at least in strips run on GoComics. I can’t say whether this reflects the lead time of the strip or what. The comic strip did join in the celebration of Charles Schulz’s centennial this past Saturday, but that’s something anyone could have known was scheduled for almost a hundred years. They’re probably not working a hundred years ahead of deadline, though.

In Which I Offer to Help Fix the United Kingdom’s Political Crisis

So. I know my well-intended offer to help Australia fix its political crisis a couple years ago didn’t draw any response. But Australia did get its political crisis figured out. At least I never hear about it anymore, although I grant that’s possibly because everyone in Australia except the guy who draws Ginger Meggs has been killed in a frightening wildfire/emu/Daylight-Saving-Time catastrophe.

Still, I’m aware the United Kingdom has been going through a crisis. I mean here the government crisis of 2022. I mean October 2022. In case something develops between when I write this and when I post this, I mean of early October 2022. I’m vague on what exactly happened myself, but if I follow it correctly it has something to do with the British public realizing that what it really wants in a prime minister is someone who’s kind of boring, and the last kind of boring person they had as prime minister had to resign after it turned out he had sex with a dead pig’s head.

Anyway. I like helping people out through their little problems. And, you know, I could use a job, even if it’s just a part-time one. So I’m extending an offer to come over and prime ministrate for a little while. Again, I figure to only head a “caretaker” government, where I won’t undertake any initiative bolder than asking if Alton Towers is still open this time of year and visiting if it wouldn’t be a bother. Maybe straightening out that numeral ‘0’ on the door at 10 Downing Street. Sorry if I just made you notice and obsess about that. But that’s as much as I figure to straighten out while the United Kingdom finds someone adequately boring who is not me. I’m boring enough for the job, understand, it’s just that I don’t want to miss out on pinball league more than I have to.

Also I think the guy who draws Ginger Meggs lives in New York City.

In which my thoughts are with Andy Capp

It struck me over this weekend that, like, the Andy Capp strip for next Monday or maybe the Monday after that is going to be weird. Like, did they have a tribute strip ready for Queen Elizabeth’s death prepared already, or are they working to put something together just now? I have similar questions about Fred Basset but, c’mon, we all have an idea what a Fred Basset memorial-to-the-Queen strip has to look like. There’s no limit to what might appear in Andy Capp.

Imagine My Surprise at Politics in the United Kingdom

My many, many readers in the United States may have only a rough idea about the troubles going on in the United Kingdom’s politics. Let me try to explain: they’re having a bunch of trouble there in the United Kingdom’s politics. I’m a little vague on the details but the upshot seems to be someone finally took a good clear picture of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and everybody started saying, “Wait, that Boris Johnson? No, no, we wanted as Prime Minister this other Boris Johnson, the one who works at that pub where they always have jacket potatoes on the menu but every time you order them they don’t have them for some reason.” That’s as close to right as you need to know, anyway.

Anyway so the last couple days they’ve been getting a lot of resignations of every possible government post. This includes big posts, sure, like the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Posts (Big), but also smaller and more obscure and archaic ones. And they’ve had to reach pretty far down in to the back benches to fill spaces.

So anyway, imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find that I had become the Lieutenant-Stewart of the Cinq Hundreds and Crown Escheats of Flumwich. Like, I’m not British. I haven’t even been in the United Kingdom since 2015, when I was there to ride some roller coasters, or at the British call them the “rumbly-bumblies” so far as you know. This could all have been embarrassing, what with my responsibilities here reading Gil Thorp or whatever it is I do. But it all worked out since as I kept on reading the news I learned I’d resigned already. I’d probably just get myself into some real trouble if I hadn’t.

Just thinking out some future projects here

So how many people do you think would have to fight a dedicated Wikipedia edit war for about a month before people would accept as true that folks in the United Kingdom spell the US state name “Colourado”? I think we could do it with, like, six people unshakable in their resolve.

Two fast thoughts about the new Elvira’s House of Horrors pinball game

So, first, I finished my first game with 69 million and I just feel like Elvira should have acknowledged that fact.

Second, autocomplete really wants me to be writing about Elvira’s House of Parliament and I think that all my United Kingdom, Canada, and Australian readers strongly agree.

In Which I Have Doubts About A Novelty Song, the United Kingdom

I was wondering why it was CB radio got so big in the 70s, rather than some other decade, and so went to Wikipedia where I found nothing useful. But I did get to the article about C W McCall’s 1975 novelty song Convoy. And now, you might not have listened to Convoy recently and remember it only as a catchy yet dumb song. This might make you wonder how the distorting lens of nostalgia has made your recollection of the song drift from the actual thing. So I would like to let you all know that it is, in fact, a catchy yet dumb song. Sometimes nostalgia gets these things dead on right.

But along the way I discovered a 1976 novelty song, by “Laurie Lingo and the Dipsticks”, Convoy UK. Here, its appearance on I’m going to guess the BBC’s Top Of The Pops, because the only other British music show I know of is that one about picking your records for being stranded on a desert island and this doesn’t seem like this could be it:

So, some thoughts.

First. “The biggest blooming convoy outside the USA”? Oh now come on. Let’s put aside there was surely some goofball Soviet prestige project to line the whole population of Tajikistan into trucks. There’s Australian truck-trains that have a single vehicle hauling a load that’s longer than the whole British Isles. One behind the other for any cause would be a longer convoy than could possibly fit on the M1. So the premise of the song is wholly implausible.

Second. Gads, Argentina has to be so embarrassed they lost the Falklands War to these people. I’d still be waking up three mornings out of seven fuming about it. I can’t imagine.

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