A BFW After School Special

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Sorry for such a late post. I don’t know how many people just check the blog for the new cartoon, but for anyone who does, I always post the cartoon on time on the front page.

This week’s comic is a half-hearted effort. I figured I should do something about how important voter turnout is, but I couldn’t bring myself to make a heavy-handed comic strip. Sincerity is just not in my nature.

Unlike a link between marijuana and gun violence, a link between voter apathy and the shitty condition of the world around us actually exists. Voter turnout in America is the laughing stock of the civilized world. Negative campaigns and elections held on a workday don’t help, but there’s really no excuse for just fifty percent of those eligible to show up to the polls.

I know it seems pointless with the electoral college making votes in swing states the only ones that matter. If it helps, don’t think of your vote on the macro level. It’s just too depressing. Instead, imagine your meaningless blue state vote for Kerry single-handedly nullifying the vote of some reactionary creationist homophobe in a red state. It’s much more satisfying that way.

I can only hope that by the time I post next week’s cartoon, President-elect Kerry received a mandate that made him more credible to the right than Bush was to us dirty hippies.

My Last Red Sox Post&#32(At Least Until Hot Stove Season)


This was my view of the Red Sox’ first World Series victory in 86 years. I don’t really have anything to say about it, but I wrote so many posts over the past couple of weeks about their playoff run that ignoring its magnificent end didn’t seem right.

Amazingly, despite what many morons have surmised, the ending of the series drought didn’t cause me to lose my identity or enthusiasm for the team. I can only hope that this is only true for me, or else getting face value tickets to Fenway next year will be even more impossible than it was this year, barring some glass bottomed roof added to the park before April.

There’s no reason next season shouldn’t be just as entertaining, even with all the free agent wrangling Saint Theo has to do over the next month or so. I can only hope that Craig was right when he said the Yankees will be eviscerated, which would leave only one team to dominate the AL East in 2005.

Hopefully both Sox and Yankees fans can spend this winter working on some new chants and heckles that aren’t old and busted. My suggestion is: “By Jove, those Yankees most definitely have a tendency to choke in must-win situations! Huzzah!” But that’s just me and I doubt it will catch on.

The one setback to their epic choke is that the “Yankees Suck!” chant, which was on the decline, will come back en fuerza. Come on Red Sox fans, you are capable of such awesome chants as “Who’s your dealer?” and “BAL-CO,” get cracking on something that would make an assisted living home of mentally challenged Yankees fans cry.

Now that one month-long distraction is over with, I can start paying attention to the election. And if that doesn’t drag out through the holidays, I just might be able to get some shit done around here.

The Harsh Reality of Supply and Demand

Google ads were serving up links to places selling World Series tickets and out of curiosity, I checked them out. To no one’s surprise, even the crappiest individual seats are going for upwards of $1,500. I was also curious to see what the tickets were going for in the internet’s dark alley of despair and vice, Craigslist’s casual encounters page.

Here’s what I found. If you still have faith in humanity, you might want to skip these links.

  • You’re not supposed to fuck a stranger in the ass, but apparently letting him do it to you is your ticket to America’s pastime.
  • For a sex in exchange for tickets post, this one is pretty straightforward.
  • This guy wants tickets, and he’s trying to parlay his vague similarity to everyone’s favorite unfrozen caveman centerfielder into some hot he-whore action.
  • Here’s one from what appears to be a control freak asshole.
  • Yawn. I suppose the demand for tickets is so great that some of these people don’t even feel the need to try to be interesting.
  • The classiest one I’ve seen so far, but the bar is so incredibly low.
  • Finally, a request for a threesome.
  • A guy looking for “a preferably attractive woman”. This looks like it could be the ugly Red Sox fan’s only hope.
  • He is running an auction for the tickets, where each person bids on the level of dignity they’re willing to give up.
  • This smells like a joke, but you never know.
  • I like this one because it manages to be condescending to the potential harlots, telling them to dress nicely to the game so they don’t stick out like the filthy trollops they are.
  • This is the best for its sheer depravity.
  • Here are some others that I have no pithy comments for.

In case I gave any of you dirty boys and girls any ideas, it’s probably safe to assume that most of these people don’t even have tickets. Also, fucking strangers for baseball tickets is very likely to get you banned from the Baseball Hall of Fame, should you ever come up for consideration.

Spooky Facts of Questionable Veracity

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This week’s comic doesn’t really need a lengthy commentary. I resorted to a lame eighties reference and mentioned a creepy subculture that might require some explanation for a few people. Other than that, the rest are all corny jokes I managed to stitch together between innings of the ALCS.

For the spring chickens, whippersnappers, and barely legals among you, Freddy Krueger was the icon of self-aware horror films before Scream, the movie that spawned the demon seed of three Wayans brothers scatalogical comedies. I haven’t seen Freddy Vs. Jason, but I assume it makes this explanation pretty pointless. This is a dumb joke about his striped sweater. As a fabric aficionado, I can say that argyle is much more suited for socks than sweaters.

I mucked up the Goody Winthrop joke. It works better if you imagine a Salem Witch trial where the accused is trying to explain it was just a costume, and then it drags on and on like an SNL sketch. I only recently learned that Goodwife, goody for short, was a title for the female head of a house. I just assumed it was very demeaning first name Puritan mothers gave to their ugly daughters.

This is just a matter of opinion, but anyone who tells me they believe in ghosts or actually witnessed one immediately lets me know they are retarded. This also applies to people who tell me they believe in the Holy Ghost, but I keep that to myself, lest I be smote from on high.

I love zombies. I love zombie movies. I know they are incredibly formulaic, but there’s something about the undead that causes me to lower my snobbishly high cinematic standards. And for that they deserve to have equal representation in Hollywood.

I can’t remember when these Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials aired. I’ll guess and say the late eighties or early nineties. They’d take place in some random time period or place where someone’s chocolate would get stuck in someone else’s peanut butter. Every Halloween children are scared shitless by tales of candy laced with razors, needles, and poisons. Hospitals open up their x-ray machines for parents to inspect their children’s hauls. It turns out that it’s not very likely, so I’m free to portray it as a forced parody, unlike say a similar premise involving ruffies and an apple martini.

There might be some people who don’t follow the seedy underbelly of the web or watch MTV’s True Life and have no idea what a furry is. A furry is like a Star Trek or Star Wars nerd, but so fucked up in the head that they have fetishized anthropomorphic creatures. I may be comparing apples to oranges, but at least a necrophiliac still gets a hard on from their own species.

One last note about Halloween. Ladies, please don’t go as a cat. That is the lamest, most unoriginal costume idea and only serves to advertise the fact that you are devoid of a single creative thought.

’46, ’67, and ’04*

I said in this forum thread that I’d make an entry about the Red Sox miraculous ALCS win Wednesday night. I don’t really have anything to add that I didn’t say there or what was said somewhere else. I assume most of the people reading this don’t follow baseball or the Red Sox in particular, so I’ll keep it brief.

I had written this team off after they went down 0-3 to the Yankees. I thought last year’s defeat stiffened my resolve and would make a sweep completely tolerable. But the way they lost Saturday night, 19-8, a score missing only the number one, made the inevitable Yankee clinching game 4 unwatchable.

I told myself I wasn’t going to watch, but like a mouth sore that you can’t help sticking your tongue in, I kept flipping back. Then all of a sudden, the breaks started going the Sox’ way until the 2004 Yankees were reduced to an embarrassing footnote that will be mentioned every time a team goes down 0-3 in a best of 7 series.

I wasted much of this afternoon getting intimately acquainted with my phone’s redial button as I fruitlessly tried to snag one of the few tickets that went on sale today. They sold out every regular season home game, so the chance of getting tickets to the most important series played there in 18 years was pretty slim.

The only good thing about not getting tickets to one of the games is that means I won’t have to be around Fenway when they win. Stuck in the middle of thirty million colleges, Kenmore square turned into a drunken, ugly, pasty white people version of Mardi Gras last night, with one fan getting killed by some sort of “less lethal” weapon.

Drunken morons felt the urge to climb things, like traffic lights, buildings, and some even tried to scale the Green Monster, before succumbing to the unrelenting force of gravity and falling on their asses.

Now the mayor of Boston is considering shutting down all the bars around Fenway. And if I heard him correctly, (and that’s a big if, anyone who’s heard the man talk knows how difficult that can be) there also might be a ban on televisions tuned to the games within a certain distance of the Fenway area.

I’d normally be opposed to such harsh actions against my two greatest loves, booze and TV; but I loathe all the loud Boston college kids who drunkenly yell on the T so much that I wouldn’t mind the Mayor switching those less lethals for some sawed-offs the next time they turn into a mob.

It should go without saying that I will be incredibly unproductive for the next week or so. I also promise to watch all of Ben Affleck’s crappy movies if it could somehow get me a ticket to any of the games.

* Hopefully with a different outcome than the other two.

The Mediocre Screenplays of Cyril DuFarge

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This is the second installment of a bit I was never very fond of. Several people said they liked the first screenplay comic, and that was good enough for me to revisit it over a year later. The only difference between this and the first is that I attributed the screenplays to an imaginary character instead of myself, and used a font to write the titles instead of drawing them.

I was pressed for time and I can come up with bits like this in my sleep. The added benefit of not having to waste a day transforming my handwriting into something legible made doing this a no-brainer.

The jokes are obvious and really don’t deserve a lengthy explanation. I originally intended to do a parody of countless high school football movies that focussed on a math team instead, but it was too involved and the jokes required so much setup that nine panels wasn’t enough to make it work.

Judge Dred Scott

This is ancient history as far as the 24 hour news cycle goes, but I find it very interesting. In the second debate, Bush mentioned the Dred Scott decision. I just shrugged it off as the only bad Supreme Court decision the moron could remember.

Thanks to Jake at LMB, I learned that it was actually a coded message to the anti-abortion crowd. Although I fear the cloak and dagger pandering might be lost on them, since they are dumb enough to believe a pile of goo that doesn’t have a nervous system is the same thing as you or me.

Speaking of morons, Low Culture has some excellent rebuttals to quotes made by people who are still undecided after all three debates.

Bias In The Media

I’ll spare you a post about Baltimore’s own baby Murdoch. Sinclair Broadcasting’s decision to run an anti-Kerry documentary right before the election is pretty crappy, especially considering they refused to run Nightline’s nonpartisan reading of the fallen last spring. Many more qualified and informed folks are already on it, and I have nothing to add.

I’ve always had a bigger problem with the media than I do with Republicans. Republicans are what they are, but the media used to report things and had some sort of responsibility in the democratic process, once upon a time. Now they are nothing but democracy’s Fredo. I’m ignoring the media’s role in starting the Spanish-American war because it suits me.

The bias I wanted to bitch about is of a less important, but equally sinister variety; the Yankee hackery of Tim McCarver. Last year’s ALCS loss sucked enough, but his constant stroking of Yankee egos made it unbearable. Starting tonight, it’s going to be more of the same, plus a constant loop of Grady and Boone’s greatest hits.

There’s no radio near my TV that can pick up WEEI’s broadcast to listen to over a muted set, so I’m stuck with McCarver and whoever else gets put in the booth. And it better not be Brett Boone, I’d rather have Crazy Carl in there ranting about dinosaurs. I don’t mind Joe Buck only because he reminds me of Midnight Cowboy. And when an image of TV’s Joe Buck getting an enema from his granny pops into my head, it makes me giggle.

I know Fox Sports has it in them to do right by both teams. For the last regular season game they covered, they put the Red Sox’ regular broadcaster, Jerry Remy, and an Orioles guy in the booth to call the game. I thought it worked out well, since the people calling the game actually had some familiarity with what went on during the season.

I don’t know if there’s some financial or legal reason for company guys usually calling nationally televised baseball games, but it stinks. I think this series would be better suited with the regular Yankee and Red Sox commentators. Barring that, Lenny Clarke should get a few guest spots in the booth. He did that in the regular season and it was hilarious.

I won’t mention baseball again until the damage has been done. If you’re not already, you should be reading Red Sox blog-comic hybrid The Soxaholix. It’s always very good, but has become a must read during the playoffs.

Public Service Update: Several people have come across Big Fat Whale pages searching for “Flogging Molly Red Sox Song.” You won’t find anything about that. It’s the Dropkick Murphys who put out a Red Sox song this year, Tessie, about the old timey massholes who harassed Honus Wagner and the Pirates during the first World Series. It’s a very good song, and you should get it immediately, before the Red Sox’ hopes are completely dashed.

Presidential Debates

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This is a very rare single panel BFW comic, and the only one with less than ten words. It wasn’t supposed to turn out that way. I wrote an entire BFW-sized bit, but at the last minute I discovered that it had already been done.

I had a mock debate scorecard for people to use for the last two debates that looked like a bowling sheet. I filled in the scores for the first debate. There were various symbols and wacky terms for typical debate shenanigans, like a 7-10 split, a move that seamlessly combines two disparate talking points, or stroking the masses, personalizing a problem by calling out some random citizen by name.

It was all written and I was feeling pretty good about myself. I left the church tower where I ring the bell and went into the village to see Shaun of the Dead, a very good zombie comedy that mysteriously stinks for 15 minutes right near the end. I got back and finished reading America: The Book, and right there at the end of the book in the special election section was a score the debates gag. They used baseball scoring, but pretty much covered all the punchlines I tried to make.

Rather than be a douchebag, I realized I had been beat. It was too late for me to come up with anything else, and I already committed to the image of Bush and Kerry bowling together. So what you see is the best tasting lemonade I could make from the lemons of derivative hackiness.

I know it’s a cliche, but The Big Lebowski is my favorite movie. I decided to fill the empty space created by my unoriginality with Walter and the Dude. Don’t try and figure out who’s on whose team, although it would make sense for Walter to have some connection with Kerry as they both fought Charlie in the black pajamas.

As for the debates themselves, I have nothing to add. I agree with the consensus that Kerry proved to everyone that he is not nearly as retarded as Bush. I doubt anything will change with the next two, but I won’t say anything until they’re over. I could surmise that Kerry will kick ass tonight, but he could end up crapping himself and shaking a turd out of his pant leg while walking around in the town hall format. It’s just as likely as Bush coming up with a reasoned argument that can be backed up with facts.

I’ve Been Review-ified

This month’s issue of Comixpedia is about political comics. Apparently there’s an election of some sort coming up. For those not in the know, they’re a zine that covers all things webcomics. Webcomics are frequently maligned as being only about video games or science fiction. However, webcomics serve the entire rainbow of the nerd community, including politics wonks and comedy dweebs like myself.

I try to avoid the label, but the majority of BFW’s readers are on the web, making it a webcomic that falls under Comixpedia’s umbrella of love. Along with reviews of Keith Knight’s (Th)ink, and Mikhaela’s Boiling Point, yours truly gets a brief write-up in a review of topical comics.

I get this a lot from reviews and random emails and figure I will address it now. BFW is frequently compared to Tom the Dancing Bug, the greatest comic strip in the world.

I never set out to ape Ruben Bolling’s work, but even I acknowledge the similarity. I like to use the analogy of sketch comedy shows to compare the two comics. Think of Tom the Dancing Bug as Mr. Show or Kids in the Hall, while BFW is like MadTV or the current lame incarnation of SNL. They have similar formats, but the writing is obviously different in each show.

As for why the appearance of the strips is similar, I can’t speak for Ruben Bolling, but I am a lazy illustrator. If I could get away with just posting the strips as I write them, like little mini-scripts, I would. But I have to draw something, so I force myself to make something presentable. I’m no artist, so I generally end up with squiggly line drawings and tracings of complicated poses. Any resemblance to Bolling’s art style is purely coincidental.

I doubt all that is even necessary, but I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I’m just out to copy someone else’s work. If I could afford to purchase a Laotian boy to draw all of my cartoons after I write them, I think the similarity would be less obvious.

And since Xaviar Xerexes who wrote the article mentioned this blog, I can say thanks for the shout out here without having to send him an email. My only beef is that I didn’t get an age-related caveat like Mikhaela did. I just turned 25 years old a month ago, so any perceived sucking should be blamed on youthful indiscretion, rather than any actual sucking on my part.