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In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Search For Greatness In A World Gone Wrong

"The worst comic strip of all time is called Adam's Apples and it appears only in The Oregonian, because it is created by a Portland teacher. The writing is equal to that of Uncle Funny Bunny, the art is not quite as good, and it's general tone could be described as "gently scolding." It is one of the most miserable train wrecks I have ever seen in print."- posted by 'AARONHARNLY' on BoingBoing, August 3rd of this year

Boy, he's got that one right. Even in a world that includes 'Family Circus', 'Cathy', 'For Better or for Worse' and 'Mallard Fillmore', this is in fact a comic that I darkly suspected was written by a particularly slow junior-high school student.
The main character is another one of those straw men who -nonetheless- you will actually meet in your actual life: the teacher who makes no real secret of their intense hatred of children. In the insanely lame set-ups for the so-old-that-dirt-makes-fun-of-them punchlines, one is helpfully directed to the keyword by having it in boldface. Then the punchline is delivered, which causes the stupid, easily angered and highly unlovable main character to give you one of those defeated, disgusted "augggh i just can't take it anymore" sidewise looks to You, The Viewer, since you so clearly agree with his misanthropic bullshit. If only he could live in the same world as you.

So, Googling the damn thing doesn't work, and it seems to have no website to call home, although one may reach the author at I'd like to thank The Oregonian, as always, for its poorly designed and abysmally maintained website, which seems to have no comic strips on it, anywhere.
Going to Yahoo and searching for 'appletoons', by the way, still gets you no actual strips. It does, however, get you the following exchange:

"Jim Adams: I am an Oregonian unfortunate enough to be exposed to your strip in the paper everyday. I would strongly suggest you quit both of your jobs immediately. Teaching because you seem to hate it and your students so much, and cartooning becasue YOURS IS THE WORST STRIP I HAVE EVER ENDURED."

The reply to this is;

"How does a person ENDURE a comic strip? If you don’t care for the strip, don’t read it.
There will never be a strip, book, TV show, movie,etc that EVERYONE likes. The most popular comic strips, are often simultaneously the most disliked.
As for your comment about me hating my job; Do you mean like Dilbert hating his job or Dagwood hating his boss? It’s called humor!

Which is kinda what I'd figured he'd say. Especially the 'it's called humor' part, which is pretty much the equivalent of 'get over it', which is what shitheads say when someone has a perfectly valid criticism of something said shithead loves.

So my search for today's little gem is fruitless. Sigh. I must give you a transcription of it, then, Fiorello LaGuardia style.

First panel: Mr. Adams is leaning out his front door, placing and American flag in its holder. For some reasons, a short, fat kid in a backwards baseball cap feels the need to approach him and ask, "Why are you puttin' up a flag? It's not the Fourth of July."
As any reader of Jack Chick will tell you, ye shall know them by their headgear. The Bad among us favor The Backward Cap. Also, that flat statement/straw man ended with an abrupt period rather than the gentle ellipsis signals the arrival -very soon- of a painfully unfunny joke.

Second panel: Mr. Adams (who more than kinda resembles Jon from 'Garfield', another painfully unfunny comic captained by someone named Jim) is literally wagging his finger, while saying, "Don't you know today is September Eleventh?"
Hm. Well, the kid did note that it's not the Fourth of July. That still doesn't explain his penchant for turning up on strangers' doorsteps, questioning their decorating choices. Moreover, this kid isn't even a regular character in the strip.

Third panel: Closeup on said insolent kid's zitty, fat, heavy-lidded, backward-baseball-cap-wearing, stupid face, and he asks, "Yeah, but what's the reason for puttin' up the flag?"
There's that boldface I warned you about. Also, ye shall also know them by their droppin' of the 'g'.

Fourth panel: Now Mr. Adams has his index finger pointed Heaven-ward, and his brows are pointed downward, in barely controlled righteous fury. "On September Eleventh, there are 2,975 reasons!"

Well, I do remember that day seven years ago, when the estimate was just climbing higher and higher. True patriots like Jim Adams have the goods, though. There were not 'around 3000', but 2,975, and each and every one of them may now be exploited for any spurious political reason in the world.
Even in the service of a shitty joke.



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