Missing Links

Trio of truncated Peanuts strips © 1967 Universal Feature Syndicate.

I linked to Garfield Minus Garfield two years ago this month in a post called "Losing It". More recent, along the lines of that phenomenon, is a variation on Peanuts that stops each strip after the first three panels. To quote the intro to its Tumblr feed: "Charles Schulz's Peanuts comics often conceal the existential despair of their world with a closing joke at the characters' expense. With the last panel omitted, despair pervades all."

On top of the normal headaches getting Monday's post up, Blogger started hassling me with even more refusals to save the post as I worked on it than usual — apparently disapproving of my labels, even before I got near the frustrating 200-character limit. (Hey, I'm fond of detail.) So I'm adding a couple of short passages deleted from that post to today's and splitting off some of "today's" content for yet another, devoting both to stuff either left out of other recent posts or intended for prior publication but postponed altogether. Naturally, I've angered the gremlins by even mentioning this, because today there's been an exponential increase in screwy HTML.

Screencap from Up! (1965) © 2011 Ivan Guerrero.

Up! was given the "premake" treatment in January. 

I've alerted you to these astounding creations in the past and will doubtless do so in the future.

Zoic Studios still from Fringe 3.19 © 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The animation for Fringe's recent episode "Lysergic Acid Dyethylamide" was done by Zoic Studios. I may not have liked it, as I said in my episode review, but I did mean to give credit where it's due. No reference to the effort is immediately findable by me on the Zoic website, but there are various posts online that all seem to regurgitate the same info from a Zoic press release — without citing such a source, which is bad form. Later: Ah! The Wired piece does it right and confirms my suspicions.

If you care at all about Fringe, you already know that it airs Fridays on Fox at 9 p.m. As of a couple weeks ago, I'm blogging on it regularly.

Andrew Moore photo for Wired © 2008 the photographer and/or publisher.

Stephen Wright once joked, "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" Voilà.

After I made note of the growing, widespread usage of the term "geek" with pride in Monday's post, I added that, as if to prove my point, I have scads of links bookmarked to revisit or to share on the blog (or both) with that word in the name of the website or the subject itself.  

Jay Walker's so-called Geek-History Library as written up by Steven Levy in a 2008 issue of Wired is one of them. We're not just talking about books here. This article — which includes, in the first paragraph, the line "Is that a Sputnik? (Yes.)" — must be seen to be believed.

Screencap from "Little Thor" © 2011 Marvel Studios.

The preceding link came from from my pal Stefan Blitz's website Forces of Geek, which I can't visit as often as I'd like due to the crap Internet connection but which is a constantly renewing treasure of news, views, and must-link-tos. Marvel's great "Little Thor" riff on the instant-classic Volkswagen ad featuring a tyke playing Darth Vader, done to promote the upcoming Thor film, is definitely one of the latter.

Screencap of Shane Victorino legging out an inside-the-park homer © 2011 The Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies' loss last night means that they're no longer tied for and/or in sole possession of first place in their division for the first time this season. (No, I don't count the fact that they were technically a half-game out of first place until after their opener because Atlanta had won its opener the day before; the way sports standings work, if teams are out of sync in terms of number of games played "half-games" are used to denote the discrepancies.) To elaborate on the wisdom of the great Yogi Berra, however: It ain't over 'til it's over, and it's only just begun. 

I'm finding it hard to be too concerned given that April isn't usually a great month for the Phillies, they still have the third-best record in all of Major League Baseball, Chase Utley's on the disabled list, we have the pitching that we have in those ballyhooed Four Aces, and there are still 140 games out of 162 to go. Yet the inevitable doomsayers in the local media are already harping on every single disappointing aspect of the club to date, of which there are admittedly several. The baseball landscape and indeed this Phillies team itself will look unpredictably different four months from now, after more injuries and slumps and streaks and trades and flukes; all it really makes sense to do before the All-Star break is thrill to the victories and shrug at the defeats with an eye to the future.

Screencap from "Cured Duck" © 1945 Walt Disney Productions.

Yesterday's post title, "Duck Uncovered", reminded me of a post that I stumbled across some time ago on the aptly named Disney Weirdness blog. I urge you to click over there now.

This still from some unknown film is "wrong" in the sense of showing Donald Duck — a cartoon character who's familiar from largely G-rated adventures — in a would-be compromising position, as well as in the related sense that it's trying to make the viewer feel like a voyeur for seeing him that way, but it's also "wrong" in the sense that the gag is undercut when you realize that he's covering up exactly the area of the body that he leaves uncovered when he's dressed.

Artwork from The Little Mermaid VHS © 1989 Walt Disney Productions.

If you're the kind of person who enjoys seeing inappropriate occurrences of what Donald would be covering up if he were obscenely anthropomorphic, then last but not least I direct you to a not-safe-for-work-or-kids list put together by cartoonist extraordinaire Ty Templeton of male members either inadvertently or intentionally suggested in comics- and animation-related artwork, including the one found in the above legendary Little Mermaid home-video packaging illustration.


Teebore said...

all it really makes sense to do before the All-Star break is thrill to the victories and shrug at the defeats with an eye to the future.

While I can't disagree, I still have a bad feeling about my Twins this year...

I direct you to a not-safe-for-work-or-kids list put together by cartoonist extraordinaire Ty Templeton of male members either inadvertently or intentionally suggested in comics- and animation-related artwork

That Castle Grayskull playset was the centerpiece of my playtime for many, many years as a kid and I never noticed the penis before.

I can't decide if that fills me with pride or shame...

Arben said...

@Teebore: I was going to say that this is bad time to be a Twins fan, but if you're a real fan you have no choice in the matter. We've struggled through plenty of pathetic Phillies patches, believe you me. I click around the MLB sites from time to time and just read a dispatch titled "Gardenhire emphasizing baserunning basics" — which really makes the team sound more Keystone Kops than it is, but when you're literally not hitting the ball you can't be metaphorically (or, of course, literally) dropping it either. Good luck!

VW: clesp — A latch used to join the sides of a prominently dimpled chin.

Arben said...

Nice smorgasbord, Blam! I like these all-over posts, although most of the segments could easily stand on their own.

3nuts: This is sad and brilliant.

Up Premake: This is just brilliant. I love this guy's work. His 1950s Avengers trailer makes me despair of ever doing anything so clever.

Zoic Studios: Yeah, I hated the animation in that Fringe ep, too. (I'll get to commenting on the Fringe posts soon, I promise.)

Chuck: We're really behind on this, but I appreciate your insights.

Geek-History Library: O... M... G...

"Little Thor": This would have been awesome just as a straight take on the Volkswagen ad, but the ending makes it worthy of John Boehner's gavel.

Phillies: Well, I'd have loved to be #1 all through April, but I'll take falling behind for a nonce and then coming back to tied for first in the majors and a franchise best-ever for the month. (Sorry, Teebore!)

Donald Duck: Lots of cartoon characters have done that bit, covering themselves up when they're "naked" even though they basically never wear anything. My favorite weirdness, though, is when one of them gets his fur or feathers blown off and gets modest about being seen in his actual skin.

Hidden Schvantzes: This is even better for having come from Templeton, although now you have me clicking through his Bunny strips.

VW: gradrec — After-commencement party.

Teebore said...

@Arben: just read a dispatch titled "Gardenhire emphasizing baserunning basics" — which really makes the team sound more Keystone Kops than it is

Yeah, the common joke 'round these parts this week was that hopefully the Twins spent their days off practicing fielding rundowns, as this season they've made that relatively easy out look as hard to turn as a triple play.

Like it or not, I am indeed in for the long haul. It's just not an easy time to be a MN sports fan in general, with the Wild unable to make the playoffs in a sport where damn near everyone does, the Timberwolves consistently playing like the worst high school basketball team, the Vikings on the verge of hightailing it to LA (or some other place that will build them a stadium) and the Twins, our one reliable source of positive sports the last ten years or so (even if we can't win a danged playoff series...) playing like a bunch scrubs.

I'll stop my whining now...