Friday Sillies for Halloween

First you need a jack-o-lantern.  When I was in grad school one of my classmates was an expert carver of anime pumpkins.  I don’t know much about anime but I do admire the skill and artistry of her carving.  My favorite pumpkin though still has to be the Melvil Dewey pumpkin (second from the top) she made for our cataloging class.

Next you need a costume.  How about sexy mustard?

Note that there is naughty language in this clip:

Happy Halloween!!!

Friday Sillies: Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend

I’m a fan of newspaper comics, although these days I seem to enjoy them more for ironic reasons such as the snark at Comics Curmudgeon. My childhood seemed to be a last golden age for comics with the likes of The Far Side, Bloom County, and Calvin and Hobbes (I think even Garfield was funny back then). But starting during my teenage days I also gained appreciation for older comics from long before I was born. Back in the early 20th century newspapers ruled the media world, and comics were given full page treatment full of great artistry, quirkiness, and subversive humor. Granted many of them make little sense today without knowledge of then current events much less the dialects of the times. The major exception is George Herriman’s Krazy Kat whose humor is timeless.

Last year when I visited Milwaukee I was pleased to be there as the Masters of American Comics exhibition was on display at the Milwaukee Art Museum. There I discovered another classic comic, Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend by Winsor McCay. More famous for the children’s comic Little Nemo in Slumberland, McCay’s Rarebit Fiend was a comic for adults with surreal visions and intelligent humor. The punchline was always the same, with the protagonist of the strip waking up and blaming the bad dreams on eating Welsh Rarebit (one of my favorite pub foods). Along the way were visually stunning and hillarious depictions of these wild dreams. The strip is said to have Masonic references as well. The strips are collected in a new book, which would make a great gift (especially if you’re shopping for your favorite blogger).

McCay was also an innovator in animation with Gertie the Dinosaur being one of the earliest animated films.

He also made several films based on the Rarebit Fiend:

Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906)

The Pet (1921)

The Flying House (1921)

Bug Vaudeville (1921)

This Friday Silly is partially inspired by this post on MetaFilter: The Moving Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend.

I’m hungry for some cheese now (even though it’s almost bedtime).

Friday Sillies: Superman is a what?

I don’t read comic books.  Okay I guess I do read graphic novels, but comic books were never my style even when I was a boy.  Maybe I’ll get into them in old age.  Regardless, when I discovered Superdickery a couple of years ago, I laugh uproariously for page after page.  The basic jist of this website is that Superman is often depicted as being manipulative, selfish, and just plain mean.  Several galleries of comic book covers are put forth as evidence.  There are other galleries of comic book covers that have double entendres (intentional or not), propaganda, weird science, gorillas, and ones that are just plain bizarre.

While comics may be for kids, Superdickery most definitely is not, so be warned.

Friday Sillies: Unshelved, the library comic strip

Generally I select things for Friday Sillies that are new funny things I’ve discovered on the internet.  My hope is that I’m actually promoting something new as opposed to something that every online hipster saw years ago and is now old and tired.  Today, I’m promoting Unshelved, the online comic strip that’s set in a library by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes.  This is not new, I’ve been reading it for years, and I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t have my daily fix of Unshelved. I’m prompted to mention Unshelved now because I just received their new book Read Responsibly in the mail.  Yes, the comic is online with archives going back to 2002, but I still bought the book.  It’s that good. While there’s a lot of relevant library humor in the strip, don’t be scared off if you’re not a librarian.  Just as you can read Dilbert without being an engineer or enjoy WKRP in Cincinnati without being a DJ, Unshelved is funny because of the characters that come together – often absurdly – in the public forum of the library.  You can set up an email subscription to have an Unshelved delivered to you daily or you can set up an rss feed, which is what I do.  Or every time you come here you can click on the link to Unshelved in the right-hand column, but I don’t recommend it because you might forget and miss out.  Or you may not be reading this to begin with because I average only 40 hits a day and most of those are Susan and Craig. :)