The Devil on Your Cat's Shoulder
The old television and movie trope imagines a devil and an angel appearing on the opposing shoulders of a character who has a difficult moral decision to make.Cats, though, operate in a different cosmology than humans and lack the same ethical enforcers. No one is telling your cat to not eat any interesting food that he encounters. The devils are just competing for who can come up with the most vicious option available. Had there been a fourth devil in this episode of Ellen Woodbury’s Pizza Cake Comics, he might have suggested puking on the bed shortly before the humans went to bed.#webcomic #PizzaCakeComics #EllenWoodbury
Who Is Your Favorite Child?
For last Fathers’ Day, one of my daughters bought me a t-shirt that says, “My Favorite Daughter Gave Me This Shirt.” I like to wear it on outings with the other daughter. When people ask if she gave me the shirt, I sternly answer, “No, the other one did.”I don’t have a favorite child. I love them both equally. But, unlike the father in this comic by Mr. Lovenstein, my daughters are tied for the #1 slot. But they’re not competing against the Children of the Corn. Also, my kids, unlike my dog, doesn’t poop on the carpet.#webcomic #MrLovenstein #parenting #JLWestover
A Sad Day in Toyland
Juvenile theodicy gets dark really, really quickly. That’s because kids don’t feel constrained by the mental walls that we adults gradually grow around our minds. Wherever there is darkness or light, children will enter unafraid.The child’s eulogy has terrifying implications. Jennika’s ultimate destiny is not truly knowable, but we can speculate in horror. She is in a better place, which is likely unending darkness. That means that the present life is worse than eternal nothingness. Does this mean that we are now in a hell dimension? Let’s plumb the depths of truth with Ellen Woodbury’s Pizza Cake Comics.#webcomic #pizzacakecomics #EllenWoodBury #funerals #toys
Where Do Babies Come From?
How should we respond when our children ask us where babies come from? It’s an awkward question and it’s often popped upon us parents when we aren’t prepared (children are not known for their convenient timing). We can choose to respond by providing an answer that is truthful, age-appropriate, and encourages a healthy view of reproduction, or we can give them a psychological complex which will allow therapists in the future to earn their mortgage payments.The mom in J.L. Westover’s Mr. Lovenstein chose an answer that fully embraces the uncertain truth: we just don’t know and wish that we could make it stop.#webcomic #MrLovenstein #JLWestover
Win, Lose, Draw, or Reveal Unsettling Inner Thoughts
The hard part of Win, Lose, or Draw or similar party games is that they require artistic skill to do effectively. An exception would be a Rorschach inkblot. That would be easy enough to draw. But you may not like the results of your teammates’ explorations of their psyches, including their darkest thoughts.Now before any of you email me to complain about the third panel of this Jenkins Comic, let me say that I would argue that the character’s drawing is not pornographic. That’s tasteful artistic nudity and you should see a psychiatrist to get over your prudery.#webcomic #JenkinsComic #Hobson
Portrait of the Artist as an Awkward Young Man
Now, well into middle age, when I play Dungeons & Dragons with teenage boys, I avoid criticizing them for their cringeworthy characters because mine were much, much worse at that age.No man should be held accountable for his creative content when he was a teenager, and that includes Zach Cranor of Last Place Comics. Back in his confused, pre-internet youth, Slipknot was cool. Bloodvein understood and Zach’s girlfriend, Crimson Twilight, agreed wholeheartedly, largely because she was born with a Slipknot birthmark. Zach played their music, she felt compelled to kiss him with her whole mouth. All real girlfriends act this way.#webcomic #ZachCranor #LastPlaceComics
The old story goes something like this:Two young fish are swimming along when they are passed by an older fish. He says, “Good morning, boys. How’s the water?” And one of the younger fishes asks the other, “What’s water?”The story is most commonly known for David Foster Wallace’s use of it in his 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College. Cartoonist Will Kiley Santino is clearly alluding to it in this comic.I’ve discovered Santino only today and spent far too long choosing exactly which of his comics to feature here at Laughasaurus. Do yourself a favor and browse his entire collection on Instagram—including the ingeniously racy ones.#webcomic #WillKileySantino
Secret Misery inside the Bluebird of Happiness
Everyone you meet is fighting an ugly, private battle. A lot of people may look like a bluebird of happiness from the outside. But you don’t know what’s happening inside, as Pizza Cake explains.Bluebird is keeping up a good face. She has to because his soon to be ex-husband is making a big custody fight for the kids and her boss is resisting giving her time off or adjusting her schedule so that she can wage the costly but necessary legal battle. Just like you, she’s running on empty.The only upside is that Bluebird, unlike you, can fly when she needs to let go of some stress.#webcomic #PizzaCakeComics #stress
Keeping up with Dog Mealtime Schedules
For hobbits, the schedule is typically breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and finally supper. Dogs, according to Jimmy Craig’s They Can Talk, also dine at second dinner, which is between dinner and supper. The dog in this webcomic--who will bring up the topic later--also desires tiffin, brunch, lupper, high tea, siu yeh, and the midnight snack.The dog who engages in vigorous athletic activities, such as guarding the den from the mailman, may require additional calories and engage in snacking as needed to keep up his strength.#dog #webcomic #TheyCanTalk #JimmyCraig
Date Night Plans
My parents’ generation called it going down to the river to “watch the submarine races.” Just calling a place Makeout Point was a little too on the mark for more reserved, discreet times.Perhaps, though, before proceeding to more physical intimacy, it’s best to have a serious conversation about where the relationship is going, as the woman in Zach Cranor's Last Place Comics proposes.It’s a mood killer, but it sets the stage for more amorous adventures on the ride back into town. Or a lot of awkward silence, followed by crying in the shower alone that night.Am I oversharing again? Sorry.#webcomic #LastPlaceComics #ZachCranor #romance
Making Friends as an Adult
Making friends as an adult is very hard. It’s not just the paucity of opportunities. There are also layers of anxieties to cut through because the conceptual definition of “friend” changes from childhood. There are always the haunting questions of “How do I not make this awkward or weird?” and “Why does this person want to be with me?”We adults must (or at least are) aware that both parties are constantly asking this question while socializing. Aside from finding fun activities to do together, we have to be aware of what potential boundaries and ulterior motives are present.James P. Sandoval of Just a Jape advises suspicion.#webcomic #JustAJape #JamesPSandoval #friendship
Showdown in March
Spring forward . . . or die.
Organize Your Mind Palace
One of the great things about reading the works of webcomic artist Zach Cranor is that the reader has no idea where the story is leading when s/he begins. “Don’t Go into Light”, a masterpiece of the wecomic genre, is the optimal example.
Lethal Social Anxiety
It’s an emergency, so it’s time for extreme measures. But the definition of extreme measures has changed since the invention of text messaging. Now it’s not always necessary to actually speak to another human being. Doing so in person, face to face, is, of course, an inconceivably difficult challenge. We can forget about that. But speaking so another person on the phone seems just hypothetically possible enough that one might consider it to save a life.It's one of those Trolley Problem issues. Is saving the life of that person really worth the horrible cost of talking to another person? There’s too much to contemplate in too short a period of time.#webcomic #MrLovenstein #socialanxiety #JLWestover
How Dogs Identify Wildlife
Your dog is familiar with the local wildlife and has, in fact, made a comprehensive study of it. She can identify all of the fauna, which happen to be varieties of the common Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). This field guide by cartoonist Megan McKay of Doodle for Food details the various subspecies of the squirrel.I have seen all of these in my area, from time to time, aside from the Danger Squirrel. The most hazardous is the Dramatic Squirrel, which I would prefer to describe as the “Danger Squirrel”. They can grow to surprisingly huge size, have sharp teeth, and not the slightest bit of fear about my charging Pit Bull.#MeganMcKay #DoodleForFood #webcomic #dogs
How to Plug in a USB on the First Try
Today, I plugged a mouse USB dongle into the back of a computer. As usual, it took three tries to find the right direction. That’s the norm.But it shouldn’t be. Logically speaking, a USB plug has only two sides, so it should take no more than two tries to get the right direction. The Pervis webcomic understands what’s really going on here. The USB socket itself is reluctant to cooperate. A persuasion tool of your preferred caliber may provide suitable encouragement. Try it and you’ll need only one attempt to get the plug in straight. The socket will prove understanding.#USB #webcomic #Pervis
The History of the Statue of Liberty Not by Damn Dirty Apes
In the most famous scene in the moviePlanet of the Apes, the astronaut Taylor, played by Charlton Heston, encounters the ruins of the Statue of Liberty in the year 3978. It is then that he realizes that he is not on an alien world, but the future Earth—one in which, appropriate for this Cold War-era film, humanity has destroyed by nuclear war.This requires a long view of history—one with a geological scope. In this long view illustrated by John Atkinson’s Wrong Hands cartoon, the actual construction and maintenance of the Statue of Liberty is but a tiny sliver of time.#webcomic #StatueOfLiberty #PlanetOfTheApes #WrongHands #JohnAtkinson
Appearances Do Count for a Lot
The great thing about being ugly (or so I’ve been told) is weaponizing your looks. We don’t get to be gorgons and thus fully capable of turning heads away from us. If our personalities aren’t enough to encourage social distancing, just looking at us can finish the task.
Be a Responsible Adult This Christmas
Much of adulthood consists of pretending to be a grown up. Eventually, we realize that the adults that we knew growing up actually, like us now, had no idea what they were doing. And, like us, they wanted to play, too.
Pro Tip: Be a Placebo Co-Worker
Here’s what you do: hold a clipboard and a pencil in your hands and walk around with a brisk pace. Move like “a man with a purpose” as one co-worker once described it to me. With a bit of hustle, you can look like you’re working hard. Sometimes the effort necessary to create this impression is more than actually staying busy doing productive work, but I don’t make the rules around here. J.L. Westover of Mr. Lovenstein understands that sometimes, the best that an employee can do is as little damage as possible. Looking busy as opposed to being busy can reach that goal.#webcomic #MrLovenstein
The Waiter Explains How This Goes Down
Like the bank robber says to the crying man next to him on the gallows, “First time?”How does a restaurant work? Sometimes even basic things need detailed procedural explanations. As a librarian, I frequently have to explain the difference between libraries and bookstores to students who have apparently conflated the two institutions due to a lack of experience at either.Chris Hallbeck of Maximumble asks his readers “What’s something that you experienced for the first time much later than most?” Well, I’ve still never been to a musical concert, which has always struck me as too much time, money, and hassle spent to be worth the experience.#webcomic #ChrisHallbeck #Maximumble #restaurants
Cro Magnon Man Is Not Up to the Work of the Paleo Diet
The paleo diet trend, if I understand it correctly, assumes that humanity has evolved to eat a certain way. For the vast majority of human history, our species has consisted of hunter-gatherers. It is for only a tiny portion of human history that we have had access to processed foods that may taste good, but are contrary to our evolutionary biology. So our diets should have a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean game meat, fish, and oils from nuts and seeds.Simple, right? Well, the recipes are a lot more complex than that. In fact, they’re so complex that, as Dan Piraro jokes, there’s no way that early hominids could have managed them.#webcomic #PaleoDiet #DanPiraro
The Hunter Respects His Prey
Cartoonist Ryan Rds reminds us of a true hunter’s values: the hunter does not kill for sport or pleasure. He does not seek trophies or fame. His goal is to feed and clothe his family. The hunter takes down his prey quickly, inflicting as little pain as possible to make the kill. Then makes use of the entire carcass. To hunt is an honor and a responsibility. Therefore, having slain the pizza, you are obligated to eat every bit of it, even the crust.You can pick off the mushrooms, though. I mean, those are just gross. Who wants to eat fungus?#webcomic #RyanRds #hunting #pizza
It's Monday, So It's Time to Catch up with Our Coworkers
Making small talk is a useful social skill that can be learned and improved over time. One of my coworkers has an easy conversation starter that he frequently uses: “So, got any big plans for the weekend?” It’s a good line because it gives people the opportunity to talk about what they look forward to. This is a better approach than the blue man in the Mr. Lovenstein comic. Asking afterward forces people to think about how disappointing their weekend was in contrast to their original plans for it. It’s a lot easier to say, “I’m going kayaking and then to a pottery class this weekend” as opposed to “I stayed home, watched anime and cried all weekend.”#MrLovenstein #webcomic
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