cartoon playground

February 6th, 2007 | Uncategorized

Funny Times has created a site where you can make your own cartoons. I guess I can retire now. Actually, though, it’s pretty cool.

64 Responses to “cartoon playground”

  1. Doctor E says:

    New York Comic Con has announced their schedule. As far as I can tell, Alison is participating in two panels Friday evening and one on Saturday. I’ll paste in the schedule below, assuming the formatting works out.

    Again, though, I want to warn everyone: This convention is a MAJOR EVENT in the world of comic book geekery, and it’s going to be CROWDED. Saturday tickets are already sold out, and I’ll be surprised if there are any tickets left at all by the day of the convention.

    I’ll be attending, at the very least, Alison’s spotlight panel, and I’ll have a writeup posted on my web site before the night is out. I’ll put up a link here, if that’s all right.

    I’d love to see the Mothers and Daughters panel, but it competes with the Stan Lee spotlight, and I’m sorry, but to a comics geek, seeing Stan Lee is better than seeing the Pope. It’s actually good counter-programming, because Stan and Alison tend to attract different crowds, with only a small number of crossover types like me. My loss.

    Here are the program notes:

    Title: Mothers & Daughters: Female Graphic Novelists and the Family
    Date: Friday, February 23, 2007
    Start Time: 6:30pm
    End Time: 7:30pm
    Description: Graphic novelists Aline Kominsky-Crumb (Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir), Alison Bechdel (Fun Home), Megan Kelso (Squirrel Mother), and Miriam Katin (We Are On Our Own) have set themselves apart with their honest and unflinching portrayals of love, hope, responsibility, and loss between parents and children. Join them as PW Beat’s Heidi MacDonald discusses their common themes and remarkable work
    Aline Kominsky-Crumb Needs More Love: A Graphic Memoir
    Alison Bechdel – Fun Home
    Megan Kelso – Squirrel Mother
    Miriam Katin – We Are On Our Own
    Heidi MacDonald – Managing Editor – PW Comics Week

    Title: Alison Bechdel Spotlight
    Date: Friday, February 23, 2007
    Start Time: 8:00pm
    End Time: 9:00pm
    Description: Fun Home rocketed Alison Bechdel to literary stardom for her honest, carefully rendered portrayal of growing up in an emotionally distant family. But that revolutionary work was not the first or the last word from this talented author. We’ll examine Bechdel’s career from the popular strip Dykes to Watch Out For, to her current success, and what lies ahead.
    Speaker(s): Alison Bechdel – Fun Home

    Title: Pride & Prejudice: Exploring Gay Identity in Graphic Novels
    Date: Saturday, February 24, 2007
    Start Time: 12:00pm
    End Time: 1:00pm
    Description: Graphic novelists are transcending the media stereotypes of gay life to create enduring, heart-felt, and honest portrayals of gay identity. Join Prism Comic’s Patty Jeres as she leads Abby Denson, Alison Bechdel, Ariel Schrag, in a discussion of their explorations in this theme.
    Speaker(s): Patty Jeres
    Abby Denson
    Alison Bechdel – Fun Home
    Ariel Schrag
    Jose Villarrubia

  2. Doctor E says:

    How embarrassing! Alison already had the same info posted on her “Appearances” page.

    Move along…

    Nothing to see here…

  3. Pam I says:

    DIY cartoons, too cool. Here’s my timewaster
    which will only make sense to readers of this blog.

  4. --MC says:

    Alison and Arial Schrag and Abby Denson? Alison and Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Megan Kelso and Miriam Katin??
    Clearly, I am going to have to do a little heaven and earth moving to get there and see these panels.

  5. Jaibe says:

    Great interface, although it stole control of my keyboard so I had to quit my browser to get back & type here after I’d done a balloon.

    Anyway, more of a threat to David Reese than you. Though maybe not…

  6. Maggie Jochild says:

    Pam and Aunt Soozie — hysterical!

  7. Maggie Jochild says:

    Okay, this it the 70’s dyke in me, but dammit —

    I went to the cartoon playground, after seeing what Pam did with it, and began trying to find stuff to work with. After a preliminary inspection, I instead did a survey. Out of 34 characters we could choose from, only 6 were clearly female — 10 were animals/aliens/symbolic characters, and only one of those was clearly female, interestingly, the Democratic Donkey. Even the frickin’ earth was put into a male suit! And of those 34, only three were clearly non-white.

    We did better as torsos (go figure, oh how they love to reduce us to parts), 8 out of 34 torsos being female. But none were clearly torsos of color. (There’s a phrase for you.)

    And as faces? There were 31 faces, 7 of which were female, and the best color representation, 6 — but 4 of those were “bad guys” from outside the U.S. (I included Jesus in that list, by the way.)

    THIS is what I mean when I say the representation of women has not improved since 1970. It’s CARTOONS, and still we can’t make it to 25%.

  8. Ray Broadway says:

    Note, also, that the only human character that is happy is George W. Bush.

  9. Jana C.H. says:

    Go to the Funny Times site here:
    Page down to the third letter to see angry comments about a comic strip we will all recognize. If people like that hate her work, no wonder AB is getting awards.

    Before I located it on the web, Funny Times was my source for DTWOF. This had its drawbacks, since I saw only every other episode. For a while I thought Lois really was turning herself into Louis. Even with Alison’s beautiful continuity shot to smithereens, I loved it. I just had to wait for the books to come out to get the whole story.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Will Cuppy: In America everybody’s conscience is unusually free. If it isn’t, we fix it. We’re funny that way.

  10. Pam I says:

    Maggie, they could have done better but isn’t it reflecting (political) reality? Given that cartoons are usually about big P Politics. Whenever anyone goes on about us all being postfeminist now, I tell them to watch the news and count genders. Spokespeople from wherever – 90% male. ie the ones who get to be Top Dog are hardly ever Top Bitch.

  11. judybusy says:

    Sorry to totally change subjects, but this is just too outrageous to keep to myself. I wish I had time to play with cartoon playground and make a very smart, witty cartoon about this, but will just post the link. It’s about Ted Haggard being cured of homosexuality. The scariest part is at the end, but I won’t ruin it for you….

  12. Squeako says:

    Hi, ‘Lurker’ here… Where do I sign up for this cure for homosexuality I ask! Is it available in the UK on the NHS? While they’re at it, they can cure me of my feminism too… But wait, will I still have enough IQ left to tie my own (slightly less comfortable) shoelaces?!

    In twisted way I kind of love how fucked up they are..let me at them!

  13. The cat herder says:

    Hey if they can cure homosexuality, can they cure me of my heterosexuality? I wish I were into women. We could share our yarn stashes, for one thing.

  14. Lea says:

    this must be about money or something. like, he can keep his share of the new life fortune if he “renounces” publicly and then never preaches again.
    just speculating, of course…

  15. shadocat says:

    Omigod, that is scary, judybusy! These people are so messed up!Just think of all the lives Ted and his wife are going to ruin…

    Speaking of messed up, I’m sorry I messed up and got a bit wiggy a few days ago. Personal events exacerbated my normal craziness to heights of abnormal activty, What more can I say? Mea culpa, mea culpa.

    And speaking of scary, I was all set to go to work when my boss called to tell me to turn on the tv (never good when someone says that, btw). There has been a huge chemical plant explosion in the East Bottoms (not far from home and work), Poisonous fumes are in the air, we are to watch out for “soot fallout”…The good news is, I get to stay home tonight…the bad news is tomorrow morning I may way up covered in boils or grow a third eye or something—but hey, at least I get to do some blogging tonight!

  16. shadocat says:

    Uh oh it’s already started— that was supposed to be “wake up”

  17. Rora says:

    Sometimes you just have to take Milton litterally…

  18. little gator says:

    Forget trivia about sexuality. Chocolate gives me migraines, can they cure me of liking chocolate? If they could do that to everyone maybe they wouldn’t care so much about other peoples’ private business.

  19. Doctor E says:

    Can they cure me of reading message boards when I’m supposed to be working?

  20. The cat pimp says:

    Colino – “Save the cheerleader. Make some soup!”

  21. Ed says:

    I am sorry if somebody has posted this elsewhere, but since this is the most recent entry I’d say it here. 2007 marks 20 years of the regular cast. I recently got out my old Dykes collections. Some are turning brown around the edges, I am afraid the glue will go in another ten years (I bought my first three Dyke books in January of 1992 – there were only three at that point) but oh were they fun. Ever notice how much Jezzana smiled in the beginning?

    As a gay guy just coming out back then, I had all these preconceived notions and awful stereotypes about gay men and lesbians, and coming out dispelled just about all of them. But I’ll never be able to diminish what DTWOF has meant to me, and had on my own understanding of the queer women’s community; it was just as important for me. I even still have the reply that AB sent me to my letter that year with the coolest pre-printed illustration of her at her desk. I was so eager to read her letter that I ripped that envelope open, so it’s still almost in two, but the letter is in perfect shape.

    So I wanted to use this space for me to say happy 20th to Mo (“I’m tired of being celibate Lo! I haven’t had sex in … 8 months!”), Lois (” ‘Celibate?!’ You make it sound like it was a conscious choice!”), Ginger, Clarice, Toni, Sparrow, Harriet and all the others. It was the warmth and humor of the characters that got me interested, and my deep affection that I developed for them that’s kept me hanging on.

    Maybe I’ll go on Funny Times and try my own hand.

  22. Amberooni says:

    *ahem* *testing the mic*
    I have a random confession to make.
    Ya’ll remember back a little while ago when Allison was out in the snow and something started happening with her heart? Well, I, um, I guess I have a bit of what I’ve heard is called the Florence Nightingale syndrome, and I wanted to wrap her up in blankets and take care of her, full-on chicken soup and bandage-changing, er, even though she didn’t have any bandages to be changed, I don’t think.
    Am I alone here?

  23. sillipitti says:

    More randomness here–I heard Eleanor Wachtel’s Arts Tonight interview with Alison last night on CBC 1. Pretty neat! I’d only heard one interview with Alison before, on NPR, and I’d have to agree that was fairly superficial, but was this one truly grueling, Alison? Anyhoo, it was neat to hear your voice and see you get recognized up here in the great white north.

  24. Ellen Orleans says:

    It’s fun, but I don’t think it’s going to put any cartoonist worth her boots outta business…

  25. judybusy says:

    Well done, Ellen! Brought a good chortle. And yes, it *does* explain a lot, doesn’t it?!

  26. Solex says:

    Hey Maggie,

    If you think that women aren’t represented more in computer programs, why don’t you get off your lazy ass, go back to school, learn all about computer programming, form your own software company, and then write a program that features all women in it? Otherwise, either put the frack up,or shut the frack up.

    I’m getting quite tired of whiny idiots who think that every software firm has to be what they want it to be for them (and I’m a Afro-American!) I want to see women be more responsible for their lives instead of being or playing victim. Get off you skinny (or fat) asses, start learning about computer programming and CGI, and maybe then you can get the kind of programs, games and other ‘woymn centered’ products you want.

    But please, no more whinning! or ‘bitching’!

  27. --MC says:

    Whistle! Solex, yellow card. Be civil or go sit next to Zidane. Besides, what Maggie was griping about was not the program itself, but the content. You grasp the distinction?

  28. Amberooni says:

    *putting my fingers on my temples* *concentrating hard as if trying to poop* *willing positive energy into this conversation* *thinking warm, fuzzy thoughts…of Alison…warm blankets…chicken soup…mmmmm*
    there, now isn’t that better? 😀

  29. The Cat Pimp says:

    If y’all like, I can post pictures of cats who need loving homes in the Vermont area. Sooooothing cat pictures…….

  30. Deena in OR says:


    As long as you’re sending warm fuzzy positive energy, I could use some this direction. Safety motel and (unrelated) ER visit for uncontrolled hypertension this week. >>

  31. Amberooni says:

    uh oh, Deena…I hope everything works out! I’ll give an extra little squeeze o’ energy your way.

  32. Deena in OR says:

    Better now. I misinterpreted a broken window as done in anger,(and immediately went to a safe place accordingly) when it was actually an accident. (And for those trained in identifying domestic violence issues, it really *was* an accident. This was obvious to me once I found out all the facts.) The stress from the incident pushed up my blood pressure to unacceptable levels for a time. OK now. Thanks for the good energy.

  33. Ian says:

    Uhm, Solex? I can understand where you’re coming from but I get the impression that you’re new to the comments section? You’re saying it to the wrong person. By all accounts Maggie HAS been there, HAS done that AND got enough (striped) tshirts to stock your local K-Mart.

    As Pam I said the political landscape is still overwhelmingly male 40 years after the start of radical feminism (second wave? It did start in the 60s didn’t it?). And Maggie has played her (continuing) part in trying to change that.

    In Funny Times’ defence, I will say that the biggest focus of satire and comment is Bush and the NeoCons, though rather like AB’s ‘toon on the Clinton impeachment business they seem almost beyond satire. Quite frequently they leave me speechless, wondering what kind of surreal world we’ve fallen into.

  34. Feminista says:

    This is a reminder to all of you western Oregon bloggers that the Oregon DTWOF Fan Club (or whatever we end up calling ourselves) will meet soon. Feel free to dress as your favorite character! (Unless you are a character yourself,or have a good character,or…)

    The Time:12:30 PM for brunch
    The Place: Old Wives’ Tales,8th and East Burnside,Portland
    The Date: Sunday,Feb.25,2007

  35. Jana C.H. says:

    Don’t forget the Southwest Washington bloggers, too– though I am not one.

    Jana C.H.
    Northwest Native

  36. Feminista says:

    Of course,SW Washingtonians are invited as well. But I’ve never seen anyone post here.

  37. Maggie Jochild says:

    Thanks, Ian — to use class-riddled slang, yer a gent. What’s funny is, over the last two decades I HAVE been fond of striped shirts (those wide, horizontal stripes) and every time I put one on, I feel like I’m channeling Mo. Now I realize there must be lots of us out there who make the same association.

    Ah, Feminista. I’ve eaten at Old Wives’ Tales. Dang, wish I could just show up. Are you all going to watch Ellen host the Oscars afterward?

  38. Deena in OR says:

    Ooooh…we should! How to pull that off???


  39. AnnaP says:

    In here where I live we have a rather famous clothing company that`s most famous article are striped shirst (Jackie K. wore them actually). I have been wearing those striped shirts all my life and so has my mother and now my kids.

    I was just hangin up some laundry on clothesline and realised everything I had washed had stripes: babyclothes, T-shirst, long underwear and 4 of my long sleeve shirts.

    Maybe I sh

  40. Aunt Soozie says:

    Nope…you’re not alone. I contemplated actually sending the vegetarian chicken soup and the afghan but I didn’t because Alison was headed for France and I didn’t know where to get dry ice, I’m not a scientist. But, on another note…concentrating hard as if trying to…oh my! Aunt Soozie says, “no bathroom humor at the dinner table”.

    Cat Pimp…you too are naughty…threatening to post kitty pics from other parts of the US.

    Next you’ll be posting international up for adoption kitties and we’ll have to get into that whole discussion…you know…the intercultural adoption deal.

  41. judybusy says:

    And back to my obsession with Ted Haggard: Susie Bright has started a betting pool on how long the heterosexuality will last! Go here to learn more:

  42. Deena in OR says:

    Argh, Judy! I’m home for a change today, and am supposed to be getting things accomplished. Then you post a link to Susie’s website, which I’ve never been to. Oh, well…

  43. Amberooni says:

    Aunt Soozie, I’m sorry for the bathroom humour. It was in poor taste.
    I’m naughty…..think I’ll ask my girlfriend for a spanking.

  44. Aunt Soozie says:

    You really oughta!

  45. Norwegian Black Metal says:

    A humorous aphorism attributed to E.B. White summarizes these distinctions:

    To foreigners, a Yankee is an American.
    To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner.
    To Northerners, a Yankee is a Easterner.
    To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander.
    To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
    And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.

    No reason. I thought it was funny. Too off-color?
    The lesbian bar in my hometown serves hot apple pie as a joke.

    I guess I should have posted that to craigslist or something.

  46. silvio soprani says:

    I don’t understand all the above jokes, but I will add one more connotation:

    To carpenters (at least in Colorado), a “Yankee” is a screwdriver with a swivelling elbow and a big knob on top; it takes two hands to operate(can you picture this?) …sort of the pre-cursor of the electric drill, only mechanical. Why is it called a Yankee? No clue.

  47. Aunt Soozie says:

    Okay…even more off topic…forgive me.

    If anyone lives in or near Philadelphia…
    my niece just called with the following inquiry,

    “Aunt Soozie? Do you know any feminists?”

    “Uhm, why yes indeed I do Dear. Can I help you with something?”

    She went on to say that she is chairing the 15th Annual Women’s Day at Central High Schoolin Philadelphia…(an academic magnet school…which, btw was formerly for boys only)…and she is having a hard time finding women to come speak at the school that day. The event is March 8th starting at 8:30am. It continues throughout the school day. Speakers can come anytime and stay and talk to as many or as few classes as they wish. They are invited to talk about their work, their career, their lives and experiences as women, their involvement in the feminist movement, etc.
    C’mon…think about that question…Aunt Soozie, do you know any feminists?? These young men and women need to hear us. Male feminists are also welcome.
    Any takers?
    Email me ASAP at womensday(at)auntsoozie(dot)com

  48. The Cat Pimp Goes To Paris says:

    Better souvenir than a refrigerator magnet…

    Yes I am BAAAD.

  49. meg says:

    bad bad bad BAD Cat Pimp!


    *My* cat is from Armenia, btw, and is a lovely souvenir….

  50. Amberooni says:

    I’m a Southerner. To Yankees, a Southerner is a redneck.

    I have two cats, and they are named Stinky and Otis.

    I am a feminist, but I don’t live near Philadelphia.


  51. Silvio Soprani says:


    I beg to differ! I’m a (NJ) Yankee, and to me, a Southerner is a person who treats you nice!

    If you have grown up with loveable but sharp tongued New York types all your life, nothing compares to the revelation of going down South (in my case Georgia, and also some Texas, although I know that’s “Southwest”) and being treated so sweetly by complete strangers in convenience stores, gas stations, and grocery stores. It reminds me of the first time I took a plane to Florida. I exited the airport building (it was a small one–I think Ft. Lauderdale, in the 70s) and felt that warm, thick air hit me. It is something really noticeable. People’s attitudes are the same way.

  52. Amberooni says:

    Well thank you, Silvio! That’s awfully nice of you to say. Down here, if you happen to catch someone’s eye, you smile and say hello; it’s just natural. Most of us like to carry on a conversation down here, and will do so with just about anyone not holding a weapon, or even if they are, sometimes. I can yammer on and on forever, if given the chance. And most people here (SC) will offer help to strangers without you having to ask for it.
    I’ve been to New Jersey! My uncle moved up there several years ago. I smiled and said hey to people, and I usually got the hairy eyeball in return. One man started following me; he thought I was flirting with him.

  53. Silvio Soprani says:


    Actually, in a strange way, people in New Jersey are a lot like Southerners, in that they will talk to anyone! I learned this behavior from my mother.. If we were in the supermarket, she would start a conversation among the vegetables with whomever was nearby. There is a certain pleasure taken in talking about nothing. The meaning is in the form, not the content, if you catch my meaning. The intonation sounds different from a Southerner, but the intent is the same,I think. (being friendly.)

    On the other hand, you are right about friendliness being mistaken for flirting between men and women. There is that problem. So I suppose the moral here is “Only talk to women in New Jersey.” (No problem!)

    Speaking of weapons, I was once taken to a gun show in Dallas, TX by a friend and his brother. It was in a big convention center. There were whole families there. there was a lot of gun TRADING going on to. I saw a man with a baby under one elbow and a rifle under the other. (I am not making this up.) My friend’s brother asked me to hold one of his guns (he was on a roll). While I standing there, another man walked up to me and offered to trade guns. The whole thing was surreal. (I don’t like guns.)

    I seem to have digressed. Must be my New Jersey roots!

  54. Amberooni says:

    tempted to make reference to my biceps and make a joke about “guns”….looks at the flab where my biceps would be…

  55. mlk says:

    Cat Pimp, I’m not taking the bait (not knowing French is a help, of course) . . . but will comment that the top middle kitty resembles my mother’s cat, Sylvie. and 3rd down on the right reminds me of my own Lydia . . . although Lydia also has a lovely “M” on her forehead.

    I didn’t see anything offensive in E.B. White’s quote. Maybe my sensibilities are out of kilter? I found the piece more educational than anything else — for instance, I didn’t know that New Englanders consider Vermonters Yankees, or that Vermonters make their own distinction. Seems to me it’s all true, so far as it goes. Not the whole truth, of course, and to be taken with a grain of salt.

    How did Vermonters get stuck with the “yankee” label? Does anyone know?

    Amberooni, the midwest (I live in OH) is also crawling with rednecks. *sigh* at the same time, we’re known for our friendliness. My youngest brother, who’s currently in SC, told me he’d never known people as nice as those he met while living in WI.

  56. Natkat says:

    I’ve always had a penchant for striped shirts. My favorites have always been those that are red and white striped. I didn’t think of the connection until now. I’m happy to hear I’m not alone in this. Now can I really pretend I’m connected to Mo somehow?

    Just took a peek in my closet…….no less than 10 striped shirts in there.

    I’m chuckling about the letter to funny times – a person who has a problem with the word “dildo” but disgorges the word “fucking” in the same breath? Is it me or is that a double standard?

  57. gffh says: