Twenty Twelve has not been the greatest year for me. I supposed I could have written it as 2012, but it looks better when it’s like that. It looks more like the enemy, which right now I kind of consider it. Amongst the bigger setbacks that I’ll eventually talk about one day (including the one that was the REAL secret origin of this blog) there have been a few, smaller incidents that really get under my craw. Despite the fact that I’ve really no idea what a “craw” is and this is just an expression I’m going to steal. And I’ve decided that I can let Twenty Twelve defeat me like it’s some kind of Michael Bay-eqsue explosion monster, or I can buck up and do something about it. So today, I’m going to use my blog as a forum to talk about one of the smaller things, and see what I can do about it: The cancellation of one of my favorite comic strips.
Remember, I said, “Smaller.” When things aren’t going well you look to the little things to make you laugh. When things aren’t going well, you look to the little things to make you laugh, and then you find out said little thing is going away, well... it really takes the wind out of your sails. It’s comforting. Then, the Twenty Twelve Michael Bay-esque Explosion Monster takes that away that last sliver of comfort. It’s not good.
It’s no secret that I quite enjoy comic books. If it is, then go back and read this closer. I not only enjoy comic books, but one of those things that really gets me started in the day are the morning comics. You know, the cheesy ones like Garfield, or the zombie ones that won’t go away despite the fact that the original creator and then the creator’s successor both died centuries ago and for some reason they still need to keep publishing them and take up space for new comics. I don’t really read zombie comics, I tend to stick to things like Garfield, Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, or one comic that consistently made me laugh, Cow and Boy. Unfortunately, Cow and Boy is being cancelled.
Cow and Boy is a comic that is about... well, a boy named Billy and his best friend, a Cow. Her name is Cow. It has been compared to Calvin and Hobbes in the way Billy and Cow interact, often talking about deep social issues (In fact, one of the funnier jokes involved one of the characters commenting that they liked the comic more when Cow was a tiger.) Then it will take a huge left turn and someone will get smacked down with a cat-copter, or Johnny Depp will get blackmailed into writing a check, or they’ll get attacked by gnomes. Yeah. It’s that kind of strip. The kind of clever strip that comes along every once in a while, the art and the theme make it look inviting... the kind of inviting that draws in those regular readers of the zombie strips, or the long-term strips. Then it hits you with a man dressed as a bear wrestling Billy’s stunt double. That’s the kind of strip that scares people with it’s mad-cap madcapness. People are scared by things that are this brilliant, insane, and clever.
Now, Bad Shakespeare is no shill. That’s not by some moral choice. No, if someone wants to pay me to endorse something, I’m all for it. And I have no affiliation with Mark Leiknes, the writer and creator of Cow and Boy, and to the best of my knowledge the original writer and creator and not the third in line recycling jokes from the 1960’s. (Garfield sure does hate his Mondays.) I’ve never contacted Mr. Leiknes, either to let him know how much his strip did brighten up my day, or that I’m saddened his comic is ending on the original site, but I’m happy to hear he’s working to try to keep it going in some form. (He has a donation page at www.cowandboy.com. I’m a poor graduate student, so I’ve not had a chance to contribute, but check it out, because everything on the site is funny.)
So what’s the point of all this? Basically what I’ve already talked about, just to draw attention to a writer in need. I’m hoping in a few decades (oh the cars they’ll fly) when I’m a struggling writer, I’m someone’s favorite thing enough for them to write their futuristic space blog that will be beamed into the minds of their readers instantly about how much they love my work. Karma, people, karma. In the meantime, www.gocomics.com which hosts Cow and Boy (and I guess needs to cancel it so it can have more digital space for Peanuts reruns) still has it up until the end of the year. Make sure you check it out.
I’m going back to battling the Twenty Twelve Michael Bay-esque Explosion Monster for a little bit. But here's a little sampling of why this comic is so freaking brilliant.