When you’ve done a daily comic strip for enough years–I’m approaching my 16th year with Sally Forth–it’s only natural that you find yourself doing what are known as “running gags,” themes you can revisit on an annual basis both for a sense of continuity and the fact that it means one less new concept you have to come up with each year.
Some running gags in Sally Forth–okay, one–I adopted when I took over the strip, namely “Sally Forth eats the ears off of Hilary’s Chocolate Easter Bunny,” which was originally designed as a harmless family-fun style prank and is now a running gag about a running gag. Some running gags are relatively new, like closing out each summer with a performance from the New Delhi Monkey Gang. And some I’ve been doing for the past few years, including “Ted Forth achieves new levels of OCD when searching for the perfect Christmas tree,” “Ted Forth must not only defeat but destroy his family in Monopoly,” “Ted Forth tells a rambling, psychotic story about his childhood during a summer nature walk,” “Ted Forth gets into a long, ultimately humiliating battle of wits with a costumed third-grader on Halloween” and “Ted Forth must assassinate another counterpart in his role as a member of the Gilded Hand” (not that I’ve been able to get any of that last one into print…except for when I did).
And, of course, every fall means another chapter in the archetypical “Man Vs. Nature” conflict that is Ted Forth versus foliage. So I thought I would use the occasion of today’s Sunday strip to look back on how something as simple as leaves gently settling on the earth confirms that old grade-school adage, “Sometimes it takes a madman to prove that he is in fact clinically insane.”
And although this last strip from 2008 doesn’t involve Ted’s war on autumn, it does seem to feature a lot of falling leaves. Plus, it did ultimately help set up another curious running gag–the Forths don’t have a friend in the world.
Freekibble is a wonderful organization that provides food to cats and dogs in shelters, rescue centers, and food banks, providing over 8,000,000 meals to pets while they await to be adopted. And now they are giving away five signed free copies of I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats, making this your perfect chance to see an otherwise pristine cover page be marred by my 162-letter scrawl.
Just email them at Giveaway@freekibble.com with the words “Book Giveaway” and you’re entered into the contest! Good luck!
For all 20 updated children’s book classics just visit Smosh.com.
Now, the thing with The New York Times Best Sellers List is their peculiar take on time flow. If you look at their “Book Review” section today, I Could Pee on This is at #10. But the same weekend they print the September 23rd list in the papers they also post the Sepetember 30th list online, hence letting you experience the present and future concurrently. Or to put it another way, if we were talking about a sports almanac and I were Biff Tannen, Hill Valley would be a very different place come 2015. (By which I don’t mean a chaotic dystopia but rather one featuring more Legolands.)
Thank you very, very much for all support and encouragement!