Guys, “Something Something Life” is taking a break this week to recuperate after an especially challenging beard-growing competition last week. We’ll be back next week with all new comics and all new beards!
Welcome back, folks, and allow me to present the recently unearthed Richie Comix #3! In this issue, Richie continues his restaurant hijinx, and then goes to school where he discovers a loophole in the testing procedure. Join me as I decipher my youthful chicken scratch for your amusement/derision.
[Richie has one hand on his escargot, and he looks shifty.]
[Richie still looks shifty, but in the other direction now.]
[Richie's hand is under the table now, and the escargot is gone.]
Richie (thinking): I wonder if this snail will stick to the table.
Richie (still thinking): Yup
Punchline explained: Escargot is still gross, I guess?
Behind the scenes! I actually think this one is kind of funny. But I have no memory of what those two erased thought balloons said. They are lost to history!
Richie: NEXT COURSE PLEASE!
Richie: Mmm, meatball soup!
[Richie plops his face into his soup bowl.]
[Richie now has a bowl stuck to his face.]
Richie: Mmm, good!
Punchline explained: Richie loves meatballs.
Behind the scenes! I do remember what’s happening in the poorly erased sections of panel 3 in this one. Originally, Richie said “Ooh, a meatball!” And then panel 4 showed him with the bowl on his face. I worried the readers wouldn’t understand what happened between the two panels, and would maybe just think something was really wrong with his face in the last panel.
[Richie still has a bowl on his face. I guess readers jumping in with this strip were on their own to figure this out?]
[Richie smashes his face against the table, breaking the bowl.]
[The bowl is smashed to pieces on the table.]
Richie (dripping with soup): Waiter, was this bowl important?
Punchline explained: It actually probably was important. Richie’s parents will have an extra charge on their dinner bill tonight.
Behind the scenes! I totally didn’t feel like drawing the back of Richie’s head in the bowl again (maybe because the first time it ended up looking like his neck was two-dimensional, and he just folded his head down?), so instead I cheated and just drew the top of his head, which is almond-shaped for some reason. But, really, there’s no reason why the bowl should be breaking at the moment depicted here.
Waiter: Are you ready for dessert?
Richie: Why, yes, I believe I’ll have the ice cream sundae.
[Richie's is examining his ice cream sundae.]
Richie: Hmm…any snails in here?
Punchline explained: Richie mistrusts all food put in front of him now.
Behind the scenes! There actually were snails in there. You can’t see them, but they’re there.
[Richie is looking at a math textbook, presumably attempting to solve the following complicated equation: 5×(8+3)÷2-9×(π²)÷180=?
[Richie is thinking very hard about the math problem.]
[Richie, still thinking, glances at his math book.]
Richie: Hmm. Oh, why didn’t I see that before.
[Richie has filled in the answer.]
Richie: Geez, you’d think my teacher would assign some hard work.
Punchline explained: Who is he talking to?!
Behind the scenes! Much like the escargot in Issue #2, I didn’t really understand what I was drawing here. I clearly knew some math symbols, but I didn’t really know what made a believable math problem. What is the lesson here? Is he learning about order of operations? Irrational numbers? Exponents? Whatever the intended lesson, the value of this particular assignment seems dubious.
Below we have some more sketches, including whistling enthusiast Uncle Tom, a sweaty guy, and a worm with big eyes crawling under a 10,000-pound weight. I kind of love the cranky turtle hobo, with his silly hat and his head that is way too big for his body. I should have drawn a strip all about him!
Here it is: the recently unearthed, ultra-rare “Richie Comix #2.” In this edition, young me clearly doesn’t understand how to place speech Bublés in the correct order. Fortunately, my handwriting is also impossible to read. Here are the transcripts.
[Richie is playing video games. He has bags under his eyes, and appears to have stubble?]
Richie’s mom’s legs: Richie, hurry up we’re going to be late!
[Richie is still playing video games.]
Richie’s mom (off panel): Richie, we’re late!
Richie: Then why do we need to hurry?
Punchline explained: Richie is inconsiderate and loves video games.
[Richie is dressed up in a nice shirt and bow tie, and his hair is brushed.]
Richie: Mom, why do I have to brush my hair like this?
Richie’s mom’s (off-panel): Because this is an exclusive restaurant.
Richie: Sure, exclusive what?
Richie: I look like a “Flintstone”!
Punchline explained: The characters on the television show “The Flintstones” are well-known for their stodgily formal hairstyles.
Richie’s mom (off-panel): Look, we’re leaving in 10 seconds. Get ready.
Bathroom door: SLAM!
Richie: O.K. I’m ready.
Richie’s mom (off-panel): AAGHHH! You look like a “Jetson.”
Punchline explained: “The Jetsons” is another popular cartoon program, produced by the same company as “The Flintstones” (see previous strip).
Richie (reading menu): Mom, what’s escargot?
Richie’s mom: Nothing.
Richie: Sounds good.
Snooty French waiter/undertaker: Are you ready to order?
Richie: Yeah, um, I’ll have the escargot.
Richie: Mom, there’s a snail on my plate.
Punchline explained: Some people eat snails.
Richie’s dad: Richard! Stop playing with your food.
Richie: This isn’t food, Dad, it’s snails.
Richie’s dad: Escargot is snails.
Punchline explained: Exotic food is gross, and Richie should have realized this.
True fact: I didn’t know what escargot was when I first wrote this, but I had a vague idea that it was a gross/fancy food. The original punchline of the fourth strip was, I believe, “I think someone threw up on my plate,” and the illustration of the food was just an amorphous blob. My brother had to tell me what escargot actually was, which is good because this totally wouldn’t have made sense otherwise.
More sketches below, including an angry clown, a sly baby, Richie’s dad (who never actually appears in the strip, despite what earlier posts may suggest), and what I think is Moe from Calvin & Hobbes, crying his bullying little eyes out.
Well, you asked for it, so here it is: the Ultra-Rare Richie Comix #1 from, I’m gonna say…1995?
This first page is clearly just me practicing different types of faces, as you can see from the sketch page below, where I checked off the faces I’d used so far. Most of these faces I straight up ripped off from Calvin and Hobbes. If only I had also been able to rip off Watterson’s sense of humor, too. Since the text is impossible to read, even on the original page (and since the “jokes” may require some explaining), I’ll transcribe the comics here:
The first comic shows Richie putting some nondescript food in his mouth and chewing it for a time before smoke starts comically shooting out his ears. In the last panel, he spits out the food and says, “(cough) Hmm…it’s, uh, hot.” The joke is: understatement.
The second comic begins with Richie engaged in a large and presumably loud yawn. Someone off-panel clearly disapproves, and Richie laughs uncomfortably under this person’s (his dad?) stare: “Heh, heh. (Whoops)”. He then yawns quietly, while looking off-panel, embarrassed. The joke is: yawns are loud sometimes?
The third comic is where things really get cooking. Richie is on his hands and knees, calling out to his dog, Woof, by name. Suddenly, judgmental passersby appear and Richie remarks that this is not what it seems. Judging by his embarrassed statement in the last panel (“If anyone needs me, I’ll be near the bottom of the ocean.”) these strangers did not believe him. The joke is: people acting like dogs.
The last strip on this page is a little confusing, due to the constraints of working in the print medium, which resulted in formulaic homogeneity on the comics page. But I digress. In this comic, Richie is casually walking down the street whistling (as you do), when a demon dog shows up and attacks him. Once the beast has finally let up, a dazed and injured Richie says “Ooh, I hate dogs,” not realizing that several other vicious, apparently English-speaking dogs are nearby. All of them start growling at him, and he feebly explains “Uh, I didn’t mean that.” We are left to wonder about his terrible fate, at least until the next issue!
I’d also like to point out that the third joke makes no sense if you don’t know that Richie’s dog is named “Woof.” Presumably, this strip would have appeared late in the series’s run, after all the major characters had been established.
I think my favorite face from the sketches below is the one of Richie wearing giant glasses. I can’t imagine what I was thinking when I drew that, and I don’t think I ever used it, but it makes me laugh every time I look at it. It’s also one of the few that isn’t a direct rip-off.
Hey, guys. I haven’t had any time to work on comics lately, which makes me sad, but it’s because so many good things are happening elsewhere in my life. I’m making a big move soon, which has required lots of extra hours at work. Anyway, I’m hoping to start regular comic updates again in mid-March, but in the meantime I’m sharing some old (and really old) comics I did before starting “Something Something Life.” This is a silly little thing I did back in 2005 when I was working a terrible boring job where people said stuff like “we need to grow our business” or (even worse) “we need to grow down our budget shortfall” approximately a million times a day. I did this in MS Paint, read some webcomics, and then I went home for the day. I guess it wasn’t the worst job ever, but I was probably the worst at it.
Sorry, guys. My life has been a little crazy the last few weeks. There’s a lot going on at work, and I’m planning a move to a new city, so the comics will be a little slower coming than usual. I’ll get this week’s comic up soon, and I hope to be back on track by the end of the month. Thanks for sticking with me through this lame-ness.
Hey, guys. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons there probably won’t be a comic this week. I’m working on one, but my evenings are mostly tied up this week with important things, so I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it. I’ll try to get something done by Friday, but no promises. Sorry about that.
Hey, guys and gals. This week’s comic is probably going to be a little late again. I’m having a lot of fun with it, but I just haven’t had the time to devote to it this week. I’m hoping my new “Get Sh** Done” playlist will help, but it still might not be ready until Thursday.
Hey, guys and gals. This week’s comic is going to be a little late (hopefully it will go up sometime on Thursday) due to craziness at work and such. I also had a small homebrew crisis that needed attending to. Anyway, it’s probably for the best, since I promised to buy myself a copy of Portal 2 if I posted three comics in a row on-time. I figure with Christmas coming, I probably shouldn’t be buying gifts for myself (hint, hint). Anyway, you guys are gonna like this week’s comic. It’s silly and involves milk, which is a well I didn’t think I would be returning to so soon. Apparently I have a bit of an obsession.
A friend of mine works for this really cool photography magazine called Conveyor, and they have a regular section on their blog called “Words and Pictures,” where they pair up photographers and writers to produce a collaborative piece. Anyway, I contributed some writing to it, and the first half went up yesterday. It was a fun experience, and it’s not really like anything I’ve done before. I invite you to take a look, and check out the rest of the blog, too. It’s pretty excellent.