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News post – Catch-23 No. 1097 Sprung

When I’ve talked to people in lockdown this week, there’s a general sense of hopefulness – not much longer. It could be the change in weather helping people’s moods, with the difficult winter behind us. Whatever the cause, it’s something I wanted to capture in this irreverent dialogue-heavy comic strip.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1096 Conspiracy

We humans love a good conspiracy theory. Why? Because we are storytellers by nature, and having someone or something to blame for the things that have gone wrong in our lives is much more comfortable than sitting with the truth – the world is a big, complex place and sometimes stuff goes wrong.

To paraphrase The X-Files, we want to believe.

When faced with the facts, conspiracy believers don’t fold to the truth, they instead double-down and incorporate this into the conspiracy. Bagel starts to demonstration this in the last panel.

Some light (non-COVID) reading if you’re interested in this stuff.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1095 All just a dream

2020 continues to be a year unlike any before it, and I indulged in a little storytelling wish-fulfilment to see what could make 2020 better.

Waking up, Wizard of Oz-style, to find it was all just a terrible dream seemed like a good place to start a comic strip.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1094 Victorian

Whilst not technically the Victoria era (Jane Austen’s life covered what’s known as the Georgian era), it has that sweet double meaning that cartoonists like myself crave so dearly.

Also, apparently they did NOT boil drinking water, which is why so many people died from cholera, etc.

Victoria, Melbourne in particular, has had a rough August. We went into Stage 4 lockdown to bring our COVID-19 numbers back down – which appears to be working. Then, Thursday saw a wild storm whip through causing property damage, 3 deaths, widespread power outages (our power was off for just less than 24 hours), which in turn led to contamination of the water supply for a hundred suburbs.

Well played, 2020.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1093 Black Hole, Son

Something I’ve heard from a lot of people is that it’s easy to lose track of which day it is without our usual landmarks of leaving the house, gatherings and going to work or school. This idea bonded with an article I saw in the week suggesting that the long-suspected 9th planet, well outside the orbit of dwarf-planet Pluto, might instead be a small black hole.

Hope you enjoy the retro art style, I was going for a Flash Gordon/Spaceman Spiff thing, with a more ‘brush-like’ ink line, bright simple colours and that classic halftone dot screen pattern for the shadows.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1092 Rushin’

This comic strip came from a discussion with my parents (thanks, guys!) where the puns were flying thick and fast. Maybe Russia does have a COVID vaccine. How much stock can you put into the news coming out of a state headed by a quasi-dictatorship that is obsessed with image?

Time will tell.

Also, if you haven’t seen it, watch the Chernobyl miniseries made by HBO. Not only is it superbly-made and riveting TV, but it has a lot to say about how the world still works, not just in modern-day Russia, but it’s applicable to Trump’s America as well.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1091 Papers, please

Second verse, worse than the first.

Due to entitled people thinking they can just go wherever after a positive COVID test, Victoria is now into a Stage 4 lockdown, with permits required for leaving the house. I saw some potential with the permits to enter an absurd vortex of circular restrictions.

Stay home, stay safe, wear a mask and we’ll get through this together (permit pending).

Mat

P.S. Sorry the last comic strip was not posted at the same time as the news post, I did not notice that it was sitting in the drafts folder instead of being published. Fixed now.

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1090 Haunted Cat

A non-COVID strip for a change. OK, ‘times of trial’ could be said to be about the pandemic, but it’s not specific in the comic.

This one came from our old cat (Spikey, ~13 years old) and our new cat (Georgie, ~4 months old) having a conversation. Georgie was chirping and trilling, and appeared to be asking Spikey to play. Spikey, halfway across the room, did not take kindly to this intolerable request and was making some sort of eerie howl/growl hybrid noise. I suggested that he was making this noise due to being haunted by some sort of spirit, and the idea for the comic strip was born.

Victorians, stay safe, wear your mask and if you do test positive, don’t for the love of god go to work or whatever. That’s what ‘quarantine’ means.

Other states, you might be out of the woods or you may just be in the eye of the hurricane. When the numbers are low, people stop getting tested so you don’t necessarily know if this is over for good or just biding its time…

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1089 Therapy dog

The last comic strip was meant to be stand alone, but Danielle suggested pairing it with how Bagel would handle the situation differently. It would have been too crowded to do them both in the same strip, so I get a bit more mileage out of the idea.

Stay safe, wear your mask if you’re out of your house. This, too, shall pass.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1088 Therapy cat

We all talk to our animals about our problems, and even in a house where I’m surrounded by therapy animals, sometimes the problems I’m bringing to them (i.e., everything about 2020) is a little out of their scope of practice.

We have just started on the journey of turning a rescue kitten into a therapy cat, it’s a work in progress and I’m sure her antics will feature in many upcoming comic strips.

Mat