0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1124 Too soon

The passing of Prince Philip is the biggest story this week, and my initial plan was to talk about the real person compared to the character on The Crown. The dialogue of the first draft of the strip was OK, but the thing that stood out was Jaffa saying it was ‘too soon’. ‘Soon’ is an imperfect measure of time, and how soon is too soon varies from person to person, speaker to listener.

Comedy = Tragedy + Time, according to Steve Allen and Carol Burnett, and some people need more or less of the time bit.

Mat

0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1123 Fools

A couple of articles inspired this comic strip. Some Australian scientists put a piece together painting a picture of what Australia would look like in the next hundred years if the expected global temperature increase of 3 degrees comes to pass. Not just doomsaying, it also presents some ways that Australia could take charge of its’ climate impact and possibly alter things for the better.

The other article was the worrying news that Bagel shares in the comic strip. The world’s big carbon sink, the Amazon rainforest, now appears to be producing more greenhouse gas than it’s absorbing. It’s so crazy that it sounds like an April Fools prank, and here we are.

Mat

0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1122 Fried

Some comic strips are constructed – an idea, a bunch of dialogue options, slowly coming together. Others, like this one, arrive more-or-less fully-formed and I just need to jot it down and draw it. I have been writing my characters for over two decades now, so it’s less like coming up with what they would say, and more like just listening to their conversations.

We have jumped on the air fryer bandwagon – we haven’t experimented with it too much just yet, but whipping up perfect potato gems in 15 minutes from frozen is pretty great.

Mat

0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1121 The Boring Company

I saw a headline in the week that users were drifting away from Facebook, citing that the platform had become ‘boring’. This struck me as funny, as Facebook is kind of a social-media mirror that you gaze into and see an AI-powered vision of yourself reflected back. So if you used to like it but now find it boring, we can perhaps read some stuff into that.

The name of the strip ended up being a bit of a tech-industry pun. Elon Musk is famously anti-Facebook, and also started a tunnel drilling company called The Boring Company, but maybe that name better applies to a different tech company?

My stance on Facebook is that it’s a necessary evil for staying in touch with people (family, friends, people that read comic strips) who use Facebook. For me, all social media (and Facebook in particular) is like a never-ending social gathering that you’ve arrived in the middle of, leave before it’s over and everyone is discussing things unrelated by tone or content (this person rants about Dan Andrews, that person is showing photos from their kids’ birthday, this one is sharing a Star Wars meme, that one is musing about assisted dying). And being an introvert, parties are not my idea of a good time (even virtual parties. Watch parties are different).

Mat

0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1120 Putting the ‘fun’ into ‘non-fungible’

When I was in art school, we were told that basically no-one makes a living from producing art – even professional artists pay the bills with a day job. This has continued to be accurate, but may be about to change due to the establishment of the NFT, or non-fungible token.

Registering an artwork (or the first ever tweet, or a Kings of Leon album) as an NFT on the blockchain allows someone, or many someones, to ‘buy’ the artwork without a middleman, all the money goes to that artist.

But what does it mean to ‘own’ an artwork token? Depending on the terms of the token, the buyer may own the rights, or they may stay with the artist. The buyer may get the original copy (digital file, or physical copy if it’s a piece of real-world art), or the artist may keep it.

This upheaval in the way an artist can sell and profit from their art may be the most important thing to happen to the art world since the invention of the art gallery. I didn’t pick the $70 million price tag of the comic strip at random – an NFT of a digital artwork by Beeple just sold at Christie’s for $69 million. Not a framed painting, a token.

We may not have flying cars, but we are definitely living in the future.

Mat

0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1119 Parachutes

What would Curiosity and Perseverance talk about if they got together? Movies, like the rest of us, is my guess.

If you want to have some faith in humanity restored, watch the video of them parachuting a rover onto Mars, that worked for me.

Mat

0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1118 No news: good news?

In a weird turn of events, Facebook is choosing to no longer show any news content from genuine news sites to users in Australia.

This decision comes from the proposed Australian law that would get the tech giants (Facebook, Google, etc.) to pay for the news that gets shared on their platforms.

Whether anyone should have to pay for something that they are linking to is a much bigger question and is at the core of the way the internet currently works.

The immediate effect is that there is no longer ‘real’ news on Facebook (your mileage may vary on what constitutes real news), so the only news left on the platform is not worth the paper it’s printed on.

Mat

0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1117 Lockdown 3: Grand Slam

Life was starting to return to normal, then boom, another lockdown for Victoria. I’ve got to say, this one seemed more avoidable than the others. The drive to keep the Australian Open led to Victoria being Closed.

Only 5 days, no big deal… as long as it’s only 5 days…

An hour after the lockdown was announced on Friday, I had already written the comic strip. I originally tried to work in some more punnage, i.e. Jaffa demanding that Bagel remove the faux cat gut tennis racquet or risk being gutted by a cat, but that seemed a bit too intense a reaction for Jaffa. The claws were kept as the threat, which served the purpose better than the pun.

Mat

0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1116 Medicated

The inspiration for this strip, and the last one, came from our cat, Spikey. Spike has always been a bit of a ‘grumpy old man’ cat, even when he was young. A few months ago, he had his blood pressure checked and it was extremely high. We trialled him on a few meds, and when we found one that worked, it worked incredibly well.

Not only did it drop his blood pressure to cat-normal, it also chilled him right out. More easy-going, less reactive to the dogs and kitten, more affectionate to everyone, including new people (previously he would hiss and run away to hide).

When I thought about using this in the comic strip, my first plan was to have to strip the match the true story and have Jaffa’s irritability and cynicism magically changed by fixing the blood pressure. When I came to write this weeks’ one, I thought it would be more in character for Jaffa to fake the positive effects of the medication to mess with Bagel.

Mat

0

News post – Catch-23 No. 1115 Under Pressure

Brief one this week as I’m on holidays – this short series on blood pressure is based on a true story of our cat’s high blood pressure.

Spoiler alert: the cat is fine, but it’s good fodder for the comic strip.

Oh, and the blood pressure cuff device is called a sphygmomanometer.

Mat