Arctic Circle sometimes riffs on snow-and-ice jokes and sometimes features non-arctic humor. Sometimes it's silly and sometimes it's got some bite. Which is to say, it's a mix of igloo jokes and humor based on the very real threat of global warming. With occasional forays to the coffee bar.
What I like about it is that it's one of a handful of comics that can toss a few barbs at Green topics from the inside, with affectionate humor that actually reflects some knowledge of its target.
Today's strip provides a moment of "well, yeah, when you come to think of it ..." that doesn't contain any ill will, simply a poke at pretension.
Alex Hallatt is probably safe with this one. The humorless types who would be most offended are almost certainly aghast that she has a polar bear and penguins in the same place and probably refuse to read the strip for that reason.
And while I'm on the topic of women cartoonists who are on our side but laugh at us anyway ...
Hilary Price has excellent timing, since yesterday I saw a post on Facebook in which somebody was bemoaning the perfidy of potential partners and I thought, man, I am so glad I'm past that stage.
As a college student, I invented speed dating, but I didn't have it refined to two or three minutes or whatever the new standard is. I did analog speed dating -- true love every four to six weeks.
Okay, I realize I didn't invent that, either. It was invented by Dobie Gillis.
Or, perhaps, Henry Fielding ...
But my second bachelorhood, in my mid-30s, involved a lot less randomness and, for that reason, a lot fewer "it's not you, it's me" conversations. I don't know if love is lovelier the second time around, but it's a helluva lot more efficient.
And now I'm even past that age, and that's okay, too.
Some philosopher remarked that he was grateful for having reached an age where sexual urges had ceased to be such a distraction. I can't remember who it was, because I was 20 years old when one of my professors told us about it. I think I remember which professor it was, but, obviously, my mind was on other things at the time.
I still look at cute girls, mind you. But these days, it's not so much lust as nostalgia. No kidding. A case of channeling my not-so-inner Arlo:
Just as Alex Hallatt's joke about an ethical restaurant shows some knowledge of, and sympathy for, the target of her humor, Terri Libenson differs from other cartoonists in that she can joke about Facebook in a way that indicates that, for instance, she knows that you can avoid all the drama of unfriending someone by simply hiding them. That's impressively hip.
Though I've got to say that having that much knowledge about Facebook does cast a little doubt on her strip's premise that it's the kids and husband who prevent the artist from getting anything accomplished.
This level of hipness is, of course, common in web cartoons, but syndicated strips tend more towards jokes about those crazy kids and their saggy pants. Maybe when the syndicates began actively seeking to sign more women cartoonists, they inadvertently wound up with more cartoonists who were also younger than the standard newspaper demographic.
Please don't tell them.
* * *
And by the way: Thank you to everyone who did their holiday Amazon shopping through the link here. Looks like my annual bill for webhosting and my December Amazon commission will not only arrive simultaneously but will pretty much cancel each other out.
Stay funny, my friends!