No, not the latest episode of The Last Mechanical Monster, which actually made me laugh out loud, or at least chuckle out loud, which is as close as I ever come.
It's not that the strip -- or "page from an upcoming book," we hope -- is "funny," in the sense of inspiring a lot of actual laughter, but it's also not frightening, and I think what I find so appealing about it is that it acknowledges its own absurdity without the nudge-nudge self-consciousness of less affectionate parodies.
I'm pretty sure affectionate parody is against the rules.
Not unprecedented, mind you.
I remember in the Olden Days, when Bizarro Superman or Mr. Mxyzptlk would show up, it was welcome comedy relief and we were under no obligation to take it seriously, but, of course, people did because it is required to take all elements of the Canon of Krypton with due reverence.
However, as noted in the past, we didn't collect comic books at summer camp. We read them.
And, as also noted in the past, where the Superman franchise got in trouble was when they began catering to readers who didn't get it by trying to explain how he cut his hair and nails and other science facts.
("How do you pronounce his name?" You don't, dingbat. It's just a random collection of consonants.)
Similarly, Dallas was a lot more fun to watch before "Who Shot JR?" became a Thing and the writers began taking it seriously.
Anyway, the Last Mechanical Monster is a lot of fun and, yes, suspenseful, but not at all frightening.
Unless you thought it was and that's why you've been following it, in which case, yes, it's very scary.
Very, very scary. Please keep reading it.
Prickly City has been riffing on open office concepts generally, and I've been enjoying it. The idea has been under attack for some time, but there was a recent flurry of criticism, based on studies that show it doesn't work.
Not that that has ever stopped management.
The level of degradation involved is hardly a revelation: King Vidor singled it out in 1928 for one of the most famous and depressing tracking shots in cinematic history. (Here it is, a minute-thirty-three guaranteed to ruin your day.)
And 70 years later, time had turned tragedy into comedy, only it was gallows humor.
That scene made me cringe.
This one made me laugh.
But there is nothing in the least funny about today's Prickly City, because, I was depressed to discover, it does not contain a joke.
One of the advantages of reading comics on-line instead of in print is that, when Scott Stantis purposely drops the term "hoteling" in as critical element, you don't have to switch media to do a quick look-up.
Maybe that's a disadvantage, though, because I'm sorry I looked.
This is the G-freaking-SA -- the gummint of the people, by the people, screw the people -- handing out tips on how to degrade and grind your human assets down in the name of efficiency and corporate profit.
I tried to link to this government-funded how-to for setting up a white-collar sweatshop, but it only downloads instead of opening, though you can right-click and "open link in new window," which I would recommend except that you really don't want to see it.
And, unlike Bizarro Superman or Mr. Mxyzptlk, there's no wink to acknowledge irony or parody because there is no irony or parody intended.
It's not that some people who take things too seriously will take this too seriously.
These ****ers are serious.
As Stantis notes, the only benefit to society at large is ecological: It eliminates the need to hand people a cardboard box when you slit their throats.
In fact, in the office of today, what HSOTI suggested in jest 15 years ago has become a bland reality.
Still think anyone is joking? Okay, check this out:
I've saved you clicking through to see the basics, but the details are linked on Romenesko's actual posting, here.
Still think there's a joke in here somewhere?
If you didn't click on that GSA download, what you missed was 10 Tips on hoteling, so I'll once more save you reading the whole thing by revealing the punchline.
Treat it as if it were a semi-voluntary program.
That way, the dumb bastards will never catch on and start finding ways to circumvent and hinder it.
Not that their so-called solutions ever gain a permanent footing, but they are deucedly inconvenient to repair.
Starring Glenda Jackson as Nikki Haley
"What I'm saying is, if you come to South Carolina, the cost of doing
business is going to be low here. We are going to make sure that
you have a loyal, willing workforce and we are going to be one
of the lowest union-participation states in the country."