Apparently people are enamored of “the machine.” Personally, I think it’s kind of a mean-spirited device. It gives you *almost* what you want, but not quite, because it delivers the thing you want in such a way that you almost don’t want it anymore. You would be better off without its generosity.
At any rate, a machine this powerful probably can’t be destroyed, although it can be stored in the guest bedroom with all the craft supplies and exercise equipment you never use, buried under antique furs and baby toys and ugly prints inherited from long-dead great-aunts. Dragon’s Cave, unlike my house, offers unlimited storage space, so there’s no question of setting the machine on fire on the front lawn.
Just so you know, the otter will share the doughnuts with the fox and the girl and the boy. He can’t eat that many doughnuts himself. Although I suspect the real otter would have no problem taking doughnuts from a kid for the sake a big laugh. But I’m sure he would give them back later.
I feel like the fox is as much a victim of this prank as the little girl, but something about the way he’s drawn suggests that he knew this would happen and he’s in on taunting the kid. But that’s not the kind of fox he is, I swear. I wanted to give him the punchline in panel 4 but nothing sprung to mind, so there it is. He’s just watching, feeling relatively certain that the otter is just messing with him and will dole out the doughnuts soon enough. Also I like the kid perspective: the girl did suffer, as only a child denied is capable of suffering.
It’s late. I’ve been drawing all day while gorging on gingerbread and forgot that I’d never scheduled this post even though the comic was drawn last weekend. Also today I sliced off the top millimeter of my left thumb with a knife. This never happens. I never cut myself with knives. Tin can lids, broken tiles, shards of glass, sure, I injure myself with those things all the time. But usually I’m in total control of a kitchen knife. Now my thumb is a minor inconvenience, I’m sick from too many cookies, and it’s late.
In relationships where one partner is more resilient than the other, it’s not uncommon for the weaker partner to gleefully say and do things to the stronger partner that would be devastating if the stronger partner said or did to the weaker. Emotionally speaking, that is.
As mentioned last week, I actually enjoy being suspended by the ankles, but there’s a limit to everything, particularly inversion, which can become dangerous in certain situations over long periods of time. There are many benefits to inversions, and I’ve even heard yogis suggest something to the effect that every minute of ones life spent in inversion adds an extra minute of right-side-up time to life. Of course, I’ve also had veterans assure me that, after a certain point, inversions can be deadly. So let me reiterate: after a minute or two, the health benefits of inversions are limited to inversions you accomplish using your own muscles, under your own power. Being strung up by the ankles and left for dead is not healthy.
Of course, neither is laughing at your friend’s inadvertent misfortune, regardless of how hilarious their situation might appear to you, particular if you are reminding them about something that happened years ago, and especially if you actually played a rather large part in their situation. Just remember that.
Meanwhile, the poor fox is pieless and in serious danger of starving to death.
Having trouble seeing clearly? Wondering if you need a new perspective on life? Try hanging upside down by the ankles to see things in a different way!
Those who know me know I love being upside down. Before hurting my wrist, I spent a lot of time in handstand. Now I have a rather lovely inversion table that some strange person put by the dumpster at my friend’s condo, which said friend then retrieved and gave to me, because upside down! It decompresses your spine and fills your brain with blood. I find it very relaxing, although, apparently, many people find it terrifying.
I’ve joked about the Andy Kaufman test before; I always think my ideas are funny, and have no idea if other people will find them so. This comic cracks me up, but definitely ranks high on my list of ideas that I suspect will not amuse others to the same degree. See, Dragon thinks the pie in the face gag is hilarious, so hilarious that Dragon will willingly take a pie in the face. But Dragon doesn’t get a pie in the face. Instead, Dragon gets a small rainbow flag distraction while a robot arm ambushes Dragon’s ankle and hoists it into the sky. Meanwhile, the fox is still primarily concerned with the absence of pie.
A new twist on an old classic! Cliche + technology = modern comedy. “Gluten free” and “vegan” are hilarious buzzwords, too. Personally, while I prefer a gluten free diet, veganism seems unnatural to me. Please pass the butter and the eggs please. Meat is more of a convenience than a necessity, but I don’t want to live in a world without butter. I do try to eschew sugar, although, at this time of year, it’s almost impossible. I already promised the kids we could make gingerbread and the 3-parties-a-day holiday schedule has begun.
Drawing comics is great, but after a year of drawing, I really miss writing novels. It looks like 2015 will see more of that, and maybe short stories, and hopefully more literary submissions, but as long as I maintain my stride, that shouldn’t stop me from drawing 3 comics a week. For now, I want to get a couple weeks up on the strip, so that I’m not putting finishing touches on something at quarter of 1 in the morning, 45 minutes after I wanted it published. I’ll be taking another vacation from the comic between Christmas and New Years’ Day, but unlike the break I took Thanksgiving weekend, I hope that I will be conscious and healthy and able to draw and write the entire time.
The Fox asked if I was accepting Dragon Comics fanart, which, of course, I am. So look forward to a guest comic from a mind equally twisted as mine, but twisted in a different way.
I added The Man’s name to the copyright information on this comic because this gag and half of the text was his idea. The machine, of course, is my own devising. If he had designed the machine, he would have gone for some degree of verisimilitude and not attached a Wankel rotary engine to a set of pistons an an egg beater, let alone had the brilliant idea to power it with a hamster wheel. I guess the solar panel only runs the water heater? Apparently he does not find the Wankel rotary engine as hilarious as I do. There was no doubt in my mind as to what kind of engine this machine would require.
Drawing the electricity arcing off the Tesla coil was a lot of fun. I’m not sure yet what the mousetraps and the pinwheel add. Perhaps one is for style and the other is to protect the machine.
In fact, this machine is not quite finished.
I’m a fan of Rube Goldberg devices from way back, and I suppose this comic could have taken that path as well, but that would have required a lot more forethought than I would have put into the machine. Furthermore, Rube Goldberg devices are meant to accomplish some particular task.
Does this machine has a function? Is is dangerous? Can it make Dragon’s life easier? Tune in next week for the answer to these and other exciting questions!