First Out of the Gate

Cidu Bill on Jul 7th 2009


1) I thought syndicated newspaper comics had a three-week lead time with no exceptions (which is why “tribute” strips always appear en masse 21 days or so after a celebrity’s death)

2) Nice to see Farrah getting some attention

3) Interesting how it took so few pen strokes for Mr. Tatulli to evoke that famous poster.

Filed in Bill Bickel, Farrah Fawcett, Lio, Mark Tatulli, comic strips, comics, humor | 16 responses so far

16 Responses to “First Out of the Gate”

  1. Kedamono Jul 7th 2009 at 01:01 pm 1

    Yeah, it’s like he took it into Photoshop and turned the contrast up on it and made it black and white.


  2. Patrick Jul 7th 2009 at 01:07 pm 2

    I wondered the same thing when a couple of strips had Michael Jackson references yesterday. Maybe, with things being all digital these days, cartoonists can occasionally shoot out a topical reference a bit quicker.

  3. Jon88 Jul 7th 2009 at 01:09 pm 3

    Kedamono was quicker, so here’s my second choice:

    3) Interesting how it took so few pen strokes for Mr. Tatulli to evoke that famous poster.

    Yes, that third panel is very evocative.

  4. Dr. Shrinker Jul 7th 2009 at 01:10 pm 4

    In the LA Times, at least, the poster is clearly just a photograph. It doesn’t look all “Photoshop art-y” like it does here.

  5. Norm Jul 7th 2009 at 01:19 pm 5

    Very clear at too

  6. Charlene Jul 7th 2009 at 01:29 pm 6

    It was about three weeks ago that Farrah stopped treatment and went home to die. Perhaps he bet on her not living 21 days?

  7. J-L Jul 7th 2009 at 03:21 pm 7

    It looks like a scan of a photograph here:

  8. Fnord Jul 7th 2009 at 03:53 pm 8

    There can always be exceptions to the lead time. It’s just not done very often.

    An example that sticks in my mind is that a few comics managed to have reaction strips appear on 9/12/2001. I know Beetle Bailey was one, and I think my paper had one or two others.

    Of course they probably could only be that fast because it was a special circumstance, meaning that the syndicates were more willing to bend backward and take the last-minute substitute strips. A dead celebrity is far less important, so they may only be willing to take the substitution with a week’s notice instead of 24 hours.

  9. Pete Jul 7th 2009 at 09:06 pm 9

    It makes me think of the “Jesus snow” picture

    If you don’t know it, see here

  10. furrykef Jul 8th 2009 at 12:30 am 10

    Bill Amend says in his FAQ that Foxtrot generally has a two-week lead time (although I know that FAQ entry has been there forever, so maybe it’s changed since then), so not all comics have a lead time of three or more weeks. He does say that it’s cutting it much closer than the syndicates prefer, though.

  11. Usual John Jul 8th 2009 at 11:09 am 11

    My initial thought, which may still be accurate, was that Charlene was right and this was drawn when it became clear that Farrah’s death was imminent. (The strip would still work if she were alive but dying.) However, Candorville has been running strips with dead Michael Jackson, whose death came without warning.

    Also, I seem to recall that Doonesbury, on August 20 or 21, 1976 (haven’t checked the date), noted that Ford had received the nomination at the just-ended Republican national convention. I don’t know if Trudeau drew two strips for that day, or what, since it was unclear whether Ford or Reagan would get it.

  12. Another Josh Jul 8th 2009 at 03:38 pm 12

    I thought it was a two week lead time on daily comics, longer for Sunday strips. I thought I read in one of Watterson’s books that the different lead times made it difficult to incorporate a Sunday strip into a storyline.

  13. Todd Jul 8th 2009 at 04:14 pm 13

    He may have drawn it knowing she would die soon, and sent it to the syndicate with the instructions to run it as soon as possible after her death.

  14. Singapore Bill Jul 9th 2009 at 12:37 am 14

    I think the shopping of the poster is to de-emphasize the nipple bump–the reason every male of a certain age was interested in the poster–for incredibly uptight papers.

  15. Powers Jul 9th 2009 at 06:39 am 15

    Usual John: I believe Trudeau made a bold prediction, just as he did with Obama’s victory last year. But I could be conflating the two events.

  16. Todd Jul 9th 2009 at 03:46 pm 16

    Having listened to Loveline on the radio for years, I’m aware that anal cancer can be caused by HPV. But it doesn’t seem that the media has taken this opportunity inform the public. Or am i mistaken?

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