1970… well, you know…

Cidu Bill on Nov 19th 2012

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Putting aside the fact that nobody’s read this book in 40 years — it hasn’t aged well — why is the seagull divebombing the guy just because he’s reading it?

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Close to Home, Hey Geezers! Comics!, John McPherson, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, comic strips, comics, humor | 27 responses so far

27 Responses to “1970… well, you know…”

  1. yellojkt Nov 19th 2012 at 03:09 pm 1

    That is also the biggest Large Print edition of JLS I have ever seen. The book barely breaks a hundred pages in the teeny-tiny white paperback edition that litters every used book store in the country.

  2. rain Nov 19th 2012 at 03:32 pm 2

    My guess is that Bickel intended it to be ironic. I.E., Mister Sitting on the Beach Dude Who is Reading the Largest Published Edition Ever of Jonathan Livingston Seagull (possible explanation for the size of the book: MSotBDWiRtLPEEoJLS is (thankfully) using the book’s size to hide his nudity) is reading a book about a philosophically-minded seagull who overcomes adversity, scorn, and expulsion to become fully actualized as a Higher Seagull…meanwhile, a real-life seagull is a thoughtless critter who eats, flies, and poops right on yer dang head.

    Haw haw. Also, yuk.

  3. Kamino Neko Nov 19th 2012 at 06:33 pm 3

    rain, I think you mean McPherson meant it to be ironic (which, yes, I’m pretty sure is the joke)…Bickel is CIDU Bill. >_>

  4. JHGRedekop Nov 19th 2012 at 06:53 pm 4

    What I want to know is: why are there motion lines from the guy’s head to the seagull? What’s supposed to be moving there?

  5. J-L Nov 19th 2012 at 07:50 pm 5

    When you position an oversized book on yourself just right, no one can tell that you’re not wearing anything.

    That is, except snarky seagulls flying overhead.

  6. Dave Van Domelen Nov 19th 2012 at 08:09 pm 6

    I read the book 30 years ago, so there. Also, at one point my family had the board game. Yes, there was a JLS board game. It was pretty high-concept and I didn’t really get it at the time. You tried to build up a set of traits in order to ascend to a higher level of being, or somesuch.

  7. Mike Nov 19th 2012 at 08:31 pm 7

    So Jonathon Livingston Seagull is about an actual seagull? I always vaguely wondered, though obviously not enough to pick up the book or look it up on wikipedia. Sounds awful.

  8. fj Nov 19th 2012 at 08:32 pm 8

    As far as the CIDU part is concerned, I agree with Rain.

    For the geezer part, Richard Bach (the author of JLS) has been in the news as of late. He was severely injured while landing his plane back in late August (he hit wires and crashed), and is still hospitalized. That might explain why the book was floating around McPherson’s consciousness.

  9. rain Nov 19th 2012 at 08:38 pm 9

    Kamino Neko: Yes, of course you’re right. Must’ve been a momentary loss of mental capacity due to seagull poop.

  10. rain Nov 19th 2012 at 08:45 pm 10

    JLS was also a live-action movie, which is just as ridiculous as it sounds. The soundtrack album was recorded by Neil Diamond. It is less ridiculous than it sounds.

  11. Mike Nov 19th 2012 at 09:10 pm 11

    Did the movie feature a sassy wise-cracking sidekick, possibly a squirrel or small badger? Because that would be great.

  12. Cidu Bill Nov 19th 2012 at 09:27 pm 12

    And who can forget his sister, Barbara Hershey Seagull?

  13. Jeff S. Nov 19th 2012 at 10:00 pm 13

    Yes Mike, JLS is a story about a seagull. All I remember about the story is, he discovers a way to fly faster by drawing his wings in closer to his body.

  14. mitch4 Nov 20th 2012 at 12:02 am 14

    JHGR #4 — It’s a misplaced cartoon-physics line for the descent path of the droppings. It is meant solely to show us a connection between bird and book.

  15. Todd Nov 20th 2012 at 03:28 am 15

    Unfortunately, JLS the movie is not available to stream on Netflix, which is the only way anyone is ever going to watch this movie.

    By the way, my high school English teacher assigned the book in about ‘84. The class was a junior level “for the college bound”; not the bonehead class.

  16. Kilby Nov 20th 2012 at 05:40 am 16

    I agree with Rain (@2) except for one point: that seagull did not thoughtlessly poop on that guy’s head, he deliberately divebombed to accurately deposit his load precisely on target. This also explains the motion lines (for the seagull’s approach and the getaway, not for the poop) that JHGRedekop observed (@4).

    P.S. I first read JLS in the original hardback version, which was exceeding well crafted by the publisher. Several of the photo sequences were printed on translucent paper, which served to create an illusion of motion. None of the later editions bothered with that sort of extra effort.

    I liked the story back then, but I would have liked it more if Bach had chosen a more likable species for his metaphysical fairy tale. Seagulls are rats with wings (worse than pigeons).

  17. Kilby Nov 20th 2012 at 05:53 am 17

    P.S. Yes, I also see the other movement lines indicating horizontal motion. I think McPherson tried to do both, or could not decide which version worked better, and left both sets in.

  18. Ledasmom Nov 20th 2012 at 07:03 am 18

    Mike #11: We don’t need no stinking badgers!

  19. mitch4 Nov 20th 2012 at 09:49 am 19

    Kilby at 16 has a good observation, and I now would agree the descending then re-ascending travel lines mean the gull was dive-bombing. (Despite the much-remarked horizontal lines.)

    And is there something in the gull’s mouth? Or is that just a bad angle on his wing? I thought it could be the guy’s toupee — but that would require a double swoop.

  20. Morris Keesan Nov 20th 2012 at 10:14 am 20

    Todd #15: “JLS the movie is not available to stream on Netflix, which is the only way anyone is ever going to watch this movie.”

    I just checked the catalog of my multi-town library system, and in addition to three different editions of the book, there are four copies (owned by four different libraries) of the 2007 DVD release of the movie, and one of the copies is currently out.
    (Astoundingly, the one copy of the 2007 trade paperback edition has a Hold on it. It’s marked as “missing”, and the same library has an available copy of the 1970 hardcover).

    While I’m at it: yellojkt #1, according to the library results, the book doesn’t break 100 pages. The 1970 edition is 93 pages, and the 2006 trade paperback is 95 pages.

  21. Elyrest Nov 20th 2012 at 10:27 am 21

    Morris Keesan - Your library system info made me curious and I checked mine. There are six versions in English plus versions in Russian, Ukrainian and Spanish. Of the books in English there are 33 copies, 30 are checked out at this time. Neil Diamonds soundtrack is also all checked out - two copies and also one hold.

  22. fj Nov 20th 2012 at 10:52 am 22

    @Mike, #11
    >>Did the movie feature a sassy wise-cracking sidekick, possibly a squirrel or small badger?

    I’ve never seen the movie (although I read JLS dozens of times, just none in the last 30 years), but barring a huge departure from the book, there will be no wise-cracking squirrels or badgers.

    However, Richard Bach DID write a whole series of books about the committed, courageous ferrets dedicated to rescuing their fellow animals who face peril in the air, on the range, and out at sea.

  23. fj Nov 20th 2012 at 10:58 am 23

    Actually, I guess it’s only the ferrets at sea who are into rescues. The ferrets in the air fly cargo, the ferrets on the range are ranchers. There are also ferrets who write books.

  24. G Corbett Nov 20th 2012 at 02:59 pm 24

    Morris Keesan - I love the Minuteman system! I’m tempted to get one of those copies tonight just to see how the Thanksgiving crowd reacts.

  25. Keera Nov 20th 2012 at 04:44 pm 25

    I have a hard-cover edition such as Kilby @16 describes. Bought it used in London, and discovered a dedication written in Miami, FL.

    I think seagulls as an analogy for humans was a good choice. We tend to mostly shove and jostle and think about the next meal, too. Every once in a while, one of us realizes there’s more to life than the daily grind, and if their realization doesn’t involve travel and/or bumming around, they get ostracized.

  26. John DiFool Nov 21st 2012 at 10:04 am 26

    I much preferred Illusions and A Bridge Across Forever.

    As with the Verve w.r.t. the Verve Pipe, I was always a little annoyed that Stephen King chose the pseudonym Richard Bachman.

  27. John DiFool Nov 21st 2012 at 10:06 am 27

    And this thread reminded me to go pick up a copy of the latter, something I need to do…

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