A Murder of Comics

Cidu Bill on Jan 2nd 2013


Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Cyanide and Happiness, New Year's Day, comic strips, comics, humor | 26 responses so far

26 Responses to “A Murder of Comics”

  1. Colleen Jan 2nd 2013 at 01:00 am 1

    Blue guy decides he can’t live without Green guy anymore so he goes back in time to kill his past self so his present self can be with Green guy?

  2. minorannoyance Jan 2nd 2013 at 01:20 am 2

    Killing himself in the past means Blue Shirt won’t suffer the bad year without his friend: a retroactive suicide to spare himself from Green Shirt’s death.

    I think the joke is, you expect him to go back and save Green Shirt’s life somehow, but instead you get this sick twist of avoiding his own future pain. The last panel is just a warped parting shot — Blue Shirt should cease to exist.

    It doesn’t stand up to overanalysis. Time travel stories never do.

  3. Arthur Jan 2nd 2013 at 01:22 am 3

    I’m still not sure what it means. But my thought when I first read it was that
    Blue Shirt shot himeself so the earlier version of Blue Shirt wouldn’t kill
    Green Shirt.

  4. Tezza Jan 2nd 2013 at 01:26 am 4

    The timey-whimey-ness of it all. (salute Dr Who)
    At least he didn’t accidentally become his own grandfather. (salute Douglas Adams)

  5. Sari Everna Jan 2nd 2013 at 03:14 am 5

    Actually, I believe that salute should go to Robert A. Heinlein, Tezza, not to Douglas Adams.

  6. The Vicar Jan 2nd 2013 at 03:23 am 6

    Time travel in this, uh, sub-series? doesn’t always have consequences. It would be entirely typical for Blue Guy to go back in time, kill his earlier self, and take that earlier self’s place, with no consequences. (Unless the C&H guys decide in a later strip to have someone point it out and do a delayed reaction, à la cartoon character running off a cliff and not falling until they notice.)

  7. John Small Berries Jan 2nd 2013 at 03:27 am 7

    The last panel is just a warped parting shot — Blue Shirt should cease to exist.

    Not at all; the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics renders the very concept of time-travel paradoxes invalid.

    By going back into the past and altering it, he has split off a new timeline in which the earlier version of him is dead; however, in the original timeline — the one he comes from — the earlier version of him has not been killed, so there is no reason for the later version of him to cease existing.

  8. The Bad Seed Jan 2nd 2013 at 08:52 am 8

    Actually, Green died in 2012 (per the tombstone), but Blue went back to kill himself in 2011, so Green will suffer and be sad for a year. You’d think that Blue would have gone back to the day that Green had died to kill himself…

  9. Powers Jan 2nd 2013 at 09:21 am 9

    How can 2011 be “meanwhile” to 2012 or 13?

    Anyway, considering the picture of Green Shirt Guy on his tombstone is wearing the same party hat, I wonder if he originally died in the wee morning hours of January 1, 2012?

  10. Tracy Jan 2nd 2013 at 10:55 am 10

    This is a carryover joke from last year when green shirt guy was killed by having a time machine land on him. http://www.explosm.net/comics/2661/

  11. padraig Jan 2nd 2013 at 12:01 pm 11

    You know, “We will be the Web-based free comic for people who understand quantum mechanics” doesn’t sound like the best business plan, in retrospect…

  12. BBBB Jan 2nd 2013 at 12:18 pm 12

    I don’t remember the Douglas Adams reference to becoming one’s own grandfather, which I should because I love his books and have read them all several times, and I’m unfamiliar with the Heinlein reference. As for being one’s own grandfather, however, the novelty song “I’m My Own Grandpa” dates at least to 1947 and was supposedly based on a Mark Twain anecdote. I fondly remember the song from summer camp when the cook used to sing it on Sundays after lunch.

  13. Judge Mental Jan 2nd 2013 at 01:12 pm 13

    I think minorannoyance #2 was on the right track, but erred in regards to blue shirt guy’s motivation. You expect blue shirt guy to go back to 2011 to save green shirt guy, but instead he just kills the 2011 version of himself so he can have fun with his green shirt buddy. I don’t think there is any “avoid future pain” element to it. On the contrary, it is just a short-sighted attempt to find enjoyment in the “now” (such that it is).

  14. The Vicar Jan 2nd 2013 at 01:39 pm 14


    I remember it. It was listed as a faux pas for time travelers, I think in a footnote, and then at some not-too-distant later point it was referenced in the text. If I have, er, time later today I’ll try to pinpoint the reference for you.

  15. Rammy M Jan 2nd 2013 at 01:53 pm 15

  16. Pinny Jan 2nd 2013 at 02:26 pm 16

    The Heinlein reference is to:
    “—All You Zombies—”
    published in the March 1959 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine

    He isn’t his own grandfather rather something similar. (I’m trying to avoid spoiling the story for those who wont to read it.)

    The short story itself:

    The Wikipedia entry:

    A timeline diagram of the story:

  17. Winter Wallaby Jan 2nd 2013 at 02:31 pm 17

    D. Adams has this:

    One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidentally becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem involved in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can’t cope with.

  18. Keera Jan 2nd 2013 at 02:51 pm 18

    WW @17, thank you for reminding me how hilarious Douglas Adams could be! :-D

  19. Chakolate Jan 2nd 2013 at 02:52 pm 19

    I just want to say how much I like it that the tombstone actually reads, ‘Green Shirt Guy’. That just tickles me.

  20. minor annoyance Jan 2nd 2013 at 04:17 pm 20

    Philip J. Fry in “Futurama” is his own grandfather. In the episode “All’s Well That Roswell”, things get messy when he tries to push his presumed grandfather (who’s not sure about . . . things) towards his grandmother (”How about some sugar cookies? “How about THESE cookies, sugar?”).

    The episode also features Zoidberg being sociable with Harry Truman (”I’m not hearing no.”) and enjoying an alien autopsy by re-eating a sandwich they remove.

  21. The Vicar Jan 2nd 2013 at 05:19 pm 21

    Let’s see… if you were your own grandfather, it would be mathematically equivalent to having about a third of all the matings leading up to you being heavily incestuous. Y’know those genetic disorders which show up in inbred families/species? The amazing thing wouldn’t even be that you would be able to attract a mate at all, it would be that you would actually be capable of having children. (But it’s also true that your grandmother would also have to have very unusual taste.)

  22. turquoisecow Jan 2nd 2013 at 11:11 pm 22

    The time travel thing I recall from Douglas Adams was the part in which Zaphod Beeblebrox gets a visit from the ghost of his dead grandfather, Zaphod Beeblebrox the Third. Something having to do with an accident involving a contraceptive and a time machine means that the current Zaphod Beelbebrox is the First. Or the Nothingth, as his grandfather insists. I can’t claim it makes sense, but I found it hilarious.

  23. Arvy Jan 2nd 2013 at 11:15 pm 23

    I just like Bill’s title. They are often funny and this is certainly one to crow about.

  24. Larry Lunts Jan 3rd 2013 at 12:40 pm 24

    In “Time Enough for Love,” Heinlein’s character Lazarus Long goes back in time to 1919, falls in love with the woman who will become his mother, and consummates their relationship before going off to fight in WWI, apparently becoming his own father.

  25. Lost in A**2 Jan 3rd 2013 at 02:33 pm 25

    Not quite, Larry. The young Woodrow accompanies them on several of their outings. IOW, it is too late for him to father himself.

  26. Phil Jan 3rd 2013 at 04:13 pm 26

    Come on. It’s time travel murder friends. How is that not funny? Spare me the conundrums.

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