Archive for the 'FAQ' Category

Three things, two of them grumpy…

Cidu Bill on Aug 25th 2013

  • I dropped a significant number of comics from my reading list today because, well, they suck. And no, I’m not going to name them.

    What makes this sad is that most of these used to be comics I really enjoyed in the past — but over the last few months, it seemed as if the writers were just phoning it in.

    Using way too few bars.

    Made me wonder whether this is a coincidence, or I’ve suddenly become harder to please… or maybe, with fewer newspapers paying for comics strips (these are almost all newspaper comics), the writers just don’t have the incentive they used to have.

    You thoughts are welcome, but please don’t name any specific strips.

  • Got an e-mail from somebody who complained that he doesn’t understand this site, and he doesn’t understand how anybody could be stupid enough not to have understood this morning’s comics.

    Yeah, it’s always the people who call other people stupid…

    I gave him what I thought was good advice: if you don’t understand a site, and there’s a FAQ, you might think about reading it.

  • The SMBC strip I posted yesterday made me think we should have an award for the best single strip of the year, whether it falls under any category we use here (LOL, Ewww, Awww) or not.

    So please think about this if you would, and if you come across any good candidates, let me know. We can put it to a vote and the end of the year.

    Excellence should be acknowledged.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, Zach Weiner, comic strips, comics, humor | 41 responses so far

A Few Notes About Submissions

Cidu Bill on Jun 7th 2013

  • Quite often somebody sends me something from a very popular comic like Doonesbury, Dilbert or Arlo and Janis, commenting “I’m sure a lot of people have already sent you this.” I’d say 95% of the time, nobody else has sent it to me. Because everybody assumes somebody else has.

    Whereas if it’s a lesser-known comic, I’m likely to have three or four or more people send me the same thing.

    The lesson here is clear, I think.

  • Several people recently have asked me this about “synchronicity” strips: if one strip went online new today, and a very similar “rerun” strip went online today, does it count? Tough call, but I’m going with “yes.”

    Please remember that synchronicity doesn’t just mean some similar elements: it requires two (or more) comics running a startlingly similar gag on the same day. Two strips showing mosquitoes don’t make the cut. Two strips showing mosquitoes dancing the Macarena do.

    And of course the bar for Santa gags is a lot higher in December than it is in June.

  • If you send in multiple LOL’s or Ewww’s, I’ll usually spread them out over several weekends. Likewise, if you send, say, a Speed Bump, and I already have a Speed Bump on that weekend’s page, yours will be… well, bumped.
  • If you’re new here, please read the FAQ before sending anything.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ | 8 responses so far

A few notes about sending me comics

Cidu Bill on Jan 4th 2013

  • If you’re sending me a comic, the address is comicsidontunderstand at gmail. It’s best if you send both the comic and a link to the comic, since sometimes links don’t work and sometimes graphics don’t make it through.
  • I ignore nothing, but I don’t always deal with my e-mail in a timely manner. I’m not even going to go through the motions of a New Year’s resolution over that.
  • What’s worse, I’ve been coming across comics I’ve been sent that I’d saved in unlikely folders. Maybe this is the computer-age equivalent of absentmindedly putting away the ketchup in the microwave.
  • If you sent me something that was “out of season” by the time I saw it, I definitely apologize, and I’ll probably hold it back until it’s once again appropriate. This is my shout-out to the person who sent me a Christmas LOL that won’t show up here for another 11 months.
  • If you send me something and you don’t want your full name used, sign the e-mail with your first name, or the nickname you commonly use here. Or if you want to be absolutely sure, just add “Call me Bob.” Please don’t expect me to remember from a previous time, because I’m lucky if I remember my own kids’ names.
  • And if you’re new here, the FAQ is your friend.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ, comic strips, comics | 8 responses so far

CIDU’s and Don’ts: The FAQ

Cidu Bill on Jan 1st 2013

  • We mostly discuss individual daily comics here. Comments such as “I hate this comic strip and its artist should never be allowed to work in this business again” are not welcome. The CIDU page is a place for people who love comics, and the artists deserve respect.
  • Whether a particular person understands a particular comic can sometimes be incredibly subjective. People send me between 10 and 20 comics a week, and most of them I can easily explain. Then I might come across a comic I don’t get (and I’ll put on the page), which will be glaringly obvious to everybody else. Sometimes (rarely) when this happens, I’ll get a comment along the lines of “Hey, are you stupid or something?” My response is generally along the lines of “No, I just didn’t understand this particular comic. Leave and don’t come back.”

    I really hate to ban anybody, but I have no use for anybody who will come into my (virtual) home to insult me. I’m not keen on my houseguests insulting one another either.Thread drift is fine — in fact it seems to be fairly routine — but personal attacks are not.

  • If you post a message that contains more than one link, it won’t appear until after I’ve okayed it — which generally happens very quickly, since I pretty much live online. The purpose of this, of course, is to keep spam from taking over the site.
  • For those of you who are new here, we’ve moved a bit beyond just explaining comics: We also have special sections for the Arlo Page (comics you don’t want to explain to the kids) and the related Arlo Award (comics that appeared in mainstream newspapers which somehow slipped by the syndicate’s censors — this being one of the more blatant examples).

    By the way, the Arlo Page is named after Arlo Guthrie. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.Other special categories we have here include the Ewww Files (fairly self-explanatory), Comics That Made Us Laugh Out Loud (a Sunday morning hall of fame for comics we really, really got a kick out of) , and the ChadWatch. ChadWatch are comics that attempt to mine humor from the 2000 presidential elections, usually by making references to hanging chads. I began this section back in December of 2000 in order to try to pinpoint the very last chad-related gag (because seriously, the joke was well past played out by the time Bush took office). I never suspected that more than 12 years later, we’d still be collecting them.

    Sometimes we’ll notice two comic strips using a nearly-identical gag on the same day for no apparent reason. When that happens I’ll post them both, noting the synchronicity. Just because. These rarely call out for explanation.

  • The site is updated with a new CIDU every weekday at 12:02am Eastern Time — except for the two weeks or so following both “spring forward” and “fall back,” when WordPress is still trying to figure out the time change. Then the comic could go live either an hour earlier or an hour later, pretty much randomly. Don’t ask.

    Saturday morning is reserved for the Ewww Files, and Sunday is the aforementioned LOL collection. Other posts might be scattered throughout the day, but the 12:02am update is a constant.

  • I run the website for Crime, Justice & America magazine, and I link to any articles I think might appeal to the people visiting CIDU. These always include “CJA” in the subject line (except when I forget).
  • We don’t encourage artists to explain their own comics, because they’ve already had their chance to make us understand. Also, it’s more fun this way.
  • Finally, if you have anything to send me — a comic you don’t understand, an Arlo or ChadWatch candidate, a suggestion, whatever — please e-mail me at comicsidontunderstand at Even if you know my personal address, please use the CIDU address for submissions: less likely to get lost in the shuffle.

    When you’re submitting a comic, please (if possible) give me a link to it, and attach it — because sometimes attachments don’t survive the trip, and sometimes links don’t work. Just for the record, if you send me a link that contains, it will not work.

    I don’t ignore anything, but I’m not as good at keeping current with my e-mail as I might be. This site is my “fourth job,” after all.

    If you send me something and you don’t want your full name used, sign the e-mail with your first name, or the nickname you commonly use here. Or if you want to be absolutely sure, just add “Call me Bob.” Please don’t expect me to remember from a previous time, because I’m lucky if I remember my own kids’ names.

Thanks to Blinky the Wonder Wombat for providing a better definition for the Arlo Page than I’d been offering

Filed in Arlo Page, Bill Bickel, CIDU, ChadWatch, Ewww, FAQ, comics that made us laugh out loud, lol, synchronicity | 16 responses so far

Just a reminder: Please read the FAQ before posting comments.

Cidu Bill on Jan 29th 2011

(It’s here)

Especially the part about personal attacks on other visitors.

Thank you.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ | 21 responses so far

This shouldn’t need to be said, but…

Cidu Bill on Jun 3rd 2010

If you ever feel inclined to post a comment that you know is going to get deleted… please don’t. It’s disrespectful to everybody else here, and it wastes my time. If you’re uncertain, please read the FAQ.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ | 15 responses so far

Mailing Address

Cidu Bill on Feb 11th 2010

Just a reminder that it’s been almost 2 years since I stopped using the e-mail address. For a while I was still checking that mailbox regularly. Then not-so-regularly. I checked it again this afternoon after about 6 months, and found a bunch of submissions, many with expired links.

Please note the new address, which is a gmail address using the full name of this site (and how annoying is it to have to go through these verbal gymnastics in order to outsmart the spambots?).

As long as I’ve got your attention, when you’re submitting a comic, it would be most helpful if you both give me a link to it, and attach it — because sometimes attachments don’t survive the trip, and sometimes links don’t work. Just for the record, if you send me a link that contains, it will not work.

And if you’re new here, please glance at the FAQ before sending anything or responding to a post.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ | 7 responses so far

Before You Post…

Cidu Bill on Dec 16th 2009

If you’re new to this site, please glance at the FAQ before posting anything. Also, a reminder for everybody: If you submit a comment and it doesn’t show up immediately, don’t bother to repost: something probably red-flagged the comment for moderation — more than two external links, a word that WordPress associates with spam, some factor that nobody’s ever been able to identify — and you won’t have any more luck with the repost. I’ll probably find and rescue the comment within an hour or two.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ | 6 responses so far

If you’re new to CIDU…

Cidu Bill on Oct 16th 2009


But please glance at the FAQ before commenting. I don’t hold comments for moderation. I don’t require anybody to register. I don’t care whether the e-mail address you enter is genuine (one person uses All I ask is that people respect the house rules.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ | 24 responses so far

It’s Called a FAQ

Cidu Bill on May 12th 2009

I’m sort of accustomed to bloggers who come across the CIDU site and then write about how they don’t understand what it is and therefore I and everybody who posts here are poopyheads.

I was particularly amused today when somebody called to my attention a blogger who couldn’t figure out what an Arlo was, tried all manner of acronyms, even Googled the word.

Filed in Arlo Page, Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ, comics | 18 responses so far

I wish I didn’t have to say this again, but…

Cidu Bill on Mar 20th 2008

…if you have nothing more productive to contribute than “I hate this comic strip” or that one or more of the visitors to this site is stupid, please take your comments elsewhere. Deleting inappropriate comments is so much more work for me than simply blacklisting the person who makes them, and I have a strong preference for the easy approach.

This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with the occasional rant or personal disagreements that get a bit out of hand — but if “I hate this strip and the guy who writes it should die of a terrible disease” is all you ever have to say, then you’re on the wrong site.

There’s a FAQ. If in doubt, please read it.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, FAQ | No responses yet