32 Comments

  1. I dunno, this works for me. It’s not laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s amusing to see the virus as a balloon.

  2. I’m with Bill on this one, although the strip is far less bad than the one in which Lio was just mean to people. Normally Lio is just weird; if he’s going to be a complete jerk, the strip loses its appeal for me.

    Mitch4, the Last Kiss is great.

  3. The thing that gets me is that Lio is supposed to be a “weird kid” (although like Frazz being a reflective thinker, that really seems to be self-declared rather than evident) but what exactly is supposed to be a “weird kid”s relation with the virus. What with constructing pop-up virii, dressing up as a virus and you and your buddy Death harrassing the girl who doesn’t like you, blowing viruses as bubbles and walking about with you pet virus balloon, it seems the idea is Lio makes and spreads the virus and is “weird” in that he deliberate spreads and kills people. Which I guess is “weird”… but who wants to read a comic strip about a diseased sociopath?

    And, no, this is *not* “gallows humor”.

  4. It’d be more darkly humorous if he was dressed as a plague doctor or as death. Lio walking his covid-pet is in character but mostly just a vaguely amusing commentary of his constantly recurring nightmare fetishism.

  5. “If there’s one thing Charles Addams excelled at, it was making diseased sociopaths funny.”

    I was going to go into Lio vs. Uncle Fester (urging a car to pass him on a hill while a truck barrels down; training his falcon to catch the hobbyist pigeons, and sharpening the spikes on his wrought iron fence) but…. Lio is no Uncle Fester and Tatulli is no Chas Addams.

  6. How about iif we made lists of three people we WOULDN’T want to be quarantined with?
    Lio, obviously. ANYBODY from Funky Winkerbean (because I want to live!) And I was going to say Frazz, since he’s morphed from somebody clever and fun into the embodiment of Backpfeifengesicht, but… it might be handy to have sonebody around who’s accustomed to cleaning toilets.

  7. First thoughts on “least want to be quarantined with”: Marvin, Mary Worth, and Wonder WartHog.

  8. I realize that this is a very sensitive issue, but I personally don’t see anything wrong with the way that Liō (or Tatulli) has been using the virus models in any of the strips that have appeared here at CIDU. Yes, a massive number of Americans have caught(†) the disease, and a depressingly high number of people have died(†) from it, but the effects that most people feel are from the news reports and/or movement restrictions, and not from the disease itself (hence the recent simple-minded protests). The overcolored(*) images of that spiked ball in the news have become extremely tiresome, and they seem a worthy target for satire. I’m still working on a design for an Easter egg (for next year).

    Although I know of two cases within my immediate family in Washington(‡), we know of no cases whatsoever among our family and friends here in Germany. Nevertheless, my daughter has already asked whether we can quit watching the evening news (since all they every talk about is “Corona”), and her latest gift request was for a coupon that would “make Corona just go away”. I haven’t shown her the Liō strips yet, but she really liked a parody music video (based on “My Sharona” by The Knack), and it cheered her up a great deal. (I’m not including a link because the one I decided to share was NSFW. I thought it was OK for my kids, but I’m not sure I’d want to inflict it on yours.)

    P.S. (†) – In both cases utterly unnecessarily, but I don’t want to discuss the subject of leadership here.
    P.P.S. (*) – Electron micrographs produce monochromatic images of 3D shapes. The clown-like colors that have been applied to all the virus images in the news have been fabricated for effect by artistically challenged scientists and/or network graphic designers.
    P.P.P.S. (‡) – The test results were negative, but the symptoms were so definitive that the doctor was sure that the negative results were erroneous (potentially due to a lab that had just gone “online” that week).

  9. I think Lio has been one of the most positive, touching, heartfelt, helpful, and motivating comic strips that deal with the coronavirus, in great part because it’s, well, Lio being that way. He’s afraid of it, finds ways to avoid it, protects his family, and echos the things we’re supposed to be doing.

    Everyone in my neighborhood is keeping social distancing but many are letting their dogs mingle on walks and free range. I walk a housemate’s dog, and I have to explain to him why I’m no longer letting the dog mingle with other dogs, but I myself took a while to remember not to pet the neighbor dogs myself (there so sweet, and fluffy, and snuggly.. oops, someone help me; I ache being so alone.). Our town has been averaging about 95 active cases, we don’t know where.

    So, in my mind the criticism of Lio might be valid, and that’s the point; he slipped up here. Still funny to me. (There are awful things I don’t think could be funny; I was thinking the Hindenburg disaster is one. and then my brain started racing. I keep typing to hold it in check.)

  10. News reports tell how many cases a town has but HIPAA regulations prevent revealing who those cases are. I wonder when we will start seeing Twilight Zone-like scenarios of neighbors assuming that certain families are the infected ones.

  11. Thanks to Arthur for both of the (very) informative links.
    P.S. I have seen the CDC’s version of the virus image in German TV, but it’s just one of many different images clamoring for attention there. It would seem that nobody can agree on a uniform color scheme, but they all use garish hues, usually with lots of deep red and/or blue.

  12. @ Mark – One of the contact tracing apps (to warn people if they come close to someone who has tested positive) was rejected over here because it would betray personal information. Instead, they are working on a new app that is supposed to communicate anonymously between devices, to warn that the user came into contact with an affected person, but it will not be able to say who that person was.

  13. @Kilby, that will work perfectly, unless the recipients actually want to know who the carrier is. Then they can compare notes and figure it out in minutes.

    Today’s Lio has the titular character change sides:
    https://www.gocomics.com/lio/2020/04/19

    It’s a bid of an odd strip, to me. He runs against a featureless void in panel one, a giant abstract white room containing only a sink, floor and walls in two and three, back to the void in the last panel. And why is he running to the sink threateningly in panel two, but then surprised by a poster he just ran past in panel three. Is the panel order wrong? And what’s the significance of the wavy panel borders? Is the black interstitial space that the panels float in meant to suggest mass deaths?

  14. Carl: read it as two distinct groupings, left group and right group, and read each of the two left right and up down, so you get the following sequence: running from germs, sees the sign, washes hands, looks menacingly at the germs, then chases the germs, a neat reversal of fortune. Is it funny? meh.

  15. Mark in Boston – Back a few weeks ago when they were saying that people did not need to wear masks, but if one had the virus they should – I was concerned about the fact that if we went out we would want to wear masks and people thinking we were sick.

    Still have not gone out and finally made masks Thursday night had we had an emergency (to Robert) situation to deal with on Friday that would involve going out where there were people. (Car needed new battery as would not start and blocked our two alternative vehicles and he was sure that we would have an emergency and need to drive right away. – Good thing we have a very nice and understanding car mechanic 4 blocks away.)

  16. Ok – I had read someone’s post on a strip about getting the newspaper these days and being sure to wash one’s hands after. I was going to reply to same, but got sidetracked as I just realized we had to get our applications for absentee ballots for the upcoming primary election in NYS, which they finally extended to those of us who are not going out for age and medical conditions reasons.

    So, now I came back from our taking care of the voting applications and now cannot figure which strip it was. This seemed like a likely one to post the comment.

    I had been getting the newspaper delivered after I did not feel comfortable plopping it on my kitchen table and reading it. I have a special deal on the newspaper (paying about half of the current rate) and did not want to cancel and lose it. So the papers piled up in the delivery box from them and every couple of days when I went to out to get the mail, using the same plastic sandwich bag I used to deal with the mail I would take in the papers and drop them on the stack in the porch. And I read the online version of the paper.

    Then Robert asked me what I do with papers when we are away to stop them without losing my deal. BOY IS MY BRAIN FRIED THESE DAYS! I put the paper on vacation hold and continue to read it online. No more dealing with the pile up of papers in the box. Good thing as we have no recycling pick up during the emergency.

  17. @MerylA, here in the Town of Huntington we still have recycling pickup. I was surprised to hear that NYC doesn’t, and now I’m surprised to hear that you don’t. I wonder what the reasoning is.

  18. Carl Fink – They were short too many sanitation workers due to C-19 I am guessing that there is also a lot more general garbage to pick up. No one mentioned if there is or is not still trash pickup (large items), but we did not have any – and we actually have had less garbage, which is a good thing as I keep losing track of the days and forgetting to put it out the night before – had to set an alarm to put it out this last night for today

    Read in “Newsday”, but will check at Town of Hempstead website, that they are going to start picking up recycling again on Monday (5/4). They did allow you to bring your recycling in if one wanted. I put our empty food cans in a sealed plastic trash bag in the interim not knowing how long it would be until they started picking up again and did not want to attract any little visitors to our side porch.

    Nassau has had a lot more cases of C-19 as I understand it than Suffolk does. Apparently, when last I checked to explain to online friends in other places, Nassau county alone had more cases than 48 states – NY and NJ excepted. Also Nassau County alone has more cases than a lot of countries. At one point I know the county had the 3rd highest number of cases of any county in NYS – which means more than at least 3 counties in NYC also.

  19. I was under the impression the county with the most cases is Queens as I have read that that Queens in the epicenter of of NYS’s cases. Other than that I assumed the second highest was also in NYC. Thank you.

  20. @MerylA:

    As the Gothamist says, “When normalized for population, Rockland and Westchester counties are leading the other downstate counties in cases by a large margin. On May 4th, Lombardy, the center of the outbreak in Italy, would be around 775 on this graph. Nassau and Suffolk counties have more cases per capita than New York City.”

    Being the epicenter (in the metaphor) of the outbreak just means it started there, not that it was worst there.

    I donated some money to Gothamist/WNYC last week to thank them for their excellent coverage.

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