Monday, January 5, 2009

Figowitz, Figowitz, (Humperdink), Figowitz!

Now, Crock has never been sane. Yesterday's comic, which I'm kind of sad I didn't see in time, is a case in point; it involves Grossie (the Fat-Women-Are-Hilarious character in orange you can see below) inadvertently poisoning an entire regiment with "hash." Today's comic is just as insane in a different way. Sad-sack Figowitz thinks he's a failure, so Grossie tells him to smile if he wants the world to smile with him. Figowitz smiles. Then...


...the world...goes away? The world winks out? The sun goes down? Someone turns off the lights? The world does not want to smile with Figowitz? Trite sayings don't apply to Figowitz? Figowitz is the Cheshire Cat? Figowitz is in the dark about...stuff?

I just like writing "Figowitz"?

I don't know, Crock creators*...I think you need help. Seriously, dudes: the fact that you think you are funny tells me that you are actually both freaking lunatics. Why are people paying you for your nonsensical scribbles? I shall pound my head on walls!

Medievalisation only helps marginally here; Crock is insane in a medieval context as well as a modern one. Clearly, this strip is an allegory gone awry. Figowitz, as Everyman, is despairing because he doesn't seem to succeed at anything he tries. Grossie pops up as Truth or Good Deeds or something and points out, in a cliche that was old even in the 1350s, that There's No Use Complaining Because a Positive Attitude Conquers All (and besides, if you suffer in this life, perhaps you will be all warm and happy and blissful and harp-playing in the next life, especially if you're all paid up in indulgences, or something). Figowitz smiles and immediately turns into Job.

My theory is that each panel has been created by a different monk...not one of our regular bunch, but some visiting monks who have amused themselves by having a comic jam. They meant to burn the results, but Brother Lawrence, who wouldn't recognise "humour" if it joined him in prayer, sent it in to the syndicate. Thanks a lot, Brother Lawrence.

*Why the hell does it take two of you to churn out this hideous monstrosity from Hades? Inquiring minds want to know.


Anonymous said...

I suspect that the attempted joke might be that Figowitz is so optimistic that he stands around all day and into the night waiting for the world to smile back (or more likely, considering the pitch darkness, until the heat-death of the universe). In any case, not funny at all.

Much less funny than the idea of three monks sitting around doing random comics just for the Inferno of it, certainly.

Also: "Figowitz".

Michael said...

When I saw this cartoon I was thinking "Chesire Cat." Lewis Carroll did it better.*

To echo voxindeserto: "Figowitz"

*For that matter, the Three Stooges did it better. And I don't even know if the Three Stooges did this joke.

Angry Kem said...

Voxindeserto: You're probably right. I guess what confused me was mainly the Crock creators' failure to master Incredibly Basic Comic-Strip Shorthand. Usually, a character who is about to undertake a task such as Figowitz's will be drawn with the rising sun behind him. In the punchline panel, he will be standing beneath the moon and/or stars. Time will thus be shown to have passed.

In today's Crock, we get Figowitz in a featureless landscape and then Figowitz's grin beaming through the pitch blackness. There is no indication that any time has passed between the panels. Hell...there's not even a damn gutter.

Perhaps I am asking too much of the Crock creators. Perhaps I should slow down my own brain until I too can read Crock-level symbolism. Perhaps I haven't been paying enough attention to the methods of Sherlock Holmes. In any case, the comic is still stupid.

But "Figowitz" really is one of the best names ever.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Perhaps hash is still involved?

In fact, I think that most Crock strips can be better understood by assuming that hash is involved.

Erich said...

I'm reminded of a bit from an episode of the old Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan/Harry Secombe radio program The Goon Show. Harry Secombe's character, Neddy Seagoon, had just made some awful pun, and then laughed at his own joke.

NEDDY: "Laugh and the world laughs with you, they say."
PETER SELLERS: "You've proved them wrong, haven't you, Ned?"

Brian said...

Here's another theory. The artist originally planned to show Figowitz surrounded by a crowd of unhappy people, waiting for them all to start smiling, the joke being that he has taken the advice too literally. The picture became too busy for the limited level of detail that modern comic strips afford. Racing a deadline, the artist was unwilling to get up and get the whiteout, so kept trying to salvage the overdrawn panel, until finally he was forced to just fill it in solid black. "Yeah, that works too," he decided, looking at the result sideways and taking another belt from the whiskey bottle. Or, more likely, another hit from the hash pipe.

PS: "Figowitz".