Leon Hale is a bit confuzzled about a couple of comic strips.
Do you read the Chronicle's funnies? I do, sure, but sometimes I need to have them explained to me.
No, I'm not kidding. Some days I just don't get what a comic strip is saying to me.
Give you an example. Do you still have Tuesday's paper in the house? The funnies are in Section D. Now find the Boondocks strip on Page 11.
I've just started reading this feature in the last year, and I've enjoyed those two African-American boys. They're sharp, and they keep up with what's going on in the world.
In Tuesday's strip, one of the kids is at his desk in school. A white girl is sitting at the desk behind him and is saying, "Holla back, Huey! Whoop!! Whoop!! Holla back! Hoooo!! Hoooo!!"
That's it. The boy seems irritated by this, but I don't know why. Explain that one to me.
Then go to Tuesday's Doonesbury. Two college students are shown here. One is at a computer, and he is embarrassed when his friend walks in and sees what's showing on the monitor. Then the friend starts watching, too, and he remarks, "Well, she certainly seems determined." And the guy at the computer responds, "Well, it's a loop, man."
Does that mean anything to you? Is it funny?
I thought the meaning of the referenced Boondocks comic was pretty obvious, but if he'd waited another day and checked out today's strip, I think the point would have been clear to him. As for the Doonesbury in question - and it's a rerun, by the way - I fail to see how he fails to see that Jeff is watching a movie. I mean, isn't "loop" a quaint, old-fashioned term referring to a short movie that repeats itself over and over? Hell, usually Hale gets an entire column out of it when he stumbles across an archaic word. What happened here?
Ah, well, maybe he was just having an off day. I can live with that. What he should really be embarrassed about - and I'm not sure which is more shameful - is his later admission that he reads Gil Thorpe and considers the Hocus Focus feature to be a challenge. I know (though I still have a hard time believing) that there are people who actually read comics like Gil Thorpe, but using how he does at Hocus Focus as a barometer of the rest of his day? The mind reels.
UPDATE: This came up in the comments, so I'll mention it here. There's a profile of Aaron McGruder in the New Yorker that's worth a read (link via Mark Evanier). An animated feature of Boondocks is indeed in the works, according to this.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 14, 2004 to Society and cultcha | TrackBack