Category Archives: Frustration & Complaint

Going Illegit

Given the recent events of the past few days in Europe, with the French electing a socialist who went on a diet, the U.S. elections kicking off officially with pomp and circumstance, the hockey playoffs going into the stretch drive, and International Workers Day having passed just last week, I’m reminded of the toiling and hard work we all put in, day in, day out, and I decided to give you a thematically related installment of the comic that was once described by Vassily Kandisky as “not fit to line my grandmother’s bird cage.”

It’s all about work, be it honest or dishonest, hard or easy, high-falutin’ or low-brow. It’s all the same.  And frankly, some days it does feel like we’re all horse manure inspectors.  Not exactly sure what that means, but I haven’t slept enough since I came back from Germany and my sugar intake has been inversely proportional to the amount of exercise I have been doing lately. Which is next to none, if you don’t count screaming at my children to brush their teeth.

But as the spring approaches and my backyard resembles a south Asian jungle any pygmy could love, I am reminded of the work I will have to do to keep the weeds (notice I didn’t say grass) at bay long enough for old man winter to come and kill them again. And then I think, maybe joining organized crime would be way easier because I could afford to pay some gardener to mow the lawn and rake the leaves. But I’m far too lazy for organized crime. Disorganized crime, with a lot of TV-watching and extortion by telephone would be more my speed.

And if that last paragraph isn’t enough to convince you that this episode of Stanko & Tibor is about to embark into uncharted waters, then you need more help than I do.

May you all be blessed with peace, love, happiness and access to a deli open til 3 AM.

Sincerely and unfailingly yours,

Professor Steinbrecher von Currywurst

And Toothpaste For All

Oh to be thin again, to be limber again, to be less gaseous and less rotund again. And to have healthy, strong teeth again. Having chipped my tooth some weeks ago, one of my front teeth no less, I realized that the onset of age, even in the realm of the dental knows no mercy.

As I stare into the mirror and smile to see this chipped chopper, I wonder both silently and aloud, “how the heck did my wife ever agree to marry someone as challenged in the looks department as me?” That question took on deeper significance this weekend as it was our wedding anniversary, and she — who felt duty-bound to keep her word and marry me despite probably having heavily regretted it when she woke up the next morning after I had proposed knowing she was under the influence of both jet lag and alcohol — once again said these past 13 years have felt like 13 minutes. Under water.

What does any of this have to do with this episode of the comic foretold in the bible as one of the 4 signs of the apocalypse and referred to by Salman Rashdie in his book club as “not suitable material to wipe a baby’s butt” have to do with toothpaste and beauty? I’m really not sure, to be honest. This is the Internet after all and they let any putz with a keyboard and the ability to type publish pretty much anything they want, so it’s your fault for reading this.

But I digress. The idea for this particular episode was not actually related to the aforementioned description of dental damage. It was a mere reflection of the marketing wordsmiths who gave us “new and improved” and other such marketing gems. And with that explanation, I will trundle to bed with a belly full of Thai food, a car magazine at the ready and maybe an intense focus on a 8-hour face-to-face discussion I’ll be having with my pillow shortly.

To those who have celebrated this long weekend with family, food and merriment, I wish you well. And remember to take out the garbage and brush your teeth.

Sincerely,

First Officer of the R0yal Brigade of Sheep Herders Lord Druker upon Cushy Bed

Of Leaves, Birthdays and Futility

Dear followers of the last, great illustrated bastion of freedom of expression that has been deemed by the CIA and most Western religious groups as being mentally corrupt AND corrupting (not an easy feat), as well as deviant and just plain poorly drawn,

I send to you this latest depiction of the absurdity and frailty of life as illustrated by the hideous chore of  leaf raking, perhaps the most humbling, futile and idiotic activity humans have devised since the dawn of time. Sure, it gives me time to think of stuff to write for this comic, which is akin to giving a simpleton (me) with a penchant for hard liquor and fireworks (definitely not me unless it’s gold tequila) the keys to the fully stocked liquor cabinet along with a new Zippo lighter for his birthday (hint, hint).

And then you wind up with mental mush like this prose as a preamble to the comic.

What I came up with was a comic that delights in its visual and philosophical acuity yet is just a simple sight gag intended to tickle the soul with a devilish charm. Like life itself does from time to time. Or more accurately, this episode of Stanko & Tibor is like my birthdays.

In the spring of life, they entertained with the promise of gifts a-plenty, and wrapping paper and plastic enough to choke a horse and fill a landfill. However, there were many gifts that needed batteries and made noise — man, I hated those.

And then came the summer of life, where birthdays were joyous affairs, sometimes filled with booze, dinners and tasty cakes, and sometimes fraught with 2 ex-girl friends showing up simultaneously to give you hell for things you shouldn’t have done in a social setting with your underwear.

Then in the autumn of life, birthdays contain memories, aching body joints and discussions about medications, therapies and combustible, yet all natural medicinal herbs that help one forget that which he left in the kitchen not 5 minutes ago.

I don’t want to even think about the winter – that entails shoveling and scraping and salting and I’m just not ready yet. Oh and the kids and their filthy winter boots. But I digress.

So as this comic shows us the lesson of the ever-returning chore of leaf-raking in its most simple and humorous light, don’t forget one thing — that my birthday is Tuesday and I expect one whopper of a high calorie, high fat steak dinner that will trigger a 4-alarm gout attack followed by some damn gooey chocolate cake!

May you all find your true paths of glory. And if you found yours already, don’t rub it in my face, please.

Hugs and kisses,
Chairman and Supreme Leader Jon

Siri-Killer

My loyal followers, and those that feel guilty and follow out of shameful guilt (love you the most),

Through no fault of my own did I contract this unending sinus infection/cold that has helped make the tissue companies and pharma industries reach record quarterly profits due to my many purchases. But I am mending slowly, so much so that I raked the leaves in front of the house as any good sucker would.

Sweeping the thousands of leaves that fell from the tree in front of our house, I had time to think. Too much time, as it turns out, because I came up with this mental muesli which I am now imparting upon you folks. It largely revolves around taking a stand against something. Anything, really. In this case, it’s a stand against fundamentalism. Fundamentalism of all kinds — moral, religious, environmental, economic, corporate, automotive, food, you name it. Although there aren’t too many atheist fundamentalists. I don’t think they’re willing to die for anything, unless it’s maybe something like their favorite Chinese food restaurant being closed by the health department for flagrant violations involving small woodland creatures, a blood-soaked chopping block and rusty knives. But I digress.

I must especially take a stand against comedic fundamentalism. Those comedic people are the worst and most fundamental. You should have seen the comedian convention last year when the pie-in-the-face faction squared off against the seltzer faction, and then came the heckling, erudite Molière backers, who know how to use snobby, powdered-wigged wit in a deadly way. It wasn’t a pretty sight and more than one funny-boned purveyor of laughter was trucked out of there on stretchers. Blood, toupees, sinew, coconut cream and sharp words littered the messy, messy floor. I’m still scarred after that convention.

But I have gone off track again. So let it be known that if I don’t take a stand against fundamentalism in most of its forms (preferably the non-violent ones), and in particular against comedic fundamentalism, who will be left to joust with jesters and provide you with the artistic and savage commentary and buffoonery that is Stanko & Tibor? No one, that’s who.
So bear with me for this episode of the comedic sage that fits neatly on a page, and laugh if you can. It’s wordy, it’s visually WAY too busy, and it’s silly. My advice: Don’t let the comedic fundamentalists win.
Keep sniffling, keep blowing, and keep reading.
Johann von Sniffle

Occupy Dim Sum

As I sat at my desk today performing menial, mind-numbing tasks in order to help a colleague,  my various trains of thoughts, all loaded with many cars of twisted, ephemeral cargo, skipped the tracks, as if  a drunken, heavily unionized switchman on his last day of work before vacation and with a large dose of  cold medication in him were at the switching controls.

And it’s apt that I mention cold medication as I have been suffering (not loudly enough it seems) from a sinus infection that only now, after what would seem like a few hundred decongestant pills and other kinds of sprays and vats of chicken soup that have been popped into my body on a pretty regular basis, seems to be getting a little better. But only a little. I still need reasons to complain.

As for those thoughts skipping off in different directions, I managed just long enough to string together enough of them to do this cartoon, on a topic that cried out to be covered by the sharpest mind, the keenest wit, the most vicious humor this side of the western hemisphere. Unfortunately, he’s on vacation and the rest of the staff were fired due to “right-sizing” and “rationalization” so I was left with the job of cartooning this sucker. How it got from Wall St. protests to dim sum I am really not sure.

It really did distract me from my ever more decrepit house that requires untold amounts of stabilization and repair (think Champlain Bridge, but far worse workmanship). If I could convince you people to buy a t-shirt, or better yet, when I get around to it, the e-book I plan on creating of this comic, I would have just enough to finance those repairs. Or buy the repairmen a beer. You have been warned — an e-book is coming of the  Stanko & Tibor saga.

So keep reading this comedic/operatic saga that will stand the test of time, unless my PC dies before then. Highly likely.

Be well, and don’t forget to speak with pride when you mention my comic to  your shrink and/or parole officer.

-Giovanni di Prosciutto

Poetry In Motion

Hello friends of summer,

This episode of the oft-criticized, regularly maligned, fervently attacked by the Left and the Right, most dangerous and subversive comic within a 3 mile (5 /km) radius of our favorite bagel store is a shout-out to one Lesley Trites, a soul-filled colleague of mine who has had or is having her book of poetry published shortly. (I asked for a free copy and she made a 1-fingered gesture considered rude at social gatherings and leading to violent escalations in traffic situations and told me to get in line like everyone else.) Congrats, Lesley, I’ll be at the poetry reading even if you have me on the do-not-admit list.

As you can well see, there is little topical in the way of this comic, and that is because I am too tired. Work, charity, kids, blogs, comics. Forget it. I need a break. Now to take 2 weeks off to do much of nothing.

It’s hot here, sticky humid, and I have got the A/C cranked as any good North American with full disregard for the environment and a ballooning electricity bill would do. Well, if I weren’t so fat and hairy, I might not suffer as much, but the short-term solution of man-made cooler air really appeals to me more than losing weight and waxing my body. My god, I would need a candle factory’s worth of wax. Still that would be less than what my brother-in-law Sparky would need.

I promise many a fun-filled episode to come in the future and I will devote more time to the comic that ruins your inbox so that more humor, mayhem and guffaws make their way out into the world. And as a thank-you, maybe you could by a t-shirt or a tote bag from me?

Be well all, and most importantly, eat well.

-Bono Jon

Big Oil Tells the Truth

What is truth? Is it merely a concept? Does such a thing exist? It is true to state, for example, that pretty much every month the government commits a form of financial rape on me and my pay check and shows no sign of letting up with this abuse while I pile up debts to rival a small African country.

But truth is a slippery and illusive thing, something that changes with the seasons, the reasons, the tides and the wind. It changes to meet our needs, especially when confronted with the fact we have just been caught naked and being intimate with another who isn’t legally bound to said person through ceremony, or via contract, or even via a bug hunk of see-through, hardened carbon that you paid WAY too much for and thereby enabled the jeweler to finish the deck behind his house all paid for in cash.

And truth, or the notion of it, comes in many seductive forms.

We know that the concept of “truth in advertising” is akin to saying “you’ll only feel a slight discomfort” when the doctor does a rectal exam with his caveman fingers. Advertising by its very definition (“adjectival noun, referring to the art and skill of separating consumers of low to moderate intelligence from their hard-earned money by convincing them with fancy words and images to purchase something they really don’t need at all as it is utterly essential to their very survival, nay, to their very sense of self, and was likely manufactured by Chinese slave/prison labor so someone else could make his quarterly numbers to maintain his bonus, thus maintaining his drug habit”) a concept that does not lend itself to truth.

Which brings us to the comic that really is the only harbinger of cosmic truth, if you don’t count those religious nuts at the airport or sporting events.

So rarely is truth told by anyone because if we did there would be less war, fewer conflicts, fewer self-help books and lots pf people with low self-esteem crying and on big meds. Thousands of marketing and spin doctors would be out of work or homeless.  If we were told the truth all the time, we’d lose that comfortable feeling of being lied to, which is like mental comfort food for many of us. We need the greed-based lies of the oil companies in particular, because it gives my father a reason to utter the term “whore masters” while at the dinner table or the wheel of his car or in social situations.

But for the rest of us, all I can say is, it’s true, we need oil because we won’t give up driving, because it’s needed to make plastics, packaging, junk food, some inferior forms of chocolate and cake.