“Pull Over, You!”

This, from 2006. Believe me, dear readers. There’s no better license to have than an “artistic license,” not least of all because it doesn’t involve the DMV. Not only is it convenient, an artistic license actually is essential to a comic-strip artist. A cartoonist can indicate surprise in a character by literally having his eyes pop out of his head, with no lasting injury to the character. Of course, an artistic license isn’t a corporeal thing. I wish it were. I wish I could pull it out of my wallet and show it to so many online commenters who dismissively point out realities such as: “If a person’s eyes popped out of his head that way, it would be very painful, and he would certainly be blind the rest of his life.” I don’t talk about these things much, because there’s no winning. I don’t think it was Tommy Lasorda who said it first, but I first heard it attributed to him, and it sounds in character, “I don’t argue with people who buy ink by the barrel.” He, of course, meant newspapers. Boy, he hadn’t seen anything yet.

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