I swore I’d never ever do this, but here I am doing it, blithely gabbing away about my work, removing all the mystery and revealing myself to be the craven deadline-driven creature that I am. Never ever say never ever. The mini-series that ran in newspapers Friday and Saturday, the bat cartoons, was supposed to be a longer series, perhaps running all week. Arlo and Janis find a bat in the house, and, well, I never got any further than the Friday strip, “Something weird is going on.” I went to the ‘net to research the topic a bit and found that there are many pedantic and dogmatic sites out there that deal with a bat in the house: Catch the bat with gloves. Shoo the bat out a window. Release the bat in the yard. Take the bat to the health department to be examined. Don’t hit the bat with a tennis racket. (There seemed to be a concensus on that one.) The bat probably is harmless. The bat quite likely is rabid. Don’t panic. Get a rabies shot if you were sleeping at any time the bat was in a room. And so forth and so on. Cartoonists quickly develop a sense for these highly wrought topics that are best avoided, also known as becoming “gun-shy.” However, one thing I never would do is waste a perfectly good cartoon after it has been drawn. Hence, Saturday’s cartoon.
The bat cartoons, by the way, are based on real-life events. I won’t go into it, but if you ever read a news account of a mad cartoonist being gunned down in the street, you’ll know the back story.