Comic 42 - The Dreaded Lurgy
22nd Nov 2021, 8:00 AM in Dunestock
Transcript Preface/warning:
Panel 1:
Reinder: Hello friends, this is the artist. I'm here to give you a content warning for the comic below. I've never done that before.

Panel 2:
Reinder: You see, I normally think that just about anything can be a subject for humor, and as a guy born in 1971, I have a high tolerance for edgy jokes even if I don't exactly make that my brand.

Panel 3:
Reinder: I never put content warnings on even the goriest sequences in Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan, and if this episode was set in that setting, I still wouldn't. It would work with a medieval bard catching the plague, no problem. You'd laugh.

Panel 4:
Reinder: But having lived through almost two years of a global pandemic, I know how raw people's feelings still are. Like if you've lost a loved one to COVID-19, that's gotta hurt, right now.

Panel 5:
Reinder: Well, maybe a few years from now, after we've conquered this pandemic, it'll be safe to joke about it like we joke about yersinia pestis*) and and the surgeons in their cool bird masks who try to treat it.
*)Footnote: it's not even gone! There are periodic outbreaks in areas that are remote to us, but not the people living in them

Panel 6:
Reinder: Until then, if you think it's too soon for this sort of thing, you may want to skip to next week's strip, which should be this way.

Panel 1
Seen in the tent:
Mac (on phone): Hey, er, sorry can't make it. Our singer Johnnie had to go to the hospital. Could you do us a favor and read a statement onstage?

Panel 2
We see Mac Truck in the hospital, in full PPE, with part of a hospital bed behind him on which the feet of Johnnie Velcro, lying prone, can be seen.
Mac: "The Blues Dads regret that Johnnie Velcro can't make it, but be assured that he will soon be back on the highway for more beer-drinkin', honky-tonkin', makin' the ladeeez happy and bringin' you the best blues in these flat lands". When Mac says these words, we see him in the hospital, in full PPE, with part of a hospital bed behind him on which the feet of Johnnie Velcro, lying prone, can be seen.

Panel 3
Ernst translates the statement quickly.
Ernst: "Translation: Johnnie Velcro is on a ventilator and could die any minute."

Panel 4
Mac: "Of course not! What makes you say such a-"
Life support machine behind him makes a long beep.

Panel 5
Mac: "Oh fuck."

Average Rating: 5 (3 votes) Rate this comic
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Author Notes:
ReinderDijkhuis edit delete
I grew up with Monty Python (in re-runs - I'm old but not that old), The Young Ones, Spitting Image (the original show, not the defanged version we get today), Blackadder, and other comedies that took no prisoners and also had abrupt tonal shifts from time to time. So yeah, I've got a high tolerance for that sort of thing. This, on the other hand, while being a good gag and a plot point in the storyline, made me wary. Irreverence is one thing, but what with the pandemic still not being over (and I really expected we'd be doing better by the end of Year Two), it will still be too soon for many people. I'm not completely heartless, you know.

At least you get a double comic out of the whole situation, sort of. I used to do this all the time back in the 1990s: comics in which I directly addressed the reader. That went by the wayside when I switched to webcomics. It's actually kind of nice to see myself do this again, albeit with a much older avatar of myself.
User comments:
industrialspy edit delete reply
Wait wait wait, you're saying that you aren't actually a psychedelic squirrel? Disappointment.
ReinderDijkhuis edit delete reply
I remember how disappointed I was when I found out Phoebe Bridgers didn't tour dressed as a bedsheet ghost, so I hear ya.
Kevin_Redcrow edit delete reply
I thought this was funny. I thought it was funny because it had good build up and delivery.

As one who grew up in America and fed a diet of excessive gratuitous violence in the entertainment media, this is pretty tame.

I do not think it makes light of the pandemic. It was simply using a real event as a pivot point for your story.

Racuminius edit delete reply
I could do nothing but celebrate that this kind of humor still lurks in some corners of this "corrected" world. We know what you're capable of and we'll be waiting for it! If we're not able to laugh at our on disgraces, we'll be flooding the world with tears before global warming does it (something we should rather take very seriously).
burstlion edit delete reply
That is some dark humor, and that is WELL PLAYED!!

Excellent page!