Posts from The Intern: Meredith

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January 03, 2014

New Year, New Start

It’s a New Year, and my time assisting at GoComics is coming to an end as I pass the torch on to an awesome new intern. This is bittersweet. GoComics is my alma mater in a way: It's a place that will always have a special spot in my heart, where I’ve grown immensely and shared some really good laughs with a lot of really great people. The new year is a time of reflection, and as I reflect on 2013, I am the most thankful that I was able to get my start at GoComics, because GoComics has given me the tools I need to succeed. But now I face a fresh new start and that’s always an exciting thing.

 

Calvin and Hobbes:

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The new year is also a time to set goals ... then slip into a pair of sweatpants, eat an entire pizza by yourself and pretend like you’re actually going to get off the couch and work out tomorrow. This year, I have decided to ditch my laissez-faire attitude toward New Year’s resolutions, seeing as new starts are the perfect opportunity to grab life by the horns, and I set some goals I absolutely have to stick to if I want to conquer this purgatory they call “the awkward 20-somethings.” For example, finding a job I love as much as this one, so I won’t have to live in my parents’ basement anymore.

 

Ultimately, I want to be able to use this pickup line. Dilbert:

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I won’t lie, my past resolutions have not been successful, and new starts kind of freak me out, because both of these things imply change. However, life would be so boring if we didn’t change.

 

Calvin and Hobbes:

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That’s the fun thing about change. Zen Pencils:

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Wishing you a happy new start with a brave new heart.

 

What is your New Year's resolution? Comment on this blog post and let me know.

 

~Meredith 

December 26, 2013

National Fruitcake Day

“What is fruitcake made of?,” we all pondered in our GoComics marketing team meeting.  “I mean there’s obviously fruit, sometimes nuts, but what other ingredients go into fruitcake, and what makes it last so long?” We are all fairly knowledgeable people here at GoComics, so why did we know so little about fruitcake? Is fruitcake just archaic tradition, or does it require a developed taste? I believe the answer is a little of both. 

 

A picture of the first fruitcake. CowTown:

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Dec. 27 is National Fruitcake Day, which should be aptly renamed National Fruitcake AWARENESS Day. Fruitcake, something often re-gifted rather than gifted, is a dying breed. It’s common knowledge that those who have a palate for fruitcake obviously carry a recessive genetic trait, while those who do not carry this gene have an instinctual disdain for this festive anomaly.

 

Personally, I associate fruitcake with the Greatest Generation, something more popular among my grandparents. Somewhere in my clouded memory of Christmases past, I remember my grandma making fruitcake in the form of cupcakes for easier consumption. The finished product— an NHL professional grade hockey puck. The only person I’ve ever known to be really, truly excited about fruitcake was my easy-to-please Great Uncle John, whose Christmas list usually consisted of only two things:  fruitcake and Old Spice. 

 

Either way, fruitcake has become the stuff of urban legends, despite its supposed 2-billion-year shelf life. Does fruitcake deserve a Hostess Twinkie-style comeback, or should we just let it go? In order to answers this hard-hitting question, I’ve consulted the comic gurus.

 

Historically, fruitcake may have a bad rap. That is Priceless:

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Something both man and dog try to avoid. The Duplex

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However, fruitcake can be repurposed, as demonstrated in FoxTrot:

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CowTown creator Charlie Podrebarac also offers a lot of interesting ways to recycle your fruitcake, though I would say his attitude toward fruitcake is a little negative. In fruitcake’s defense, there aren’t many foods that can hold a flame to CowTown BBQ. 

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Refreshingly, Adam@Home seems to suggest fruitcake deserves a second chance, despite its “gross stuff.”

 

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I think fruitcake is getting too much flak. After all, you can eat it, re-gift it, or use it as a spare tire.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

 

What do you think about fruitcake? Comment of this blog post and let us know!

 

~Meredith 

 

December 19, 2013

Moving Back In

I have two roommates, and they happen to be the same people responsible for giving me life. Yes, I live with my mom and dad. I often think about what I would write about if I ever created a comic strip. Without a doubt, I would tell my story of moving back in with my parents.

 

Moving from my college pad to my parents' house has obviously taken some getting used to. There are times when I yearn for my independence and times when my parents’ popularity ratings suffer, like when they make me do the dishes.

Calvin and Hobbes:

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However, now that my years of teen angst are a thing of the past, I have built an appreciation for my parents, and I’ve come to realize that moving back home has it’s benefits. 

 

Thatababy:

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After all, I no longer have to worry about starving to death due to my lack of culinary skills.

Invisible Bread:

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I think they appreciate my help. I make sure they are up to date on the latest trends. I recently taught my mom how to freestyle rap, which was funny until she exclaimed, “You have a college degree, but you moved back home with me.” They also turn to me for tech support. A few months ago, my dad asked me if he needs two computers to burn a CD. It’s times like these when I think our generational gap would make for some pretty hilarious comic moments.

 

This happens to me at least once a week. Invisible Bread

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There are things I learn from my parents, too, because parents somehow magically have an answer for everything. Seriously, parents instinctively know how to fix any problem that may arise. I am constantly taking notes on everything from car maintenance to how to fold fitted sheets.

 

And if they can’t fix it, they find somebody to help. In college, these problems go unsolved. FoxTrot:

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Even though they didn’t seem to suffer from empty nester syndrome at all when I was in college, I think they’ve enjoy having me back at the ol’ homestead for some quality time we wouldn't have otherwise.

 

Cathy:

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Thatababy:

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If you created a comic strip what would you write about? Comment on this blog post and let me know.

 

~Meredith

December 12, 2013

Imaginary Friends

Imaginary friends were a hot topic on GoComics this week.

 

Rat from Pearls Before Swine introduced his imaginary friend, Bernie, who seems a little gritty, but also seems to share the same interests as Rat:

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Peter Otterloop from Cul de Sac hung out with his imaginary friend, Ernesto: 

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This got me thinking about why kids have imaginary friends in the first place. Are they bored, lonely or are imaginary friends just fun to have around? There can be a fine line between cute and creepy when kids have in-depth conversations with figments of their imagination. If these habits carried into adulthood, we would all be walking around like Jon in Garfield Minus Garfield:

 

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While I don’t remember having imaginary friends when I was little, I do remember having a stable full of imaginary ponies, Huey, Dewey and Louie, who were pink, purple and blue. I think my imaginary ponies were compensation for the lack of pastel-colored ponies I owned in real life. 

My pony situation was kind of similar to the whole pet unicorn situation in Heavenly Nostrils:

 

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Recently, my friends and I have had a good time joking about our imaginary boyfriends -- doctors/artists who like to go shopping with us and discuss things like music and classic literature. Unfortunately, our imaginary boyfriends may also be compensations for the boyfriends we lack in real life.

 

Garfield Minus Garfield

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Maybe that’s why Rat and Peter have imaginary friends. Rat is compensating for the fact that he doesn’t have a drinking buddy as troubled as he is, and Peter is compensating for the band friend with shark teeth he never had. Or maybe having imaginary friends just makes the day go faster.

 

Calvin and Hobbes

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Did you have an imaginary friend when you were little? Comment on this blog post and let me know.

 

~Meredith 

December 05, 2013

The Winter Blues

It’s no secret that the characters at GoComics live for winter. It’s a rarity if there isn’t at least one snowball fight happening somewhere on your comics page from December to February. Sometimes I have trouble relating these GoComics features, and I know I don’t stand alone on this topic. Unlike Calvin and his snow goons, I HATE WINTER.

 

December is National Seasonal Depression Awareness month, and, unfortunately, I am all too aware of seasonal affective disorder. I am so S.A.D. it’s not even funny. Fortunately, I work at GoComics, and I find laughter is the best medicine for combating my winter blues.

 

I am a natural light junkie. I love to bask in the sun and all its vitamin D, life-giving glory, so spring and summer are definitely my favorite months. Then it happens. Every year, some time around the first freeze, my body slows to a glacial pace, both cognitively and physically. I spend every day for the rest of winter trying to fight off my Paleolithic instinct telling me to curl up in the fetal position and hibernate until the flowers start blooming again.

 

F Minus:

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I wish I could head south for the winter too.  The Grizzwells: Gw_c111212

 

It takes every fiber of my being to unadhere myself from my bed on winter mornings. While I’m at work, I think about my down comforter like a lovesick teenager: how it is a gift from the heavens, and how much I can’t wait to be wrapped in its warm embrace once more. When I get home I carbo-load, turn off my phone and retreat to my bed to be left alone with my Netflix. I am usually awoken from my long winter naps because a concerned friend or family member has come to check my vitals and confirm that my mattress has not, in fact, swallowed me whole.

 

Snoopy knows about the power of a good blanket. Peanuts:

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The seasonal change also makes me moody, and I turn into a bit of a Scrooge around the holidays. I’m more irritable during family time, which is abundant this time of year. The only festive song I can stand to listen to is "River," by Joni Mitchell, which is basically the S.A.D. anthem. It’s even worse when the holidays are over and people forget to continue spreading cheer, otherwise know as the post-Christmas letdown.

 

It would be magical if we could combine presents and sunshine. Heavenly Nostrils:

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B.C.: Crbc121231

 

Peanuts:

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Joking aside, Seasonal Affective Disorder is real, and it’s a real struggle. However, I’ve come to realize maybe it’s nature's way saying (or forcing) us to slow down and appreciate the little things, like comfort food, a comfortable bed and the time we have with family and friends who care about us during the season when it matters most.

 

What helps you combat the winter blues? Comment on this post and let me know!

 

~Meredith 

November 28, 2013

The Season of Togetherness

 

In case you haven’t seen the television commercials, which have been running since Halloween, it’s that time of year again. The time when we get to take a break from our busy lives to celebrate the holidays, huddle indoors and surround ourselves with good food.

 

Oh, yeah -- and family.  We get to surround ourselves with our crazy families. 

 

Like the Otterloop family in Cul de Sac:

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It’s a joyous time, but for some of us the extra family time in cramped winter quarters can also be a little stressful.  Especially when your mother is nagging you about your outfit choice, your aunt wants to know if she can set you up on a date with her “cutie patootie” neighbor, you have to listen to your uncle’s sad attempts at jokes and your siblings make snarky comments about your third helping of mashed potatoes.  I’m getting worked up just thinking about it.

 

It does sound familiar, Real Life Adventures

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I don’t know why Rat has to leave. Everyone’s thinking it. Pearls Before Swine

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So this holiday season remember to take deep breaths and take it easy on the eggnog, because the holidays will be over soon and you’ll go back to missing your clan of crazy relatives.

 

~Meredith 

August 29, 2013

Buy the ticket, take the ride.

I attended a going-away party for a friend last weekend, and an older woman there gave my friends and I some sage advice. Seeing as we are a group of 20-somethings in that awkward transitional phase when we can’t decide what we want for breakfast, let alone what we want to do with the rest of our lives, we’ll take advice from anyone who is offering it.

 

The woman said, “If you walk into a nursing home anywhere in the world and ask one of the residents what they regret most about their life, they will never answer with a something they regret doing. They will only answers with regrets about the things they did not do.” This reminded me of a Hunter S. Thompson quote, which appeared in last week’s Zen Pencils. “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” 

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I’ve always understood this quote (in its "Fear and Loathing" context) to mean you may have created a situation that makes you feel like you are in over your head, but turning back would be a rather uninteresting option. This quote, in its Zen Pencils context, also works as a form of encouragement: Just do it. You won’t regret it. 

 

This is my last day at GoComics, and, in retrospect, this quote perfectly reflects my experience here. This is a real job: I’ve had to do real work, and there were times I felt like I was in over my head. When I started here, I was still in school and I didn’t know if I would be able to make it to the finish line with my sanity intact, but with the extraordinary help from the GoComics team I have found my voice as a writer and grown so much as a professional. I am so glad I bought the ticket and took the ride.

 

~Meredith, the magical mystery intern. 

 

P.S. Do you have any advice for me as I embark on my next adventure? I would love to hear it. Comment on this blog post and let me know. 

Chlast

 

August 22, 2013

The Beach is Calling

This month’s Cul De Sac has chronicled the Otterloops' trip to the beach, and I have been in a perpetual state of nostalgia ever since I glanced at the first of the beach panels. I’m actually kind of freaked out, because I have never read anything so akin to my experiences as a kid. It’s like Richard Thompson read my mind. 

 

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Every year, my parents would load us in car and embark us on a two-day journey across six states to visit my family at their beachfront home on a secluded island off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla. A valiant venture, considering my sister and I cannot spend more than two hours together without bickering. These car trips truly tested the ties of unconditional love.  

 

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The words “beach house” may have a fancy connotation, but this beach house is a total zeitgeist of the 1960’s. It still retains its original pea green appliances and wood-paneled walls despite the number of hurricanes and tropical storms it has weathered. The ocean air has made the furniture smell of must, and the local cats add notes of dander to the scent. To me, the beach house and the island it stands on are magical because it is home to some of my earliest and favorite memories. What kid wouldn’t be awe-struck by a place shrouded in mystical legends of sunken pirate treasure and fishermen’s tales of mermaids, a place where you can swim all day and watch nests of sea turtle eggs hatch at night? That is why I found myself almost envious of Alice this week as she gets to experience all the wonders of the beach through the eyes of a kid. 

 

I hold tacky beach house decorations close to my heart: 

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My hair does things I don’t understand when it’s exposed to humidity and salt air: 

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What is seafoam made of anyway? 

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The higher the SPF the better. Trust me on this one, Alice.  41c01940cbbf0130f171001dd8b71c47

 

Where do most of your favorite childhood memories take place? When was your first trip to the beach? Comment on this blog post and let us know.

 

~The Intern 

 

 

 

 

August 15, 2013

To the Daily Comics and Beyond!

There is no doubt in my mind I was an astronaut in a past life. If you don’t believe me, consider this: My favorite movie in second grade was The Right Stuff, which has the run time of 3 hours and 21 minutes. I sat all the way through it, at age 7, multiple times. I spent hours begging my parents to sign me up for space camp, and I was genuinely jealous they were around to witness the space race. I stockpiled those glow-in-the-dark stars you stick to your ceiling so I could make my room look like a planetarium. I even enjoyed that nasty freeze-dried astronaut food you can buy in science museum gift shops. This girl is a space nerd.

 

Unfortunately, the math and science parts of my brains did not develop to full rocket scientist potential, so now I have to look elsewhere for my aeronautical fix. Luckily, my stars led me to GoComics, where I do not stand alone in my wannabe astronaut space pursuit.

 

I used to have a rocket ship just like this one in Red and Rover:

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Here is a custom creation by Red and Rover's Brian Basset for the NASA program:

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I also had a spacewoman alter ego like Calvin and Hobbes:

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I can always count on Brewster Rocket: Space Guy! for awesome space facts:

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Do you have personal stories about the space race or your own space adventures perhaps? Comment on this blog post and let us know!

 

~The Intern

 

 

 

 

 

August 08, 2013

Duality

There’s duality in the comic world between fun and seriousness, a childlike way of looking at things and an adult way of looking at things. One thing that continuously amazes me about the comic realm is its appeal to a huge demographic, ages 6 to 600. I think this is because the imaginative quality we all seem to lose a bit when we mature is fully present in the comics page; in turn, presenting a scenario kids can relate to and a feeling adults yearn for. There’s no doubt in my mind that it takes hour upon hours of blood, sweat and tears for the comic strip creators to a capture this brilliant dichotomy, creating something that can appeal to all ages, but this imagination is the element that makes comics strips work.

 

I spent the weekend with my cousins (ages 8 and 10), and the more time we spent together, the more I started to envy them. Firstly, because I know they must be in cahoots with the Energizer Bunny, and secondly, because I’m jealous of their vivid, wild imaginations. I began to reflect on the days when my imaginary pony friends kept me entertained for hours, the days when I had no mental filter to inhibit me from thinking or saying the darndest things. Then I started thinking about how ingenious some aspects of my work would be today if I still had the ability to imagine and pretend like I did when I was 6.

 

Not only is this imagination seen in the work of the creator. It’s seen in their characters….

 

Calvin is the king of imagination. Calvin and Hobbes

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Snoopy is full of imagination when it comes to fighting the Red Baron. Peanuts:

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Mark Tatulli is so imaginative that Lio’s imagination has an imagination of its own: 

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Where did your imagination take you when you were little? Comment on this blog post and let us know.

 

~The Intern

 

 

 

 


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