Am I mean?


First Day of Spring cartoon. First day of spring is officially March 20 this year (although I’ve always thought it was March 21), but because the clocks sprang forward one hour this weekend (hate), we’ll call this Spring Week.

runaway Toyota prius hoax for spring cartoon

This made me laugh last night when I wrote it. It still makes me laugh! Maybe I’m just a morbid cartoonist who likes accidents and death, or maybe I am amused by the hoax that that one guy has been pulling on us. Kind of suspicious from the beginning, yet I couldn’t put my finger on why…

From the LA Times:

Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that its preliminary investigation into a runaway Prius incident a week ago resulted in findings “inconsistent” with the driver’s account.

The automaker said at a San Diego news conference that two days of testing failed to reproduce driver James Sikes’ reportedly stuck accelerator, leading to a nearly 30-minute ride on Interstate 8 before he could get the car stopped.

Okay, it was a Prius, not a true Toyota this time. Big diff – sue me, I’m a girl.

Over the weekend, Gomez said his client was sticking to his story and that a “ghost-in-the-machine” type of software failure, if to blame for the incident, would be difficult to reproduce in testing.
Toyota executives steered clear of saying that Sikes was not being truth- ful.

That’s a weird hyphen in truthful. Sikes’ story is here.

I love the part where the CHP said it was washing its hands of the whole story hoax! (for some reason, the AP rewrites stories constantly, so a great quote I remember from one story is gone from the next version of the exact same news story. But here is the cached quote.)

Toyota said it believes a CHP officer’s account that he smelled burning brakes while guiding Sikes on the freeway.

“That is the puzzling aspect of this,” Michels said.

Brian Pennings, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, said his agency’s view that there is no evidence of a hoax is unchanged. The CHP does not plan to investigate the incident because there were no injuries or property damage.

Just the facts, ma’am. However, the CHP is blushing on the inside.

Back to me being mean. There is a theory on the internet that all a creative person needs to survive is 1000 true fans. The idea is that those 1,000 true fans will buy $100 each of your album, posters, tshirts, etc, in such abundance that you will be set for life. This ignores books – many writers write just one – paintings, and many other kinds of art, but this is the internet we’re talking about, it’s fanboys, and music is their game. I just love pyramid ideas like this. [/sarcastic]

Well, in Gocomics, they have a list of how many subscribers you have next to your name or feature, if you hover on the name. It’s free to subscribe – it just means you get it in your mailbox, or on your home page. They used to put them in order of popularity, which was more convenient or also more embarrassing, if you’re new or unliked, but now they just have the top 10. Since it’s always the same top 10, they remain the top 10, since they sit there and more people click on them, since they ARE the top 10… ad infinitum! (Sorry, no links now. Uclick threw away 2 years of my cartoons on Slate, Gocomics and Yahoo News when they kicked me out of Gocomics.)

I have 3,539 subscribers as of this hour. That would put me in the Gold Record Label group if I did music, but as a cartoonist, not so much. The syndicated guys automatically get thousands more – not sure how that works – and the top man in editorial is Ted Rall, with 19,600 subscribers.  The regular comics guys have many more, with top strips like Non Sequiter and Garfield with 59,000 subscribers.

Every time I do a cartoon about Democrats my subscribers go down. They hate that! Today wasn’t partisan at all, just Toyota runaways, but my subscribers still went down by 7. That’s a lot in one day. So do they hate spring, or Toyota, or getting up in the morning? Or aren’t I supposed to talk about deadly car accidents in opinion cartoons? Hard to tell, with that surly lot.

*I have a new First Day of Spring cartoon up here, all about the birds and the bees.

Cartoon caption: It’s spring! The birds, the bees, the runaway Toyotas flying down the freeways!