Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lois and refrigerators


[Hi and Lois, September 30, 2008.]

I'm not sure what's strangest: that the new refrigerator is smaller than the old one (yet fills the same space), that Lois left the family's artworks on the old fridge, that the deliverymen are browsing those works, that they took the fridge with those works still attached, that they haven't realized that the fridge cannot fit in their truck, that Lois' friend didn't see the truck, that Lois' friend doesn't know where old refrigerators go, that refrigerators old and new have wood-grained sides, that the new refrigerator has no handles, or that the new refrigerator has muntins. Follow the lines: they cannot represent doors. Which does make the absence of handles plausible, I suppose.

Related reading
All Hi and Lois posts

comments: 26

Le Grand Lapin said...

Michael, your "Hi & Lois" posts now have me paying waaay too much attention to my own funny pages. Alas, we don't get H&L in our part of the flyover. Can't tell what's real and what's ink any more.

p.s. Your blog is the only one I know of that automagically gets Brian Wilson tunes started inside my head. Could you maybe start a new blog called "Imagination" so I can hear "South American"? :-)

Geo-B said...

In On Photography, Susan Sontag wrote, "Freed by photography from the drudgery of faithful representation, painting could pursue a higher task: abstraction."
Now I think it's reactionary to hierarchize the arts (impressionism being purer or higher than mere representation), the quote does address the value we place in the artist's adding his or her impression. Do we look at comics to see an accurate portrayal of a refrigerator, or to invoke our sense of a part of our lives that we can easily recognize from a few strokes, proportionate or not? We are reminded of the Platonic ideal, so that something that does not look exactly like our own refrigerator (or the space it fits in or occupies) still contains the essence of refrigerator.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, LGL. You can find Hi and Lois at the Houston Chronicle. Brown Studies pointed me there a while ago.

George, your dry humor (as always) cracks me up. Thank you! Perhaps a conference on Hi and Lois and the crisis of representation (and appliances) will soon be in order.

Francis said...

I think that;
Yes the 'fridge will fit into the truck sideways - use lift gate to partially lift 'fridge, and then tip.

2) Maybe the friend wanted the fridge, and that's why she's asking.

3) My fridge has no handles, there is a recessed slot, where the "muntins" are located. You can see where he drew a hinge on top of the refrigerator., One of the lines might be for show.
Other than that, yes the former space is now smaller, and 2 echh - wood siding.

Anonymous said...

My refrigerator doesn't have a handle -- there's an indent in the side with which to open it.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome. You gotta keep doing this.

Anonymous said...

the door handles could be inline...i have a fridge that has a groove along the top for your fingers where it separates from the freezer/fridge. there could be such a groove simply along the sides. i've seen fridges that look like this...aside from the fact it's a comic, not a super detailed drawing.

it doesn't look like wood grain, it just looks like vertical striping. the comic has color, would it not be brown then?

there's no way to determine the old fridge is larger because along with everything else in the kitchen, there's perspective. since the counter-tops aren't all straight and are on an angle and the way the two people are standing - it's easy to assume that the fridge would then be shown at a different angle than the old one.

i am puzzled by the big deal about the comics. they are only meant to illustrate a story - not be photo realistic representations. but yes there are many things wrong with many of the comics.

Addlepated said...

The old fridge is open. You're seeing shelves and food, not kid artwork. The workers are picking stuff out of it.

Anonymous said...

The cartoon seems perfectly funny to me.
Actually it's more funny than it needs to be.

Most (let's say "all") Sunday comics are stupid and have grown increasingly surreal and dumb. Hi and Lois is no different.

C'mon, dude...has Andy Rooney crawled into your head?

Anonymous said...

addlepated - They're "reading" the food?

Also notice how much larger the window is from the outside than the inside.

Michael Leddy said...

No Andy Rooney here — once I noticed little Trixie riding in the front seat, I started noticing other oddities. And I like the idea of applying "close reading" to a medium that doesn't invite it. Tongue in cheek, honest.

R.W.McGee said...

And they are 'reading' the food addlepated? Pay attention to the strip...

Addlepated said...

Haha, that's what I get for being so cocksure. I thought it said "raiding." Which would have made more sense!

Macon D said...

Thanks for teaching me what muntins are!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a Subzero fridge which is supposed to blend in with your cabinetry...it just hasn't been, um, painted hideous yellow, yet.

Drew Smith said...

Well, it *is* possible that Lois' friend came in thru the back door (thereby missing the truck in the front), and that she's asking where the old one went because she doesn't know if Lois gave the old one to a relative or friend, moved it to the garage to be donated to charity, or carted it themselves to the local dump.

Jocelyn Testes-Harder said...

Did you see the one where their
cat developed a yeast infection?

John R said...

Got here from BoingBoing, I love it!

"And I like the idea of applying "close reading" to a medium that doesn't invite it."

Exactly, people!

Jai said...

I salute you, Mr. Leddy.

It does seem that the new refrigerator is a single-door unit... with muntins, for some reason (Never seen that on a fridge before, but I've never seen wood-grained or vertically-striped sides on one, either... so, well, I just don't know. It's a decorative box, isn't that good enough for a refrigerator? ;) Speaking of boxes, I hope the ones in the truck are empty so the old fridge has even a prayer of fitting inside.

The refrigerator is surely a commonly-seen piece in the Hi & Lois world. It would be amusing to keep an eye out for how it looks the next time we're in the kitchen.

Jai said...

Drat, I forgot to mention that they aren't even looking out of the first panel's window in the second panel (It has no horizontal divider, it's much wider, it's seemingly shorter since their heads reach its top, and the initial window has a tall bush obscuring part of it). This suggest quite strongly that Lois walked out of the kitchen to find out for herself what she did with the old refrigerator.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, everyone, for reading and commenting. The Boing Boing effect is pretty amazing, even more amazing than appliance muntins.

The Flagstons' living room decor changes pretty frequently (from panel to panel sometimes), so I imagine it's only a matter of time before the fridge changes as well. And when it does, I hope I catch it.

But I'm glad I missed the yeast infection. I mean the cat's yeast infection. (They have a cat?)

Michael Leddy said...

Jai, I wrote that comment before seeing your second one, which is hilarious. Thank you for that.

Lee said...

I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing weren't deliberate, to give people something to do (like research whether fridges have handles or, better yet, write blog posts about same). And remember those 'what's missing' sets of drawings you're meant to compare?

Michael Leddy said...

Hi Lee,

When the furnishings change from panel to panel, I kinda suspect that they're phoning it in.

Anonymous said...

Many of the errors in these strips may have resulted from loose pencils being passed from the lead artist to his inker. (Assuming that Chance Brown uses assistants.) I'm thinking of the weird handles, the seatbelts disappearing into the seats earlier, that wonky hot dog cart, etc. Brown might sketch a detail roughly, and the inker might not recognize what to do with it. "Where should these seatbelts end, exactly? I'll just end them right here."

Michael Leddy said...

I've wondered how much gets communicated along the way. I've also wondered sometimes whether the same person has drawn all the panels in a single strip. No continuity!