Kitty Lymph and Other Stories

Kitty Lymph and Other Stories

To Lymph or Not to Lymph?

The people over at the Strait Dope sure don't like cats. I've been rubbing my cat, Francine Fink, on her neck because it makes her love me more. It occurred to me that this is the precise type of rubbing that I do to my girlfriend when she's sick; to help move the lymph around from the swollen lymph nodes located at the bottom of the jaw. Suddenly, curiosity overran me—do cats have lymph nodes? Do many animals? I would assume that only mammals do. Mostly, all I've been able to turn up is a lot of information about the apparently mysterious 'cat scratch fever'. Which I thought was just a song lyric.
Editor's note: Not to worry, Amber assures me that Cat's have Lymph nodes.

Me and You and Gorgeous Music

I've already mentioned how amazing I felt 'Me and You and Everyone We Know' is. I did forget to mention, though, how beautiful the soundtrack is. It's easily the best soundtrack I've heard since 'The Life Aquatic', 'Eternal Sunshine', or 'The Virgin Suicides'. Largehearted Boy reported that you can stream the entire thing here, which I strongly urge you to do.

The Ballad of Peyo, the Smurfs, and Political Folly

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I noticed recently that some of Peyo's original smurf. comics are up on Amazon used. These comics were some of the most important things I read when I was a kid—they were epic and gorgeously executed, and my brother and I fought over who got to have them in their rooms constantly. I was shocked to see that my favorite one, King Smurf was there, too.

King Smurf (which was, apparently, also made into a cartoon) was a story that, thinking back, seems pretty epic and political for a comic-strip in the 40's-50's. In fact, had the Red Scare been going on decades later (during the latter part of the '70's and early 80's), we Americans would never have seen the Smurfs. I know, I know, there's the stupid commie-Smurf thing that all the young webernet kids are discussing these days, but based off of K.S., I think it's fairly certain.

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See, in King Smurf, Papa Smurf notices that he's out of 'Euphorbium', which he needs in his super-science experiment of the night. The next morning, he tells the Smurfs of the village that he's leaving for awhile and that they should behave themselves. Startled by their new lack of leader, the Smurfs quickly form a plan of action: democracy. They discover, though, that democracy is harder than they expected—everyone wants to vote for themselves. Once they narrow down the candidates to two (Smurf and Brainy Smurf), they get down to the election. After some hilarious escapades in the voting booths (spoiled ballots and Brainy's attempt to vote multiple times for himself), Smurf is decided to be the new leader. He then goes into his home and returns, decked out in gold, and announces that he is now King Smurf. A jump from Democracy to Monarchy. It seems that we're climbing down the political ladder now, doesn't it kids?

But that's not all! After several challenges (including Jokey Smurf making a fool out of the royal guard), King Smurf creates a prison and begins to willy-nilly throw all dissenters into it, thus turning Monarchy to Fascism. So, of course, there springs up a Smurf Liberation League (named the Rebels, of course) with a secret base in the forest, which King Smurf soon seeks out to destroy (the secret code to be a Rebel? Q: Why did the Smurf smurf the road? A: To Smurf to the other smurf). The Rebels free people from the royal prison, and soon an all-out Smurf war breaks out!

The King's royal palace (which, of course, he made the Smurfs build ala concentration camp) is destroyed, and Papa Smurf shows up just in time to stop a Smurf-lynching. As soon as Papa Smurf returns, all the Smurfs return to normal and answer Papa's questions and do his bidding, being the perfect workers they were before. Eerily Orwellian, no?

These comics are amazing, right down to the smallest detail. I suppose I'm just waiting around for Fantagraphics to collect all of them in one handy series. If anyone knows if there's any other way to get these books, drop me a line because, while the prices of the used editions and Amazon are tempting, the unknown quality is not.

If anyone's feeling generous (like a buck-fifty type generous), my Amazon Book wishlist has them up. And while your at it, these are likewise awesome.

If not, buy them for yourselves. You'll love them. LOVE them.

(No Smurfs were smurfed during the smurfing of this story).


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