Spread The F Word

F Minus is the daily comic strip by Tony Carrillo
Visit www.FMIN.us for more information.
www.GoComics.com for today's comic.

Sep 28, 2007

F Minus Weekly Roundup: 9-10

Click here to read the comics from September 10th through the 23rd

9-10: I used to have a very realistic looking fake cockroach that I used to have lots of fun with. Whatever happened to that thing?

9-11: I don't like shoe shopping. I've never gotten used to the idea of taking off my shoes in public. Every time I tried on a new pair, I was afraid someone was going to walk around the corner and say "Hey! What are you doing?! That's obscene!" and I'd have to explain myself while awkwardly trying to put my shoes back on. That's where the idea from this comic came from. By the way, this is a picture of the shoes I bought. I like them. Very comfortable.

9-12: I don't laugh at my own drawings often, but the image of a robot happily doing the Charleston got to me. It's such a funny dance anyway.

9-13: This comic contained a reference to my favorite coffee shop, Gold Bar in Tempe, AZ. I actually work on F Minus there quite a bit. I got some free coffee out of it too.

9-14: A nod to my pal Macy Hanson; Insurance slinger, and one of the funniest guys I know.

9-17: Art imitates life: This rollerskating guy exists, just the way I drew him (aside from the wagon). I actually saw this guy skating down the street; sweater, tiny shorts, fanny pack and all. He even had the push-sticks with tennis balls at the bottom to help move himself along. I tried to get a picture, but I missed it. I still kick myself.

9-19: Look how cool those people on the left are. They are so cool.

9-20: Abstract art and I have never gotten along.

9-21: An appropriate end to the age debacle. George Phenix told me he liked this one.

9-23: The first day of fall! It just got cool enough here in Arizona to roll the windows down and turn off the AC in the car... at night. We've pretty much stayed below 100 degrees for a while now. Actually, I'm not sure I know what fall weather is really like.

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Can I see some ID?

Today I received my official membership to the National Cartoonists Society. It even came with an identification card. I'm not sure what it's for, but here are some things I'm going to try to get by showing this card:

  • Free movies
  • Free small popcorn at free movies
  • Discount rates at all state parks (Void in Tennessee)
  • Access to 'Employees Only' section at any business
  • Free medical care
  • One extra week for all library book check-outs
  • Half-price Rooty-Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity at participating IHOP restaurants
  • Magicians must reveal their secrets to cardholder
And finally, I think it should get me out of one speeding ticket every year.

One problem. Did you notice anything wrong with the card? My last name is spelled wrong. It says Carillo. There are supposed to be two 'R's. Here's a little memory crutch for my last name:
"Double R, double L; If you can't spell it, go to hell."
I know, it's a little harsh, but it rhymes. And it's easy to remember. Actually, my name is more often spelled Carillo (one R) than any other way, including the correct way. Notice the spelling on this poster from the Reuben Award Weekend in May: It might be a little hard to see, but it's another single R situation. That was the NCS too. But here's the weird thing, on the envelope the membership came in, my name was spelled correctly! Go figure.
Any other suggestions for what I should try to get with my card?

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F Minus in New Times

Yesterday, the Phoenix New Times released their Best of Phoenix issue, and they named F Minus, Best Syndicated Comic Strip! Included is a little blurb about F Minus. Also, check out this questionnaire filled out by yours truly.

Book news: Supposedly the F Minus Book will be available in stores September 30th, but we'll see. You may want to call your local bookstore to ask how many copies they have. Here's a Borders Locator.

I think the book signing will probably end up being sometime in December, before Christmas. It will be at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ (also a Best of Phoenix winner).

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Sep 9, 2007

F Minus Weekly Roundup: 9-1

Click here to read the comics from September 1st through the 9th

9-1: Several librarians wrote me praising this comic. The comic includes a little bonus joke about bookmarks, but I don't know if anyone under 18 remembers the phrase "Be kind, rewind". I guess I'm getting OLD!

9-2: I wonder how many Jennifers are in a one mile radius at any given time. Makes you want to name you kid something like Rastleflam.

9-5: I think the most disturbing juxtaposition of all time was when Bob Dylan showed up in a Victoria's Secret commercial. Whose genius idea was that?

9-6: This comic caused a lot of confusion and some incredible interpretations. Here are some possibilities sent to me by a fan:
-Two old men who are wealthy but perhaps empty and shallow decide late in their life to do soul searching, and of all things, about something to buy. With the irony being they're next to the fireplace (symbolizing hell).
-The older men were conservatives and liked to buy American and that the waiter was referring to imports that the man had bought in his soul searching. Thus the hypocrisy.
-It was a play on words and that he had been searching for a soul. (possibly the soul he was purchasing was that of the Asian waiter).
-The man had been shopping for something his whole life and had finally found it, but he was now old.
What do you think?

9-7: This one's already been talked to death.

9-9: Weird timing on this one, huh? Fans might remember The World's Worst Grandpa from a comic back in January.

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Oh Grandpa, you don't mean that.

A friend of F Minus sent me this hilarious image. Wouldn't it look great on a T-shirt? By the way, today's F Minus was done weeks ago, and is completely coincidental.

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Sep 8, 2007

Beautiful Northwest North Carolina

Hey all,
There's an article about F Minus in the Winston-Salem Journal right now. They are testing out F Minus for about a month I think. They also have a web-poll, so make sure you vote for F Minus. Or, you know, whoever you want... (wink!)

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Sep 7, 2007

Hate Mail: Large Font Edition

A while back I did a comic that made fun of band nerds. I got a flood of hate mail. "Your jock mentality is why music programs get no respect!" one angry band nerd wrote. Another told me they were going to try to get me censured by the American Music Educators organization of... whatever.
Here's the kicker; I was a band nerd. I played the saxophone for the school band for eight years. The idea that I have a "jock mentality" is hilarious to me (and probably to my P.E. teachers).

Over the last few years I've made cartoons that poke fun at children, models, fat people, skinny people, lawyers, doctors, rich people, hobos, artists, clowns, cheerleaders, teachers, astronauts, mothers... pretty much anything you can think of. What is amazing are the different ways these groups react to being featured in F Minus:
I make fun of band nerds and they complain. Later I do a comic about jocks, and they love it!
A comic about cheerleaders incited hate mail. When I made fun of lawyers, I got requests for framed copies for the office.

I do a LOT of comics making fun of teens and college students, and they are probably my biggest group of readers. But today's comic featured an old man...

This morning I got a few emails directing me to this blog by George Phenix. I'll wait here while you read it...

Here's something that I've noticed in about 80% of angry readers: The offended person will assign meaning to my comic that helps his/her argument, but was not actually in the comic. Mr. Phenix states, "It crosses the line and ridicules older people who might be suffering from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or dementia."
Of course, nowhere in this comic are any of those diseases mentioned. I'm not sure where he got that.

Mr. Phenix also poses the question:
"Why don't the elderly in America get respect? Because of crap like this cartoon."
I would suggest that the reason old people don't get respect is not because of cartoons like this, but because of their reaction to cartoons like this. Case in point: Mr. Phenix's blog. What if, instead of grumbling and complaining about cartoons about old people, Mr. Phoenix posted comics such as these on his blog for old folks to read and laugh at? (My grandma loves when I do comics about the elderly.)

The most revealing part of Mr. Phenix's blog is this: "I really like the dark humor in Tony Carrillo's new cartoon strip called F Minus. It's sometimes edgy, sometimes oblique and nearly always right on. But today he's gone too far."

I'm glad Mr. Phenix likes F Minus, and I don't want him to stop reading. But I think that last sentence probably should have said,
"But today he made fun of me."

It's the same thing I told my fellow band nerds. What do you do when someone is laughing at you? Laugh with them.

You may be saying, "But Tony, you're not old. How can you make comics about old people?"
Well I've got some news for you. I recently found out
that... I am aging. Apparently, it's a condition I was born with. It hasn't really affected me negatively yet, but from what I've read, age will slowly wither my body until I am an old man. And according to my doctor, this condition is fatal. So to cope with this news I've decided to confront the issue head on, and joke about it. After all, they say laughter is the best medicine. So come on old folks, heal with me!

(P.S. "Make it hurt."? What the...?)

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Sep 5, 2007

Comics I Don't Understand

I found a great website recently, Comics I Don't Understand. It's a blog where people can go to post and discuss comic strips that have confused them. There are several F Minus comics on there. Some of the explanations that some people come up with are absolutely hilarious. So far, on each F Minus comic that has been posted, there's at least one person that gets it right (sort of). Some of them seem absolutely sure they've got the answer, and they couldn't be more off. I love that F Minus is a frequent visitor. If it gets to the point that my comic is easily understood by all, it's time to quit.
I've gotta say, it takes some guts to post something on that site. It's a pretty bold move to publicly admit that a comic strip has gone over your head.
At first I was tempted to post an explanation for each of my comics on the site, but I think it's more fun to let the discussion continue.
I also got one comic in a special section called The Ewww Files.

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