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Artist's Commentary
A. B. C.'s

For those of you not familiar with alphabet burping contests, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL YOUR LIFE! Let me explain some of the rules and subtle nuances of alphabet burping.

First, one must recite the alphabet during one continuous eructation, better known as a belch or burp. The volumn of said belch or burp need not be very great, however, it will certainly garner more enthusiasm from the crowd. If the contestant looses his or her place, then he or she must start over from the beginning.

Second, merely reciting the alphabet is not enough. One must be able to recite it in its proper order.

Third, any carbonated beverage is perfectly acceptable. However, let me suggest that it be decaffeinated for the simple reason that after a round or two the effects of caffeine can cause one to become hyper and loose concentration. Alphabet burping is a game which requires great concentration.

Lastly, just don't allow the game to get too serious or highbrow. Remember, it's only a game and games are designed for fun. So, after you get the hang of it, don't be afraid to mix things up a little. Maybe your contestants could recite a foreign alphabet, or maybe they could recite the alphabet backwards or maybe just the odd ones.

Published November 13, 2006












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Artist's Commentary

PFF (Premature Frowning Failure) A condition whose symptoms include facial cramps, ticks, and muscle fatigue. In extreme cases it can lead to either partial or total facial paralysis. This is a condition brought on by those who have failed to properly prepare for a long day of frowning. Many people operate under the false assumption that being a sour puss is something which one can do without the proper preparation. It is not. A crabby disposition is not enough to ready oneself for the rigors of maintaining droopy jowls, a protracted bottom lip and a clenched brow. Rigorous training is absolutely necessary and should only by undertaken with the aid of a professional trainer and under a doctor's supervision. Even a born Grump like Maxx doesn't take frowning lightly. My advise is if you're not willing to put in the time and effort to frown safely just give up the whole sour disposition lifestyle and try smiling your way through life.

Published November 20, 2006






Artist's Commentary
Mirror Image

Say what you will about Maxx's sometimes lackadaisical attitude, when it comes to surfing, he's stricly a professional.

Published November 27, 2006


Artist's Commentary
Igneous Nothing

While I admire his brilliance, it's obvious that Socrates didn't interview very many rocks when he first made his conjecture about their sleeping habits. I have it on good authority that neither sedimentary nor metamorphic rocks suffer from much somnambulant angst. These are, of course, igneous rocks and are notorious for nightmares, night terrors and night sweats. A few have even been known for sleepwalking. For proof of that, one need only investigate the Easter Island mystery. Other igneous nightmares may include, but are not limited to, gathering moss, fossil envy, and passing through a brontosaurian ureter.

Published December 4, 2006














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Artist's Commentary

Once I was without direction, a ship set adrift without a moral compass. My heart seemed to be crying out, "Give me a rock on which to anchor. I need a reason, a reason to believe in a higher power, a moral foundation, that which is greater than I." Someone heard that cry, a lone voice crying in the wilderness.

"I'll not merely give you one reason," said she, "I'll give you one hundred and nineteen reasons why you should follow the moral code, the higher power to which I have dedicated my life."

That day, my life was changed by those few simple words of truth, simple, yet profound words from a soft spoken evangelist from the Alabama Highway Patrol. Her one hundred and nineteen reasons convinced me that when the sign says seventy it does not mean eighty-four.

Published December 11, 2006

Artist's Commentary
Down Under

The Australian Marsupial Hound is considered one of the most intelligent dogs on the planet. Doozer is no exception. When it comes to his health and well being, he's done his homework. A sedentary life leads to obesity, cardiovascular disease, low hdl, high ldl, diabetes and a general sense of lethargy. Running leads to shin splints, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, Iliotibial band syndrome, achilles tendinitis, piriformis syndrome, and hamstring injuries. Which in turn leads to a sedentary life. Which leads to obesity, cardiovascular disease, low hdl, high ldl, diebetes and a general sense of lethargy. Doozer just figured he'd cut out the middle man, as it were, and just go straight for the first set of symptoms without the benefit of the second.

Maxx has no excuse, he simply doesn't care.


Published December 18, 2006









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Artist's Commentary

Genetic engineering, gene therapy, gene splicing, synthesis and modification. Highly contraversial and yet, look at all of the amazing things we could accomplish with them. Yes, I'll admit that nature in all its wonders can create amazing creatures, and yet, should we trust to the whims of random chance to achieve the goals we desire? Think about it. Were we to take the helixical building blocks of, let's say, James Bond and Gilligan*, we could create an army of Dorf's.

Think about this winning combination. Bond has been resurrected in no less than seven incarnations and Gilligan arose from the ashes of beatnic Maynard G. Krebs. We're dealing not only with the genetic material of two of the hollywoods greatest leading men and with a brain trust rivaled by none, we're also looking at a pair with a string of reincarnations which are beginning to rival that of the famous time lord Dr. Who.

*Some say his full name is Willy Gilligan, others, Gilligan Davis. Like James Bond, Gilligan is an enigma, shrouded in a mystery, wrapped in a conundrum. He was also also referred to as Little Buddy by the Skipper. He was rescued in 1978; relost that same year only to be re-rescued again in 1979.

Published December 26, 2006

Artist's Commentary
Tongue Twisters

If you're like me, you probably figured Maxx simply grabbed Dorf's tongue and tied it in a knot. But, the truth is much more insideous. It seems that Maxx actually knows a tongue twister which has been banned in nearly every civilized society*. This truth became painfully obvious after several of us helped Dorf untie his tongue. Unfortunately, he then tried unsuccessfully to repeat Maxx's tongue twister, at which time his poor tongue went into spasms so violent that it slapped him up side the head causing a mild concussion.

This has led our legal team to urge me to issue this disclaimer.

We here at Pippin & Maxx entertainment do not encourage, advocate, or condone the practice of or use of tongue twisters, palindromes, anagrams, spoonerisms, mnemonic devices, or singing in Pig Latin. Any of which can cause tongue spasms, stuttering, dyslexia, strabismus, and ipsilateral temporal or orbital pain (commonly known as brain freeze). These linguistical gymnastics should be left to professional linguists.

*Civilized society and Grump society are pretty much mutually exclusive which explains how Maxx would know such a tongue twister.

Published January 1, 2007






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Artist's Commentary

Life lesson # 1 from Prophet. If a small quiet voice in the still of the night calls upon you, it's best not to pull your cap tighter over your ears and sing "Doo-dah, doo-dah".

Life lesson # 2 from Prophet. If that same voice returns accompanied by a clap of thunder and a strike of lightning, it's best not to point to the fellow beside you and say, "Here am I, send him."

Life Lesson # 3 from Prophet. Digestive rumblings from Thools three alarm chili does not necessarily qualify as a divine directive.

Published January 7, 2007









Artist's Commentary
Look before you leap, for as you sow, ye are like to reap.
-Samuel Butler

Yeah, it's a nice saying, but, let's face it, isn't it much better to just take a flying leap into the void, be outraged at the consequences and then point the bony finger of indignation at someone else when it doesn't work out?


Published January 15, 2007











Artist's Commentary
Squinka, Squinka, Scratch, Scratch

If you find this cartoon a bit offensive, you're in good company. Amoebas have the reputation for being a bit on the snooty side. There seems to be two schools of thought among amoebas. One school contends that evolution has been misunderstood and is actually running in reverse order. Their rationale is that, why would nature begin at its pinnacle, amoeboidal life, and work its way down, namely, to us. The second, and much more far fetched school, is of the mind that, nihil pro nihilus, out of nothing comes nothing. Their thoughts are that if one takes evolution backwards to its natural origin, the laws of thermodynamics and the laws of non-contradiction are violated, thus rendering the entire discussion moot since the laws of thermodynamics and non-contradiction are supposed to be immutable. For them the whole thing is self referentially incoherent. Oh, well, there's always some group of nuts in every crowd.

Published January 22, 2007

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Artist's Commentary
Happy Birthday, Pippin

Several people have written in and asked what would be the difference between a blanket woven with belly button lint and one with toe lint. According to Grammy Grump, the difference between the two has more to do with aroma than texture. While both are extremely soft and comfortable, only toe lint comes pre-scented.

Published January 29, 2007


Artist's Commentary
Big Dig


Kids love this stuff. Don't ask me why, but they do. Paleontologists use it to learn a great deal about the dietary habits of dinosaurs. Kids, on the other hand, are just plain bizarre. What is it, you ask? Fossilized dinosaur poo.

Published February 5, 2007


Artist's Commentary
Flying Ace

How in the world can Dorf remain in his aerobarrow with no visible means of restraint? The answer is simple and no further away than the dreaded Monday morning pop quiz or being told you need a root canal, the gluteal clench. It's a medical mystery exactly what purpose the gluteal clench serves, but it does come in very handy if you're going to ride in something like an aerobarrow.

Published February 5, 2007










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Artist's Commentary
Maxx's Musings

Pondering the mysteries of the universe, life, or moral constructs is not something Grumps in general and Maxx in particular spend a great deal of time engaging in. Things like philosophy are usually looked upon as naval gazing. Grumps generally considered naval gazing best put off as long as possible in order to ensure the maximum size of one's next scarf or sweater. For those of you who don't get that, you may need to refer to the commentary on Happy Birthday, Pippin.

Published February 19, 2007


Artist's Commentary
Arrow Retrieval System

Thomas Edison is purported to have said, "Invention is 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration." He failed to mention that that 98% perspiration includes: 34% cuts and abrasions, 26% contusions, 19% fractures and concussions, 12% amputations, 8% partial to total incineration, and 3.3% impalement or beheading. That's not to mentions innumerable paper cuts, eye gouges, toe jams and unintentional tooth extractions sprinkled in for good measure. Of all the possible hazards listed above, I've been told by most inventors that paper cuts are the worst. And yes, I'm aware that the numbers above add up to more than 98%, but we're not dealing with mathematics here but philosophy. In which case, one must ask, is this a dualistic construct positing that there can be no invention without it's opposite fundamental principles of pain and suffering? Or perhaps a teleological construct dealing with the question of whether the design purpose of invention is the creation of a new thing, or more likely, that the purpose of suffering is to create in one the urge to invent, which in turn leads to new creations. And, of course, let's not forget the possible ontological question which would posit that pain and suffering were entities which, within this particular framework, are inextricably and logically relational with invention. At any rate, in the world of philosophy there is one thing in which one can always be sure. One and one need not add up to two.

Published February 26, 2007


Artist's Commentary
Mount Killawava

While lava surfing can be risky, it need not be inherently dangerous. Just keep a few things in mind before you go.

1) Be mindful of the rip tide signs.
2) Keep an eye out for any dorsal fins. If you see any, swim away from not towards them.
3) And don't eat thirty minutes before entering the lava.

Published March 5, 2007








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Artist's Commentary
Around And 'Round We Go

The Hamster Anti-Defamation League has sent me a letter expressing their grave concern over the seeming lack of sensitivity to Hamsterian philosophy this cartoon seems to imply. It is a deeply held Hamsterian belief that activity and accomplishment are synonymous, hence the oft expressed Hamsterian parting blessing, "May your days be spent ascending the Wheel of Achievement."

In an attempt to stave off any potential legal actions, I wrote the Hamster Anti-Defamation League and explained that it is a common practice among humans to: spin our wheels, participate in the rat race, and run in circles, on a pretty regular basis. In an attempt at sensitivity to diversity and the total disclosure of all points of view, I further explained that it is also a sacredly held belief even among many of my kind to equate simply doing something with actually accomplishing something. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men so often go awry and my efforts seem to have backfired. Our attorneys have just informed me that my letter was forwarded to the InterNational Association for Rat Advancement. It seems they took a dim view of my rat race comment and now I'm in hot water with them.

I wonder if I should have made that comment about mice plans? Oh, well. At least our legal team will be kept busy this year.

Published March 12, 2007





























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Artist's Commentary

Although his pride would never allow him to tell you this, Maxx worked very hard on devolving his character by attending seminars and reading the wisdom of leading motivational gurus. I once ran across, or to be more accurate, stumbled over a stack of dog-eared motivational books he'd left piled in his house. I'll share them with you if you promise not to let Maxx know who you got them from.

How to Win Enemies and Frustrate Friends by Rotten Banana Peale. Peale is arguably the father of Grump motivational speaking and the title pretty much speaks for itself.

Committing the Seven Deadly Sins: A Systematic Approach. This is a hefty tome. Not for the faint of heart. But for any apologist for the hedonistic, antisocial life, this is the most well researched coherent book on the subject. This is the product of a lifetime of research by that most famous team of theologians, Dr. Legion Dungeon and Dr. Derelict Thomas and is required reading at RTS (Reformatory Theological Seminary).

The Six Attitudes for Winners, And How to Avoid Them by Dr. Qwuit Qwicklee. A must read for anyone toying with the futile idea of actually being able to accomplish something meaningful in life.

The Power of Negative Thinking by Philthy McNasty. Considered the definitive behavioral source book among all uncivilized Grumps, Cantankeroos and Truculents. If you don't come away from reading this book believing the worst in your fellow man and absolutely convinced that God is out to get you, you should seriously reconsider a life of boorish, insolent and scurrilous behavior.

Leave the Field by Earl Fightn'flail. With such homespun wisdom as, Do unto others before they can do unto you, and Do unto others, then split, it's not hard to see how this has become a favorite among the simple, down to earth, village folk.

Lulling the Awakened Life Back to Sleep by Dr. Pessimus Somnabulust. This is like a literary innoculation against all of those Pollyannas and cockeyed optimists who are constantly trying to infuse in others a positive healthy outlook on life.

I'm O.K., You're K.O.'d, Kicking and Punching Your Way Into A More Contemplative Life by Son Sued. This is a bit of wisdom from the Orient. It's a wonderful compilation of four thousand years of metaphysical teachings by cranky monks who learned millennia ago that, might makes right, and the quickest way to end a debate is to render your opponent unconscious.

Sour Grapes, How to Make Them, How to Be Them by Donner Parté. This was a clever book full of practical advise on how to annoy those around you and tasty recipes for preparing those you find annoying.

Published March 19, 2007










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Artist's Commentary
Anticipation vs. Determination

O.K., if you didn't get it. This was inspired by the old proverb: A watched pot never boils. But I doubt if any of you really didn't get it. I'll bet that most of you were really wondering whether this was an aphorism, adage, apothegm, maxim, proverb, saw, or saying. To help clear up the confusion, let me explain. 

While all of these do tend to overlap with one another to varying degrees, an aphorism is a short statement expressing a piece of wisdom. These are very often quite witty. If an old saying has been pretty much accepted as a truth, we call that an adage. On the other hand, a familiar saying which has become somewhat worn and through long use a bit distorted, now that is naturally a saw. An apothegm, (AP-uh-THEM) which can also be spelled apophthegm, is a terse, witty saying. A succinct statement declaring a principle, a truth, or a rule of conduct would be a maxim. A saying which is short and pithy, expressing a widely accepted folksy truth is a proverb. And a saying can, of course, be almost any of these.

Published March 26, 2007