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Artist's Commentary
The Bunny Cure

To everything there is a season...
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

This day was really a well deserved treat for Maxx. He stoically endured a frustratingly prolonged spring filled with blue skies, prancing newborns, and the ground virtually erupting with blossoms. All that, accompanied with the air practically dripping with aromatic frangrances, an unceasing chorus of chirping birds and humming insects, and an unending parade of butterflies, honeybees, and bunny rabbits, was almost more than this poor Grump could endure. He really needed a break.


Published April, 2, 2007


















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Artist's Commentary
Cogito Ergo Ouch

Trees are not much on travel. That, accompanied with some of the longest life spans in nature, has made them quite philosophical. It was actually a tree fern during the Carboniferous Period which first postulated what the 17th century French philosopher Rene Descartes proposed in his Discourse on Method, Cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am".

What Loxoma of the Withered Frond, (circa middle early Visean division of the Carboniferous Period) actually surmised was that if he reduced everything to it's basest principle, taking no form of thought or reason for granted, the only thing left was doubt. Building from there, he realized that to doubt one's doubts was to doubt. Therefore, doubts had to exist, and by extension, so did we.

The horsetail Bucephalus Equisetum, (circa early late Bashkirian division of the late Carboniferous Period) later reasoned that doubting ones doubts would be self referentially incoherent.

Modern trees, just like their ancestors, are quite accommodating and ever willing to share their knowledge with others. They are also keenly aware that lower creatures are not as patient and as willing to listen to long treatises on existence as they are. So this one figured the best, most concrete way to get the point across was a good swat in the face.

Published April 9, 2007






Artist's Commentary
Dear Miss Manners

Politeness. The most acceptable hypocrisy.
-Ambrose Bierce

Published April 16, 2007















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Artist's Commentary
Muskrat Love

If you think Dorf is a complete idiot for reasoning that if rubber hammers have a viable place in one's tool box that surely a pound or two of rubber nails would be equally useful, just take a look back into your past and remember the hours you spent swiveling and gyrating your midsection about in order to keep a bead filled hoop centrifugally suspended against the force of gravity. Or consider how cool you thought you looked in your poodle skirt, or if you're a guy, with your mullet. And let's not forget all of you who were absolutely convinced all that dot com stock was going to be worth a fortune.

While you ruminate on that, why don't you get out your eight track tapes and take a listen to your favorite Osmond Brother's song, One Bad Apple or Yo Yo perhaps. Mine was Puppy Love (OH, MY GOSH. I CAN'T BELIEVE I JUST TOLD YOU THAT). But then again, what am I worried about. You know you liked the Bay City Rollers (Saturday Night) or the Village People (YMCA and In The Navy). And for crying out loud, Sha Na Na (ANYTHING FROM THE FIFTIES), the Captain and Tennille (MUSKRAT LOVE) and Tony Orlando and Dawn (TIE A YELLOW RIBBON) had their own syndicated, prime time TV shows. Come on folks, you made someone who wrote a song called Muskat Love popular enough to justify their own TV show. So don't judge me and my boyhood Osmond Brothers fixation.

And by the way, is it possible you have a betamax tape of yourself gagging down a glass of raw eggs in the vain attempt to somehow achieve Sly Stallone, a.k.a. Rocky Balboa's` totally ripped body without actually spending all day pounding on some frozen cow carcasses. And how many of you Caucasian ladies wore your hair in corn rows and went jogging up and down the beach imagining yourself as Bo Derek.

Oh, and by the way, don't forget to feed your chia pet or change your pet rock's litter box. I could go on, but I'd better stop before I accidently slip up and let you know any more of my embarrassing past. I didn't mention my crush on Joanna Cameron from Shazam, did I? Or Diedre Hall and Judy Strangis from Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. Oops. Oh, well, what can I say? They were babes. And by the way Toni (Tennille) is a babe too.

Published April 23, 2007










Artist's Commentary
Eons Upon Eons

Measuring the miraculous chronologically is like polling for the truth.

Published April 30, 2007






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Artist's Commentary
Dorf Rulz

Some people consider it an art form, others a public nuisance, but as graffiti goes, something which is eradicated with a few puffs of wind, isn't so bad. Dorf considers sky writing to be more like Navajo sandpainting, designed only to be seen for its significance at the moment and then lost to the winds.

Published May 7, 2007

Artist's Commentary
Yin and Yang

To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.

-Oscar Wilde

Being accused of being an intellectual is a dreadful thing among Grumps, but it's a chance Maxx is willing to take.


Published May 14, 2007









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Artist's Commentary
Dorf 's New Sport

I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death.
Shakespear's Prince: Henry IV

If one is going to be a fearless inventor of the caliber of Dorf, that's probably about the best philosophy to have.

Published May 21, 2007

Artist's Commentary
Hot Dog

We here at Pippin and Maxx have nothing but respect for those who have selflessly dedicated themselves to improving the lives of the less fortunate and would like to take this opportunity now to give a free plug for some of our favorites.

The World Wild Life Fund Not every teenager can afford the hedonistic lifestyle of a Britney Spears or Paris Hilton, so these benevolent souls raise money for one deserving young person trapped in middle class mediocrity and catapults them onto the world stage. For one week they are shown what its like to live with an unlimited bank account, an unrestrained imagination, no responsibilities and never hearing the dreaded "N" word (No). Of course, any long term fallout from their week is completely the recipient and their families' responsibility to work out.

P.E.T.A. People for the Eating of Tasty Animals This is a charity started by an independently wealthy Grump grandmother in her kitchen over a century ago. Her philosophy was simple: some people are lacking in culture and some animals have more parts than they actually need. So why not bring the two together. With a few simple recipes for delicacies like horse radish, horse douvers, cats up, cows lips, cow patties, hot dogs, ladies fingers, pony tails, buffalo chips and buffalo wings, she began exposing the underprivileged to the finest in multicultural cuisine and helped maintain the delicate balance in nature.

World Peas and Green Peas These are two of Pippin and Maxx's favorite charities. Their goal is to wipe out hunger and the growing gas shortage by providing inexpensive peas and beans to the underprivileged.


Published May 28, 2007










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Artist's Commentary
The Remote

Even though Dorf does tend to follow an unusual sequence in creating his inventions, it's interesting to note that he invented the batteries he's using in the remote three years before he actually conceived of the remote itself.

Published June 3, 2007


Artist's Commentary

Pippin can be so obnoxious sometimes. Why can't happy, contented people keep their attitudes to themselves? If you're anything like me, when you're in a bad mood, you keep it to yourself. Why I'll bet your family and co-workers would hardly even notice when you're in a bad mood were it not pointed out to them. Besides, there are so few opportunities to really relish a rotten mood. Most of our lives are so calm, well ordered and uncomplicated that when a little rain does fall on our parade, we should be allowed to, as it were, enjoy the moment.

Published June 11, 2007
















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Artist's Commentary
Dorf 's Astronomy Lesson

Now don't any of you clever Gusses write in and tell me that Dorf has his telescope backwards and therefore all of his hypothoses are wrong because they're predicated on faulty data. Dorf is a scientist and whatever he says is an irrefutable fact until he says otherwise. At least thats how the world of science has gone historically. Case in point is poor Dr. Ignac Semmelweis. He was a licensed physician who posited that if doctors washed their hands after, say, handling a corpse, and before delivering a baby, that the mortality rate from Puerperal fever (childbed fever) would be dramatically reduced. (Doctors during the nineteenth century had a bad habit of monkeying around with corpses and delivering babies at pretty much the same time. Sounds pretty icky, but, hey, none of the corpses were complaining.) Anyway, his colleagues told him to go soak his head and ignored his findings. The poor fellow eventually croaked, along with a lot of new mothers, in an insane asylum before his findings were adopted. But he did get his portrait on an Austrian postage stamp, so I guess it all worked out in the end.

And who can forget Dr. Julius Robert von Mayer? Well, practically everybody. You see, it was actually Dr. von Mayer, a German physician, who first proposed the first law of thermodynamics, or the Law of the Conservation of Energy. But, the scientific community didn't like what his PHd was in, so a year later they hailed Dr. James Prescott Joule as a genius when he proposed the exact same thing. Thus we learn that facts are only facts if they're quoted by someone with the proper credentials. Dr. Joule got a cool measurement named after him: the joule. A joule is the amount of work done by a force of a newton moving an object one metre along the direction of the force. Dr. Mayer died shortly after being released from an insane asylum, but has now been immortalized in a Pippin and Maxx commentary. So again, it's all worked out rather swimmingly, don't you think?

And let's not forget who was probably the most famous alchemist of all time, Sir Isaac Newton? See that branch of science offered on many college campuses lately? And what about Dr. Franz Joseph Gall. No he wasn't the inventor of the gall bladder. He was the inventor of phrenology. The study of the bumps on the head to determine one's physiological and psychological makeup. That was a branch of science too, at least for a while.

My own personal hero is, of course, Chuck Yeager with his Bell XS-1. Prior to October 14, 1947, the conventional wisdom among metallurgist, aerodynamicists, and acoustical engineers was that breaking the sound barrier was impossible. But, in the military, generals don't care what science says, if they want it, they want it, and if you're a lowly captain or corporal, or whatever, you darn well better deliver it, OR ELSE.

Along those same lines, entrepreneurs simply tend to be too ignorant and naive about a specific subject to realize that what they're doing is scientifically impossible until they've already done it. Either way, the military and entrepreneurial community tend to do the scientifically impossible on a pretty regular basis.

Published June 18, 2007


Artist's Commentary
Go Fly A Kite

Death has actually gotten a bad rap for years. Many people are under the false impression that he's a dour, somber sort of fellow. Nothing could be further from the truth. Death loves nothing more than a good party, especially where chemical enhancement and fireworks are combined in creative ways. He also loves sports. Extreme sports. The more extreme, the better. Like rooftop skateboarding, nude Himalayan sky diving and bullshark riding. Christmas and birthdays are also a favorite. All those brightly colored packages makes him almost giddy. He's especially fond of gifts like three and four wheelers for elementary and middle schoolers and shiny new sports cars for sixteenth birthdays. Wives are greatly encouraged to get their husbands anything which combines sharp blades and high rpms. On the downside, mothers are not high on his list of favorite people what with all their fussy "don't run with scissors" mentality.

Death is also a civil libertarian who supports the abolishment of warning labels and instruction manuals, especially on things like chainsaws. After all, he reasons, who are the manufacturers to tell you how to use their equipment. And no one is a greater supporter of the rights of those with special needs. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) need look no further for an enthusiastic spokesman for such progressive and far thinking employment opportunities as airline traffic controller for the visually impaired, surgical training for narcoleptics, and one of his personal favorites, nuclear disarmament negotiating for persons with Tourett's syndrome

Published June 25, 2007






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Artist's Commentary

It's probably just as well that Dorf doesn't want to play checkers with Maxx. Maxx actually prefers his games to be full contact. I don't know if you've ever watched or played full contact checkers before, but it's not for the squeamish or faint of heart. It, along with full contact backgammon and chess, is actually banned in many countries.

Published July 2, 2007











Artist's Commentary

Look who's back and look who's missing. Some consider rubber duckies to be imminently wise and practical, others craven cowards. Whichever camp you fall into, isn't it interesting that Maxx's rubber duck decided to decline the offer of an afternoon of fun and games even though Maxx assured him Death was on a holiday.

Published July 8, 2007












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Artist's Commentary
Writers' Block

Inceptis grauibus plerumque et magna professis
purpureus, late qui splendeat, unus et alter
adsuitur pannus, cum lucus et ara Dianae
et properantis aquae per amoenos ambitus agros
aut flumen Rhenum aut pluuius describitur arcus;
sed nunc non erat his locus. Et fortasse cupressum
scis simulare; quid hoc, si fractis enatat exspes
nauibus, aere dato qui pingitur?

(Qunintus Horatius Flaccus, a.k.a. Horace, 65–8 BCE) Ars Poetica (lines 14–21)

English translation:
Your opening shows great promise,
and yet flashy purple patches;
as when describing a sacred grove, or the altar of Diana,
or a stream meandering through fields, or the river Rhine, or a rainbow;
but this was not the place for them.
If you can realistically render a cypress tree,
would you include one when commissioned to paint a sailor in the midst of a shipwreck?

Horace wrote the above critique to an aspiring poet. I took the liberty of sending Dorf a copy of Ars Poetica a few years back to help him with his "purple prose". He wrote me back with a thank you note saying he felt he now stood his best chance ever at winning the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Alas, I fear I may have created a monster.

For more info on the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest - go to http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/
For more info on purple prose - go to http://www.google.com/
For more info on Horace - read a history book some time.
For more info on the Rhine - get a map.
For more info on Diana - read Bulfinches mythology.
For more info on Latin - join the priesthood.
For more info on any other words you didn't understand - consult the dictionary.

Published July 23, 2007


Artist's Commentary
7 To 11

Butterflies. To those who know their deadly secret, few creatures can cause the blood to run cold and one's knees to become jelly more quickly than the sight of a butterfly. Did I say, butterfly? Yes, that's right, I said butterfly. Probably nature's most beautiful, most charming, and yet, most destructive creatures. Not unlike women, but that's another story. Some people merely admire their bouncy, bedazzling, chromatic flight across the meadows. Others enjoy the slight tickle felt as one alights softly upon their finger.

Conversely, scientists and elementary school children find them so alluring that they suffocate them with chemicals and impale them with pins in vast macabre cardboard collections. Ah, but they have their revenge. According to the dreaded Butterfly Affect, somewhere out there a single, lowly butterfly has just flapped his wings softly, slowly. A gentle wisp of air as imperceptible as the weight of one's shadow stirs the air. That delicate wisp builds into a gentle breeze, which evolves into a strong wind, which creates an upper air disturbance, which builds into a storm. That storm combines with the waters over the ocean, which builds into a hurricane, which storms across the continents wreaking havoc and destruction.

In Exodus 7-11 the Bible recounts the ten plagues visited upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Blood, frogs, gnats and flies. Diseased livestock, boils and hail. Locust, darkness and the death of the firstborn. Boy, it's a good thing God wasn't really ticked off or He could have unleashed a plague of butterflies.

Published July 30, 2007







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Artist's Commentary
Ten Pins

Like all good empiricists, Nimby formulates her premises with only the facts. Of course, like all good empiricists, she's highly discriminating on which facts she allows to be brought into evidence. "After all", I heard her once say, "you can't go around just accepting any old facts. Why there'd be no way to make sure the truth and your hypotheses agreed with one another."

Published August 5, 2007













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Artist's Commentary
Naturalis Sublimus

The typical coconut is approximately 4.4 pounds. The typical coconut palm tree is 82 feet tall. Falling from a height of 82 feet, a falling coconut would be traveling at approximately 49.68 miles per hour. Upon impact, the coconut would be delivering a blow somewhere in the neighborhood of 2204.6 pounds. Now that could really smart.

Panel two reminds us that the acceleration of any object regardless of mass will fall at 9.8 meters per second per second. After about ten seconds it reaches about 120 or so miles per hour. However, if one is really adept one can learn to free fall in excess of 200 mph. The record is 321 mph. But, of course, the speed, velocity, or acceleration isn't what gets you. It's the sudden stop.

In panel three, this particular insect's venom's main component is a basic peptide called mellitin. This is a cytotoxin which kills cells. For your added displeasure, there are a host of other tissue destroying enzymes, as well as some enzymes particularly toxic to proteins, peptides and polypeptides. Along with these chemicals, there is just the right combination of formic acid and an alkaline neurotoxin.

In the last panel, we have... well, no one really knows what we have. Some scientists say its a cat closely related to the prehistoric North American smilodon or saber toothed tiger. Others say its more closely related to the thylacosmilus, a saber toothed marsupial cat indigenous to prehistoric Australia. Either way, only one person ever really got close enough to know for sure and that was the late naturalist Dr. Felix Chu Toi. Unfortunately, he was lost when he tried to discover the bite strength of this cat. We don't have his results, but it is now pretty well established to be greater than the tensile strength of Dr. Chu Toi's tent, tent poles, wagon, random cooking paraphernalia, and skeletal structure.

Ah, mother nature. So gentle. So nurturing.

So sublime. Hey, I've got an idea. Let's all go camping.

Published August 13, 2007