Bleke & Rinck in Shecky Auchter’s Comic

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, January 9, 2006

The fact is that there are only so many jokes in the world. And when I say “the fact is” I mean, “I don’t really know if this is true, but it sounds more authoritative when I say it that way.”

I’m guessing musicians run into a similar dilemma — there are only so many notes, a seemingly limited number of variations of pleasing combinations; how can one expect to come up with something completely new? It’s intimidating. And so it is at times with cartoonists and a blank sheet of paper. How am I possibly going to come up with something new?

Well for this week’s comic I was in this very spot. Coming off a lovely and relaxing holiday break, my mind was at ease, I wasn’t particularly uptight about anything, and I actively considered taking up the practice of afternoon napping. (Soon thereafter, the boot hard drive on my work computer crapped out and I quickly returned to uptight, angry, and sleepless.)

But in my happy state, no new ideas were coming and recognizing the futility of forcing it, I defaulted to the trick of using an old joke a new way. And it’s pretty appropriate anyway because the subject itself is something of an old joke: a big city public school system, facing declining enrollment and state funding, must make some tough decisions to stay afloat and relevant. Invariably, strong personalities clash over how exactly to go about this.

So there it is. Not the best comic I’ve ever done, but a reasonable effort. What more can I say? Take my comic … please!

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