As today’s Jimmy O’Hair comic strip illustrates, television screens are no longer the only outlet for video content. Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices enable us to watch videos whenever we want. YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, Maker and other online video portals give us unlimited opportunities to view content, and have allowed film and TV shows to be viewed whenever possible and created entertainment stars with “viral” videos. Who would have thought that 15 years ago that we could watch in a phone in our hand the latest movie from James Cameron, switch to a short dancing cats video just a few seconds later, and then tweet about it afterwards? The Jimmy O’Hair comic strip between Jimmy and Lola catches the satire in having to watch ads before a streaming video starts on Lola’s smartphone. We cannot escape ads in what we watch even moving online away from the television set. Video is a very important means of reaching an audience, and we will continue to see it evolve in the different mediums. There have been animated video shorts made for Jimmy O’Hair that have yet to be posted, but they will be in the near future. Whether or not they will have ads in front of them that would annoy Lola? We will have to wait and see!
It’s National Coffee Day and that means something to all artists. Need a start to the day – coffee! Want to get work finished late at night – coffee! Getting writer’s block – coffee! Want a source of inspiration for new ideas – coffee! You get the point … coffee is a stimulant, and this is the day that recognizes it. According to the Huffington Post, coffee is responsible for 75% of the caffeine consumption in the U.S. So Americans are not letting up on their coffee! A few Jimmy O’Hair cartoons are focused around coffee (and tea), because I suppose the characters of Jimmy O’Hair like their caffeinated beverages (and I haven’t even gotten into alcoholic consumption yet – that is always big on St. Patrick’s Day, the holiday for a good Irishman like Jimmy O’Hair). So here’s another Jimmy O’Hair coffee related comic strip for you to enjoy today while brewing your own roasted beans or pulling up to the storefront counter for a cup of Joe!
It almost seems like a bygone era now when hearing stories of how the first section one would snatch out of a newspaper was the funny pages. Even the 40th President of the U.S., Ronald Reagan, stated publicly the first thing he read in the paper was the funny pages. Can you imagine trying to grab that section before a President of the U.S.? That’s how big a deal newspaper comic strips were in the heyday of newspapers, especially the separate color section in the Sunday paper. Newspaper comic strips haven’t disappeared, but newspaper subscriptions have declined with all the information on the Internet. As a result, comics have had to find new outlets on the Web for audiences. In a way, it has been an exciting development to give a whole new generation of cartoonists exposure that they would not ordinarily have had, since newspapers mainly run comic strips from the major syndicates. It has also given fresh new voices to comic strips, and allowed them to go places that they wouldn’t have had the freedom to explore in the newspaper. However, comic strips are built on having loyal audiences who read them, and it is much tougher to separate from the pack or have that daily portal to viewership that once was found in the daily newspaper. It is thus increasingly important to have a new media presence, not only through a website and apps, but also through Facebook and Twitter. The web is the main vehicle for this comic strip, “Jimmy O’Hair” (jimmyohair.com), and connecting with the audience remains the goal. People want humor and the web makes it easier to share material, so instead of passing around the funny pages at home, now it is passing comics around via e-mail, messaging, or social networks. So go grab the comic pages … online!
Today’s Jimmy O’Hair comic strip pays tribute to Roger Ebert, who passed away at 70 last week. It has Zeppa as a movie critic co-host to Roger Ebert. Of course, the chair next to Roger Ebert was occupied for many years on TV by the late Gene Siskel, as “Siskel and Ebert” became part of the lexicon and brought an appreciation of movies of all shapes and sizes to mass audiences. After Gene’s death, the spot was filled on a rotating basis by guest co-hosts and finally Richard Roeper before Roger Ebert’s health issues caused him to step down permanently. Still, Ebert continued to be an inspiration to those battling illness and staying productive, as he continued to post movie reviews in his Pulitzer-prize winning writing style for the Sun-Times and be an active Twitter presence up until the day he died. In the Jimmy O’Hair comic strip, Zeppa is a cinephile and that passion for cinema has carried over into movie reviews. This dream scenario has Zeppa paired with Ebert, the most well-known movie critic in the world. While the humor in this strip pokes fun at the typical critical reviews of mindless blockbuster films and little seen art-house films, Roger Ebert loved all different types of movies, whether a Hollywood blockbuster or an indie movie made on a shoestring budget in a foreign country. A movie was simply judged on its own merits, whether good or bad. Or as Roger Ebert was famous for saying, “No good film is too long, and no bad film is short enough.” The balcony is closed, but the love of movies will live on forever …
Today’s Jimmy O’Hair comic strip has physical humor in it as Jimmy tries to dunk a book on a bookshelf at the Bookrazy. The books fall over Jimmy, and he is piled underneath the stack as Hootie relays to him that dunking at the store isn’t the same as dunking in the NBA. Sometimes it’s good to have physical humor in a comic strip. Harken back to the glory days of newspaper comics and you’ll see Krazy Kat getting hit in the head by a brick from Ignatz the Mouse or Charlie Brown falling to the ground with a thud after Lucy swipes the football from him at the last second. Slapstick humor is a way to express actions in a farcical style such as when a pie hits a character in the face, or as in the comic strip today, all the books fall on Jimmy. It’s a common device used to get laughs, and though Jimmy tends to be a more of a wry comic strip, there will be times like today with physical humor in it. It also serves as a lesson to avoid this type of dunking at home even if you own some Air Jordans!