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Basic Instructions, 23 August 2015   no comments

Posted at 12:32 am in closing

Back when blogs were a new thing, the "blogroll" was an important part of a blog. Basically the blogroll is a sidebar with a list of links to other blogs the author of a particular blog follows. As people have become used to blogs, and as other social media have taken hold, the blogroll has become less and less important. I have one (it's in the right sidebar), but haven't really kept it up for years.

One site in my blogroll I do visit regularly though is Scott Meyer webcomic Basic Instructions. Meyer is a former standup comedian, so his comic has a bit of a different rhythm from a typical comic strip. In the normal case, a comic will build to a punchline in the last panel (or sometimes a punchline in the penultimate panel with a reaction in the last panel), but Basic Instructions has a punchline in each panel. The comic's conceit is that it is a guide to everyday life, so each installment has a title like "How to do something mundane" with the advice given quickly heading for left field. Meyer doesn't really draw, but has a library of poses that quickly become familar and somehow always seem to fit the dialogue. The comic has a number of stock situations. Perhaps the most common is the cartoon representation of Meyer trading insults with his best friend Rick, followed by strips where he tries to convince his wife Missy of the wisdom of some inane idea of his. After that, probably the third most common situation is Meyer as the office manager of a very inept business trying to deal with his superviser (generally known to fans as "Mullet boss").

Recently Meyer announced that he was ending the strip, having discovered that he was starting to reuse the same gags almost verbatim. The fact that he has become a moderatly successful fantasy novelist probably was a big part of it too. In the event, the final Basic Instructions was posted yesterday, though re-runs will continue to run on the site, and several very funny paperback collections are available.

All of which prelude just gives me an excuse to post my very favorite Basic Instructions, one that never fails to make me laugh out loud, even after many re-reads.

So, without further ado, How to Figure Out What Someone Said:


Written by ted on August 25th, 2015

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