Blowback_toon

Blowback

A clean, well-lit place to vent

Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.

GOOD OL' AUSTIN
Barb | Bend, OR | February 25, 2013

Good ol' Austin, the call center character. Where would our world be without him? Ever cheerfully mellow, as bland as his clothing, he has all the necessary answers at his fingertips. Nothing upsets him, although he works in a bullpen where there aren't even cubicle walls between him and his co-workers, and where all the colors -- of desk, computer, floor, ceiling, backboard, and the duct tape that keeps any and all of it from falling apart -- are grey. I doubt if he gets to keep his own desk, chair and mouse from one month, one week, one day to the next, as the next or previous shift person may change it all around. I envy his callers, as his accent is probably third generation Northern Rocky Mountains, and his enunciation is that of a college theater major. He is ever grateful for his steady paycheck, and knows that as long as he meets call metrics of time and customer satisfaction, he is safe from the cruel world of unemployment.

I did call center work for a little over a month (not counting training), and I still feel bad for the people who were so cursed as to have me answer their calls.

KUDOS
David Ferrier | Edmonton, CANADA | February 25, 2013

Kudos on today's "everyone is entitled to their own set of facts" oblique comment on the illogic of climate change denial, creationists, etc.

AT LAST
Mark Gamon | Royston, UK | February 24, 2013

At last! Becca's back!! More!!!

EDITING
DeAnna Burghart | SoCal | February 24, 2013

I'm in the middle of a couple of editing projects right now, and this came at exactly the right time. It's easy to forget that good editors do a lot more than just moving the commas around. Sometimes, you can't avoid inserting yourself in the story. It's all good, as long as the author stays front and center and always has the reins.

EDITING
Kathleen DeWitt | Edmonton, CANADA | February 24, 2013

I do a fair amount of editing, and had to write to say how much I love today's strip. I am going to print that one out to remind me, on days when it seems to be a slog to get through documents (mine are normally reports and course materials, nothing as exciting as Jeff's book), how much difference good editing can make.

SMOLDERING
Lazlo Domingya | Kookville, NY | February 24, 2013

Now that's a story line! The Red Rascal and his hot red-haired editor, the smoldering tension as they fight the resurgent Taliban and other enemies of the Free World, a stolen kiss, a moment of desire, the love born out of danger, the spawn of The Red Rascal and what's her name...

BLOG
Paul Hawkins | Wooster, OH | February 24, 2013

Time for an online presence for the Red Rascal! A Red Rascal blog would ensure another revenue stream for Jeff, allow Zipper to join the franchise, and give the boys another chance at a botched love triangle!

DRONES
John A. Broussard | Kamuela, HI | February 24, 2013

Surely, those aren't Drones in that last panel!

PREGNANT
Allie | Gettysburg, PA | February 23, 2013

When I was pregnant with my first, there was something about tacos. I couldn't even look at them for the next three years!

THESE TWO
J.R. | New Brighton, MN | February 23, 2013

These two are the Lucy and Ricky Ricardo of the 21st Century.

HER ENEMY
John McQueen | Chantilly, VA | February 22, 2013

Do red-eyed rogues threaten our shores? No worries; she's on the job. Alas, she meets her enemy, and it is she: the green-eyed monster writ large. Oh, the humanity. What a world.

PREGNANT
Tom Kremen | Oakland, CA | February 22, 2013

Anyone who has had a pregnant wife understands immediately Alex's thinking (and Toggle's look of worry). The only two questions are: What else will Alex irrationally worry about? And how will Toggle respond?

WHOA
Mark | Portland, ME | February 22, 2013

Whoa. Where did the ugly jealousy come from, Alex? Did you think every female singer he'd work with would have a big mole, like Aaron Neville? Leo's a great guy who adores you and is going to be a loving father to your kids. Don't screw this up!

NEUROTICISM
Ambrose | Seattle, WA | February 22, 2013

Alex's continuing neuroticism never ceases to amaze me. Her delusions are just as pervasive as Jeff's, and seem to stem from the same general sense of inadequacy. While he diverts that into escapist fantasies, she projects it into fear and worry.

ELIGIBLE
Enrique V. Pujals | San Juan, PR | February 21, 2013

I wonder if Jeff will be eligible for the new medal that is being considered for drone controllers. From his exploits he just might be. Only it would have to be given to him at a secret ceremony at Langley, since he was not in the military services.

UP TO THE SUN
Terry D. McGee | Sydney, AUSTRALIA | February 21, 2013

Even if Alex slips up and tells Jeff and Rick something classified our ever vigilant Trudeau is there with the black marker to cover it up. He has to be careful -- he's most likely on the to-be-watched list. If I hold my screen up to the sun maybe I will see the words under the black ink.

JEFF
Tony Phillips | Chicago, IL | February 19, 2013

Might Alex be one to help the world? Very likely. Would she knowingly submit herself to harming it? Doubtful. She may be a little impetuously self-serving, but it's hard to see how one could infer deep moral deficiency in her character. Jeff? Totally different. He'd have anybody's guts for garters.

AT THAT MEETING
Ed Cherlin | Columbus, IN | February 19, 2013

I was at that meeting! Well, it was an Indian software engineer, not Alex, and it was VeriSign, not DARPA, but she said, "XXXX XX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXX," too! It was my job to write it up for XXXX XX XXXXXXX and some of our other clients to explain to them how to issue One-Time Password tokens to customers. According to the NDA I signed, XX XXXXX XX X XXXXXXXX XX XXXX XXX XXXX.

HOW?
George | Washington, D.C. | February 18, 2013

Okay. So how can I get a Magic Decoder Ring?

HELP THE WORLD
Alex | Minneapolis, MN | February 18, 2013

When Alex is asked to come up with something at DARPA that will help the world, she'll jump right on board because she's, you know, "good people." What happens when the DARPA people ask her to help put together some device whose sole real purpose is to kill, maim, and terrorize as the American Empire expands? Will she tap her chest with her hand and say, "What could I do? I have children. My family needs a paycheck. I was only following orders! If I didn't do it, someone else would!" Perhaps this is why I dislike her character (and Jeff's) so much. Neither shows any genuine moral maturity. She's a very clever child who will easily be duped into helping to make the world just a tiny bit more totalitarian. But don't tell her that. She's "good people."