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Raging Pencils Comic
The iPhone gag

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start rant


happy iphoneJust about now you may well be asking yourselves "What the hell was that?"

Well, here's a little explanation.

As a fan-boy of almost all things Apple I was, to say the least, a bit perplexed by all the frenetic media hoo-hah over the latest iPhone. As near as I can comprehend critics complained bitterly that the iPhone had the infuriating tendency to drop calls... occasionally... if you touched the case in one exact spot.... while trying to make a call in an area of weak reception... and you were left-handed.

Those Apple bastards!


Kids, that's not a major inconvenience. That's not even a design flaw. That's life in the Technical Age. Especially since a rubber device, a so-called "bumper", could fix this minor technical flaw in a jiffy. And though initially it cost a befuddlingly-high $29, it's now free for all iPhone buyers.

Now, you wanna talk inconvenience? I just spent a week where every time I picked up my phone, a bullet-proof land-line connection, it sounded as though a horde of drunken, horny bees were having a town hall meeting about health care... in a garbage can... in a war zone. I actually had to tell my clients to yell so that I could hear them over the static.

That made one feel so professional.

It took three, count 'em, THREE trips by AT&T technicians to discover some wires had crossed at the main junction.

Back to the comic.

It occurred to me that our own ears had a similar problem as the iPhone... place a finger in the right spot and reception gets a bit muted. God's fault, of course. The joke, as initially written had promise: Man complains about dropped reception, clerk tells him to take finger out of ear. Big laughs all around at this clever allusion. It even made Beloved Girlfriend laugh out loud, but when it came time to putting it on paper it was a Drabble cartoon.

You might know Drabble. It's a syndicated comic strip about a family and their duck. The jokes are good-natured but one-dimensional. Set 'em up and knock 'em down is the artist's credo, and American eats it up they way they eat their Cheerios while reading Drabble.

The biggest problem I had is that I try to write gags as logically as possible. By that I mean, when a man in a chicken suit is featured in one of my strips, you can bet he has a deep-seated neurosis towards the little feathered fucks. Either that or he's part of an ad campaign for KFC. So while having a man standing there with a finger in his ear might be amusing, it didn't make much sense to me.  But a man standing there with a finger in his ear and brandishing a chainsaw? Comedy gold, baby.

Just... don't ask me why.


end rant

Raging Pencils salutes the Mystery Readers of
Plunge, Lithuania
Whoever you are, thanks for reading my tone-deaf little 'toon.

Today's mystery web comic is:


Raging Pencils is an off-key conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
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Today's Google Chow.

At the Apple Genius Bar

Customer: "...and every time I put my finger here I notice my reception begins to deteriorates."

Apple Genius: "That's because you have a finger in your ear."

Apple Genius on iPhone: "Hello, mom? I think I'm going to be late tonight."