Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Religion, Booms, and Computer Innards

Small town Kiester, Minnesota, was pretty religious. Not unusual for a northern midwest town. I remember it being fairly homogenous as far as religious demographics went. I knew of exactly two Catholic kids in school (although I'm certain there were more), and there was no Catholic parish in town. Kiester had a relatively large Lutheran church that some of my family members attended, but the "family" congregation was Mansfield Lutheran Church, located about 5 minutes away from the farm in a small village that barely qualified for the term.

We went to church every Sunday, rain, snow, or shine, tired or really tired. Sunday school, as well. And coffee hour after the service, because that's what Lutherans do. Probably not a shock that, not only was one of my uncles a minister (and Doctor of Theology), but my father and brother also became ministers later in life. I briefly considered the ministry when I was in college, but ultimately I decided against it. It definitely was not my calling.

Strip 21/166 - Going to church, normally not so painful

Over the course of my time drawing Furble, I really didn't delve into religious-based subjects. Later on, when the whole Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker thing broke, I did a few referential jokes, but that was more about the current event than the religious implications. So, the above stands out as the only real religious joke in the run of Furble. As religious humor goes, it's pretty tame. Nothing too controversial. The oddest thing about it was that the pastor in the strip was pretty obviously a "fire and brimstone" preacher, but my German/Norwegian Lutheran church was anything but. The only reason the pastor would raise his voice was because the kids in the congregation were being too loud. I'm fairly certain that I never saw our pastor slam his fist on the pulpit. Had that happened, the church would have fallen silent, and likely there would have been more than a couple of heart palpitations in the congregation.

If you got squashed, you'd likely avoid churches in the future, as well.

Strip 22/166 - Rocket launch (just not into space)

Furble and FC continue their quest to find a way to get back home. This strip appeared in the couple of weeks around the 4th of July holiday, so it seemed appropriate to utilize a misrepresentation of fireworks as an attempt for the pair to travel off-world. Obviously, modern fireworks have little in common with the fused rockets in the cartoons, but having them launched from a mortar into the air didn't quite have the same comic impact. Fortunately, our heroes manage to escape before the explosive display. Time to find another way home.

Strip 23/166 - Probably time for some cable management

This strip drew from one of my great loves: computers and what makes them tick. We got our first computer, a Commodore VIC-20, when I was around 9 or 10, I think. Not too long afterward, we upgraded to the Commodore 64. And, not long after that, I had taken it apart to see what was inside. We had Apple II computers at school that we got to use, but I was never able to see the innards of those machines, so my curiosity had to be satiated at home. Fortunately, I was able to put it all back together again (it was a pretty simple design), and actually used the knowledge I gained from the experience to fix the Commodore 64 of a family member.

None of these systems resemble the "traditional" IBM-style PC that is depicted in the strip above. My knowledge of these systems at the time stemmed from television and magazine articles. After 26 years in the IT profession, I now know that if your PC looks like that inside, you've definitely got issues.

I briefly contemplated, but resisted the urge to introduce an insect character into the strip at this point. A bug in the system. Get it? Huh? 

Alright, moving on...

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