Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Banjo 'toons

It was quite a year.

Now it's another year.  

Consider yourself lucky to experience new years.  Get as many of them under your belt as possible.  Add them together.  Eventually they will create your lifetime.

Banjo Toon 17 - Bizarro - if you keep picking that thing

I'm posting now just to announce that Mixed Meters is still here at the beginning of 2022.  (Imagine a short flourish of banjo sound now.)  It's been almost a year since I added anything new.  Quite a year.

Banjo Toon 01 - At least we know the motive

One of the advantages of collecting a lot of years is that you can remember and compare them.  If you want.  Years are big, big enough that you can both celebrate and regret them at the same time.   

Banjo Toon 03 - Gary Larson - In the kitchen with Dinah

I'm thinking of one particular year long ago: the very first year of MM.   I posted an average 3.7 times per week; 31 times in December 2005 alone (that's daily!)   I spent a lot of time on this blog.

Banjo Toon 04 - Gary Larson - Stop What's that sound

Skipping closer to the present, in the most recent four years I posted on average once every six months.
Banjo Toon 05 - Do you want to play the banjo - no thanks

Back in those early years I was always on the lookout for good blog post ideas.  I would save online pictures if I thought that I could later turn them into something bloggable. 

Banjo Toon 02 - Banjo Mute from J. Henry & Co.

When I needed to create a new post I would scroll through my saved pictures looking for inspiration.  Finding a handful of related pictures might turn out to be enough to suggest a topic.

Banjo Toon 15 - Gary Larson - Your room is right here maestro

Many of those pictures I saved were pictures of tubas.  

Banjo Toon 19 - Bizarro - I cant stand banjos

For example,  pictures of tubas transformed into art, or, maybe, into plumbing.  Pictures of people doing strange things with their tuba.  Cartoons about tubas.  Lots of cartoons.

Banjo Toon 13 - Bizarro - Joshua's sideman

Mixed Meters has no less than three posts devoted to tubas, tubas and more tubas.   Google helpfully collects all Mixed Meters Tuba Pictures.

Banjo Toon 09 - Matthew Diffee - And now a request from the audience

While tubas have basked in Mixed Meters' glow over the years, banjos have been ignored.  I don't exactly know why.  I enjoy banjo music as much as I enjoy tuba music.  Maybe more.
Banjo Toon 08 - Matthew Diffee - Chastity Belt
Anyway, a long time ago I started collecting pictures of banjos for a future blog post, the one you are reading now.  Seeing this recent cartoon by Will McPhail of the New Yorker was the push that got me to dig them out and look for more.

Banjo Toon 10 - Will McPhail - Lobster Plays Banjo

Surprisingly, banjos seem to inspire cartoonists even more than tubas do.  Bizarro and The Far Side lead the pack.  Matthew Diffee of the New Yorker has done quite a few.   

Banjo Toon 07 - Matthew Diffee - I'm Trapped in an Elevator - wait it gets worse

If you hover your mousing unit over the cartoons you should see the title text which includes the cartoonist or strip name if I know it.  My apologies to those artists whose work I couldn't identify.  

Banjo Toon 06 - Carolita Johnson - That's it - the cat has to go

Also, click on pictures to make them bigger.

Banjo Toon 16 - Bizarro - entertain kids or practice banjo

"Ahem," I hear some of you say, "these 'toons are not particularly complimentary to the banjo."   You're right, some are downright insulting.  I guess it's still socially permissible these days to write humor by making fun of banjo players or suggesting ways to use a banjo violently.

Banjo Toon 12 - Gary Larson - Little Banjo Boy

Apparently banjos have a bad reputation.  If you haven't had enough banjo humor, there's this list of nearly 300 Banjo Jokes.  (To be fair, many of these have been/can be re-purposed from other instrument jokes.)  (To be unfair, many are the same joke with infinitesimal variations.)

Banjo Toon 14 - Bizarro - Banjo enforcement

Another instrument with a bad reputation is the accordion.  The next 'toon, the tied-up wife pleading with the burglar to "take the banjo", has been altered by person or persons unknown.  It originally said "take the accordion" and showed an accordion case instead of a banjo.  

Banjo Toon 06 - Quick take the banjo
And now, for my grand finale, here are two cartoons pairing a banjo with a tuba.

Banjo Toon 11 - Argyle Sweater - tuba and banjo - beautiful music together

Just can't get away from those tubas.

Banjo Toon 20 - Far Side - mob attacks tuba/banjo duet

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