Many years ago, cartoonist Chad Carpenter had just a few syndicated clients. One of them was my then-employer, the Anchorage Daily News, so I actually know the guy. (Well, if “know” is the same as “I used to bug the crap out of him every chance I got.”) These days his daily strip is syndicated in just over 500 newspapers and other publications, mostly in the United States and Canada but in some other countries as well.
At first I wondered how some of the humor would translate to, say, a Norwegian or Jamaican audience. Then again, I guess jokes about outhouses, snowmen and the Grim Reaper are pretty universal.
Which is why I’m putting another Carpenter collection up for grabs — who wouldn’t snicker at a drawing of people being forced to wear life jackets while heading across the River Styx?
If you haven’t read “Tundra,” you should. Chad’s work has been likened to Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” series. This article from the ADN gives a humorous look at Carpenter’s progression from a guy who mostly did Alaska humor to a guy who slays ‘em in the Caribbean.
Some things are just always funny: lawyers, singles bars, mythology, dung beetles, things like that. But Carpenter stays current with digs at the absurdity of modern life, such as Noah parading the animals through a metal detector before letting them board. Visit the official Tundra Comics home page for a look at some of his work.
First, though, take a shot at winning this collection. That’s the frugal way.
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The deadline is 9 p.m. PDT on Monday, June 19. If the winner does not respond to my e-mail by Wednesday evening, I’ll have the random number generator draw another winner.