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Smithson Thus Far... ·


Shaenon: Our first week of guest strips! The incomparable Andrew Farago--cartoonist, curator of the Cartoon Art Museum, and my husband--was kind enough to draw this guide to the city to which he remains inexplicably loyal (I'm from Pittsburgh, myself) so I could spend the week knocking back ouzo in Greece. Really, we're in Greece this week, doing presentations at a comics festival in Athens. It's a long story. Anyway, thanks very much, Andrew!

Shaenon: And thus ends our first guest week. Thanks again a million times to Andrew for drawing it! And if anyone's in Portland, Oregon this weekend, Andrew and I will be at the Stumptown Comics Fest. (That's right: yesterday we were in Athens and now we're in Portland. This is why I have no time to draw Skin Horse anymore.) See you there!

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

Would it be going to far to call Andrew Farago the resident guest artist?

Viktor Dosk (hugin) says:

Wait, an entire week on the town of Cleveland? You could learn all you need to know from a single wall of text, primarily that it's too boring to bother actually learning the myriad ways in which it bores people. 

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Drew Carey.  Howard the Duck.  What else do you need to know about Cleveland?

Sean McLane (zodo) says:

Current WWE Champion, The Miz, is from Cleveland as well.

Brian Bogue (badbear) says:

Isn't Cleveland the city where the river caught on fire once?

Bo Lindbergh (blgl) says: Not to be confused with Cleaveland, Ohayo.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

I could go for a pita sandwich right about now. And yes, at three o'clock in the morning. 

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Kansas City" from "Oklahoma!", Rodgers & Hammerstein)

Ev'rything's always just the same in Cleveland,
It's stayed about the same as it can stay!
If you just had a week to live, you'd want to visit there,
'Cause every minute seems to take a day!

They went and built a Hall of Fame to honor Rock'n'Roll,
But after that, you realize, as down the street you stroll,
That Cleveland's as exciting as a grubby lump of coal ...
It's stayed about the same as it can stay!

Joe Fisher (5-tons-of-flax) says:

I was going to link to Shaenon 'n' Jefferey's awesome guest comic at Paradigm Shift, but it looks like I can't.

It's got Dr. Lee, hubba-hubba.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

It caught fire twice. Randy Newman wrote a song about that.


There's actually a lot to do in Cleveland. Not enough that you'd want to live there, but enough to stretch out a visit.

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:


Heres the first one:

but I suspect you meant the second:

Nice work by the Skin Horse team.

Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says:

The only thing I really know about Cleveland is that if I have to go through I take the toll road so I can past instead of through, and go over the National Park, but I'd really rather get out my passport and shortcut through Canada instead.  (something only a Michigander would probably say)

Jimmy Rayne (thespyjimmy) says:

You need to know about The West Side Market, all of the various awesomesauce restaurants (Melt, Lola's, a few others..)  The Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square (The Ohio Theatre is still a stunning place to walk into imo) You can still afford to go to a Baseball game at Progressive Field, the Scinece Museum is pretty danged cool, the Rock Hall ....To just name a few things.

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

I lived in Cleveland (Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights and the West Side) from the mid-60s to the early-70s, and the thing that I remember most -- especially considering where I live now -- is the awesome Public Transportation system that it had (has?). I don't know if it's still in place, but it had a city-owned/privately-managed light-rail system and a privately-owned Bus system that actually *competed* with each other for their ridership. (I currently live in a city with a public-transit monopoly and no incentive to give a damn.) Just wanted to throw that out there.

Oh, and don't forget to visit the Museum of Health and the Auto Museum!

Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

@normart: Oh my god! These two guys guy and girl people are so awesome!

Philip Cohen (treesong2) says:

reynard, the light rail and bus systems are all RTA now, but still 'Cleveland RTA is the best large transit system in North America, according to the American Public Transportation Association' back in September 2007. After which funding fell through the floor, but it still gets me anywhere in Cleveland I want to go. Also the library system is the best I've ever dealt with. See my Sunday comment for partying.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

I'm always happy to see Andrew's art, but it just dawned on me how often the men he draws kinda look like . . . Andrew.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I hope the Greek trip is a mezés platter of pleasure!

John Sears (john_sears) says:

It's worth noting that Detroit will once again be getting its robot mojo going thanks to a Kickstarter campaign.

Take that, Cleveland.

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

And the answer is... something like four people wrote in support of NYC.  Something like eighy thousand wrote in support of Cleveland.  The numbers may be a little off but that's roughly it.



Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

Uh, Kay?  Do you remember the original appearance of Sgt. Willoughby at all? Tak a look at Dead Dogs, March 23rd-28th, 2009.

I think it's safe to say that the Sergeant simply looks like Andrew Farago.

Mark SHANKS (drhistory) says:

Why did Cleveland get the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  Because they were willing to front a bagfull of money to get it built...  Likely because that was the only way there were *ever* going to get that many big name rockstars to visit Cleveland!

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Adam, I remember thinking when I first saw the Sergeant that Shaenon drew him as a shout-out to Andrew.  I thought it was really sweet.  But I'm also thinking of his characters William Bazillion, Mr. Willey (Li'l Mell), etc.

There once was an artist named Andy
And Shaenon though he was quite dandy:
"I like drawing you."
He answered, "Me, too!"
And off they marched, handy in handy

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

Why did Cleveland get the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

The other finalist was Philadelphia.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "One Fine Day", Gerry Goffin & Carole King, performed by The Chiffons)

I.M. Pei,
A well-known name,
Designed the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame!
I.M. Pei,
He built this Hall of Fame right here!

I.M. Pei,
Got his groove ...
He built a pyramid right
By the Louvre!
I.M. Pei,
His lines are modern and austere!

They admired him,
So they hired him!
The guy they wanted from the start!
He's creating,
Ol' rock and roll is a valid form of art!

I.M. Pei,
He's no fool!
And for a wrinkly old guy,
He's quite cool!
I.M. Pei!
I'd like to buy that guy a beer!

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

Poor Detroit, always the target of mad scientists.  At least in the Skin Horse 'verse it wasn't completely wiped out by Dr. Destroyer's orbital laser cannon ^_^.


Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

I was watching a run through of Crysis 2, and it occurred to me: ever notice that no apacalyptic sci-fi scenarios every happen in Detroit after the whole RoboCop movie trilogy?

Cleveland: the City that the Sports Gods Hate.

N B (daveclone7) says:

Is it true that the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating in Cleveland?

Ciara Cole (ciara) says:

I honestly thought that the lyrics to the Huey Lewis & the News song really were "They say the heart of rock & roll is in Cleveland."

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

I'm pretty sure it's not a coincidence that Mr. Willey looks like Andrew... or that his arch-nemesis Ms. Kelty looks like Shaenon.

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

My favorite quote from the Robocop tv series, said almost once an episode: "I can't believe he'd do that!  He's a Milken scholar!"

Rob (rrreed) says:

Joe Wednesday: Listen, Grudge, didn't I pick you up three years ago on a 1492 for not believing in Columbus?

Grudge: Yeah! I don't believe in Cleveland or Cincinnati, either.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

@Ciara: Have you ever visited or ?  Both sites have collections of mondegreens (misheard lyrics) ... and as for what you heard, you're not alone.

Brian Bogue (badbear) says:

My goodness I think the ribs have brought out the were husky out in him by the look of the fangs he has just sprouted

Doug Wykstra (dougthehead) says:

Why would I WANT to accept a substitute for Stadium Mustard when the alternative is death?  I'll be honest:  Any time that the alternative is death, I'm not going with the alternative.

Aaaand now I'm hypothesizing scenarios in which I would have to cheat death in order to receive stadium mustard from a hot-dog vendor.  This is the best guest strip ever.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Games People Play", Joe South)

Oh, the meat people eat now!
'Til they're good and replete, now!
Take the sour with the sweet, now,
And the sweet with the sour!

It's a taste that is oh, so nice!
With sauce and the salt and spice!
It's a carnivore's paradise!
You just want to devour!

    Lookie here, look at what we saw!
    Lookie here, look at what was seen!
    Talking 'bout fine cuisine,
    And the meat people eat!

These pierogies are pint-size!
Full of beef, and they're bite-size!
In your mouth, they're the right size
As you shovel 'em in!

There's the ribs that are made of pork!
Use your hands, you don't need a fork!
Though you look kinda like a dork,
With the sauce down your chin!

    (repeat CHORUS)

Now a dog from the stadium!
I could eat nine or eight of 'em!
Kills you faster than radium!
Their cholesterol's high!

Oh, for people who love their meat,
Go to Cleveland, it can't be beat!
You can go down to any street,
And just eat 'til you die!

    (repeat CHORUS, with mustard)

John Taylor (barkingmonkey) says:

Well Doug, the most obvious to come to mind is you're at the ballpark with Death, you've both ordered dogs and the hot dog guy is down to his last mustard.  Based on what Skin Horse has taught me, a quick "Death look! War and Pestilence" (leg sweep) should do the trick.

(My first Skin Horse post!)

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

Best mustard in the world.

Wayne (wayne) says:

I once had a pierogie pizza at a chain in Phoenix called Boston's.  It wasn't bad.  But my fav pizza at Nello's in Tempe is rapidly becoming their Murphy, onions and bacon.  Muey bueno!  And not as greasy as their pepperoni.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

  1. I've had a lot of different kinds of mustard, including some asian style mustard that will clear up any sinuses you have better than Mentholeum. But I've never had Staduim Mustard. Better to use on hot dogs or brats?
  2. It just occurred to me: With Andrew from Cleveland and Shanneon from Pittsburgh, the Browns versus the Steelers must an interesting dynamic in the Farago/Garrity household.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Ed: Former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones hosts a great radio show in LA called Jonesy's Jukebox.  In its original incarnation, he would play songs for a jury of guests and friends, whose verdict was either "pants or mustard."  Your filks are most definitely mustard.

As to Cleveland Stadium mustard: love the city, love the stadium, the mustard not so much.  It's good, but not article-of-faith good.

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

Good point, John Taylor.  According to Unity, a good leg sweep will take care of most anything.

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

Holy crap, Andrew.  I didn't think two people from those cities could exist in the same house without blowing up at each other.



Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

Blowing up in the antimatter sense, not the argument sense.

Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

Suddenly I actually WANT to go to Cleveland.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Yinz in Cleveland have to settle for hot dogs with stadium mustard because you don't have access to the Potato Patch gravy fries at Kennywood.

Go Stillers!
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Ain't that the truth...
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Though, to be fair, the other ten percent of our culture revolves around health care one way or the other.
Eric Burns (ericburns) says: Now now. The Browns left Cleveland and became the Baltimore Ravens. The expansion team Cleveland Browns that came in later have never won a championship.
Doug Wykstra (dougthehead) says:

Why do I have the feeling that typing the phrases "The Drive" or "The Fumble" beneath this comic is coming pretty close to grounds for being banned?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Gypsies, Tramps, And Thieves", Cher)

Now to blend in, in Cleveland, you gotta like sports ...
The three local teams are a pain in the shorts!
Forcing out cheers through pain and tears!
Always lose the big game ...
Haven't won a trophy in forty-six years!

In-dians, Browns, and Cavs!
You'll always hear the residents of Cleveland griping ...
In-dians, Browns, and Cavs!
Although in spite of the choking and the flubs ...
At least we're not the Cubs!

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Doug: No not what you said, but what Eric said would.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

Is that a Steve Heiden jersey or is it just a Jim Brown jersey with the top serif on the 3 a little long?

Steven Ehrbar (see) says:

Eric, it's an official, judge-blessed legality that the Browns were an inactive franchise 1996-1999, and that the Ravens were a new expansion team that simply happened to have the same owner and personnel as the old Browns.  The National Football League, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens all agree the current Browns team are a continuation of the team founded in 1946.

If you continue to spread the fiction that the Browns have ever left Cleveland, well, I know a pretty deep gully over near Rocky River Drive where they'll never find you.

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

I used to live over that gully.

Eric Burns (ericburns) says: Oh, I'm doomed and I know it. ...they actually got a judge to sign off on the retcon? Wow.
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Ghoulardi almost gets you there, but if you want to speak Cleveland, familiarize yourself with Mr. Jingaling at Halle's, the Euclid Beach funhouse, Captain Penny and Jungle Larry, Mayor Perk's New Years' Eve singalong in Public Square, the Blossom Music Festival, Corky and Lenny's deli and Malley's chocolate.  And, though not native, classic Cleveland  drinks include Carling Black Label beer, RC Cola and Faygo redpop.

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

"Big Chuck and Little John"? Heck, I can remember the Good/Bad-Old-Days of Houlihan and Big Chuck! My favorite skits were "Ben Crazy", "The Streak" and "The Pizza-Eating Champeenchip-o'-da-Woild!". And anytime they showed a Universal Studios classic horror movie, they'd show a "music video" (before the genre even got the name!) of Bobby Pickett's "Monster Mash". There was also the post-Goulardi show "The Ghoul". Also, don't forget WKYC's "Barnaby" (Linn Sheldon) and "Captain Cleveland and Clem". In regard to local beverages, my all-time favorite was the politically-incorrectly-named "Cherrikee Red" by Cotton Club. (Wish I could find it here in Indy!) Ah, good times! Good times...

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "We Didn't Start The Fire", Billy Joel)

Drew Carey, sitcom,
Final season was a bomb,
"Cleveland Rocks" montage,
Brewin' beer in his garage,

QB Bernie Kosar,
Threw the pigskin so far!
Drawin' plays up in the dirt,
It's too bad that he got hurt!

Dick Goddard, weatherman!
He's been there for quite a span!
Festival with woolybear
Caterpillars ev'rywhere!

Big Chuck and Li'l John,
Puttin' cheesy movies on,
Addin' their own comedy,
Friday night on TV!

    If you are not from Cleveland,
    If you wanna make it, then you gotta fake it!
    If you are not from Cleveland,
    Then you at least should know
    Who had a famous show, you know, you know, you know ...

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

Oh God, I remember the Prime Movie.

I think Lanigan is still on the radio, too.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

If you're on the East Side, don't forget to stop at East Coast Custard. Mayfield Road Crunch is the best dessert ever.

Terry Smith (wcfan) says:

Do NOT mention LeBron unless you like being beaten up.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Goddard sounds like the kind of meteorologist who probably wouldn't be a television meteorologist if he had applied today. Not to mention probably wouldn't get his AMS (American Meteorological Society) Seal of Approval. Well, maybe. You just have to pass a knowledge test on the weather and pay I think $100.

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

I met Dick Goddard on the set of Academic Challenge.

Odd, I have had two girlfriends who were on that show.  For both of them, their school lost because the team captain didn't listen to them when they KNEW the answer.

Steven Ehrbar (see) says:

Meh,  Kosar?  Always screwed up in the clutch.

Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

...A warning from the future that the Skin Horse movie will be so bad that it has become a deadly meme?

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says: It's long been kind of a dream of mine to see one of my comics adapted into a really bad movie. Like "Invasion of the Bee Girls" bad.
Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Shaenon: DANG!  It's too late now for me to change weekend plans and get up to Portland!  How could you be so cruel to tell me when it was far, far too late?  I must now go sob into my pillow...

Brian Bogue (badbear) says:

I hope you enjoy portland, I have lived here for over 20 years now and still love it

Joe Fisher (5-tons-of-flax) says:

I notice that the Howard panel doesn't show his lower half, thus avoiding the pants/no pants contraversy. Well played, sir.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "You Never Give Me Your Money", The Beatles)

We're gonna make us a movie,
It's from a comic book adaptation ...
But when the writers start collaboration,
It breaks down ...

I think that comics are groovy!
The art and writing are fine creations,
But Hollywood will make alterations ...
It breaks down ...

   Comic movies really suck!
   Make 'em quick to make a buck!
   Movie moguls, they don't care at all!
   Superman or Howard Duck,
   Viewers going, "WTF?!"
   Comic fans and critics are appalled!

      But still, they make some money
      From video ...
      Still, they make their money
      From video, home video!

Print is cool!
Pekar and Ditko, Siegel and Shuster rule!
"Comics" or "sequential art",
Called what you will, it's in the heart of me!

Comic art ... will always be ...
Will always be ... will always be ...
Yes it will!

Six, five, four, three, two, one, zero,
Howard was a superhero,
Six, five, four, three, two, one, zero,
Howard was a superhero ...
(repeat and fade)

Wayne (wayne) says:

You might consider Amazon Women on the Moon and Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death for B movie material when writing your script.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Greece is probably pretty cool, but I'd take Portland over Athens any day. Most because they have really good Chinese places.

Paul Lenoue (palenoue) says:

The Skin Horse movie might be bad, but will it be bad enough for RiffTrax?  You're going to have to work extra hard to be bad enough for the old MST3k crew.

Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says:

I think Andrew meant Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel.

(Joe was a Canadian boy, and a cousin of Wayne & Shuster's Frank Shuster so, you know, national pride...)

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

I think Skin Horse'd make an *excellent* movie; and you know, its title would carry a strong and promising likdlihood of being rented by people looking for pornos as well as by actual fans, thus increasing its popularity.  ^__^  You think maybe we could get Whoopi Goldberg to voice Gavotte? If she managed a svelte British accent, that would ROCK.

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

I can hear Lauran Bacall as a good voice for Gavotte.

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Gavotte? Dame Judi Dench. Accept no substitutes.

Steven Ehrbar (see) says:

Oh, yeah, Superman.  The guy who, in a story spanning his first two comic appearances, acts to shut down a US munitions manufacturer and stop a bill that would have involved the US in the defense of Europe.  One wonders that he didn't also personally courier American secrets to the Reichstag and stop to give Hitler a blowjob.

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile