Manga squiggled

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Last updated on May 20th, 2017 at 07:15 am

This week’s column is a little different, as sometimes happens. Due to the negotiation required with various departments, unconventional pieces can only really be done if you work in the office. For example, our publishing platform isn’t able to build the precise layout I wanted, so it had to be composed by designer Nate Armstrong and dropped into the page as you would an illustration.

Nate came up with the four logos, too. Originally the TV listings ran 15cm deep, which I changed to 20cm – no big deal, since it only made an already unusual page look slightly more unusual. That further compressed the space for Dave Follett’s usually single-panel art, however, so he devised the two-panel manga-Squiggle shown above.

Cutting the art entirely wasn’t an option as the page ran opposite Laurie Oakes’s column, which, because it shares space with the editorial, is difficult to draw in any other way than with the headline at top of page. My page needed art on top to avoid headlines running into each other. As well, with this week’s “column” being built outside of the main editing system, sub-editors and lawyers were unable to gain access. They got print-outs.

All of these non-normal processes eat into production time – everyone involved was, of course, also working on the rest of a 144-page paper – and therefore can’t be too prolonged. There isn’t much chance for revision once the basic elements are settled.

Impressive fact: not once when I’ve come up with these extra-work-for-everybody notions has anyone complained, which might not have been the case 10 or 15 years ago. Newspapers – well, some newspapers; the good ones – are becoming more flexible.

Posted by Tim B. on 04/26/2008 at 10:03 AM
    1. Inspired, Tim, simply inspired! My favorite part was the reference to a future presidential candidate from outer space as a “plasma-based protein ball.” But surely, it can’t happen here?

      Posted by paco on 2008 04 26 at 10:38 AM • permalink


    1. My congratulations on a fine column for everyone involved Tim.

      I have however, received correspondence from some ABC Board members who will remain unnamed, requesting to know who it was who gave you the unsanitised uncorrected summaries of certain programs which have been shown on ABC TV from 1954 to 1995, and also who it was who provided you with summaries for future programs programming options for the year 2020.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 04 26 at 10:43 AM • permalink


    1. 2.00 Parliament Question Time

      Following one of the lesser-known rulings resulting from a certain summit held in 2008, Prime Minister Penny Wong is forced to answer all questions by means of interpretive dance.


      It’s a good thing we don’t have “Question Time” here in the States.  Could you imagine the likes of Pelosi, Hillary, or even Chelsea dancing on the Rotunda?

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 04 26 at 10:56 AM • permalink


    1. Leonard Nimoy playing drum solos on a Moog synthesizer. For some reason, out of all the hilarity in this piece, that’s the one that got me.

      Posted by Aaron – Freewill on 2008 04 26 at 11:08 AM • permalink


    1. Tim, Penny Wong only a Prime Minister?  Wasn’t Kevni’s 2020 lovefest a plenary session for a republic?  Oh, I see, he is the President and that’s why Penny is the Prime Minister.

      Posted by Crossie on 2008 04 26 at 11:16 AM • permalink


    1. Aaron, If that thought amused you you might also enjoy The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

      Posted by SteveGW on 2008 04 26 at 11:16 AM • permalink


    1. You Genius!  Now we know why you’ve been busy elsewhere, and where elsewhere is.  Even poorly informed on OZ culture as most Yanks, I caught on to enough of it to have a great laugh.  Huzzah!!!!

      Posted by Gerry on 2008 04 26 at 11:18 AM • permalink


    1. HAHAHAHAHA! Brilliant.

      I wonder if Flannery and O’Brien were hiding out in the same cave. Tom Hanks-like, I’d prefer the company of Xorb-8 – “the plasma-based protein ball” – to either of them.

      Posted by C.L. on 2008 04 26 at 11:22 AM • permalink


    1. ros kelly & her magical whiteboard – ah those were the days

      #6 awesome

      Posted by KK on 2008 04 26 at 11:45 AM • permalink


    1. #3 – Could you imagine the likes of Pelosi, Hillary, or even Chelsea dancing on the Rotunda?

      only if theres a pole in the middle

      Posted by bondo on 2008 04 26 at 11:49 AM • permalink


    1. #10 Bondo: Must…simulate…coma…to…blot out…image.

      Posted by paco on 2008 04 26 at 11:51 AM • permalink


    1. I’d like to see Follet’s depiction of the Chelsea-Xorb-8 presidential debate.

      Posted by C.L. on 2008 04 26 at 11:53 AM • permalink


    1. You know what they say paco – older but bolder 😛

      Posted by bondo on 2008 04 26 at 11:54 AM • permalink


    1. #10 Make room at the pole.

      Posted by C.L. on 2008 04 26 at 12:19 PM • permalink


    1. #14: Oh, brother! Maybe we should do away with democracy and just give everybody a turn at, for want of a better word, “governing”.

      Posted by paco on 2008 04 26 at 02:27 PM • permalink


    1. #12:

      “We must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom!”

      “I am Clin-Ton. As overlord, all will kneel trembling before me and obey my brutal commands. End communication.”

      Posted by Brian Tiemann on 2008 04 26 at 02:29 PM • permalink


    1. Yo, regardless of whether or not you like baseball, this was a great moment.

      Posted by paco on 2008 04 26 at 02:35 PM • permalink


    1. Impressive fact: not once when I’ve come up with these extra-work-for-everybody notions has anyone complained,

      Well, not to your face….

      Posted by Deborah Leigh on 2008 04 26 at 03:06 PM • permalink


    1. Haw! Of course, these bozos would probably be leading more useful lives if they did reside in Oklahoma.

      Via the always interesting Libertas

      Posted by paco on 2008 04 26 at 04:16 PM • permalink


    1. #17, thanks for that link, Paco.  I remember it, but it’s always great to be reminded.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2008 04 26 at 05:07 PM • permalink


    1. Enjoyed the TV Guide-Australia look into 2020, Tim.  I note, however, that the same old movies are still being shown in the wee hours.  They’re nice and all, culturally basic, but Mohammed H., can’t we get something new?

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2008 04 26 at 05:09 PM • permalink


    1. Very clever Tim.  Wonderful parody.

      Posted by Wand on 2008 04 26 at 05:24 PM • permalink


    1. The 2020 Indian cricket reference was especially clever. Guess that means you have been sneakily watching the IPL like the rest of us cricket fans.

      Posted by phil_b on 2008 04 26 at 06:13 PM • permalink


    1. Flannery emerging and finding the world still exists was a not unexpected eventuality – I’d like to see the look on his face.

      I’m sure I’ve also heard the title spoken by a robot in “The Jetsons”.

      Posted by kae on 2008 04 26 at 06:16 PM • permalink


    1. Very clever. Very droll. Congrats to all.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2008 04 26 at 06:36 PM • permalink


    1. “nerdy wonks in glasses”

      Is that like

      In the year 6565 Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too From the bottom of a long glass tube

      #21 George C-looney epics appears next time in wee wee hours.

      David Throsby says:

      The ABC in particular was consistently portrayed by the former government as an incorrigible agent for the promotion of left-wing cultural causes….raise the profile of the arts and culture…artist as Arts Minister

      David related to Margaret?

      Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 04 26 at 07:16 PM • permalink


    1. Always original, always fresh.

      But if the 2020 recommendations are adopted, PM Wong won’t dancing her way through parliamentary question time.

      Recommendation 1 was that the Australian parliament be replaced by a committee of 1000 people appointed by GetUp!, WWF-Australia and the Australian Academy of Dramatic Arts. These 1000 people would then appoint a leader to be called the Cultural and Environmental Director.

      The 2020 committee said the problem with out-fashioned elections was that voters sometimes picked for the wrong people.

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 04 26 at 07:24 PM • permalink


    1. #19 Paco

      You don’t get many Coloradans to the kilogram, do you?

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 04 26 at 07:30 PM • permalink


    1. O.T., sorry, but I can’t help laughing.

      Posted by chrisgo on 2008 04 26 at 07:38 PM • permalink


    1. #29
      They save dogs in Thailand and import them to the UK?
      I love dogs, but that’s ridiculous.Little bit of clicking etc, Lyssavirus is of the rabies family of viruses er, virii.

      Posted by kae on 2008 04 26 at 07:44 PM • permalink


    1. 12.00 Rage
      The assembled Parliamentary speeches
      of Prime Minister Paul Keating


      Posted by Kobaal on 2008 04 26 at 07:59 PM • permalink


    1. not once when I’ve come up with these extra-work-for-everybody notions has anyone complained

      Wait till they hear about your plans for a pop-up column.

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2008 04 26 at 08:07 PM • permalink


    1. #32
      I’m. Not. Touching. That!arrgh!

      (it’s a struggle)

      Hasn’t he already got one?


      Posted by kae on 2008 04 26 at 08:09 PM • permalink



    1. #34: Yes, but will the world of 2020 be as vastly different from the world of today, as the world of today is from the world of yesterday, or will the world of 2020 be more like the world of today, than the world of today is like the world of two weeks ago, last Saturday? That’s the key question.
      (BTW, Richard; Plan 9 – great selection!)

      Posted by paco on 2008 04 26 at 08:50 PM • permalink


    1. Great Parody.

      ‘2020: Headed in the Wong direction’?

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 04 26 at 09:39 PM • permalink


    1. O/T:

      c/- Bolta:
      Robyn 100m Williams gives Professor Don Aitkin ‘A Cool Look at Global Warming’ a soapbox on Ockham’s Razor, all be it with some disclaimers.

      Hopefully, ABC chief Mark Scott’s given 100m Williams a directive for at least a semblance of Aunty’s alleged ‘balance’.

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 04 26 at 09:46 PM • permalink


    1. Nice try, Timbo, but close inspection reveals your “TV schedules” are almost certainly not genuine, because they omit one of the staples of programming past.

      For those too young to remember, test pattern was like a televisual version of a Michelle Grattan column, though somewhat more colourful. Sadly, the popularity of test pattern seemed to fade at roughly the same time that psychotropic drugs went out of fashion.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2008 04 26 at 11:01 PM • permalink


    1. #38 MM
      Thanks for the nostalgia.Early colour days saw Aunty’s local version (TCN9 ident shown) of the Beeb’s Test Card F.

      IIRC B&W days were versions of the EIA Resolution Chart 1956.

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 04 26 at 11:54 PM • permalink


    1. #39
      Youtube: time to toke?

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 04 27 at 12:42 AM • permalink


    1. As 2020 Question Time responses are to be via interpretive dance, post $orry, will the allegedly butch Ms Wong conduct same via indigenous dance?

      She’ll be able cover the gay, feminist and indigenous groups if she sports a strap-on didgeridildo … or is that didgeridon’t?

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 04 27 at 02:17 AM • permalink


  1. Tim, you’ve got 1976 pegged, dumbest decade in the history of the world, and I’ll stand by that statement against all you historians. Spock rocked.

    Posted by dean martin on 2008 04 27 at 04:28 AM • permalink