Vachel can be mean for his own insensitive amusement, but I sometimes wondered if this strip went too far. I always justified it in thinking that in this case it’s NOT that he’s this mean, it’s just one of those moments when he REALLY wasn’t thinking.
I love writing strips like this because the punchline plays off of the serious poetic-ness of the first three panels, but yet the first three panels aren’t written to BE poetic, they were written as my earnest feelings.
I remember as a kid being in awe of hypnosis. And I still was for a long time, but now it’s a bit more in theory. I tried going to a hypnotist several years ago to try to quit biting my nails, but I wasn’t very suggestable/receptive.
This was written from experience. When playing catch, if a dog can, they will catch the ball as you throw it rather than running after it. And even if it appears painfully caught, they want you to throw it again.
And enthusiasm for which endears me greatly to dogs. <3
One of the details which still strikes me about this strip is the little heart breaking above Dee’s head. Ted never yells at her any more. She’s so sad!
I also like how this is a total induction for Ted into road trip parenting.
This is one of the strips which made me worry. It would’ve been so easy to slip into a mode where every gag was based around Vachel being snarky/sarcastic/mean. But I was constantly afraid of this happening and actively made myself steer clear of this pitfall.
Of course, it was REALLY fun to use it in excess on occasion such as in this strip. :)