THE FUNNIES is my first (and so far only) album; it is a concept album taking a look at newspaper comic strips, and the many imaginative (mis)interpretations of them that can be found on the Internet. It began with "Mary Worth Told Me To," a song inspired by the interpretation of Mary Worth as a sinister, drama-addicted puppetmaster common in the community at The Comics Curmudgeon, which I wrote in August of 2008. This was followed up by "Apartment 3-G" not too long after. After this, I spent a long while toying around with the idea of doing an album, even getting a few snippets of different songs written, but between overshooting the mark (with too many planned songs and a stupid fling with trying to write songs of a given length) and a general lack of inspiration, not much got done. Finally, in mid-November of 2009, inspiration returned and I finished the remaining songs for the album. The album art was finished not too long afterwards, just in time for Christmas.
I have a lot of credit to be giving where it's due when it comes to this album. First, I owe a whole lot to the CC community; not only are they one of the nicest and funniest groups of people on the Internet, they (and head honcho, blogger Josh Fruhlinger) provided the huge majority of the subtextual readings, alternate interpretations, and deliberate sabotages of authorial intent that inspired every track on this album. They were also warmly receptive of the initial two songs, moreso than was probably merited, because they're just that goshdarn nice. Moreover, CC reader Erik provided the initial inspiration for the front cover of the album when "Apartment 3-G" was released, with this gem of a post:
The last third of that song makes me picture Margo in a chainmail bikini on a purple desert landscape, battling hordes of space-orcs with her silver broadsword in an attempt to regain control of her crystalline palace.
Second, I owe a whole lot of thanks to my various musical inspirations. Of special note are Pink Floyd, since "Mary Worth Told Me To" started out as a non-copyright-infringing fusion of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" and "One Of These Days," and King Crimson, whose 1970 Mellotron freakout "The Devil's Triangle" was the main inspiration for the "Margo" segment of "Apartment 3-G." Without them (and the many other stars of the classic prog era,) The Funnies simply would not exist.
And finally, I suppose I should thank my family, for, you know, being supportive and all that. Seriously, they're a pretty cool bunch, and they only sometimes make fun of my taste in music.
All songs except the "Howard Hughes, Po
ult ry Farmer" section of "This Week, In Judge Parker" were written by myself, and I retain the rights to all original content. However, I don't mind if you redistribute or reuse any or all of the album, as long as you don't try to take credit for my work.
The album is available free for download, as I hardly think it's professional quality and there's a few samples I don't have rights to. Be warned that the whole thing is very in-jokey with regards to the Comics Curmudgeon community, and non-CC regulars probably won't "get" the ideas, although they may enjoy the music. Because of this, I've written another page with a brief explanation of the community's interpretation of each featured comic strip and how it relates to the music. I don't know if it'll make it funny for non-regulars, but at least you'll have an idea of what the deal is.
Also available for download is The Judge Parker EP, a set of separate versions of the three standout sections from the "This Week, In Judge Parker" suite, plus the original version of "Apartment 3-G", which is much more synth-oriented, as opposed to the album version's heavy use of Mellotron sounds. (Overall I like the new version better, but I do like the warmth of the synth version of "Lu Ann.") The album and the EP can be downloaded in 160Kbps MP3 and FLAC formats from archive.org.