For a year or so I have included, among the other clickable names down the port side under the heading "links," the name Kate Beaton.
Kate Beaton is the greatest living North American cartoonist who conducts regularly in sometimes-obscure Canadian historical figures, Maritimes angst, and fat ponies while consistently making me laugh. (And, yes, I do laugh.)
Of her online presences (best typified by Hark, A Vagrant), one site includes examples of her participation in a professional encouragement competition, something I assume is called "Hourlies."
Most readers of this Journal know that my capacity for cartooning has been limited to -- ensured by my brief career in print advertising -- stick figures with mean eyes saying through irregular word balloons, "Buy this crap now!" So I pretend no acquaintance with such intramural exercises as "Hourlies." By clicking on links within Ms. Beaton's conversational and affable prose -- and I did so not in an obsessive or stalkery way (evident crush notwithstanding) -- one can gain some familiarity with hurriedly dashed-off bits of visual cheer produced at fixed intervals. They're not studied or carefully crafted or polished, but absolutely every bit as entertaining as the "real thing." Or a Tweet or a Facebook status update. Often even moreso.
For instance, a recent collection included something like 16 of these little gems (as our friend Charles Henry Gifford called them. Well, when he made his.) and at 1:30 in the proceedings, this came about:
Thank you, Kate Beaton, for dropping Captain Bartlett's name and giving me another reason to mention yours.