March 28, 2021


I got this back in fourth grade, which was probably roundabout 1993, from a school book fair or something because I would buy ANY book of comic strips that appeared in a weird place, and the character looked sort of like Calvin of “and Hobbes” fame anyway, and I had all the books with actual Calvin in them. I had never seen this big Nate that is smaller than a pencil before and have not seen it since,

but apparently it found an audience somewhere eventually among influential scumbags.
I don’t know how you make a tv series about a kid who draws comic strips in his note books, or why you need to save money by making it 3d since it would probably cost 2 cents to animate the notebook sections, which easily comprised about a third of the natebook that I had, assuming the tv series doesn’t just opt for static images.

I still had the book, along with this from the same book fair, a large hard cover edition of Roald Dahl’s The Minpins, which wasn’t actually mine and I don’t know how I ended up with it, but had HAD it so long i stopped mentally being aware of it, and several Cracked Magazines in a trash bag where they’d been at least ten years as I was always weird about throwing things away, but amidst trying to get the house sold last June I finally did, and I guess this tv series being made is revenge. I don’t know anything about it except for that picture, but I don’t really need to; I am 80% assured to hate any animated series whatever it is, this just happens to be a character that I recognize.

But it does go to show, if you stick to your craft, 30 years later a soulless corporation may commission an ugly computer mockery of it while desperate for new material not spun off from stuff they’ve had on the air almost as long or produced by sexual predators they finally had to fire after too many people found out they were covering up predation.

All this is not to say I hated the comic strips; I preferred the Nate book to the Marvin book, and it was my first experience with the expletive “dang!,”


which prepared me to encounter GRAYDANG in doom some time later, but I didn’t care enough to make an effort to track down more of Nate’s biggery. Meanwhile I eventually acquired each Calvin volume, though admittedly those were more common sights in book stores and finite in number.

I remember being really bothered by the way Lincoln Peirce drew the breast zone on Nate’s sister Ellen and apparently later other characters. I do not understand how this is preferable to not detailing a character’s chest at all.

However the bignate fandom wiki, which exists, features graphics which indicate this specific matter was toned down at some point. Peirce still draws mouths on the fronts of the heads regardless of what way they are facing.


the wiki also features up to the minute updates about which characters’ hair is pulled too close to their faces.

you are missing the bigger picture that Gina is a living cubist painting.


I additionally learned there was a big nate novel series by the same author that is REALLY banking on one remark from Jeff Kinney, whose “ugly comic strip about dork going to school excused by being ostensibly drawn by character in the comic” work actually came out a full 13 years after Lincoln Peirce’s and made heaps more money, and I wonder if Peirce knew the publisher was putting that line there. It is on all eight of the books,

and is also on reprint editions even less subtly. He definitely knew by then, I suppose.

Ah I said I hadn’t seen “big nate” since reading that book I had, but then I remembered I looked at its syndicate website at some point because I found and saved this extremely tacky strip from 2011.


I wonder how this works; how is a perpetual 12-year old commemorating the tenth anniversary of a national disaster that occurred when he was two years old? Or does this serve to acknowledge that he is in fact much older than that and simply not aging visually, like an elf?
Perhaps every moment of Nate’s life exists in its own separate timeline where he had been two years old ten years before, and in this one he has been surrounded by stories of heart-rending tragedy about nine-eleven and, unlike my cousin Delainey, about the same age, at the 9-eleven museum in New York City, or myself, mildly older than that on the actual nine-11, experiencing disillusionment and social terror at just existing every single day, totally over with being ordered to care about the one time people older than them experienced it, and got interviewed about it, and got validated in feeling that way, Nate REALLY relates to IX-XI. Alright that bully kid is STILL going to wreck that dopey pair of mounds, because the only thing bullies hate more than you standing there looking like that is you trying to get out of what’s coming to you. The only way to make bullies respect you is to beat them in a fight or make them laugh, and Nate, as the title character of a daily syndicated comic strip, is never going to substantially alter his behavior to get tougher or become funny so obviously those are both out. The only way that sand sculpture stays up is if bigger kid has mega right wing parents/guardianship that have hammered into him how SACRED 9-11 is, and new york’s FINEST, and the MEN AND WOMEN OVERSEAS, and PEARL HARBOR, and BOOTSTRAPS, in which case he is going to murder Nate and threaten Nate’s buddies into hiding the body for daring to invoke the divine power of 9-11. He will then call the newspapers, tell them he made the sand towers, get an award from the mayor and the city will make a bronze cast of it and display replicas at every intersection.


also: who the heck does this? places the end of their tongue out one side of their mouth to show how hard they are working. It is also in the title logo and apparently numerous other nate strips even without considering the logo. I sure don’t do that. I hate the feeling of tongues on my skin, whose-ever they may belong to. I would definitely have to scrape-wipe that part of my face afterward with tissue paper. I don’t think I have ever seen somebody outside of a comic strip or my mother’s description of a Norman Rockwell painting do that. And I don’t know what it’s called and searching for pictures based on the description is getting me way too many photographs of gross mouths so I cannot research this further. But my belief is that nobody really does this.
It is like talking while pointing one finger upward.



None of them are real people! I drew nemitz (orange annoying imp) doing it because nemitz does stupid things that are annoying, and even mit doesn’t engage in side-tonguing.


actually now that i think of it, the dork from goblins 3 looks sort of like nate (but not at all like calvin). they both have weird gravity-defying black spiked hair that looks more like grass and hold both feet in the exact same direction when facing to the side but only turn one of them and all the way around to face frontward, marking a considerable, charlie chaplin-esque posture change.


well THAT is the sort of thing i notice! too late to try and change it now.

some people notice other things.


this has no relevance but it is the specific inspiration for me referring to dopes as “decadent” on one or more occasions.



8 Responses
  1. 1
    5:18 pm, March 29, 2021

    ? sez:

    As a child who spent more time around cartoon people than real ones, I thought I was the weird one for *not* sticking my tongue out of the corner of my mouth when I was concentrating.

  2. 2
    6:01 pm, March 29, 2021

    Frimpinheap sez:

    I went to a catholic school for the first three grades and varying forms of special education after that, so I saw plenty of real people, I just didn’t trust them. But it allowed me to attribute odd behavior of fake ones to their fakeness, even when it turned out to be things that real people did that I simply had never encountered. I wasn’t convinced hall monitors, hall passes, terrifying “midterms” and vice principals at schools were real or that anybody referred to gym class as fizzedd. I was sure that “prom”s and detention only occurred at schools exclusively comprised of considerably older “kids” that were indistinguishable in age from the adults since it was so common for adults to be cast as high school students in films and on television.

  3. 3
    7:03 pm, March 29, 2021

    pindohodo sez:

    “Big Nate is funny, big time” is both grammatically and factually wrong, big time! It was ever just one of those bland comics that were only good for filling up an empty space in the newspaper comics section. Like, it certainly wasn’t good, but there were plenty of way worse comics. I keep being surprised by how many of these comics are still chugging along after so many years, I think one of the reasons that Calvin & Hobbes is so beloved by fans is that the author chose to end the comic before it overstayed its welcome. So now there’s a Big Nate animated series coming? Well, why not. At least we’ll be able to see how Nate’s sister’s breast zone looks in 3D!

  4. 4
    8:10 pm, March 29, 2021

    Frimpinheap sez:

    I never saw it in a newspaper at all, I figured it was a southern or midwestern sort of thing, what with all the dang, though the fandom page stated that nate supported northeastern sporting teams. I wonder how the book even got to connecticut unless some kid who moved from out of state had the book and was looking to get rid of it.
    Bill Watterson was interested in making a good comic strip foremost ahead of millions of dollars which was often at odds with the corporate interests of newspapers and the publishing syndicates. i wonder how long he would have stayed in the business if he had been more left alone, but certainly the finiteness helps the material seem less tired.

  5. 5
    10:01 pm, April 1, 2021

    Purplespace sez:

    I have not heard of the eponymous Big Nate, but the book titles remind of the titles on Garfield books which I did read a lot of when I was younger. They also turned Garfield into a 3D animated movie and a 3D animated cartoon series far after the not 3D animated cartoon series.

    However, none of that compares to Garfield Kart racing which you can get right now. I did because I am awful.

  6. 6
    11:32 pm, April 1, 2021

    Frimpinheap sez:

    those books definitely have titles to the effect that the titles don’t matter at all, and I wonder why they don’t just have numbers on them. The publishers already decided that the same dumb quote from the same dumb dork is more important than anything else, so why bother varying the title?

    garfield comics were being adapted to other media from almost the beginning, including non-ugly-3d cartoons, and had several bad video games before being shoved into the bad kart game genre. Garfield has been just about every place a licensed property can and shouldn’t go.

  7. 7
    9:21 pm, April 2, 2021

    Dhraiden sez:

    I do not care for nor about this Nate fellow at all, but just wanted to say, kudos for including screenshots from the Gobli/ii/iiins series. Coktel vision drew some weird, surreal stuff that’s seared into my <10 y.o. brain back then.

  8. 8
    10:05 pm, April 2, 2021

    Frimpinheap sez:

    they somehow got on to my very oldest web pages so I can never truly forget about them.
    The primary coktel artist Pierre Gilhodes has a youtube page but unfortunately has not updated it in nearly five years.

    also THIS website refused to let me post this comment, and I had to post a blank comment and edit the text and links in later, which of course nobody else would be able to do if similarly prohibited. I wonder what I did that I didn’t like.

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