How long ago was Christmas Day 2021?

  1. Christmas Day 2021 was about a month ago, so we’re as far from that Christmas as it was from the Russian anti-satellite test that endangered the International Space Station.
  2. In its turn, that test is now about as far in the past as the US withdrawal from Afghanistan was when it took place.
  3. That withdrawal is now as far in the past as the container ship Ever Given getting stuck in the Suez canal was when it happened.
  4. The Ever Given incident is halfway in time between the present and the SpaceX Dragon 2 launch in May 2020.
  5. The SpaceX Dragon 2 launch is halfway between the present and Canada’s legalization of cannabis in October 2018.
  6. Canada’s legalization of cannabis is halfway back to July 2015, when New Horizons flew by Pluto.
  7. The New Horizons flyby is halfway back to early 2009, when Barack Obama became US President.
  8. Mr O’s inauguration is halfway back to early 1996, when Muppet Treasure Island was playing in theaters.
  9. The release of Muppet Treasure Island is halfway back to the summer of 1969, when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon.
  10. Apollo 11 is halfway back to 1916, when a million people died for absolutely nothing in the battle of the Somme.
  11. The battle of the Somme is halfway back to 1811, when the battle of Tippecanoe spelled doom for Native Americans in what would become the state of Indiana.
  12. The battle of Tippecanoe is halfway back to 1600, when they killed Giordano Bruno for having opinions.
  13. The killing of Giordano Bruno is halfway back to 1178, when five monks in Canterbury saw the meteor strike that formed the crater on the Moon that is named Giordano Bruno.
  14. The formation of the Giordano Bruno crater is halfway back to 334, when Constantine the Great was nearing the end of his time as emperor of the Romans.
  15. Constantine’s reign is halfway back to 600 BCE, when the city of Milan was founded.
  16. The founding of Milan is halfway back to the origins of the Assyrian civilization.
  17. The origins of the Assyrian civilization are halfway back to the Younger Dryas cooling event.
  18. The Younger Dryas is halfway back to the founding of the oldest permanent human settlement yet found, a group of huts where the town of Dolní Věstonice now stands in the Czech Republic.
  19. The settlement at Dolní Věstonice is halway back to the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic Age.
  20. The beginning of the Upper Paleolithic Age is halfway back to the building of the earliest surviving stone structures on Earth, which stand near Wadi Haifa in southern Egypt.
  21. The building of the Wadi Haifa structures is halfway back to the first evidence of humans in Europe (circa 210,000 years ago.)
  22. The oldest evidence for humans in Europe is halfway back to the likely date of the first bears.
  23. The first bears are halfway back to the beginning of the Cryogenian Ice Age (circa 850,000 years ago.)
  24. The beginning of the Cryogenian Ice Age is halfway back to the earliest stone tools crafted by hominins.
  25. The first stone tools crafted by hominins are halfway back to the first human ancestors who ate grasses and sedges.
  26. The first human ancestors who ate grasses and sedges are halfway back to the last common ancestors of humans and the other great apes (circa 7,000,000 years ago.)
  27. The last common ancestors of humans and the other great apes are halfway back to the Middle Miocene Climate Transition.
  28. The Middle Miocene Climate Transition is halfway back to the comet strike in the Sahara that produced all that black glass.
  29. The comet strike in the Sahara is halfway back to the Paleocene/ Eocene Thermal Maximum (circa 56,000,000 years ago.)
  30. The Paleocene/ Eocene Thermal Maximum is halfway back to the extinction of Pelorosaurus (circa 112,000,000 years ago.)
  31. The extinction of Pelorosaurus is halfway back to time of the common ancestors of mammals, the mammaliaformes.
  32. The mammaliaformes appeared halfway between the present and the Late Ordovician Event, a mass extinction that wiped out about 85% of all marine species (450,000,000 years ago.)
  33. The Late Ordovician Event is about halfway back to the appearance of the first multicellular life on Earth (circa 900,000,000 years ago.)
  34. The appearance of the first multicellular life on Earth is about halfway back to the appearance of the first eukaryotes on Earth.
  35. The appearance of the first eukaryotes on Earth is about halfway back to the formation of the oldest fossils yet found on Earth (circa 3,500,000,000 years ago.)
  36. The oldest fossils yet found date back about halfway to the formation of Arcturus (circa 6,900,000,000 years ago.)
  37. Multiply 6,900,000,000 by two, and you get 13,800,000,000. So the formation of Arcturus dates back halfway between the present and the Big Bang. Now you know how long ago Christmas really was.

Our old links page for comics

Most of the links below worked when I tried them this afternoon, and several lead to sites that are still updating.


(This page most recently updated 20 January 2019)


  1. Bad Reporter, what the front page of the newspaper might as well look like
  2. Basic Instructions, “Your all-inclusive guide to a life well-lived”
  3. Black Cat and Star Pilot, interesting comics that look like they are from the American southwest
  4. Blondie, which may be over 80 years old, but is still fascinating to look at
  5. Bug Martini, “random nonsense five days a week”
  6. Chainsawsuit, by the prolific Kris Straub
  7. The City, John Backderf (aka “Derf”) expresses his frustration with the US political scene
  8. Cul de Sac, a strip following in the tradition of Peanuts, by imagining children as less-inhibited adults
  9. DailyKos comics section, including Tom TomorrowSlowpoke, and others who express frustration with the US political scene
  10. The Dark Side of the Horse, which is sometimes over Acilius’ head
  11. Deep Dark Fears, by Fran Krause
  12. Diesel Sweeties, by Richard Stevens III (alias “R. Stevens”)
  13. Dinosaur ComicsT. Rex ‘n’ friends have a series of bull sessions
  14. Doghouse Diaries, no dogs in sight
  15. Existential Comics, “a philosophy comic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also jokes.”
  16. Foxtrot, updates Sundays
  17. Garfield Minus Garfield, which makes us wonder how they keep “Garfield” from being funny; Arbuckle does the same thing;  the Square Root of Minus Garfield tries a little too hard
  18. “Too Much Coffee Man,” a.k.a. How to Be Happy, by Shannon Wheeler
  19. Imagine This, quietly brilliant gag-a-day strip
  20. Indexed, Jessica Hagy uses charts and graphs to analyze some really important relationships
  21. Junior Scientist Power Hour, by Abby Howard
  22. The K Chronicles, cartoonist Keith Knight (who also does The Knight Life)
  23. Lunar Baboon, a guy who wants you to know he’s a cool dad
  24. Medium Large, cats, comics, and other things that ought to be sharp
  25. Monty doesn’t really stand out as a black-and-white strip in a daily newspaper, but look at it in color and you’ll be a fan
  26. Mutts,  Patrick McDonnell reimagines Krazy Kat and Ignatz in a gentler light, with Ignatz transformed from mouse to dog
  27. Mythtickle, in which Justin Thompson goes places Asterix never quite got round to
  28. Nancy, which has gone to surprising places
  29. The Oatmeal, achingly beautiful stories about dogs mixed in with other stuff
  30. Oglaf, weekly strip that is to sex what xkcd is to math
  31. Please Listen to Me, about how things change when you change your perspective
  32. Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist, a creation of Biswapriya Purkayastha, who denies that he is “a nice person in any sense of the word”
  33. Retail, which shows that a serial strip can be drawn in the style of a gag-a-day strip and still work
  34. Robbie and Bobby, “about the indestructible friendship of a robot and his boy”
  35. Sarah’s Scribbles, Sarah C. Andersen lays it on the line Wednesdays and Saturdays
  36. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, the world of some grumpy grad student
  37. Scenes from a Multiverse, remarkably mild
  38. Super-Team Family, covers of imaginary comic books, in which established characters are teamed in unlikely ways
  39. Ted Rall is a US political cartoonist who opposes both the Republicans and Democrats, just because of their shared habit of murdering defenseless people.  Picky, picky.
  40. Three Word Phrase, Ryan Pequin’s gag-a-day webcomic
  41. Tom the Dancing Bug, Ruben Bolling expresses his frustration with the US political scene (he also does Super-Fun-Pak Comix, which is great)
  42. Two Party Opera, where dead and not yet dead US presidents hang out
  43. Unshelved, a strip by librarians, about librarians, for librarians.  If you’re a non-librarian and you read it, you’re a voyeur.
  44. Wondermark, looks like 1896, reads like 1996
  45. xkcd, stick figures who enjoy math; and what-if, in which similar figures stand by watching helplessly as physics is used to answer hypothetical questions
  46. Zen Pencils, by Gavin Aung Than, who calls it “a website where inspirational quotes from famous people are adapted into cartoons”

Less Frequently Updated

  1. Sarah E. Laing’s “Let Me Be Frank“; she used to do “Forty Four Ways of Looking at an Apple” also
  2. Lead Paint Comics, by Mike Cornnell and Dana Wulfekotte (it seems that Mike Cornnell’s name actually does have two “n”s in it)
  3. Lucy Knisley moves around a lot, this link worked last time we updated this page (here’s her tumblr)
  4. Marlo Meekins, not for the squeamish
  5. Occupy Comics Shazam, doesn’t include Shazam or the Mighty Isis, but is worth reading anyway
  6. Outnumbered, by Tom Bancroft
  7. Poorly Drawn Lines, by Reza Farazmand
  8. Spiked Math, complex reasoning, simple hilarity
  9. Unwinder’s Tall Comics, a web comic about people who try to entertain themselves without using the web
  10. With Fetus, by D. Murphy and Emily Ansara Baines, who say “It’s About Abortion!”  An interesting strip, but the art is terrible.

News and Comment

An alphabetical list

  1. Cartoon Research, compiled and edited by Jerry Beck
  2. Christ, Coffee, and Comics, Greek Orthodox priest Niko Bekris explores the theological depths hidden in stories about Superman
  3. Comic Book News Service, “a comic book community where fans find reviews, news, special features, and a column for every day of the week”
  4. Comics Curmudgeon, Josh Fruhlinger reads the funny papers
  5. Comics Reporter, “Tom Spurgeon’s Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary”
  6. Escher Girls, what the comics think a woman is
  7. Fleen, “home of the webcomics Action News Team”
  8. God and Comics, a podcast in which three Episcopal priests demonstrate that, no matter how erudite and accomplished you are, if you’re a grown man talking about why he likes Batman, you’ll start to sound like a stoner
  9. A Good Cartoon, was funny at first, but seems to be heading down a bit of an angry political rabbit hole right now
  10. I Love Ya But You’re Strange and other things by Brian Cronin (the revealer of legends)
  11. Language Log’s “Linguistics in the Comics” section
  12. Shitty New Yorker Cartoon Captions, in which the shittiness of the captions illustrates the shittiness of the cartoons
  13. Stripper’s Guide, revisits newspaper strips and comic panels of days gone by
  14. Team Cul-de-Sac

Archives and Graphic Novels

An alphabetical list

  1. The Bad Chemicals, “a sad and silly comic” by some guy named Brent
  2. Carbon Dating, “a comic strip about science, pseudoscience, and geeky relationships”
  3. Captain Confederacy, which imagines what the world might be like if the Confederacy had won the US Civil War, and superheroes were real, and the ruling elite of the Confederacy manipulated those superheroes into perpetuating white supremacy.  You know, the obvious questions everyone asks when they study the history of the 1860s.  It’s kind of like its contemporary The Watchmen, only with a focus on mass media as a regressive force in race relations.
  4. The Comic Torah, Aaron Freeman and Sharon Rosenzweig reimagine “the (very!) Good Book”
  5. Comics With Problems, comics that address themselves to social problems, but which themselves represent other social problems
  6. DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary, by Erika Moen
  7. Dead Philosophers in Heaven, which would make Lucian proud
  8. Dykes to Watch Out For archive, selections from Alison Bechdel’s great strip
  9. Hark! A Vagrant!”  Canadian Kate Beaton’s “comic about failure”
  10. Ignore Hitler, a title that would have been good advice to voters in the Weimar Republic, a comic that appeals to some people, for some reason
  11. Tony Millionaire’s Maakies, which picks up where the Katzenjammer Kids may someday leave off
  12. Planet of Hats, a Star Trek Recap Comic
  13. Request Comics, which somebody must have asked for
  14. Thinkin’ Lincoln, heads of famous historical figures are associated with improbable remarks
  15. Troubletown, Lloyd Dangle expressed his frustration with the US political scene
  16. “White Boy,” later known as “The Adventures of White Boy in Skull Valley,” later still as “Skull Valley,” was a newspaper strip that artist Garrett Price drew for a few years in the 1930s.  This site has scans of a couple of strips, along with a biographical note about Price; this site has a larger selection of strips;  a 2005 special issue of Comics Journal featuring the first 32 “White Boy” strips is available to Comics Journal subscribers here.
  17. Working at the Death Star, what all those guys in the background probably did on days when R2D2 and his friends weren’t around