Thursday, July 26, 2007

F Minus

One of the worst things that can happen to a team is picking up a young stud who's got "potential", but is also "inconsistent". It's a dreadful paradox that gets coaches fired, pisses off teammates, and drives frustrated GMs to gulp down Maalox daiquiris.

For example, on some days the kid is a Natural; a fastball-devouring monster with a .397 batting average who steals bases, able to play any position, and can single-handedly carry a team to the World Series. Other days, he's a clown who can't catch, can't hit, and can't run. What's worse, you're unable to predict the days when he's either going to be A-Rod or just A Bust. Keep him? Trade him? Argh.

Tony Carrillo, a cartoonist who writes and illustrates the comic strip F Minus, reminds me a lot of that perplexing type of athlete.

F Minus is another one of those anonymous, badly-drawn strips that, at first glance, is easy to ignore. Carrillo's art is so stiff, his characters and landscapes appear to been cut out of cardboard with dull scissors. Ah, but if you take a second look inside the word balloons, there are interesting things going on. There's satire, bad puns, surrealistic mischief, and a cold hard analysis of how cruel people can be.

Carrillo has talent, and the potential to be much, much better than he is. But he's inconsistent. Argh. Annoying, isn't it?