Tag Archives: comic novel

Economic Tragedy Played as a Comedy

The formation of the eurozone and a half-century of relentless globalization have altered the global economic landscape, rendering once-proven policies ineffective.”

Kaushik Basu


Doug revised small size

aka…Doug McKechnie

The comic novel is an exploration guided by discovery. The author hunts for the funny side of phenomena. We can’t tweeze out the least preferred parts of life and place only the most preferred parts up for consideration without placing our thumb on the scale of reality. How we might fold uncomfortable truths into comic fiction and still hurl the reader joyfully along on a romp of human folly is quite the challenge. For the work to be redemptive there needs to be somewhere in the work souls who’s actions are wholesome and skillful, that hold in their hearts a sense of what it means to seek for the common good. From start to finish the author is testing a hypothesis and running a fictional experiment and the consequences will result in some measure of reading pleasure. The global financial crisis has no such luxury. Instead its authors no less certain than a comic novelist must live with the results of the implications derived from their experiments. I think it safe to say that we now have a global financial system without an effective global financial sector. We have neither the institutions nor the regulations suited to where the nations of the world have arrived. This is human folly on a scale that dwarfs the hubris of even the most rigid ideologue.



“An angry man’s a dead ender… got to learn how to appreciate what you have, stop bellyaching…”

“I got a good life,”

“If you had a good life you’d be getting out of folks way and allowing men coming up behind you to take the helm.”

“Not a man in Meadowhawk can do what I do,”

“…Time to get out of the way Garrett…Time for next generation figure things out.”

“I got a lot of life in me still,”

“Garrett,” Doc tried to be sincere, “you have to open your eyes, love the things you find right here, right now, before time god gave you ends up being spent on things won’t add a lick of joy to your sour puss…”

“Well, what do I do when my chest starts to hurt?”

“I took the Hippocratic oath. If you were my mortal enemy I’d still be duty bound to treat you,”

“So, what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to put you on low dose of aspirin, and if I’m right you’ll be fine and if I’m wrong, won’t matter, you’ll be dead before your head hits the ground.”

Garrett said, “You don’t have to sound so happy about that,”

“It would be lot easier to show some remorse if my patient wasn’t the most obstinate man in the whole of Meadowhawk.”

Trial and Error in the Comic Novel




 In the Distance the town of Meadowhawk, Nevada

I soon discover whether a situation is inherently funny. If it isn’t funny it becomes clear that the scene will depend on characterization. If character and circumstances fail next is to write a funny line to try and carry the scene. Then, after being dissatisfied with that I’ll circle back and try and approach the scene from another point of entry. Might be a different character, might be a different place, a different circumstance, so long as it contains the necessary plot points needed to carry the story along that’s all that matters, at least that’s all that matters after you have found a way to drive the comic novel forward. Again, there is a lot more trial and error in this type of fictional prose.



“Hazel said a divorced man can’t know how annoying they can be.”

“Maybe a woman’s annoyed because of how she feels about the man.”

“Her being annoyed is not in her imagination,”

“What is it then?”

“Women get annoyed because we give you everything we got,” Lark said. “At least that’s what Hazel and Gretel say.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“Just about the time we give ourselves to the man, the man stops appreciating it.”

“I’m out of my mind crazy for that woman.”

“And she’s afraid the first time she’s nice to you… that’ll be the end of that.”

“You mean for us to be mad about each other we can never be nice to one another?”