How to Help Your Child Pick a Role Model

I'm posting this comic to the site early to make up for the comic lost to the protest yesterday, and because I'm feeling some guilt in general. Time has been scarce lately. That's why there've been reruns the last couple of Fridays. I hope to rectify the situation soon.

Thanks for your patience.

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Reader Comments (49)

The first two panels are gold. Came out of nowhere and whacked me with the funny.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoshquixote I want my daughter to be a ninja too. Either that or marry a rich guy with a yacht.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsaac

A great BI and the bonus of it being early too.

Please add 'do' to the second panel though. "Do ninjas 'do' chores?"

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack

Damnit, I wished my mother had been badmouthing doctors when I was young...

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercfg

Now you have to do a strip with the exclaimation "Like a VIKING!"

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFormerHostage

In order to meet my nitpicking quota for the day, I feel obligated to point out that one of the speech bubbles in panel 2 should probably say "Do ninjas do chores?".

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhil T

Speaking of picking nits, the plural of ninja is actually ninja. "Pluralling" doesn't change a word in Japanese :)

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob

^Rob: And if we were speaking Japanese, that would mean something.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterInvisible Editor

This was an awesome comic from start to finish. Bravo, sir.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLummox JR

Great comic! You are forgiven for not delivering me your FREE comics yesterday, or, you know, whatever it is that your guilt was about. :-)

I join one of the comments above and beg you to exploit this theme more. Not only Vikings, but also Ninjas vs. Pirates!

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMattia Landoni

I believe today I shall end every sentence with "like a NINJA!"

My wife should be hitting me with her figurative rolling-pin by dinner.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVferrar

Seems like there's a Dr McNinja crossover somewhere in here.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Aww, I feel bad that you feel guilty. Hey, did you know the copyright still says 2011?

There. With any luck, I've replaced your guilt with rage.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Perhaps it's because I have an 8 year old son for whom this rings so very true, but you made me laugh a lot with this one.

Artfully done - I'm still chuckling.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Allen

When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to be a ninja. I thought: Every kid says they're going to be something like this, but I'm actually going to do it. I'm going to train and become a ninja.

I never even took karate. Now I'm a business reporter. And I'm a little overweight. Nothing ninja in any of that.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGonzo

"My wife should be hitting me with her figurative rolling-pin by dinner." (Like the ninja!)

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Rick's got long hair again! Excellent comic - keep up the good work!

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTimG

@Invisible Editor

Ninja: "...a covert agent or mercenary of feudal Japan..."

The more you know...

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Awesome comic, loved the line about "eliminating" weeds. And the suggestion to badmouth the doctor. hehe
I also join that above comment about furthering this thing. Maybe when the kid gets a bit older, he'll start wearing turtlenecks himself, and go travelling around reading books with short sentences.

Or maybe after the ninja stuff, he'll get into the usual Space! versions of things.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa

No guilt about yesterday, please. It was in the service of an important cause.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteruwg

I hope he decides he wants to be a pirate next. :>

-Cougar :{)

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCougar Allen

This one is great. And it's actually educational, too (I find your best comics are).

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEsn

"…but we all know kids will pick other heroes to emulate as well."

Hmm, so parents are heroes. You made that so subtle… like the ninja.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThom

Epic comic today, Shihan-san Scott.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMP

When I took care of the weeds in the garden, I did it LIKE A GAIJIN!

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterByron Black


In English, the plural of ninja can be either unchanged as ninja, reflecting the Japanese language's lack of grammatical number, or the regular English plural ninjas. (Source: - Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed.; American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed.; Unabridged (v 1.1))


January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRandom

Not that it's the point or anything, but I've never been able to tell. Is the androgynous Rick-like being (it's not Rick) on the left of these panels supposed to be male or female?

Yes, Ninjas are murderers, but they're "cool murderers". That was a pretty good statement there about how people decide who to admire.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMP

Pro-Piracy one day. Pro-Ninja the next.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason

In honor of the brilliance of this comic, I am wearing a turtleneck today. Maybe it will hurt less....

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa from Indiana

My five year old daughter tries to hide in the house "like a ninja" and then "attack" me when I walk by.

Good times.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

Scott, Scott, Scott, the FIRST rule of parenting is that, if you want to encourage your child to do anything, you have to absolutely forbid that they even think about it! Then, once, for example, being a ninja is off-limits, they will work their little behinds off trying to be the best ninja they can be.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermcinsand

@Thom lol, I missed that in my rush to devour the comic.

*sigh* I will never have the patience to be a ninja.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAC

This comic is most excellent and incredibly useful. I may be only 28, but when I grow up, I wanna be a ninja!!!! Thank you Scott. You have shown me my true path in life... LIKE A NINJA!

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric L

Pure genius dripping from all four panels! This is my new favorite Basic Instructions (at least until I peruse the archives again or the next one is published).

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteveR

"Now I'm a business reporter. And I'm a little overweight. Nothing ninja in any of that."

On the contrary. Being a business reporter gives you access to a target-rich environment, and being larger gives you more opportunities to conceal the ninja. In fact, I'll bet you already are a ninja, and this is just your cover! But now that I've blown your cover, I know too much and have to be silenced...

Cool! I'm gonna be whacked by a ninja! This is the best day ever!

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave H

Unfortunately my kids found this video a while back and now the only think they do "like a ninja" is flip out

love your work, keep em coming!

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEl Guapo


Who is that guy that has the kid who wants to first be a ninja? It looks very much like Rick, but his hair is long. Is it Rick's brother/cousin?


January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPipeTobacco

I preferred "Ninjas do chores?"
It sounded much more natural and surprised.
Wait, whadya mean, "this isn't a democracy"?

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCatBallou

This lady co-worker of Scott's doesn't show up often, but I find it amusing when people thing that it's Rick with long hair.

Great comic, I have shared it with everyone I know.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBonhomous

Ah, the invisible foam sword of bilingual grammar ... and if we were speaking Latin it'd be ninjae.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

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