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Mon, Apr 01, 2024

Aero-TV: The Bizarre Universe of Klyde Morris Cartoons

From 2023 (YouTube Version): Putting the ANT in Antihero

A Beech Starship speeds along at altitude. “Deflectors on!” a voice from within the aircraft cries. “Look! Over there!” the voice continues, “A droid battle star. I’ll bet they’ve detected us!”

A second voice, this time from the Starship’s cockpit. “It’s a real pain being the pilot of a Beech Starship the day after the owner saw Star Wars.”

“Forget TCAS,” the first voice exclaims. “Use the Force!”

Such are the anecdotes and inside aerospace jokes by which cartoonist Wes Oleszewski’s work is characterized.

An Embry-Riddle graduate, former corporate pilot, and creator of the popular Klyde Morris Cartoon series, Mr. Oleszewski has parlayed an idea of which he conceived in college into an intellectual property beloved of pilots and those able to infer the parallels between TCAS and George Lucas’s Force.

The principal and titular character in Mr. Oleszewski’s comic is an anthropomorphized ant named Klyde Morris. Klyde inhabits the human world, where political correctness and identity politics compel his human co-characters—who think Klyde a member of a minority group—to resolutely eschew acknowledging the fact he’s an ant. That ants outnumber humans by an estimated ratio of 2.5-million to one is of no apparent consequence to Klyde’s human associates.

After the fashion of his creator, Klyde works as a corporate pilot, and incurs the full measure of the gig’s inherent indignities.

A voice-bubble extending from a Falcon 10 inquires: “Hey Klyde, I see you trip-traded to get on-call for Thanksgiving. What’s up with that?”

“First of all,” Klyde responds, “on-calls never fly on Thanksgiving day. Secondly, my oven’s broke, so now I can cook my dinner in the company break room.”

The humor is apparent, incisive, and endearing to your humble author, who as a young Hawker 800 pilot spent Thanksgiving day 1998 sleeping across a row of seats at SLC—all the while wishing he’d absconded with the untouched catering tray his passengers had left behind in Hailey, Idaho. Oleszewski’s work, by dint of healthy doses of experience, absurdity, perspicacity, and irreverence, conveys a hedonistic glee as raw and unpredictable as the bizarre profession it so effectively lampoons.

Klyde Morris cartoons appear Mondays and Fridays on the Aero-News Network website.

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Holland Lee. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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