PUF Funnies: Informing and Amusing


The New Yorker cartoons, our cartoonist Tim Kirby, plus Reddy Kilowatt

Today in Fortnightly

The fateful year 1929 ushered in two milestones in the history of publishing. That January, just nine months before the stock market crash, Public Utilities Fortnightly put out its first issue. Even more monumental, that same month saw the debut of The Funnies, the predecessor to the American comic book.

The Funnies laid the groundwork for Famous Funnies: A Carnival of Comics, started in 1933. Historians consider it the first true comic book. 

Those depression years were a time of despair. Comics offered welcome if temporary relief.

Now working in utility regulation and policy is not that hard. True, every proceeding nearly drowns us in thousands of pages, dozens of witnesses, rounds of rebuttals. But it's not that hard. Still, don't we all crave a bit of a break from the mind-numbing inaction? 

That's why we've added comics to every issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Check out page 9 in the February issue and page 23 in the March issue. Every issue will have a funny cartoon about our industry, courtesy of The New Yorker.

And check out page 21 in the February issue and page 9 in the March issue. Every issue will have a funny cartoon from our very own cartoonist, Tim Kirby. His characters are hilarious whether they're talking solar power or plant siting.

And then there's industry mascot Reddy Kilowatt. Reddy will be in every issue, though in a different spot each time. Where's Reddy in the March issue?

Actually, Reddy shows up in two places. See if you can find both.

Net metering, capacity markets, rate design, cybersecurity, return on capital, Order 1000, blah, blah, blah. You need a break. Our monthly crossword puzzle will help too. February's was called FERC Fun. March's is called Clean Power Puzzle. April's will be called Utilities' Name Game. Are you a match for our puzzles?


An institution of the utilities industry, Public Utilities Fortnightly has been informing and amusing utility and regulatory folk since 1929.

Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly
E-mail me: mitnick@fortnightly.com