Let's Purge the Funnies! (was Re: Charlie Brown gets a girl?!)

12 views
Skip to first unread message

Anthony Lapadula

unread,
Aug 26, 1990, 4:19:40 PM8/26/90
to
In article <19...@nyx.UUCP> kr...@nyx.UUCP (The Lady in the Lake) writes:
>In article <11...@chaph.usc.edu> rj...@nunki.usc.edu (Robert allen Jung) writes:
>[...]
>>I'm also interested in how wide a distribution do these strips have. I know
>>C&H and FOXTROT are everywhere (sorta), but what about the other three?
>
>Foxtrot is most certainly not everywhere. [...]
>I believe Cleveland, Boston, and Houston are three.

For the record, the Boston Globe has carried FoxTrot since day 1.
In fact, the Globe carries both FoxTrot and C&H -- makes it easy to
decide which paper to pick up every day!

-- Anthony (uunet!unhd!al, a...@unh.edu) Lapadula

// Wanted: catchy .sig.

Angeli Wahlstedt

unread,
Aug 26, 1990, 10:40:46 PM8/26/90
to
In article <44...@apple.Apple.COM> ch...@Apple.COM (Spot the Wonder Dog) writes:

>signed his name). The Lockhorns is HIGH on my list of things I'd like to see
>die, frankly. It's not funny and it promotes some pretty out-of-date and
>negative stereotypes (same with Andy Capp).

As a friend of mine pointed out, if Andy Capp was a drug addict instead
of an alkie, readers would have raised a stink and insist that the strip
be tossed out. That's one reason why I find this particular strip distasteful.

> [rest of earlier comments zapped]

>Then there's Ernie. Can you say slimeballs? It's not even close to funny.
>The best word that can be said about it is surreal.

Ahem...perhaps I may have poor taste in comic strips, but I ACTUALLY
think Ernie is funny and quite off-the-wall, especially the pirhana
fish.

But otherwise, I agree with most of your comments -- especially Cathy!!!
(grrrrrrrr) It promotes some trendy stereotypical aspects about women that
I'm * SICK * of hearing about -- such as eating tons and tons of cookie
especially when the women is stressed out or depressed, and spending tons
of money on crap that the woman would hardly get to use, such as makeup
and non-flattering clothes. And frankly, the art is TERRIBLE, as well.


>Born Loser, BC, Beetle, Hi and Lois, Crock, Wizard of ID (sp?), et cetera

As someone would say, those above strips are very Fifties to the max.
Histoical curiosity piecies, if nothing else. :-)


And while we're airing our gripes about comic strips, I have one gripe
considering new comic strips...most of them often have a trendy theme,
such as old folks, yuppies with babies, working mothers, et cetera. I
don't remember offhand the names of those comic strips, but Denver's
Rocky Mountain News (which has one of the best selections of comic
strips in the country, IMHO) carries quite a few of them. If I have to
see another new strip like that, I SIMPLY may have to throw a screaming-
and-tearing-hair-out fit.


Peppersomely yours,
Ms. Pepper

d...@gnu.ai.mit.edu

unread,
Aug 27, 1990, 1:37:42 AM8/27/90
to
In article <1...@ncuug.UUCP> pep...@ncuug.UUCP (Ms. Pepper) writes:

>But otherwise, I agree with most of your comments -- especially Cathy!!!
>(grrrrrrrr) It promotes some trendy stereotypical aspects about women that
>I'm * SICK * of hearing about -- such as eating tons and tons of cookie
>especially when the women is stressed out or depressed, and spending tons
>of money on crap that the woman would hardly get to use, such as makeup
>and non-flattering clothes. And frankly, the art is TERRIBLE, as well.

And promoting such oh-so-trendy ideas as a woman's right to choose, the
necessity of affordable childcare ;-)

I can see why people might not like Cathy, and I don't always like it, but
sometimes, it is devastatingly on - consider the fact that it is also
very critical of men's behavior and attitudes, as well as having some very
on-target crticisms of yuppies and "super-parents" types (Cathy's
friends with their baby Zenith).

>>Born Loser, BC, Beetle, Hi and Lois, Crock, Wizard of ID (sp?), et cetera
>
>As someone would say, those above strips are very Fifties to the max.
>Histoical curiosity piecies, if nothing else. :-)

Born Loser - premiered in 1965
The Wizard of Id - 1964
Crock - I don't have a precise date, but it's not the fifties.

Please get your facts straight. And if you mean that their values
and style are fifties, I maintain that you'd be hard-pressed to provide
a single shred of evidence in favor of this position.

>And while we're airing our gripes about comic strips, I have one gripe
>considering new comic strips...most of them often have a trendy theme,
>such as old folks, yuppies with babies, working mothers, et cetera. I
>don't remember offhand the names of those comic strips, but Denver's
>Rocky Mountain News (which has one of the best selections of comic
>strips in the country, IMHO) carries quite a few of them. If I have to
>see another new strip like that, I SIMPLY may have to throw a screaming-
>and-tearing-hair-out fit.

If you could name a SINGLE strip that fits that theme, I would be
impressed. But wait,I'll do it for you, and I'll give you a good example
of each one, to boot.

The best "old folks" strip was a strip that ran for a brief time in
the Boston Globe, called "Perky and Beanz". In spite of its lousy title, it
was the most hilarious thing I've seen out of Russell (Broom Hilda) Myers
in years. If it's still running, it's well worth your effort to seek out.

In the "Yuppies with babies" category, we have the hilarious afforementioned
Yuppies in Cathy, but you don't like it, so, I give you "Rose is Rose".
While the Gumbos are not yuppies per se, they are of that generation. And
it's a fine strip, although it had a shaky start, relying on gags about
the baby's speech patterns. it quickly evolved into a wonderful and
occasionally quite surreal strip.

Probably the best of the "working mothers" strips would be Doonesbury.
If it weren't handled with such sensitivity and humor, Joanie Caucus's
life would look like a TV movie, but Trudeau's better than that. I'll
grant you that Doonesbury is as trendy as they get, but a damn fine
strip, and definitely on the upswing, after the initial "arty" period
following Trudeau's sabbatical.

- Dan
_______________________________________________________________________________
Hooker - that's a colloquiallism for prostitute - though the word hooker is
correct. The word prostitute has been neologized. Too many guys have
"prostituted their art." All these men all over the world: "I'm prostituting
myself. I can't work for them. I'm not gonna prostitute myself any longer!"
Now some shriner says to the bell captain, "Son, go get me a 100 dollar
prostitute." "Yessuh."
Ten minutes later a guy comes to the door with a beard. He writes - some
schmuck:"Good evening. I'm a prostitute."
"Not for me you're not. Get outta here. And get the bell captain
outta here. He's a bit weird."
-- Lenny Bruce
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Elizabeth Lear

unread,
Aug 27, 1990, 1:23:11 PM8/27/90
to

kr...@nyx.UUCP (The Lady in the Lake) writes:
>Foxtrot is most certainly not everywhere... but there are many people
>in major metro areas that have no access to Foxtrot. I believe

>Cleveland, Boston, and Houston are three.

Boston has Foxtrot, and has had it from the beginning.

The Boston Globe (which has better comics than the Herald, IMHO) carries:
Adam
Amy
Arlo and Janis
Calvin & Hobbes
Curtis
Dilbert
Doonesbury
Duffy
For Better or For Worse
Fox Trot
Garfield
Geech
Herman
Kudzu
Mister Boffo
Mother Goose & Grimm
Phoebe's Place
Pogo
Robotman
Rose is Rose
Shoe
Spiderman
Tiger
Zippy

A pretty good line-up: I actually read them all. The Boston Herald is
a Murdoch paper, so it carries all the standard strips for his papers:
Sally Forth, Peanuts, The Lockhorns, etc.

...eliz
--
"To love the theatre is to prefer seeing a poor play badly acted than
not to go to the theatre at all." G.B. Mortlock
"Just because it's totally ridiculous doesn't mean it won't make it on
Broadway ..." _The Muppets Take Manhattan_

Subrata Sircar

unread,
Aug 27, 1990, 1:19:23 PM8/27/90
to

Strips I like (part II)

Tank MacNamara - I'm a sports junkie, and so I like this strip. Some really
spot-on parodies of sports stars and situations.

Sally Forth - one of the few strips where the funniest bits are not always the
last panel. Occasional middle of the strip punch lines, and some sarcastic
but subtle jokes.

Foxtrot - Jason and his pet iguana used to crack me up every once in a while,
until I left Boston and no longer got the Globe... (sniff)


Strips I dislike:

Rose is Rose - I know Dan called it surreal, but I guess one man's surrealism
is another's putrid nausea. If I had to see Pasquale use that stupid speech
one more time... in fact, some of my friends and I disliked the baby's speech
pattern gimmick so much (which was virtually the only joke in the strip) that
we were thinking of writing the "Death of Pasquale":
P: kaufupblud?
R: Yes, Pasquale, you are coughing up blood!

Anyway, suffice it to say that this strip is a "thumbs-down" from this
reviewer.

Subrata Sircar | sksi...@phoenix.princeton.edu |Prophet& SPAMIT Charter Member
"Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your
execution is not generally understood by less advanced life forms, and they'll
call you crazy." - "Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul"

d...@gnu.ai.mit.edu

unread,
Aug 28, 1990, 1:47:36 PM8/28/90
to
In article <21...@idunno.Princeton.EDU> sksi...@phoenix.Princeton.EDU
(Subrata Sircar) writes:

>Rose is Rose - I know Dan called it surreal, but I guess one man's surrealism
>is another's putrid nausea. If I had to see Pasquale use that stupid speech
>one more time... in fact, some of my friends and I disliked the baby's speech
>pattern gimmick so much (which was virtually the only joke in the strip) that
>we were thinking of writing the "Death of Pasquale":
>P: kaufupblud?
>R: Yes, Pasquale, you are coughing up blood!

Yeah, I think about 80 bazillion people have made variations on that joke.

It was even funny the first couple of times.

You see, I used to be like you. I used to despise Rose is Rose with all my
heart. And indeed, it seemed like for the first couple of months of the strip,
it was a pretty one-joke thing.

But with the introduction and prominence of Clem and Mimi, and even the
oddly articulate Aloysius, the strip became so much more. Let me give you a
few examples to support my thesis that the strip is wonderful and surreal:

Rose is thinking that she gives too much of herself to others, and that she
needs to learn to allow herself to have some fun from time to time, but
wonders how she can learn to do so. out of the blue, Clem, the selfish little
boy, appears and Rose notes, "When the student is ready, the master will
appear." Almost Zen-like, eh?

Pat Brady has answered his (yes, Pat Brady is definitely a he, to quell any
comments about that - it's funny how most people assume that he's a she)
own critics by having two comic strips within his strip (these are referred
to, but never shown - unlike Li'l Abner's Fearless Fosdick). The
first strip, "The Li'l Zoomer" is one that Jimbo hates passionately, to which
Rose replies "If you don't like The Li'l Zoomer, don't read it". The second
strip, "mr. goony", by the reclusive Nemo Jitters, is Jimbo's favorite, and he
doesn't understand why no one else gets it. His devotion to "Mr. Goony"
is so great, that he goes door to door, with petitions demanding that it be
kept in his paper, and even once made a pilgrimage to Nemo Jitters' cave
(!) to visit the reclusive genius.

All I am asking is that you try it again, and try to set aside your
objections to its cuteness. Granted, it's a cute strip, but then
"Calvin and Hobbes" occasionally lapses into cute, and it seems to be
fairly universally adored.

- Dan-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Elvis was seated on the toilet, actually reading a religious book...when
suddenly a terrible pain gripped him by his stomach and seized his heart with a
strangler's grip. 'Oh no, dear dear God,' he thought. He couldn't move. He
couldn't get up. He had to get up. He must get up...That terrible pain, like
swords of fire, jabbing, slitting, cutting into his stomach, and especially his
liver - it was impossible to bear...Suddenly the thought flashed through him:
this must be like what Jesus suffered."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jym Dyer

unread,
Aug 31, 1990, 2:19:10 AM8/31/90
to
>> And while we're airing our gripes about comic strips, I have
>> one gripe considering new comic strips...most of them often
>> have a trendy theme, such as old folks, yuppies with babies,
>> working mothers, et cetera.
> If you could name a SINGLE strip that fits that theme, I would
> be impressed.
.-.
|I| think I know what he's talking about. Here's a list (hope it
`-' impresses you :-) ):

o Adam (working mom strip)
o Alex's (yuppie restaurant strip)
o Baby Blues (yuppies with a baby)
o The Fasttrack (the quintessential yuppie strip)
o Safe Havens (day care center strip)

I haven't come across any old folks strips, though.
.-.
|S|ome of these are pretty annoying. _Adam_ started out as a one-
`-' note strip, as if we were supposed to be highly amused seeing
a man doing "women's work." Eventually it developed into a
family strip with some characterization. _Alex's_ is stil
milking its gimmick---it's relatively new, so I can't really
tell if it'll go anywhere. _Baby_Blues_ is *all* gimmick,
and I don't have much hope for it. At least it's not as
wretched as _Marvin_.
.-.
|T|he_Fasttrack_ was sort of an updated business office strip. It
`-' was far too yuppified for me to enjoy. I use the past tense
because it was dropped from the paper I read it in . . . I
don't know if it still exists. Its creator is now doing a
_Safe_Havens_, which has a lot more going for it.

* * *
.-.
|G|immicky strips are nothing new. Cartoonists were always doing
`-' them. E.C. Segar started _Sappo_ as a strip about commuting
by train. George Herriman did a strip about urban apartent
living called _The_Family_Upstairs_ (and what an absolutely
fantastic strip that was . . . somebody had better collect
and reprint it). _Blondie_ started out as a "flapper" strip!
.-.
|T|he real issue is not whether a gimmick is involved; it's
`-' whether the artist goes anywhere with it.

"My tooth . . . my tooth just
came out." "Well, I'll tellya,
I find that I don't need 'em
. . . y'know, what with not
eatin' so much . . ." (35)

:::.-----.::: <_Jym_> ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::.-----.:::
::/ | \:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Jym Dyer ::/ o o \::
::\ /|\ /::::::::::::::::::: j...@mica.berkeley.edu ::\ \___/ /::
:::`-----':::::::::::::::::: Berserkeley, California :::`-----':::

Jym Dyer

unread,
Aug 31, 1990, 2:33:15 AM8/31/90
to
> If I had to see Pasquale use that stupid speech one more time...
> in fact, some of my friends and I disliked the baby's speech
> pattern gimmick so much (which was virtually the only joke in
> the strip) that we were thinking of writing the "Death of
> Pasquale":
> P: kaufupblud?
> R: Yes, Pasquale, you are coughing up blood!
.-.
|H|ee hee. Izzitkertinsfermee? I was getting pretty sick of that
`-' too; but after awhile I realized that the translation of the
baby talk wasn't the joke, it was the joke's delivery. I'll
grant that often the joke, once delivered, doesn't usually
make me roll on the ground.
.-.
|B|ut the strip has its moments. Like Clem, the kid who wants to
`-' hog up everything in sight. Such brilliance: the embodiment
of pure evil in a little mostly-harmless package that nobody
can really do violence too. This really is a great element
in the story.
.-.
|A|nd, like Dan said, the Nemo Jitters stuff is wonderful. I've
`-' got one strip memorized: "Haw haw haw! Oh hon, you've just
*got* to read _Mr_Goony_ today!" "I don't get it . . ."
"(I'm actually married to this entity?)" "Do the panels read
from left to right?"
.-.
|I|'m convinced that _Mr_Goony_ is not too far different from one
`-' of my favorites, _Zippy_.
.-.
|T|he only thing I really dislike about the strip is its reliance
`-' on sex-role stereotypes. Mimi's not even out of the crib and
she acts like she's been playing with Barbie dolls for a few
years. On the other hand, the deconstruction of Corky's mach-
ismo is a pretty worthwhile theme.
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages