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Let's Bitch About Comics

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Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby gargantua » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:32 pm

The Rex Morgan strip is really getting on my nerves. The story lines go on forever because it sticks to trivial topics for days, if not weeks on end. The last straw is the fixation on June's new thong bikini. This deviation from the main plot line has been going on for weeks now. And before that they stalled for a few days because Rex and June's precocious little daughter was lobbying for a cell phone.

Clearly, they are out of ideas, unless the idea is to see how long it will take to get their readers to claw their eyes out in utter frustration. It is as if they don't really know where they're going with the main plot, so they just stall.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:42 pm

Big mass culture phenemona used to come out of the funny pages -- Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, The Far Side, Garfield. Before those, Pogo and Lil' Abner. When's the last time that happened? Dilbert, probably.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:47 pm

Image
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby scratch » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:49 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:Big mass culture phenemona used to come out of the funny pages -- Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, The Far Side, Garfield. Before those, Pogo and Lil' Abner. When's the last time that happened? Dilbert, probably.


The Boondocks? It was relatively short-lived, but it was a phenomenon.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:50 pm

Did For Better or For Worse achieve phenomenon status? It was a smart, poignant strip. In the early 1990s, a For Better or For Worse series about a gay character who came out was very important to me.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:51 pm

scratch wrote:The Boondocks? It was relatively short-lived, but it was a phenomenon.

Definitely.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby fennel » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:57 pm

I'm a fan of Nietzsche Family Circus.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:02 pm

Before Doonesbury was pulled from the comics section and put on the opinion page for being too political, the cultural wars were fought by Pogo (on the left) and Lil' Abner (on the right). I still remember Walt Kelly depicting Spiro Agnew as an hyena. He also parodied J. Edgar Hoover.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:13 pm

My lifelong passion for newspapers started with the funnies. That's the way it used to work. Get 'em while they're young. Sunday after Sunday, when I was a kid in the 1970s, I couldn't wait to dig in to the color comics.

I loved Tiger, Momma, Miss Peach of the Kelly School, Blondie, Dennis the Menace, Broom Hilda, Hagar the Horrible, B.C., Family Circus. Loved them all! When Garfield came along, it was a revelation. I tried to read Doonesbury but was baffled by it. Even so, I missed it during the early 1980s hiatus.

Some of these strips are still running. Some of them -- all but Doonesbury? -- seem very tired.

I worshiped at the altar of Charles M. Schulz. I had dozens of Peanuts books. I still get a charge thinking about the "CBS Special" promo that used to herald Peanuts shows.

Our local paper, the Nashville Tennessean, ran a Sunday comics feature called Cappy Dick, which I adored. There were puzzles, jokes, crafts.

Every week I discussed all of this stuff with classmates. And as I got older, I started reading the rest of the newspaper. A long-term habit was formed.

Do kids still lie on the floor and read the Sunday funnies?
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Crow » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:17 pm

Without exaggeration, "F Minus" is the worst thing to happen in the history of the entire universe.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby minicat » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:28 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Before Doonesbury was pulled from the comics section and put on the opinion page for being too political, the cultural wars were fought by Pogo (on the left) and Lil' Abner (on the right). I still remember Walt Kelly depicting Spiro Agnew as an hyena. He also parodied J. Edgar Hoover.


Fantagraphics has begun a series reprinting all the Pogo strips in their original newspaper form (I've read that many of the contemporary collections from the '50s and '60s often reworked what appeared originally).

http://www.fantagraphics.com/browse-sho ... trips.html
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:49 pm

I picked up a Pogo fascination from my grandfather, who used to sing "Deck Us All With Boston Charlie" at random moments. There was a late 1980s revival that I followed in the newspaper, but it didn't last long. In college I bought lots of the Pogo books that Fireside published in the 1980s.

The Fantagraphics series is intriguing. I acquired several of the Peanuts books that Fantagraphics started putting out a few years ago, and I actually found it hard to sustain interest. Pogo is a different kind of strip, though, denser and more complex.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:56 pm

I regularly look at the Doonesbury strips that came on a CD-ROM with the "Bundled Doonesbury" book. It's the complete run through 1995 or so. The comics are locked down in some horrific proprietary application, but there are ways around that.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:02 pm

Hey, gargantua --
I think you'd enjoy The Comics Curmudgeon.
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Re: Let's Bitch About Comics

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:28 pm

The person who does Family Circus must go into a giggling fit every time they get a check in the mail.

"Hee hee...hey honey, they bought the one about the kids tracking dirt into the house. I've got a great idea about one where the tv remote falls in the fish tank! Brilliant!"
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