Friday, March 13, 2009

The Relevance of the Funnies

I'm an old school comics reader. I've been reading pretty much the entire comics section since high school. As Don and I settled into marriage one of our goofier habits was that we both read For Better or For Worse and would often, only semi-ironically, discuss the various trials and triumphs and Lizzie and Michael and April.

Recently, due to health and emotional reasons, Lynn Johnston, the cartoonist behind the strip, stopped creating new strips and started recycling, with loose edits, cartoons from earlier in the strip's cycle. Today's strip got me thinking about the problem with modern newspapers. Let's take a look (if too small to read, go here):

Just rife with that weird, anachronistic 80s feminism when we were supposed to be so proud of our men for not being misogynistic fuckwits (for more examples of this see Show: The Cosby). In the past 25 years, we've progressed to the point where we just expect men not to be misogynistic fuckwits and when they are (see O'Reilly, Bill) we mock them for it roundly.

Then I flipped over to the other page of the funnies where I read Shoe, a strip frequently set in singles bars where men bemoan their alimony-grubbing ex-wives (you know, topical!) or Hagar the Horrible where the women shop, nag and have awful, awful mothers.

Feminist issues aside, I think we can all agree that these comics are dated to the point of anachronism as well as being just plain not funny.

Which leads me to the point. As newspapers spend time blaming the goddamn free internet for the increasingly clamorous death tolls all around them, maybe they should take a look at the funnies.

Newspapers have clung desperately to the approval of old farts who mourned bitterly when their papers stopped running Beatle Bailey while simultaneously driven to the vapors by The Boondocks. In the meantime, today's Berkley Breatheds and Bill Wattersons are squeezed off the pages of the funnies so we can watch Dagwood make himself another damn sandwich.

Tell me again, why aren't the young folk subscribing to their various city's dailies?

I'll leave you with this. Enjoy!