Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Five--Comics!

The RevGalBlogPals Friday Five is for yuks today! Good idea, Presby Gal!

Here’s my play:

1. What was your favourite comic strip as a child?
Peanuts, hands down. I realise in retrospect that I didn’t always understand all the nuances of the jokes, but that’s part of the genius of good comedy (whether an essay, an animated movie or comic strip)—being able communicate on several levels at once.

2. Which comic strip today most consistently tickles your funny bone?
For Better or Worse. L love the Canadian setting, the way the characters grow and change and deal with real issues that most folks face. It’s written honestly—bad things do happen to good people and not all the endings are happy, but things do work out. She’s dealt with the widely diverse topics of child abuse, small business ownership, censorship, gay teens, Alzheimers, and pet loss without (in my opinion) a miss-step.
It’s not that it’s funny, so much, as that it reflects my reality in many ways, in ways that help me deal with the reality.
Funny? Doonesbury, absolutely.

3. Which Peanuts character is closest to being you?
Probably Snoopy; living in a world of my own imagination, looking for the food bowl to be filled, trying to write the Great American Novel...

4. Some say that comic strips have replaced philosophy as a paying job, so to speak. Does this ring true with you?
I think so, for the best of them . Here you have folks thinking about the world as it is, and trying to sum up the current situation of the day in four panels of line drawings. What else can they do but philosophise?

5. What do you think the appeal is for the really long running comic strips like Blondie, Family Circus, Dennis the Menace as some examples?
It must be familiarity. I haven’t read Dennis in years, but I know that FC has tried to update a bit with minivans and cell phones, but the humour is still 70’s…if not 60’s. Same with Gasoline Alley, Blondie, etc.

Bonus question: Which discontinued comic strip would you like to see back in print?
Bloom County. I loved the original, when it first started way back when—it was still good when he came back from sabbatical, but didn’t have quite the same edginess and he had dropped some of the characters I liked most.

Bonus bonus:
My favourite strip not widely known?
Liberty Meadows, by Frank Cho. He started at University of Maryland (one of my many alma maters) drawing for the student paper The Diamondback (the school mascot is the terrapin turtle, AKA diamondback). Many of his strips have insider references to the campus, the town, town establishments, etc. It’s based on the lives of animals at a sanctuary, run by a veterinarian, Frank, who has a mad crush on the counsellor, Brandy, a long-suffering caretaker, a bullfrog, a randy pig, a dachshund, a duck, and a creature of an unknown species (groundhog? Gopher? Weasel?). Slightly off-center humour, great art, just all-around fun. Find it here .

Thanks again, Presby Gal!


Presbyterian Gal said...

I too am a Berkeley Breathed fan. I agree about the first Bloom County. He's also written some great kid's books.

Love the work by Frank Cho.

Thanks for playing!

Processing Counselor said...

I'll have to check out that Canadian strip-on the web of course. Good play!

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