This weekend I had the luxury of childhood regression. I sat around my parents’ house, did nothing, and after Dad finished perusing the paper read the Sunday comics. Even as a child I understood newspaper comics were ‘funny’, not funny. Indicators of humor were present – bright colors, giant rounded lettering, grotesque expressions- but nothing close to a laugh was expected, save for a strangled gasp at the latest dark depth Funky Winkerbean sank to.
Despite some recent turnover to new ‘edgy’ strips, newspaper comics remain exactly the same – generally terrible drawing styles in the service of stale setups and punchlines. Are people with good ideas and the ability to coherently represent things just not getting through to newspapers? Does the strip-a-day format with larger Sunday showcase just not appeal to those who might actually raise the bar a bit?
Glancing about this grim, gaudy landscape I was shocked to find a ‘Sally Forth’ that caught my attention. More genial conversation than joke, the entire strip is dedicated to praising ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000′. The entire strip. Explaining what the show is, what it did, and why in a nutshell it is awesome. Again, no punchline, but its appearance was more than welcome. The thought of a younger generation not knowing or enjoying MST3K is grimmer than ‘Funky Winkerbean’ any day of the week.
We now return you to the regularly scheduled anachronistic WTF that is the other half of Sunday comics:
Why does Prince Valiant look like ”V For Vendetta’ starring Vincent Price’? Is that a woman in spring-hunting-Santa drag? WHY IS GAWAIN SMILING LIKE THAT?!