The Lost Art of Comic Strips
Garfield is by far one of the worst comics running in newspapers today. For those of you not familiar with the comic, Jon Arbuckle is a cartoonist. In this spoof, Jon is reading the comics and comes to the conclusion that his career could be worse, when Garfield encourages him with the reminder that, at least he does not write for “Garfield” Just as no Yoo-Hoo, is better than pink Yoo-Hoo, no comics ,are better than Garfield comics.
As much as I love good comics, I love bad comics that much more. I love bad comics as many as they are, because they make you realize how much you take good comics for granted, which are much fewer and further between. Long gone are the days of four panel perfection like Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, and Bloom County, all that is left are banal, insipid strips like Garfield, Beetle Bailey or even worse, Zits. The current state of comic strips actually reflects the state of our culture in that, those who sell out and conform, catering to the masses last forever, while those who do not, die young. Sure there are exceptions to this rule, but overall the dying breed, that is comics strips, has for the most part become about making money or succumbing to pointless, post-modern humor and pop culture references, pandering to the tasteless audiences of programs such as Family Guy or more appalling, meme humor. The problem with post-modern humor is, it contains no humor. If you want my advice as to how you can enhance your daily life, a way to put a little pep in your step, if you will, read good comics. Between Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts alone you have sixty years of excellent material, not to mention three incarnations of Breathead’s Bloom County, and classics like Krazy Kat. Comics are like theology, sure you can settle for the big names like Piper, Chan, Lucado, and guys like that, those whose books are a mile wide and an inch deep, saying and doing what has been said and done a million times over, or you can dive in and seek the treasure, writings by men like Plantinga, Schaeffer, Luther, and so on. Settling for bad comics is like settling for a bad lunch, why would you eat at McDonalds, when you could choose something so much better?
Check out this excellent site a friend of mine turned me onto, where a writer analyzes and discusses comic strips. Not only is it incredibly entertaining, but is also quite clever, and pretty informative.
For my previous Four Panel Philosophy, click the link below . . .