Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Some thoughts on Print Comics

I was never really a fan of Lynn Johnston's "For Better For Worse". I remember chuckling at certain strips and rolling my eyes at others, but I never particularly grew attached to any of the characters. I suspect it's to do with the fact that FBOFW is one of those strips where the main characters age in real time. I think the real-time aging makes it even more likely that fans will identify with and grow attached to characters, but being somewhat smack in between Elizabeth and April age-wise, I never found myself much identifying with either girl and that never changed. But I do find the internet reaction to the current events in the comic fascinating.

Understand, I'm not trying to judge the people who're reacting so strongly to the comic. It means little to me, but I'm fairly certain if you've been reading this blog long enough you can probably figure out that I have my own obsessions and interests that I react very strongly to, so all's fair.

Shelly's got a really nice post here that explains a bit about why she's upset by the whole deal. McBangle's another fan rather annoyed by the events who expresses said annoyance in some very entertaining ways.

And then of course there's Shaenon Garrity's Why I Hate Anthony post, which is positively marvelous reading even for someone, like me, who doesn't really care about the whole deal.

To be fair, I suspect that if I were more of a fan of the series, I WOULD be very upset. I've read it often enough to notice a few strips leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Particularly anything to do with Anthony's ex-wife. There's something about seeing a woman practically demonized for daring to have a professional career and not particularly wanting children in this day and age that just doesn't sit well with me.

I don't quarrel with Ms. Johnston's right to tell her story as she pleases, but I think it's a damn shame that it's going in a direction that's so unsatisfying to many people. But at least it's causing smart and funny people to blog about the whole deal.

Me personally, I'm glad I stick with Pearls Before Swine. As long as it's got crocodiles that speak in lower case with horrible grammar and a duck toting destructive weaponry (I love that duck), I'm happy.

11 Comments:

  • At March 14, 2008 8:07 AM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Pearls Before Swine and Get Fuzzy are probably the last two 'comic's page' strips I still follow regularly. And I use feeds for both...

    Ok those two and the odd Doonesbury when I remember to scroll down to the bottom of my MSN homepage...

    Also, it is very true that the hard-core fan reaction to FBOFW is more entertaining then the strip has been in years...

     
  • At March 14, 2008 11:02 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Heh. Pearls before Swine is indeed hilarious. I feel a bit proprietory about it, because the Creator lives one town over from mine.

    FBOFW is ok, but Mary Worth just drives me into a FRENZY! Man, she's annoying! Color her hair red, and shove a drink in her hand, and she could be Guy Gardner's mother!

     
  • At March 14, 2008 12:08 PM, OpenID melashaan said…

    I've never really cared for FBOFW (and having a friend jump down my throat for daring to point out this opinion didn't exactly sell me on it). I remember my mother buying the collection with the death of the dog, expecting something we could relate do (since we've always had dogs & been upset when they've died), and we wound up reading about an unrealistic Rin Tin Tin pastiche instead. From there, we both realized that Lynn Johnston is not on the same plane of reality as us.

    What little I've seen of the whole Anthony story has been with the ex-wife, and once again, both mother & daughter have been rankled by its relentless suggestion that working women and women who don't really want children are evil soulless harpies. Since we each fill one of those categories (she hates the fact I'm in the latter, though), you can imagine how well that went over.

    FBOFW feels like a relic, like most of the newspaper strips that are neither funny or dramatic (there are rare exceptions, like Pearls before Swine, but I can only think of a half dozen). But because enough people who enjoyed it are young enough to fathom concepts like blogging, we're finally getting a good look at why these relics are so irritating. They just don't care about their audience.

    Sally - you are so right about Mary Worth. "Oh, Mary, isn't it a lovely wedding?" "Yes, it is, and it's thanks to ME!"

     
  • At March 14, 2008 1:44 PM, Blogger K. D. Bryan said…

    I like Frazz, Zippy the Pinhead, Donesbury, Pearls Before Swine and Get Fuzzy. I don't think I've ever been obsessed with any print comics other than The Far Side and Bloom County.

    FBOFW stopped being even marginally funny almost a decade ago, so I stopped reading it. Still, the reaction is fascinating. Have you seen this?
    http://www.shortpacked.com/d/20070711.html

     
  • At March 14, 2008 7:13 PM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    I grew up on FBoFW b/c my mom was a huge fan of it and so I tried to like it but it's just so... ugh... the whole "Patterson family is perfect and untouchable" is annoying. The fact that they always have a deus ex machina bail them out of the arbitrary "problems" that arise and then have the implication be that they "deserved" it. The fact that women who dun act like "good girls" (Anthony's wife, Michael's ex, April's former best friend, etc) get PUNISHED and shown to be awful horrible ppl. :\

    Plus that an attempted rape was thrown casually in just so that Anthony could be reintroduced as a love interest, with no ill or ptsd affects on Liz, this from a comic that prides itself on tackling realistic issues. :\ And on and on. There's a lot of this "if you don't act like good wholesome white suburban families, then bad things will happen to you" undercurrent going...

    Blah :( I luff McBangle's take on Foob btw :D

    I like Pearls Before Swine too :] AND GET FUZZY! :DDDD And Mutts. >_>

    I like nething with aminals in it basically XD

     
  • At March 14, 2008 10:03 PM, OpenID davelevine said…

    Pearls Before Swine is great but if you like funny animals then you should also enjoy Pooch Café.

     
  • At March 14, 2008 10:45 PM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Oh yeah, Mutts. I always forget cute little Mutts...

     
  • At March 15, 2008 12:26 AM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    I like Pooch Cafe too :D

    And Sherman's Lagoon XDD

     
  • At March 15, 2008 8:35 PM, Anonymous Ms_kinnikufan said…

    I think Pearls before Swine and Get Fuzzy once had a crossover since I think the one of the creators taught the other.

     
  • At March 15, 2008 9:10 PM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    I know Scott Adams endorses or likes both those strips :o

     
  • At March 16, 2008 12:48 AM, Blogger Ben said…

    Pearls... just keeps getting better. I love the hyenas who run the funeral home.

     

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