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One Eats Really Big Sandwiches, the Other Eats Lasagna: It's Comedy Gold, I Tell Ya! And There's This Really Big Great Dane…

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Be very afraid…of Blondie's 75th anniversary, wherein Blondie and Dagwood will be visited by a not-so-super-friends gathering of warhorses from around the comics page:

Garfield, Beetle Bailey, Hagar the Horrible, baby Marvin, Dennis the Menace, Dilbert, the kid from "Zits" and others—a virtual who's who of the funnies—will drop in and out as the Bumsteads plan a huge party for an unspecified wedding anniversary to be celebrated in the Sunday comics September 4. President Bush and wife Laura are also set to make an appearance.

Not since SCTV's legendary "Night of the Prime-Time Stars" has this much talent been absent from one place. Can we hope for an appearance from B.C.'s "Fat Broad," lecturing Mr. Dithers that Jesus wouldn't want Sharon to abandon the Gaza settlements?

The always on-message Comics Curmudgeon explains why we're still reading Blondie after all these years.

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  1. Will Andy Capp be passed out on the couch?

  2. You’ll excuse me for sounding like gaius by pining for an earlier era, but the printed comics page hasn’t been funny or relevant since the days of Bloom County, The Far Side, and Calvin & Hobbes.

    This strikes me as relevant.

  3. I’ve read that dude’s site before…I wonder if he frequents Reason, since he seems to ‘tackle’ some of the same issues…

  4. The kid from Zits, huh? I hate that sniveling little shit…

  5. mediageek,
    I always looked on Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes as second-rate Doonesbury Doonesbury knock-offs. Of course Doonesbury itself is a second-rate Doonesbury knock-off. (There was a Reason article about this. Anyone care to provide a link?)

    However, Gary Larson, does, in fact, rule.

    “So professor Jenkins my old nemesis, we meet again. Only this time the advantage is all mine. HA HA HA HA!”

  6. Oh Ziggy, will you ever win?

    I’m starting to fear that these strips I thought were musty and boring when I was an elementary school kid will outlive me.

  7. Hoping Mark Trail shows up. Or Ziggy.
    Maybe the Love Is couple will frolic naked in front of George & Laura…

  8. Uh…

    People actually read Blondie? I thought it was just a spot on the comics page my eyes skipped over. Like Garfield.

  9. we’re still reading Blondie after all these years

    Oh christ not more of this “we generation” crap — “we” went to Woodstock, “we” went to Vietnam, “we” took LSD, etc etc etc.

    “I” thought that was over by now.

  10. Warren- I’ve never been able to stand Doonesbury. In it’s heyday I was too young to get it, and nowadays it seems about as relevant as The Family Circus.

    My personal belief is that the syndicates have choked the last vestiges of true creative and artistic brilliance out of the comics page, and all the best strips are now found online.

    It’s unlikely you’d ever see the utter nerdity of a User Friendly, intricate story arcs of a Sluggy Freelance, or the drawl misanthropy of a Something Positive in modern newspaper today.

  11. I’ve read that dude’s site before…I wonder if he frequents Reason, since he seems to ‘tackle’ some of the same issues…

    Lowdog, no idea. Maddox is one of those people who’s been blogging since before it was even a word, let alone a phenomenon, and unlike The Misanthropic Bitch he’s remained consistently funny.

  12. MG

    Comparing Doonesbury to Family Circus – man, that’s harsh. I mean, at least FC elicits a sardonic smile once or twice a year. Haven’t laughed out loud at the “funny” pages since Far Side went away.

  13. The best way to enjoy classic comix is to mess ’em up –

    Ferdinand,
    Nancy,
    Peanuts, and
    Peanuts.

  14. Let’s try those HREFS without Word’s fancy dbl-quotes:
    Ferdinand,
    Nancy,
    Peanuts, and
    Peanuts.

  15. God, that first Peanuts parody strip was hilarious! I literally laughed so hard I almost passed out!

  16. “My personal belief is that the syndicates have choked the last vestiges of true creative and artistic brilliance out of the comics page, and all the best strips are now found online.” – mediageek

    Yup, and that’s why I’m a Day by Day fan, myself…

    http://www.daybydaycartoon.com

  17. What will be horribly boring will be Blondie visiting all the old past-their-prime stalwarts; but if Dilbert, Get Fuzzy, or Opus (I know, it ain’t Bloom County, but it’s still better than most of what’s out there) do something with it, *maybe* there could be something interesting or entertaining, if not funny.

    Zits? Good grief.

    Isn’t Peter Bagge going to get in on it?

  18. Get Fuzzy is just hilarious. I don’t like cats, but I’d want the one in that strip.

  19. I like the Blondie backstory: She was a flapper, maiden name Boopadoop, who fell in love with Dagwood the playboy and heir. But Dagwood’s father disinherited him, so he had to get a job.

    Jesse Walker’s takedown of Doonesbury.

  20. Speaking of The Far Side, my favorite Lawson cartoon was one that was printed in one of his anthologies but never syndicated, I believe.

    It was a panel of Jesus rolling out of the cave at 5:30 a.m. in a pair of house slippers, scratching his uncombed head, and putting a fresh pot of coffee on the stove as if he had been tying one on the night before.

    The words at the bottom of the panel were something to the effect of “Man, I feel like I’ve been dead for three days!”

  21. And speaking of comics and “B.C.”, Saddam is wearing a pair of B.C.’s in a photo on Matt Drudge’s page this morning (if you’ve ever wore glasses in basic training you know what I’m talking about)

    Now THAT’S funny!

  22. Born Again-

    I thought the term was “BCGs”?

  23. Jennifer,

    Might be a “branch of service” cultural thing, but we always called them B.C.’s (“birth control”) in the Army and Navy (I went through basic training in both)

    Anyway, I thought it was a lot funnier than this morning’s (or any morning’s) Beetle Bailey!

    As a reformed cartoonist myself, my younger inspirations were always the turn-of-the-century comic artists like Windsor McKay (Tom Petty did a great nod to him I thought in one of his videos) and R.F. Outcault, rather than the “let me create a stupid, unfunny character and make millions off of coffee mugs and key-rings” artists of the past two to three decades.

    Edward Sorel would be my favorite political cartoonist, though he’s known more for his caricatures in leftist artsy fartsy magazines.

    Also, Walt Kelly, not Eric Clapton, is God …

  24. Born Again–
    I heard it was “Birth Control Glasses,” according to my Navy dad. But that was quite awhile ago.

  25. Will the Boondocks kids be visiting Blondie’s strip too?

    The funniest comics I’ve seen in the past year were the Family Circus cartoons with Lovecraft quotes underneath.

  26. Marmaduke and Garfield are usually next to each other. My eyes skip over the former, but seek out the latter.
    And will nobody agree Opus is funny?
    I have R. Crumb’s book checked out from the library. Wouldn’t it be great if his comics could be daily in the papers?
    Finally, Li’l Abner was the all-time greatest!

  27. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that the crew from Red Meat won’t be visiting them.

  28. I’ll give it up for Al Capp, not only for Li’l Abner, but for his performance at John and Yoko’s “Bed-In”. Still the funniest skewing of leftist utopianism ever caught on film.

    I personally can’t stand Boondocks, but that’s probably ’cause I’m a black American with an actual independent brain. It reminds me of Dave Chappelle’s puerile crap. More middle class black whining about “white people”, the tired ol'”dialetics of oppression” bullshit.

    And yes, I seriously doubt Red Meat, R. Crumb’s zaftig women, or Zippy will be there. It’ll be a in-crowd affair without anything truly cutting edge. A cartoon version of Live 8 …

  29. “Get Fuzzy” is indeed an excellent strip, but it is self-limited in the slacker 20-something way. What I liked about “Bloom County” (still the best strip ever) was that its universe was unlimited. You could have a poem about dandilions in one strip and a joke about running for the presidency in the next.

    Props also go to “Prickly City,” “Boondocks,” and “Dilbert.”

  30. It’s unlikely you’d ever see the utter nerdity of a User Friendly, intricate story arcs of a Sluggy Freelance, or the drawl misanthropy of a Something Positive in modern newspaper today.

    All excellent recommendations (I was actually in Sluggy once!). Also try Order of the Stick, but only if you’re a role-playing geek, or know someone who is. There’ve been a few others that I’ve liked over the years (College Roomies From Hell is pretty good), but Sluggy and Something Positive are the only ones that really make the cut nowadays. Oh, and Irregular Webcomic.

  31. Born Again: We called ’em RPGs (rape prevention goggles) when I was in.

    The comic strips today suffer from vacuity and endless repetition. Nothing original, or new, on those pages.

    Bloom County was good, back in its day. As was Calvin and Hobbes.

    Family Circus? The only time that was EVER funny is when someone added lines from HP Lovecraft’s stories to them…sorry, don’t recall the link.

    Out here.

  32. Family Circus? The only time that was EVER funny is when someone added lines from HP Lovecraft’s stories to them…sorry, don’t recall the link.

    Have you no taste? Remember that one strip where Jeffy mispronounced a word? Hilarious! And the one where Dolly mispronounced a word? Comic genius! And the one where Billy mispronounced a word? Mark Twain would be jealous!

  33. By the way, I can’t wait until the baby grows old enough to talk. That way we’ll get more mispronounced words! Those never grow old.

  34. I always thought the dead grandfather’s ghost thing was a bit creepy. Someone should mash that up with some lines from Poe, or perhaps Manson.

    Anyway…

    Out here.

  35. Which is less funny? The “Family Circus” in and of itself, or the 400 million or so message board posts across internet discussion groups by wannabe hipsters ragging on the obvious lameness of the “Family Circus” as if they have suddenly hit upon something original and witty?

  36. Wow, didn’t expect that.

    Vinegar in your wheaties this morning, Hobson?

    Out here.

  37. Hobson-
    Could you give me a list of things I can rag on without earning your disdain? Hobson’s choice: either post it here or send it to me in an e-mail.

  38. born again iconoclast,

    I don’t know about Boondocks, but I think Dave Chappelle is one step above the sort of minstrelsy you’re talking about. A lot of his sketches are making fun of black victimhood and obsession with The Man.

    Or maybe I don’t know dick about the politics of it, and I’m just defending Dave Chappelle because he’s really fucking funny.

  39. Mike T: RPGs. Ha! TOO Funny (but I wore mine proudly in Fallujah)

    As a little kid in the 70s, I recall there being a whole series of anthologies form a company that reprinted comic strips from the yellow journalism era of the late 1800s/early 1900s.

    The drawing and art in a lot of those “Yellow Kid” and “Little Nemo” strips was just fantastic, a love for actual illustration unseen in most daily comic strips for decades until Calvin and Hobbes came along.

    Finally, NaG, I guess I’m just too “BUPPIE” but I’ll take “Wee Pals” (also known as “Kid Power” when on ABC in the 70s) over that “Malcom X/Huey Newton fetish” spoiled black middle-class whining of the Boondocks any day of the week.

    Boondocks almost makes me want to read “Jump Start”, for that matter ….

  40. And since The Family Circus seems to generate a high level of debate on this thread, I hope I’m not the only one who read the hilarious series of Pearls Before Swine strips that had the Family Circus family playing unwitting host to Osama Bin Laden. Inspired stuff, zeeba neighba.

    But I’m worried that at the Bumsteads’ big anniversary bash, the Lockhorns will get nasty drunk again and square off against each other, embarrassing all the other comic attendees into leaving early. Then, with only the Bumsteads and the Lockhorns left in the house, the two couples will engage in a “Virginia Woolf”-like round of intrapersonal demolition, leading Dagwood finally to confront Blondie about those sexually-explicit “Mexican comics” she once posed for, which were extensively marketed in the backs of adult magazines throughout the ’60s and ’70s.

  41. The Lovecraftian Family Circus mashups no longer seem to be on the original site, but here are a few.

  42. PapayaSF: Thanks! Those are priceless.

    Out here.

  43. Yes, Born Again Iconoclast, you are too BUPPIE.

  44. “Have you no taste? Remember that one strip where Jeffy mispronounced a word? Hilarious! And the one where Dolly mispronounced a word? Comic genius! And the one where Billy mispronounced a word? Mark Twain would be jealous!”

    Wow, that dashed black line is just going EVERYWHERE!

  45. Well, NaG, screw you!! I’ll take my Oxford collared shirts, penny loafers, copy of Shelby Steele’s last book, and Starbucks rainforest coffee mug and go elsewhere!!!!

    (LOL)

  46. Born Again Iconoclast:

    Re The Boondocks, I really get the feeling that McGruder is in on the joke; Huey, it seems to me, is as much a target of comic derision as any character in the strip.

  47. Anyone catch that Bill Maher show a couple of years ago when guest Aaron “Boondocks” McGruder started in on his Bush=Hitler rant, the studio audience hysterically cheered his naughty-boy audacity, and a horrified Bill & Arianna tried (ineffectually) to dissuade lefties from committing political suicide with that colosally stupid tactic? Priceless.

  48. So many sardonic mentions of the Family Circus, and no mentions of the Dysfunctional Family Circus? Not the “Disfunctional” first result from Google, but the 500-strong strips with user-submitted captions that were hosted on the SpinnWebe site – at least, until Bil Keane asked the guy to take them down.

    Good times, good times.

    Ask the right people, though, and you can find copies of the archives.

  49. Eric,
    Are you one of the right people? If so your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  50. I couldn’t help noticing that in the past several years, nearly all the female characters in Blondie are built like porn stars. Like, damn.

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