What is it about certain newspaper comic strips that spark huge amounts of passionate devotion or visceral hatred from people?
Whenever a paper alters its comics lineup or moves a strip from one section to another, they tend to get more angry letters to the editor than they do concerning any other issue out there. I remember back in my young’n days whenever Jack Major, then the TV critic of The Providence Journal, would regularly use Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy as his go-to example of banality for any review, and a flood of letters demanding his head would follow.
Rhode Island loves Nancy, Jack! So just cut the shit and tell us whether Supertrain is any good!
Today I came across this, Garfield Minus Garfield. It explains itself, and it’s just DAMN BRILLIANT! Go there now!
It reminded me a bit of this site, Lasanga Cat, a frightingly elaborate “Jack Major-ing” of the Garfield strip produced by the technically proficient God-love-’em sick bastards over at Fatal Farm (also check out some of their re-done television themes, especially “Duck Tales” or “Cheers” if you want to see some top tier examples of truly sick humor that would make Michael O’Donoghue proud.)
Up there with Garfield in attracting satiric venom from the twisted is The Family Circus, a comic traditionally so sugary sweet that it’s just BEGGING for some fun. The easiest thing to do with Family Circus was to simply take an existing strip and rewrite the caption into something else, much the way “The Dysfunctional Family Circus” website did until the lawyers from King Features shut it down (but just try stomping something out once it gets out there online, shysters!!!) Want a more highbrow rewriting of it? There’s always The Nietzsche Family Circus.
I could go on by ragging on some of the strips that I’ve personally found to be drawn poorly and unfunny (Cathy leaps to mind here – Wow! She just can’t seem to lose that weight, eh? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) but here are a last couple of links to some guys who I’d only be unconsciously cribbing from since their sites that I just found while composing this opus look like some decently snarky analysis of all things newspaper comics: The Comic Strip Doctor has some nice articles on a few major strips, though it looks like this website is no longer updated, and The Comics Curmudgeon who regularly blogs about various strips and seems to hate everything! That makes him MY HERO!!!!
Wow, the Garfield Without Garfield is some hilarious shit.
Sometimes the best comedy is the simplest comedy, to be sure.