This Chron article is reasonably well done, even if I've read way too many "Are the comics getting too serious?" stories. There are a couple of points to discuss:
[S]ome newspaper editors -- including here at the Chronicle -- viewed the B.C. strip originally scheduled to run today as insensitive. It featured two cavemen discussing Asian brothers who failed at building a working airplane. "Two Wongs don't make a Wright," one caveman says.
After some papers elected not to run it, Creators Syndicate supplied an alternative, which is printed in today's Chronicle.
"I wouldn't be surprised if most papers run the alternate strip," said syndicate president Richard Newcombe, who added, "I know Johnny didn't mean to offend anybody."
He was referring to Johnny Hart, creator of the 36-year-old strip which appears in more than 1,200 papers. Because of the combined circulation of B.C. and The Wizard of Id, on which he collaborates, Hart frequently is called the most widely read cartoonist in the world.
Second, the only people who call Johnny Hart "the most widely read cartoonist in the world" are people who can't do simple arithmetic, as Mark Evanier pointed out nearly three years ago. Not that it matters, since if something gets repeated often enough, it may as well be considered a fact.
"In the late 1980s, Johnny became what we call a born-again Christian," Newcombe said. "He asked me about whether he could put Christian messages into B.C."
Unfortunately, the article cuts off before it gets into a discussion of why comics have always really been for adults, and that political content goes back at least to the time of Walt Kelly and Pogo. Too bad, because that was the best part of it.
Finally, in the Things You Can Learn About Your Spouse After Five Years Of Marriage department: While perusing the Sunday with our friend Matt, who used to work for the Chronicle, Tiffany told me that she actually reads Apartment 3-G, Mary Worth, and Rex Morgan. I never thought I'd meet a person who actually read "Mary Worth", let alone marry one. She said reading them takes the place of watching soap operas. I'm still shaking my head. Does anyone else out there read those strips? Why? Please let me know.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 19, 2004 to Society and cultcha | TrackBack