Wednesday, April 16, 2014


There must be a little nexus in the brain about narratives that is especially suited to reading comics, though I suppose in the beginning it evolved to be about petroglyphs -- those stick figures on rocks.  In the good old days my father used to read us kids the comics on Sunday and some of those characters were more vivid to me than some actual people today.  Take Denny Dimwit, for instance, with whom I empathized.  I must not have been the only one, because when I googled, I came up with a LOT of stuff, including a little figurine of Denny.

Denny Dimwit was a member of the RinkyDinks, a boy "gang," one of whom was Perry Winkle, who sort of took over the strip.  He was a boy who rather resented being "improved" by a family that adopted him and he needed the services of a "fairy godfather," a tough and practical character something like Tyrion Lannister -- boy-sized, wearing a derby and smoking a cigar.  He had wings but more like insect wings than angel wings.  When I was in deep distress during my hospital chaplaincy training, the Fairy Godfather showed up in my dreams.  I was flattened in a dark and rainy alley when I smelled cigar smoke and there he was.

The issues of that time, as well as the economic conditions of the time, are eerily like our own.  Bullying, economic status, women who must work, schools that don't get it.  Boys trying to cope.

Sue, my friend in Calgary, is good at finding terrific stuff.  Like me, she loves comics, so she really scored a gold mine when she found a website for online comics.  No more suffering through some newspaper nerd’s idea of which comics to read.  Here’s the link.  (This post is going to be a bit of a link farm.)

She started me off with this inspired comic strip.  Surely Francis I is the first Pope to have his own comic strip!  

You don’t have to draw well to create a comic strip, because often it’s the caption that really makes it work.  In fact, this whole strip below is simply schmaltzy old Victorian art with new captions.  This one seems timely, since I’m watching “Game of Thrones” (which operates on something like the same idea -- that is, fabulous tableaux with new dialogue.)

Orestes pursued by the Furies after leaving the toilet seat up.

This next one depends on good drawing and is pretty brainy, often referring to our shared memories of popular TV series and billed as the "wordiest comic."  (I hope you can "enbiggen" these enough to read.)

There's also a book of these strips to help you cope with life: is good to know about when the prissy regional papers refuse to print something.  Like Doonesbury or something.

But what if the comic is just inscrutable?

This is from "Cyanide and Happiness."  I think.

And this one is from "Dark Side of the Horse"

Both are taken from a blog called "comics I don't understand."  People send comments explaining the very dry humor.  Sometimes the comments are stranger and more inscrutable than the original comic strip. I particularly like this strip about a horse and I know Sue probably does, too.  We share our love of horses.

Native American comics continue the association with thrillers and fantasy.  Some of these strips are supposed to become movies.  I don't know how much these really have to do with Indians.  The local political cartoonist has gone silent -- maybe too hot to comment.

Comics Alliance is quite a bit more edgy than gocomics.  If you're a plugger, you might want to stick with gocomics.

How about ordering a book of comic strips from Amazon?

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