Baby Blues (anything to discuss?)

I mean the comic by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott, of course (and I don’t mean the cartoon, which wasn’t too faithful to the source material).

First off, it was fantastic in its early run, easily up there with Calvin And Hobbes or The Far Side. With few exceptions, it portrayed raising a baby as exactly what it was…a painful, exhausting, depressing, infuriating, sickening, soul-crushing, bank account-shredding, nerve-snapping slog with virtually no positives whatsoever. And that’s not even considering the steaming megatons of BS that parents have to get from just about everybody. (“Vaginal or caesarian?” “Have we met?”) Worst of all, the vast majority of problems have NO SOLUTION WHATSOEVER. (How to deal with colic: Beg your mother for help so she can laugh at you.) When you think about it, it’s a frighteningly accurate portrayal of how nearly all of us grew up, how for practically all our problems…teasing, bullies, peer pressure, bad attitude, underachieving, you name it…the resolution was worthless patronizing advice, BS, screaming and yelling, threats, more BS, occasional violence, and ultimately everyone quietly pretending the problem doesn’t exist until something else comes along.

It was amazingly edgy for a mainstream comic, one that didn’t propogate the tedious glurge about children being the future and the embodiment of our hopes and pweshus little darlin’s etc. etc. barf. Most notably, all the childless people we see are doing just fine. Heck, there’s a sequence that pretty forcefully shoots down the tired myth of “childless yuppie scum”.

Something I find especially noteworthy is that Wanda…y’know, the supposedly sympathetic mother…is the most disgusting, despicable character by a mile. Not only is she a control freak and incredibly short-tempered and petty, she thinks that having three kids excuses everything. And I mean everything. From treating Daryl like crap to yelling down angry crowds to always doing what SHE wants, the hell with the rest of the planet. I pity anyone stuck with someone like her. Nope, no romanticizing motherhood here, as it should be.

Well, anyway, I tried finding discussions online, but it looks like there just isn’t anything. In fact, the only feedback I could find were a few reviews (most of which praised how true-to-life it was). There are a few YouTube comments about the cartoons, but nearly all of it is “Where’s Hammie?” and “Will this be out on DVD?” I do think the later strips have dropped off severely; much like The Simpsons, there just ins’t any new ground to cover. The one with Zoe stretching her jaw to the floor is practically a jump-the-shark moment. Even so, it’s curious how Baby Blues has never generated any buzz when even Garfield is good for an occasional snark. What say you, Dopers?

Baby Blues was very funny early in its run, but I wouldn’t say it’s close to The Far Side or Calvin & Hobbes. Both of those comics took the format to new heights and absolutely belong in any catalog of twentieth century art.

Baby Blues is a well-executed comic and definitely above par, but I don’t think it was a game changer.

Baby Blues irritates me because the “children” in the strip don’t speak like children. At all. In fact, they probably speak with better syntax and grammar than I do, and I’m a 32 year old college graduate.