What's up with those "serious" comics in the funny pages?

You know the ones i’m talking about, with two or three panels and a single exchange of dialouge in each installment. Apparently they are serial dramas…how on earth is anyone supposed to follow a storyline that way?

Gee, they’ve only been doing that since the 1930s. :rolleyes:

Most people read the comics every day, anyway (except Saturday). It only requires an attention spam of more than a few hours to keep up with a continuity.

“Please do not bang your head on the counter. It contains a rare Mary Worth in whch she counsels a friend to commit suicide. Thank you.”

My question is, though: why would anyone want to reasd them? They suck! They suck huge ass monkey-balls!

Are you talking about the “soap” strips like Mary Worth and Rex Morgan, MD?

Or the “dramedy” strips like Funky Winkerbean?

Because I HATE HATE HATE the ones like Funky Winkerbean that try to ‘bridge the gap’ - most times it’s more like an excuse for the author not to think of a joke. And then someone is alcoholic or has cancer so you’re not allowed to hate it or else you’re a bastard.

Man I hate those.

I hate the “dramedy” strips too. “For Better or Worse” is the worst. I wish the cartoonist would just stick to drawing goofy-looking dogs.

It’s very hard to cross genres and still make sense. Every so often you see a TV show that has “jumped the shark” and starts to loosen up the genre rules, like the old show with Urkel. At one point in the series, they did a serious episode on racial intolerance. A few years later Urkel had a split personality, was building a time machine, etc. Whaaa?

I would rather read a “serious” comic like For Better or Worse or The Phantom than one of the countless unfunny “humorous” strips currently in print. Mary Worth and the other soap opera strips do strike me as dull, but at least they don’t offend me like The Family Circus does, to cite the most eggregious of the bunch.

Or Marmaduke. Or Marvin. The genre that inspires the uttermost disgust and hatred in me is the Comic Whose Jokes All Depend On The Cuteness Of The Obnoxious And Uncute Main Character. I loathe Marvin with all my being.

The Family Circus is supposed to be funny? I thought it was there just to annoy 'cause I can’t figure out any other purpose for it.

Here’s an earlier thread on serious comics.


No, it’s there due to the First Rule Of Comic Strip Survival:

Once a comic strip has been running for a long enough period of time, nothing on Earth will result in that comic strip ever being pulled from the newspapers.

This rule applies to more comic strip than I could (or would) shake a stick at.

In that case, whatever happened to Andy Capp?

Has there ever been a “complete” Rex Morgan or Mary Worth graphic novel? You’d have to be a pretty sad bastard to buy that.

And while we’re sniping a bad comics in general, let’s dump a big truckload of manure on Cathy. I don’t condone violence towards women, but I’d certainly be tempted to give her a smack upside the head.

Still running

The problem with continuity strips is simple: Not all papers run the strip on Sunday, and some papers run the strips on Sunday only.

Thus, you need to structure the strip so that those who only read it on Sunday will not get lost, and that those who don’t get it on Sunday can still keep up. That means that most action takes place on Sunday, with a wrapup on Monday going over what happened the day before, then nothing happening until next Sunday. The pace is deadly. The Sunday strip has to be repeatable for the Monday audience, thus fill. At the same time, the daily strips have to go at a glacial pace so that nothing important happens until Sunday.

Older comics avoided this by having separate Sunday continuities.

Why do such strips continue? Demographics! Newspaper readers are considerably older than the population at large, and senior citizens (the very people most likely to read “Mary Worth” and “Steve Canyon”) make up a VERY large percentage of most newspapers’ readership (and an even bigger percentage of readers likely to write letters and raise a fuss if their favorite strips are cancelled).

YOU may hate “Family Circus,” but your grandma loves it, and your grandma’s generation has a lot more clout with newspapers than you do.

Is “Apartment 3G” still running? Did anyone on the planet ever read that one? I once saw a great parody of those “serious” strips and their incredibly slow pace - I wish I could remember where. The entire strip was two panels: in the first panel, one character sneezes. In the second panel, the other character says, “Gezundheit”.

BTW, Funky Winkerbean used to be funny. I haven’t seen it for at least a decade; I didn’t know it had gone “dramatic”. My theory is that after several decades of drawing the same strip, you just simply run out of jokes, and pretty much have to find another angle. Unless you’re Johnny Hart, in which case you just plain stop being funny.

More reason to hate old people. (I kid.)

Now you did it. They’re gonna drive even slower in front of you now. And they’re gonna take all the good seats at IHop before you get there.

Unless you’re in an outdoor Farmer’s Market, in which case they will speed up and aim in your general direction.

Maybe now the OP knows why Doonesbury is shown on the editorial pages of so many papers.