Wednesday, March 03, 2010

UPDATES IN DEAD TREE FUNNIES (PHILADELPHIA EDITION): The Inky has replaced Rick Detorie's One Big Happy with a brand new effort from political cartoonists Steve Kelly and Jeff Parker, Dustin. Dustin seems to be getting a bit of a national rollout because it's OMG TOPICAL--about a college graduate going back home to live with his parents (a situation not wholly unfamiliar to me, in the interests of full disclosure.) Of course the yuks thus far seem to be based on Dustin's lack of ambition (the dad in the strip is prominently displaying want ads in the promotional material) which, um, does not seem to accord with the facts on the ground for "boomerang" children. Or for anyone else currently unemployed!

Anyway, good on the Inquirer for trying something new (if predictable thus far) but did they have to get rid of One Big Happy to do it? It really was one of the better strips in their comics section, sort of a realist take on Lucy Van Pelt (all the Peanuts kids were incredibly self-aware; Detorie's Ruthie has the intelligence and wisdom of a Peanuts kids, but more of the actual reactions of a six-year-old.) Meanwhile Hagar and Beetle Bailey stagger on. The truly mean-spirited Sherman's Lagoon remains. (Don't pick on Blondie, though, people, I'm convinced it's the best of the existing very very old comics strips. Dilbert before there was Dilbert.) Ziggy and Dennis The Menace: still there! And if you need to bring a bucket of irony to enjoy any strip it probably isn't worth keeping around. I hate to say it but that applies to Family Circus too. So please, Inquirer: bring back One Big Happy. You have a lot more chaff you could cut before axing Ruthie and Joe and Homework Hotline Lady.

(Looking over the One Big Happy Wikipedia page it seems it was the only Creators Syndicate strip the Inky had, and Dustin is from King Features, which they have a lot of, so maybe there's corporate shenanigans involved here.)

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