…the cute girl veterinarian was vindicated, the bad farmers were hit with bats…yes, This is New Hampshire justice! As someone recently comments over at The Comics Curmudgeon, “I’m not going to read this strip anymore; I’m just going to look at the pictures.”
Still, it might be a good idea to do so at your own risk.
…that’s when newspapers (and even online comic sites) are TOO DAMNED CHEAP to print the first “throw-away panels” of a Sunday comic strip. To see the online throwaways, you often have to click and beep and bounce and sneak through ads and miscellaneous crap in order to be rewarded (HINT: if there’s a “Buy a Print” option button, click on it — it usually shows you the ENTIRE strip, often in a much larger (readable) format). Of course, these extra square inches may only serve to prolong the agony of a non-funny strip, but for God’s sake, let the reader be the judge! And if you get your Sunday comics by paper, you just might be SOL.
Sometimes, these panels are unexpectedly poignant, or slyly humorous, or just a lark on the cartoonist’s part, often to the benefit what might otherwise be considered a trite, tired comic. Sometimes, the bit of extra space helps round out a long build up to a very satisfying conclusion. 9 Chickweed Lane often uses long, wordless Sunday panels to a successful effect (Edda and Amos running around, swimming and diving, or playing musical instructions, Edda and/or Seth dancing, Solange doing very feline things). And, yes, this is credit where credit is due.
15 September’s Hi and Lois, one I rarely read, has a great intro (yes, I was coaxed into “checking it out”):
Even in the non-thowaway first panel, you can see a tiny Charlie Brown and a tiny Hagar walking away from church. Cross-over comic strips are a kick (not only do the Brownes and Walkers include their familys’ strips (Beetle Bailey and Hagar the Horrible), but also Marvin, Zits, Dennis the Menace, Tiger and Peanuts. (I dunno…maybe Charlie Brown is one of those Browns, too.)
Okay. I love crossovers in comics. I love sneaky bits. And so I bow to Hi, Lois and their creators by mashing them unmercifully.
And on a Sunday yet!
Mary bid a fond farewell to Pax Healthiness R Us Resort and lovely Tucson, Arizona. The distance from Tucson to Santa
Barbara Royale, California = 600 miles. Plenty of time for Mary to hallucinate as she watches the clouds fly around her.
Several Curminions were puzzled by the large, narrow satchel that Mary is toting with her. A farewell panini and lavosh lunch from the Pax Kitchens? A time-share opportunity portfolio to entice her friends to visit Pax? Hmmmm….
This is an update…or a repeat (some that the Keanes are very, very familiar with). An intrepid Curminion found the template (I’m calling it a template: I can’t imagine that this hasn’t been used only twice in the long, long history of the Family Circus), and I feel the need to bring it to someone’s attention. [Those folks who get peeved when cartoonists go on vacation have the gall to have a few days’ or weeks’ of strips rerun should bear in mind that this is really no different. I, for one, am not seeing a lot of creativity or artistry being expended here.]