A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What’s in the Comics Today?

For those of us who have longed for thumbnail descriptions of the comic strips found in our local newspapers, we present the following guide to the comic strips. Please note: at this time the powers to be have not concocted a ratings system for this pop culture art form. Parents, you’re on your own!

BEETLE BAILEY: follows the misadventures of the all-time champion underachiever in the armed forces. Seriously, Beetle makes Bart Simpson look like Donald Trump. Meet Sarge, Zero, General Halftrack, Miss Buxley, Cosmo, Killer, Cpl. Yo, Hawkeye, Trapper John, Hot Lips...oh, sorry. We’ve crossed over from Beetle Bailey to the closing credits from M*A*S*H.

BLONDIE: features the daily trials and tribulations of the Bumstead family. There is Dagwood, the good-natured, but lazy inventor of huge sandwiches; teenagers Alexander and Cookie, the dog Daisy, and of course the amazing Blondie! The most amazing thing about her is that she has been around for 75 years and she still has a figure that would make Barbie jealous. Honestly, don’t you ladies just hate her guts!

BOONDOCKS: Huey and Riley are two black children living with their retired grandfather in white suburbia. These two are Blank Panther wannabes who were born forty years too late. Wee Pals was never anything like this!

BC: right-wing religious rhetoric thinly disguised as the wacky adventures of a group of prehistoric cavemen. See also Pogo and Lil’ Abner. In other countries, this strip might be accompanied by a strip with cute, cuddly, furry creatures spouting off subversive Communist propaganda. But not here! Not in the good ole U.S. of A.!

DOONESBURY: Classic cutting-edge comic strip that deals with adult themes and situations without resorting to adult language or vulgarity. Many believe it has a liberal bias, but upon closer scrutiny the reader can see other points-of-view at work. Even the main character, Michael Doonesbury, has matured with the strip over the course of 36 years. He started out as a naïve college freshman, but now he can be seen as a naïve conservative.

OPUS: a plucky puffin, mistaken for a penguin, makes his way through the trials and troubles of living in modern day America. Again, many will see a liberal bias at work as our hero grapples with today’s major political and social issues. Originally an immigrant from Antarctica, Opus will sometimes seek out his origins. It doesn’t help matters any that his two previous homes on the comics page (Bloom County and Outland) have been closed.

RED MEAT: not served on everyone’s comic strip plate, but so bizarre that it can’t be ignored. Just a sampling of the characters presented here: Ted Johnson and his dysfunctional family (at the movie theater, they swill cheap scotch to go with their popcorn); Karen, the cute little girl with a jump rope who looks like she just stepped out of a 1950’s Coronet film shown in elementary school; her “best friend”, the psychotic Milkman Dan (Michael J. Nelson from MST3K should
play him if this strip ever makes it to the big screen); and, of course, bug-eyed Earl, an Edgar Allen Poe-ish type character who favors dressing in a southwestern motif. Best eaten raw. Enjoy!


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