warning: personal and ranty
The Sunday Comics aren’t funny is a good article, but the cartoons that illustrate it begin to tear off the bland facade to reveal the unpleasantness underneath. Reading all the comics on the Houston Chronicle’s personalized comics page, I’m amazed at what passes for humor.. fat jokes, sissy jokes, sexism… the comics page is the last holdout for 50’s mores.
Maybe it’s that I’m home these days, writing, and finding myself for the first time in my life washing dishes, clothes and cooking exclusively while warning my delighted husband over dinner not to get to used to it, that I’m haunted and disturbed by these morality tales we present to our children as harmless entertainment — in fact, they are even dangerous as tales we tell ourselves.
It reminds me of my annual trip back to my grandparent’s summer cottage community, where I’ll have to pick my battles when the gay/women/racist jokes begin at the BBQ. What do you let lie, and what do you stand up against?
I love comics; I loved Calvin and Hobbs, and I still dig Foxtrot, Zits and Kudzu. Rhymes with Orange and Bizarro bring a pleasant surrealism to my day, often accompanied by a laugh. I dig Prince Valiant, though I can’t really explain why. I guess it appeals to the same little girl who liked dinosaur books.
I don’t think this is a PC issue, it’s a simple issue of questioning our assumptions. BC, Wizard of ID, Crock and Beetle Baily are so routinely vicious in their (lack of) humor, I typically skip them.
I guess I’m saying I don’t mind so much that comics aren’t always funny; I just wish they didn’t make me want to cry.