Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The End Of The Road

There are only a few reliable ways to tell the childish from the mature. One way used to be whether or not you wet your pants, but overmaturity has sort of erased that distinction. So we're left with whether or not you look forward to bedtime. And whether you read all the comics in the funny pages.

When I was little, the comics section was the only thing I read in the paper. On Sundays I'd sprawl out on the floor with the full-color version. I hit every strip. Even Rex Morgan and Mary Worth and Apartment 3-G. Some of them were antiques even then, like Gasoline Alley. There was a little bald boy named Henry who spent most of his time spying pies on the windowsill, using hyphens to do it with. There was the Phantom, especially appealing on Sundays when his suit was revealed to be purple. There was also a Fun Page where you could draw the dog, or the man with the pipe, and send it in somewhere with your name and age, and you could win something, but I determined that contest to be fraudulent when I didn't win, twice. I don't suppose any of it did me any harm, though even as a little girl I absorbed the difference between Beetle Bailey's unfortunate Miss Blips, named after her inadequate titties, and Miss Buxley. It was easy enough to see what kind of woman you were supposed to want to be.

Somewhere along the line as an adult I recognized that every time I read Family Circus, a little part of me died. It was worse than just the feeling of having wasted five seconds of my life. It was as if it had taken a little divot out of my spirit. I no sooner read the caption than I felt regret. Not a lot, but a lifetime of tiny regret pangs, all added up, can lodge inside you something terrible. It's the spiritual equivalent of that low-level inflammation that is said to lead to heart failure. That time I spend reading Family Circus could have been spent staring blankly into space. Where a bird could have popped by. Or even an imaginary internal bird.

So I decided to take it off my roster. Already I wasn't reading every single comic strip. I had to train my eyes not to drift over to Family Circus, but muscle memory kept tripping me up. Half the time I'd forget and slide over and read the caption and lose another little soul divot. Finally I ingrained my new habit.

"Peanuts" still makes the cut. It was pretty reliable through the years, although the fact that it has been in reruns since 2000 and I never remember any of them from before is probably not a good sign. Still, it's inoffensive and gives the occasional chuckle, except when any of Snoopy's brothers are in it. You see a cactus in Peanuts, you're better off moving on down the page, but you never do. You just absorb that little disappointment and move on.

There have been many fine strips in my lifetime but four of them stand above the rest: Pogo, The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, and now, Cul de Sac. Nobody ever did anything like The Far Side before Gary Larson did it. Now everyone tries. One of the imitators, Close To Home, not only misses wide every time with the caption but is so poorly drawn that it leaves little stains on your retinas, and you have to scrub them out by reading Cul de Sac.

The reason I was not permanently damaged by the lesson of Miss Blips and Miss Buxley is that I was Alice, Alice in Cul de Sac, all along. Cul de Sac is coming to an end this month, because its creator is ill and can no longer keep it up. Dick Cheney is still clacking along with pig parts and machinery, but Richard Thompson is on the decline. A tree falls in the forest and it's just as likely the wrong person will be walking under it as the right one. There may be such a thing as justice in the world, but if so, it's something we've constructed. The universe has nothing to say about it.

142 comments:

  1. Pogo and Cul de Sac I don't know and must investigate. The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes I love with a passion. There is (sadly) a Far Side cartoon which all too accurately reflects my life. The usual dorky boy (as only Gary Larson could draw them) has his hand up in class 'May I be excused? My brain is full' And so say all of us. Well me anyway.

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    1. Oh yes. Sadly, the brain springs a leak later on. I can hear it all dripping out. Or maybe that's the tinnitus.

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  2. PS: Because my brain is full I forgot to tell you that this post is, as always, the work of a genius.

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  3. I guess I had better stick to looking forward to bedtime as pretty much all of the comics since Larson have become so lame I can't handle them, even Doonesbury. But I don't know that I've seen Cul de Sac. Probably not carried by the Baja Georgia Journal anyway. But you know, your blog is sort of like a good comic strip. Always makes me smile and often pointed. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you, Mr. Charleston! I still like Doonesbury. I'm kind of surprised he's been able to keep as sharp all these years.

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  4. Oh NO! I don't know how I'm going to break the news to my husband that Cul de Sac is ending. We haven't had the pleasure of Alice's company in our newspaper for very long, but we've grown to love her and her mother and Petey and Dill just as much as I love you. Now I understand the connection. And it's no surprise that the strips you love best are my favorites too (except that I would add Shoe and Sherman's Lagoon). Do you know that there is a COMPLETE collection of Pogo being published, in twelve volumes? The first one, after many delays, came out just before Christmas last year, and (surprise, surprise) Volume 2 is due on December 21st. If they stick to this one-a-year pace, which I believe it the plan, I now have reason to keep on breathing for another 10 years.

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    1. I know, right? Every single character in Cul de Sac is wonderful. Even the imaginary Ernesto. Now we'll have to wonder if Petey Potterpoop ever chews his arm off.

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  5. I certainly remember well the ones you listed... but one of my favorites was "For Better or For Worse". As for Pogo... I still hear "we have met the enemy, and he is us" quoted now and then. Feel bad that I've never seen Cul de Sac... maybe I can locate it before it ends. Your always make my day with your blog... thanks!

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    1. FBOFW is terrific too. She's certainly doing something weird now though. Starting over the whole strip as though it were 1970 again. I don't like it as much. Great drawing, though.

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    1. What I meant to say is...

      Dick Cheney is still clacking along with pig parts and machinery Which is just wrong on so many levels.

      And I'm glad I didn't read Beetle Baily either. You know I'm almost 50 and my little blips are still all fine and perky and I bet the buxley women wouldn't be able to claim that.

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    2. I'm here to tell you you are absolutely correct.

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  7. My faves were always Peanuts, the Lockhorns, B.C., the Wizard of Id, Calvin & Hobbes, and Garfield.

    Never liked Dennis the Menace, Blondie, Beetle Bailey, or that one where the animals lisp all the time.

    Weird, since I've been an adult I never get the paper, and so am completely out of touch with whatever comics are currently in vogue. On the odd occasion someone leaves a paper at work, I peek at them and shrug.

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    1. When the Wizard of Id first came out, I remember reading every single word. Like bang bang hammer hammer hammer hammer chip chip hammer hammer.

      If you mean Mutts for the lisping animals, I'll always cherish it for one single strip wherein the cat and dog have their backs up against a tree relaxing for three frames and in the fourth the cat says "I keep thinking this is Tuesday."

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    2. LMAO no ROFLMAO haaaa aw jeez

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  8. I still read the comics on line every day, it's part of my morning ritual. I think Calvin and Hobbs was the best ever, along with Far Side. Pogo was great but gone for so long I didn't realize I missed it. Never heard of Cul de Sac before! Zits makes me laugh every morning.

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    1. My favorite ... As a Mother of a boy well he used to be ... I remember the one where the mom looks at Jeremy and pictures him as a little boy again with them enjoying each other BEFORE teenagedom

      I made my kid sign an affidavit he wouldn't become a teenager ... did anyway

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  9. I kind of like Family Circus..how come you don't care for it? The two months we spent in Va I read the Washington Post every single day..what a newspaper. Our Arizona Republic is so blah and full of advertisements that I don't even but it anymore...

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    1. Oh, I don't know. Too precious? It makes me squirmy. I feel the same way about Rose Is Rose and a lot of people like that one.

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    2. Rose is Rose. Yep, too cutesy. It feels mightily contrived, if such an allegation can be levelled at a comic.

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  10. I always loved Pogo...there is a website you can visit to get your Pogo fix.

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    1. NOoo! Not one more thing to look at on the internet!!

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  11. The far side, calvin and hobbes, and let's not forget bloom county.

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    1. That's the one! I was trying to remember Bloom County. Geez I miss it!

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  12. Nobody reads Doonesbury, huh? Oh, well, it's local here; it was developed by a Yalie.

    As a matter of fact, I read almost all the comics in my newspaper. (There's one I don't like any more, and I can't remember its name, being in my dotage.)

    Then I go online to find some of those that the paper stopped printing and a couple of online only comics. gocomics.com and seattlepi.com are two sites that cover just about all the comics I want to see; you can even see strips like Gasoline Alley. I noticed Dick Tracy, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician, but I have given up on those that I read fifty years ago.

    One of the things about Peanuts is that they're in reruns, and I remember that I've seen them before, when I was in college...

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    1. Mandrake the Magician! I could have gone a long time without remembering that one. It would be interesting to see how many of my girlhood comics I can remember.

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    2. Doonesbury - I consider it more political commentary than cartoon. But, yes, I read it every day.

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  13. If it weren't for the comics, we probably wouldn't get the daily paper. I read every one, and sometimes glance at the headline, and that's all the news I can stand. How do those cartoonists manage to be even mildly amusing every single freaking day? Johnny Hart made me laugh out loud regularly.

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    1. He's where I got the name for my stuffed dinosaur Gronk, and thus from my unpublished children's poetry book The Gronk Chronicles.

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    2. I love you both, but really, Johnny Hart? Miss Blip and Miss Buxley had nothing on Wizard of Id's Blanche and Gwen, and B.C's The Fat Broad and the Cute Chick. In both strips the only 2 females represented; in both strips one sexy and one a Mac truck. With the yuk-yuks aimed at them accordingly. Ugh. And, um, did you not notice the politics? I'm just gonna have to chalk this up to both of you being too young & sweetly innocent...

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    3. I'm not a B.C. or Id fan. But I did like the dinosaur. And I haven't read either one in forty years.

      GRONK!!!!

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    4. I read BC for the puns. And the fat broad can hold her own with any of the guys, Blanche lives life by her own rules, too. But then, I'm not raising a young woman, so my opinion is pretty slack.

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  14. My 13year-old grandson in Yorkshire is a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes, and now, by extension, so am I. :-)

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    1. He wasn't alive when C&H went down, was he? Good (little) man.

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  15. I read oh, about 40 comics a day - all online (I can't believe it, but I do actually read Mary Worth & Rex Morgan - ha! But not Family Circus). I've been mourning the new of the end of Cul de Sac for a couple of weeks now. It is so TOTALLY unfair.

    We had a couple of Pogo books when I was a kid & I LOVED them. I think one was called "Pogo's Will Be that Was" - which seemed pretty apt to me. I'll have to look them up next time I go to my dad's house.

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    1. Pogo and the King James Bible have made about an equal contribution to my writing style.

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  16. Oh man... losing Cul de Sac.... We've only just started getting it this past year, and it is way beyond genius. Fie on thee illness!!!

    Have you discovered Rhymes With Orange? The woman who draws it has a sense of the absurd you might like.

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    1. I think that one was auditioned in our paper but didn't make the cut, in favor of Cul de Sac. I'll have to look it up.

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  17. You nailed my faves: Calvin & Hobbs, Pogo, and Far Side. I stopped reading the comics around the time Gary Larson retired, so I'd never even heard of Cul de Sac. And now you tell me it's good but it's going. Sigh.

    My all-time favourite quote from Pogo: "Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent."

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    1. One my dad quoted a lot was from Albert the alligator: "funny how a handsome man look good in any old thing he throw on."

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    2. LOL! Usually a baseball mitt, as I recall...

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    3. Ack! I was reading through to the end so I could write about my favorite line and you beat me to it! That gem was spoken by Porky Pine (the porcupine).

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    4. Oops. I was replying to "Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent," and when my post came up, it was behind a different quote. Too slow out of the gate as usual.

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  18. I share your loathing for "Family Circus," which always struck me as banal and saccharine.

    I LOVE "Calvin and Hobbes" and "The Far Side," which were brilliant for their time. I'm also nostalgic for "Bloom County," which had great social and political commentary before it degenerated into "Outland" and "Opus."

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    1. I'd kind of forgotten Bloom County. Hell, forgetting is just what I do to make room in my brain for...uh...plaques and tangles.

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  19. I was grieved, grieved that Richard was throwing in the towel. I thought for a moment there that the Golden Age was coming back.

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    1. If we live long enough, somebody will come up with something brand new that we can't imagine having lived without. The geniuses are out there.

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  20. Thank you for helping me understand my reaction to Family Circus...a little divot gone from my soul! I've had to stop reading comics in the paper, because at the same time that my eyesight started to go, the paper decided to save money by shrinking the pages and thus the cartoon sizes. And then I realized that most of the comics weren't worth squinting at. After reading this and DJan's comment, I've just subscribed to GoComics.com to get Cul de Sac and Doonesbury online; I hope they'll carry Cul de Sac archives when it ends because I haven't seen it before. Thanks!

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    1. I completely forgot about that comic shrinkage. They did the same thing with ice cream, you know.

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  21. Far Side, Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes, For Better or For Worse, and Zits are my all-time favorites, as evidenced by the complete collections of their books that clutter my overtaxed bookshelves. Non Sequitur is a worthy heir to Bloom County, I think, and I've always admired Doonesbury. Dilbert, too, although I could relate to that one a lot more before I retired. I do loathe the comic "soaps". I mean, can Mary Worth get any more simplistic?

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    1. Bloom County made the cut for me too, but it stopped just this side of genius. Love the other ones too.

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    2. Always delighted on how these topics pick you to write them. A sort of memorial to the way words and drawings draw us in to the drama going on all around us.

      You are my favorite cartoon of all time. A veritable feast of new and revised thoughts on everything.

      Don't sign off for a looooooooooooog time!

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    3. "You are my favorite cartoon of all time." My MY! That is a nice thing to say!

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  22. Hey Murr! I don't read a paper, and don't get comics as a result. But for me, it's all about Calvin and Hobbes. Bill Watterson is a true artist, and nailed the concept 99% of the time. I know he's still with us, but he's missed. Indigo x

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    1. Yeah, what's the deal about quitting while you're ahead? We weren't done with Calvin and Hobbes yet.

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  23. "Calvin and Hobbes." "The Far Side." Even "Bloom County." And "Mary Worth." And the list goes on.

    Don't know anything about "Cul de Sac."

    What about "Doonesbury"? Hmmmm.

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  24. You got my favorites, Calvin, Far Side, and especially Pogo. We often wonder what Walt Kelley would make of today's crop of politicians. Where is he when we really need him? Also love FBOFW, Pickles, and Zits.

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    1. Oh Pickles! Definitely on my list.

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    2. My favorite lines from Pickles:

      Grandpa: How old are you?
      Grandson: 6.
      Grandpa: 6?!! When I was your age, I was 7!

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    3. We love Pickles, too. Unfortunately, we think we may see ourselves therein.

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  25. This whole line of comments has gotten me to thinking that one's favorite comic strips (and least favorites) could be a very useful tool in choosing or ruling out people as friends.

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    1. My four friends who get together once a month disagree on dang near everything: movies, books, comic strips, favorite NPR shows. Go figure.

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  26. I go Pogo!

    "Don't take life so serious son, it ain't nohow permanent."

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  27. Katzenjammer Kids, anyone? PopEye the Sailor?
    slinks quietly away on her zimmerframe...

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    1. Remember them both, but you DID make me look up zimmerframe.

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  28. Some years ago, the Library of Congress had an exhibit of original Far Side cartoon drawings. It is unknown exactly how many cartoons were in the exhibit because, as the Washington Post reviewer commented, anyone who attempted to count them got distracted from the task.

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    1. Sort of how we spent 3/4 of our time in the Smithsonian looking at the TV loop in front of the Julia Child kitchen.

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  29. I've only recently decided to leave out one (and only one) comic from the two papers we get, because the print is so small I can't read the dang thing.

    My two must-reads are Dilbert and Sherman's Lagoon. Murr, you might enjoy xkcd.com if you haven't already seen it. It's not published every day so it wouldn't add too much to your reading load except in quality :)

    Yes, some cosmic justice re good people and long lives would be highly appreciated.

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    1. I'll check it out. Sherman's Lagoon I don't know.

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    2. Get thee to the Lagoon, woman. You must.

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    3. Nix the xkcd recommendation, Murr. Have just been checking the site again. I based my referral on a number of comics hand-picked for me by my math-loving offspring (I abhor math and he chose accordingly). Oops!

      Recommendations are such a personal thing in any case. What makes us laugh can be a mystery :)

      Must check out Cul de Sac, though, if I can find it online.

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  30. I guess you're too young to have enjoyed L'il Abner. I miss it and Pogo the most. For some crazy reason, my number three was Shoe. Maybe it was because the artist captured an osprey so perfectly (if it had been a college professor).

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    1. Aw, hell no, son. I dismember Li'l Abner. And wasn't Joe Bftlspk on that one, or was he somewhere else?

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  31. I cried the day Calvin and Hobbes appeared for the last time. Not just little sniffles, it was big, heaving sobs.

    I have all the books now. My kids think they are THEIR books, but I know better.

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    1. You don't have ALL the books, because I have one of them.

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  32. Another great strip that has now come to an end is Sylvia by Nicole Hollander. Loved that strip.

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    1. I liked that one too. That was one that didn't make the cut when our paper asked people for thumbs up or down. Some people REALLY hated Sylvia.

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  33. I wish your words of wisdom got to my inbox before night time so I wouldn't appear to be copying what other's say, but I cried when Opus packed his bag, put on his flowery hat and wandered off into inky nothingness at the end of Bloom County. Odd that one can get so attached to 4 daily squares of drawings (plus those glorious Sunday colored ones you liked so much). Oh, and the reason FBOFW is repeating is that Lynn burned out and retired, so papers are just doing reruns now.

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    1. Not true! (I think, now I'll have to check). I think she is actually giving herself a do-over. They're new, but they're still set in the '70s, or whenever she started. Well, we'll have to look it up. I hope they're new, because I don't think I can stand to see Farley go after Aypo in the creek and die again.

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    2. I'm sure you're right, Murr, they're all new. She did "retire" briefly, but then decided to start over.

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    3. Yes, these are new strips. The difference I notice is that her husband is projected a little differently (more realistically?) this time around. Seems they ended up in a divorce. After the outcry upon the death of Farley in the original version, I will be surprised if she goes there. She vowed to never do THAT again. I also want to throw out another shout-out for Pickles. This is the only strip my husband and I will read out loud to the other when it strikes particularly close to home, which is sadly often!

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    4. What who? They divorced? Or they will? Did I miss something?

      Love Pickles. Relate all too much to Pickles.

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    5. Don't remember when it happened in my age-related time memory, but it was a few years ago.

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  34. And I wish I would have proof-read before posting or I would have fixed that errant apostrophe stuck in "others"--one of my pet peeves and I did it! It's time for bed...

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    1. Its okay, I just left one out for you, so we're even again.

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  35. I learn something from you every single time. Regrettably, sometimes. I must go find Cul de Sac; I know I'll love it because....You and your friends missed only one of my faves - Get Fuzzy. Cat sarcasm. I am an addicted daily reader of Doonesbury.

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    1. I love Bucky and Satchel and Rob. And here's an example of how if you don't overdo something it's that much more effective (which is why my poignant posts are rare): remember when Satchel and Rob went to give blood after 9/11 and Bucky strung up hero banners for them? Or when he went out to the sewer grate and found Satchel's watch Handy? Sob.

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  36. 1. Pogo. Remember swamp coats with the yellow rubber on one side and green fabric on the other? I drew a spectacular Porky in his tub poling through the swamp on the back of the yellow side in high school.
    2. Calvin and Hobbes--tied with--The Far Side
    3. Non Sequitur
    4. the old For Better or For Worse

    We don't get Cul de Sac up here.

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    1. Weird thing about Non Sequitur. That's the only one I read SOMETIMES but not all the time. When Dana and her horse are in there or there's just a little too much dialog, I skip over it.

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    2. Our Newsday "shrunk" Non Sequitur - which was kind of on the cusp for me, anyway - but now I can barely read it, squinting. More disturbing is that they might have shrunk NS just to fit in the puzzling Mallard Fillmore, which appeared suddenly one day. I'm guessing somebody was trying to "balance" the comics pages with one that APPEARS to be trying for Right-Wing humor --- but I'll be damned if I've ever read one that was actually FUNNY. Which makes sense, because the Right Wing has no sense of humor...

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    3. The Right Wing probably says the same thing about us. We had old Mallard for a while too, and for the same reason, but the pair of conservatives in town who still get the paper weren't enough to keep it afloat.

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  37. Nobody mentioned Cathy, or Pearls Before Swine (some of the most wonderful-awful plays on words ever) or Get Fuzzy, which used to be much funnier than it is now. The internet is your friend, Tiffin. GOCOMICS.com

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    1. I would have been fine with nobody mentioning Cathy. Pearls Before Swine I do read, but I'm disappointed a lot. However, I will not miss a Zeeba Neighba one. Get Fuzzy we got--Sylvan B, above.

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    2. Linda it's like you read my mind.

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  38. Brenda Starr anyone?

    Elaine M.

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  39. Bravo! Too bad Pogo isn't running for president again this year. As for Alice's exit . . . it's just too damn sad.

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    1. Don't you just cheer for every single character?

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  40. Funny, Murr...I have been working on a blog post titled "The End of the Road", too! It gave me a spooky feeling to see yours this morning. Mine has nothing to do with comics, though...
    Your post was really enjoyable... to think back on all those old strips. Kind of bittersweet. Today's strips are so short and dumb! Makes me feel like a geezer.

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    1. Could it be--we are geezers? Naw.

      I was wondering if I put in "The End Of The Road" if people would think I was hanging it up. You aren't, are you?

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    2. That's exactly what I thought, and I was askeered.

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    3. Hanging what up? Oh, not that? Yikes, NO! No, I was just thinking about how it's so amazing that some people...
      Hey, wait a minute!
      You'll just have to wait and see for yourself what I meant!
      Jeesh...maybe I'll need to think of a better title. (Not that there's anything wrong with it)

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    4. None better.

      And Linda, I like people who say "askeered!"

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  41. I always wondered if Mary Worth was transgendered. Am I the only one who thought she was sort of manly?

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    1. Yes, you are.

      What I remember thinking about was how clever the names were. Dick Tracy. R(e)x MORGUEan. Mary WORTH. Reminds me I should probably come up with a better name in my novel than Congressman Bootlick.

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  42. All I can say is 'brilliant'. Your choices are virtually identical to mine and the ones you detest definitely are. Pears Before Swine does a wonderful job of skewering the sappy Family Circus (did you ever notice the parents' facial expressions never change?) on a regular basis. And I used to read them the same way when I was a kid, too.

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    1. You do realize that the definition of "brilliant" is "agrees with me."

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  43. Brenda Starr was my first soap opera.
    Dick Tracy was my first sci fi, in its later stranger days. Remember Sparkle Plenty?
    "Agnes" is an odd one, but makes me chuckle sometimes.

    "Frazz" is a school custodian who dates and runs with a teacher, and has interesting conversations with the kids who are running circles around most of the adults. All are sympathetically drawn.

    I am really going to miss Alice, Peety, Dil, et al... especially, Alice dancing on the manhole cover, and the "Uh-oh baby", all of them really.

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    1. I sure remember the name Sparkle Plenty, but I can't remember who she was.

      Okay, I do remember seeing Frazz when it made a brief splash in the Oregonian and then went away. What I thought of (OF COURSE) is "frass," which is caterpillar poop.

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  44. I knew Pat Lichen would say something about women represented in comics! Pssst! She used to be involved with Greenpeace, so always recycle when she is around!!

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    1. I'm making sure to not recycle when she's not around, so I can recycle harder when she is.

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  45. I had a similar evolution, although I never could make myself read the Brenda Starr/Prince Valiant type, because I didn't see them as funny. I also gave up on Peanuts much earlier than you. For Better or for Worse has long held a place in my heart. Will have to look up Cul De Sac, and try Pogo again. I've recently been entranced with Krazy Kat, and want to read so many more.

    http://www.old-coconino.com/sites_auteurs/herriman/mng_herriman.htm

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    1. Weird: Prince Valiant was the single strip I did NOT read when I was little. I have no idea why. You'd think it would appeal to a kid.

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  46. Pogo was, and still is a great favorite of my dad and mom, (age 89), we kids grew up with Pogo books in the house. I have a framed "we have met the enemy, and he is us" print they gave me years ago. I always buy vintage Pogo books for them when I find them on Ebay or in a bookstore.

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  47. That line gets misquoted a lot. You got it right.

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  48. Well jeez no one mentioned Lil Abner? The schmoos and Kickapoo joy juice ... Guess I'm the oldest reader you have Murr ..

    Loved Pogo ... Dad was a minister and would make an illustration of some sort of point using Pogo and Albert .., the turtle mama? Miz ... Been a long time

    Bugs Bunny is my all time hero and Marvin the Martian ... I know it's not a strip ... Yes I do but he is a drawing and that fits in there somewhere I think so

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    1. Digitalzen did. He also thought he was the oldest. I remember it well. Shoot, it went in all the way through the sixties, right? And that's where Sadie Hawkins Day comes from.

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  49. Oh man, I haven't read the comic in YEARS. Heck, I don't think I've even picked up an actual newspaper in years.

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    1. You're so modern! It's just as well. I'm not IN the newspaper.

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  50. Ditto what Meleah said. Some years back there was a newspaper strike here and the scab management decided to run prepackaged wire feeds and cheap freelance stuff. That's when I cancelled my subscription.

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    1. Yeah, the newspaper has gotten so thin you could read the newspaper through it. I have a good sittin' in the chair newspaper-readin' habit, though. With cat on lap and coffee at my side. If I went over to digital news I'd have to download an app that made a rustly sound over the cat.

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  51. Comics are my favorite part of the morning news read. I was so sad when Richard Thompson had to leave us with Alice re-runs. For him - and for me. And now Doonesbury is in re-runs, too. Rex Morgan is about the only one which isn't. But then it's kind of on a permanent loop.
    Your comments on Family Circus were spot on. Funny how the eyes drift and then recoil. What is it about that cartoon?

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    1. I didn't know Doonesbury was in reruns! ? No. Alice is still going strong for another week or two. Richard Thompson did have a month or so when he invited other cartoonists to draw his strip.

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  52. I'm going to miss Cul de Sac too. I didn't notice anyone else mention it, but all is not lost: there are several collections of Cul de Sac comics in print. I may buy one for myself for my next birthday!

    (PS -- Loved the idea of Brenda Starr too, even though I didn't always love reading the comic!)

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    1. At the least we can help make the guy rich, right?

      Just remembered another one--Joe Palooka!

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    2. Wasn't my first thought, but why not. I help make plenty of people rich who've not added so much to the quality of my life!

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    3. Does anyone remember 'Love Is...'? It was a one-framer with a kinda naked-looking young guy with dark hair and was completely schmaltzy. Time frame was maybe late 60s into the seventies. I liked it because I was a young college coed in 'Love' and didn't realize how annoying it (and I) was.

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    4. Oh that one was TERRIBLE! And I'd forgotten it UNTIL NOW!

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  53. Hahaha...sorry about that, Murr. That also reminds me of those junky little plastic statues with barf-inducing sayings on them. Maybe that little naked 'Love is' guy had something to do with them, too. Might as well blame him, anyway. What the hell?

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  54. Cul de Sac was such a breath of fresh air... I have a hole in my mornings now.
    The really horrible part is that the rather lame Oregonian will never stop messing with the Comics page... I lose what's left of my mind every time they shuffle stuff around. Maybe they will come to their senses and bring on Barney and Clyde... might be a tad too liberal for them, though. ;0)

    Thanks for being a favorite blog of mine even if i don't comment much.

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    1. And the nerve! The first day of no Cul de Sac was my birthday. So cruel. Thank you for your support. I do know how many people click on this site, so I know I have many more readers than I have commenters. Love you all.

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