After an exhausting election here in the states it's time for some spirit lifting! Join me with a nice cup of tea or coffee or cocoa and let's sit back and read the Funny Papers!
1. What was your favorite comic strip as a child?
Peanuts, of course--even now, my puppies are named Linus & Lucy! Schulz was a genius who could articulate deep truths with just a couple of little strokes of his pen--and he lived up to Oscar Wilde's advice:
If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh--otherwise, they'll kill you.
Maybe that's true of ALL cartoonists!
2. Which comic strip today most consistently tickles your funny bone?
I'm a fan of both Hilary Price's Rhymes with Orange (sort of Far Side-esque) and Alison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For (lots of characters I recognize!).
3. Which Peanuts character is closest to being you?
I think I have most of Snoopy's playfulness, a soupcon of Charlie Brown's "everyman" melancholy, Woodstock's willingness to take the scenic route, all of Schroeder's musical obsession, a dash of Peppermint Patty's control-freakiness and, mostly, I aspire to Linus's wisdom.
And if we're going by stereotypes, Peppermint Patty, Marcie and I share one other trait...ha ha ha.
4. Some say that comic strips have replaced philosophy as a paying job, so to speak. Does this ring true with you?
Sure--I think the writers of a lot of strips have a better handle on human nature than many people I know...and the brilliant, economical ability to say big things in four small panels! Smart, smart people--Gary Larson, Berke Breathed, Scott Adams, Lynn Johnston, Bill Watterson, besides the ones I've already mentioned--blazing insight, groans of recognition, affectionate chuckles, gutbusting laughs.
5. What do you think the appeal is for the really long running comic strips like Blondie, Family Circus, Dennis the Menace as some examples?
Part of it is honesty; part is nostalgia; part of it is the cathartic ability to laugh at ourselves in a safe way. And, again, the writers are smart.
Bonus question: Which discontinued comic strip would you like to see back in print?
So many--but my top three would be Peanuts, Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes. I have so much affection for all those characters!