Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Wonders - F

F is for Funnies.  Or what I have always called the funny papers.  Nowadays, the funnies have gone up-market and everyone says "comics page".  If you google 'funnies'  you don't get any definition that agrees with mine.  So, I'm out of step.


That shouldn't be surprising.  I realized, when I began this post, that I'd been reading funnies for more than 60 years.  I can still remember the first cartoon strip I ever read.  Well, maybe not the exact one but the characters.  It was the Katzenjammer Kids and I had no idea what it was about.  Of course, I was too young to even understand what I was reading.  But even when I did get it, I didn't.  It has always been one of those mysterious strips on the funnies page that just isn't funny.  That's a pretty important part of the genre, I would have said.  And many are hilarious.  The best, of course, can be related to our lives here and now.  They remind us that humans are all...er...human.  And there is something inherently funny in our humanity.


I read the funnies every day.  It is probably the most important part of the morning paper for me.  I leave it 'til last - that's how much of a daily treat it truly is.  Looking back and analyzing (because that's what I'm famous for) I see that my tastes have changed over those many years.  One of my first favorites was Prince Valiant.  I know...not funny - at all.


When my kids were little, I can remember enjoying Andy Capp. This was a time when we were getting to know the British brand of humor.  While, I didn't think we had much in common,  the Capp family provided a lot of snickers and giggles.  Must have been something to identify with, don't you think?


I vaguely remember when the Peanuts cartoons arrived on our funny pages.  I didn't get them at all!  For years, I mostly ignored them but after Schulz died, our pages began with reruns from earlier years.  I started reading them and found that, while still not very funny, they had something to say.  I was sorry when the reruns stopped.


For sheer longevity, though, the prize goes to Rex Morgan, MD.  I have been reading this strip every day since I was able to read the funnies.  A long, long time.  I appreciate the social commentary.  But mostly, I am impressed with how such a glacial pace of story-line can hold my interest.  In my heart, I am a soap opera junkie.


And, now for the blue ribbon.  Cul de Sac is now my favorite feature on the funny page.  I enjoy Alice so much.  She is what everyone wishes they could be: a independent, free-thinking, let-it-all-hang-out kind of person.  Her freedom is legendary even as she is captive to the world of grown-ups. And she's just a pre-schooler.  Or is that the point?

Let the funnies continue forever.   I'll be here.

9 comments:

EmptyNester said...

I used to read them when I was a kid- I loved Peanuts. I never read any of the serious ones. I also used to really enjoy Doonesbury. Now, I don't read them at all. Mostly because we don't take the paper anymore. Not even on Sunday. When the funnies are in color! LOL

Ginny said...

I never really read the funnies. Well, Charlie Brown, yes. He wasn't funny but did have an important message, I like him. And Cul-De-Sac, I started reading that from the first. I believe it is written by either Gene Weingarten or Dave Barry's illustrator, I remember when one of them introduced him and said he would miss him, but was glad that he had his own comic now. It is good.

Rudee said...

I don't get the paper anymore, but when I did, it was the headlines first, then straight to the funnies.

Theres just life said...

I am a funnies kind of girl too. I even took a course and wrote my own, just for me and friends of course. I wrote one once that one of my co-workers loved so much, she sent a copy to her son in the Gulf war. So I was read in another country too.

I don't get the paper any more either, but I have to have my funnies. I read the paper on line or go to gocomics.com to read them.

Pamela Jo
http://theresjustlifeyaliveit.blogspot.com

Joanna said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane with this post. As a kid I read the funnies (we called them that too!) But only on the weekend. I never did get the Katzenjammer Kids and I couldn't follow Rex Murphy at all. That didn't matter thoug, I read them all. Dick Tracy and Lil Abner were also confusing. Haven't thought of them in years though. I think I would like Cul de Sac though. The style reminds me of Linda Barry's work, which I follwed some time ago. We don't get the paper so the pleasure of turning to the funnies is only a memory from the past. It was fun to go tnere this morning from my hotel room in Venice!

Emille said...

In Holland they (of course) did not have Peanuts in the papers, but loved them in my adult years.

Michelle Teacress said...

We just started taking the daily paper, and my kids ask for the comics first thing...they also collect their favorites. :)

The Tame Lion said...

Wonderful! Absolutely funny!

anjoe playhouse said...

I have lots of good memories from my childhood, and all your first mentioned - but not Peanuts - was to find in danish newspapers and special comics magazines!

The last years I have been visiting 3-4 outlandies websites with funnies, and the 7.july 2007 I started my first webblog, which every day brings some of the best ;-)

You find me:

http://anjoe-legehuset.blogspot.com

nb. You'r right about Valiant; don't seems interesting more, but way years back my two older brothers and I followed the stories week after week :-D
Katzenjammer was never among my favourits neighter!!

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