Sunday, July 30, 2017

Blondie's Catering Origins

As I mentioned in my previous post, there was a number of daily strips that strived to contribute a little more than the typical joke-a-day format, and make themselves more relevant to an increasingly competitive market.  Starting off with a fairly typical setup, the Blondie comic on September 2, 1991 ended on a rare dramatic note.

Apart from a brief stint where Dagwood joined up with his wife, Blondie's been Catering for close to twenty-five years by now.  So, chances are, new readers are entirely unaware that there was ever a time when she was just a mere housewife.  Likewise, for how Blondie (and Dagwood's) babies were born, and how they got Daisy, their silent background commenter.

At some point, I should get around to showing several stand-alone strips featuring Dagwood's Carpool co-workers.  Nobody else seems to be doing it.

If it's any consolation, she talks with her small circle of friends before going out and doing any rash business decisions first.  At this stage, she hasn't finalized what job would be just right for her - just throwing options here and there.

But in the end, she's still worried about her husband's reaction.

At the time, I didn't really like the approach taken here, since Dagwood's overreaction smacked of being too much of a pushover strawman who was easily won over after a few well-placed persuasive counter-arguments.

Then, having finally decided on a proper paying entrepreneurship, Blondie goes through the rigorous procedure that is bureaucracy.

And of course, there's the ever-persistent threat to her wares constantly being sampled.

The first instance of having their husbands help out.

I should point out that these scans are mostly taken from online archives.  And, while there'd be little to no discernable difference between these and the daily comics; but a sample from auctioners selling original art shows more defined details that'd be lost in numerous low-res reprintings.

And then, there's one last hurdle to overcome - finding a proper vehicle to use.

Oh, the irony.

And then, just one day after the last Sunday, we return to business as usual, with this comic showing up the very next day.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Comic Mini-Arcs

The early 1990s were a watershed moment for Newspaper comics.  For Better or for Worse was still in its Halcyon Days.  Bloom County had just retired, and was replaced with the lower-quality Outland.  The Far Side was still chugging along, and Herman had been on brief hiatus, which was quickly forgotten compared to the first of two hiatuses of Calvin & Hobbes.  One could say that the presence of the Boy & his Tiger was what spurred some strips to elevate their art form a little higher than usual, and not in the sense of trying too hard.

I posted the series of comics where Skyler graduated, but there was an earlier batch of comics (that in my premature haste, forgot to add) which would've included an interlude with his Uncle playing a minor part.

Sadly, we never got to see what Cosmo got to say.  In between this interval and when Skyler graduates just a scant two weeks later, there's nothing terribly remarkable in between.  But that's not terribly surprising.  This kind of thing wouldn't be considered unusual for occasional long-running strips, but how often do you see consequentative comics on other unremarkable daily comics?

This Hi & Lois strip starts off like pretty much any other comic, ending on a somewhat weak note.

But then, if you read these comics back-to-back, you see that there's the faintest fringe of connection between them.

When this comic appeared at the tail beginning of December 1st, I thought Ditto was just speaking in hyperbole.  But as seen above, that's clearly not the case.  Not often, a story can pop up entirely without warning, and it takes some minor backtracking to find out how it all started.  Such was the case for this Hagar the Horrible comic:

What was thought to be an easy throwaway In-law joke turned out to be a week-long series of events of a Vacation in England.  Or the 11th Century version of England.  Or an extremely condensed and sanitized 11th Century version of England.

It's somewhat disappointing that there were hardly any other daily strips that bothered to do more serial comics, since stories tend to stick in the audience's mind longer than a daily bombardment of jokes.  Though, until I put these comics together, I doubt anybody even remembered these coming into existence.

But there would be one Legacy comic that would have a major change to the status quo that still remains to this day, and is the subject of my next post.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ted Forth, Daredevil

Turns out that Adam's not the only Father figure who wanted to do some risky behavior in order to assert his manliness.  The Dad on Sally Forth entertained this concept for a week too.

Fun fact - this was in late September, almost six whole months after Adam's failed Bungee attempt.

The frustrating thing about Sally Forth comics is that there's so much talk about doing something, but there's hardly any actual progress or achievement made.  What happens in the expanse of a day hardly matters whether it occurred last week or last year.  There's hardly any reoccurring plots that stick or have any effect.  That may be why there aren't any memorable Sally Forth plots - it exists in a state of perpetually static status quo, only occasionally broken up with 6-stage lists of various reasons, rules and explanations of various subjects that're the basis for daily strips..