Saturday, August 25, 2018

Camping Funnies

While Skyler is a frequent goer at Military Camp, there are other instances of comic characters going camping with unfavorable results, usually as being forced into something they don't want to.

The exploits of the Patterson family and Fox Trot are already well-known, so I won't bother reprinting those, and focus on a lesser-known arc from Sibling Revelry.

Due to the scattered selection of the Newspapers, we're missing a few comics from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and I don't want to splurge for the costs of browsing the online Newspapers archives, so you'll have to settle for this.  There's a gap between June 27-28, but fortunately, nothing important's been lost in their absence.

This seems like a random spot to suddenly cut off, and you'd be correct in thinking that there would be more to tell, since the week isn't over yet.  But the very next strip wasn't missing, and went back to daily gag-a-day comics.  To make up for that shortcoming, here's the start of a Sally Forth comic that started on June 22, 1992.

For a change of pace, we've got a child who wants to go to camp.

Or rather, who wants to go to a selective kind of camp.

Who wants to commune with all that pesky nature?

The very next week completely dropped this camp arc, but then picked it up almost a month later on August 10th.  If anybody had been paying attention, that would be some skillful setup right there.  But since Sally Forth comics are rather unremarkable and hardly linger on the mind after you've read them, it's not surprising that people forgot.

For some reason, we cut away from Hillary's camping activities to see the parental figures back home.  I suppose constantly drawing those bunk beds, wire mesh and dense trees in the background was too much to deal with.  Camping can be hard on the kids, but its just as equally hard on cartoonists who aren't used to drawing outside their home turf.

Counting the first half of the second week, it would be exactly three days for Sally to feel nostalgic for her growing child.  And already, you're forgetting what, if anything, actually happened.  If you look above, you'll see that they cut away before doing any activities.  We don't get any sense of anything being accomplished - just general sarcastic reactions.

Which is why things going wrong is a natural mainstay for camping stories, so the painful memories linger in the minds longer.

Because of stories like these, I never embraced camping the same way other people seemed to naturally gravitate being close to nature.  For one thing, I had no interest in the great outdoors.  I could deal with sleeping with total strangers.  I could tolerate the food (of which there was plenty, and I ate myself sick).  But because I was deaf, I couldn't properly understand anything that was happening, and couldn't communicate with anybody in a noisy environment.  So I opted to stay
and watch NFB shorts on a projector instead.

I have no fond memories of camp.  I just waited for the whole experience to be over.  The only things I remember is having a burnt marshmallow at a campfire, and seeing someone read a Hulk Hogan Rock 'n' Wrestling Panini sticker album with 3D hidden images that were revealed through red glasses.

There was also a poster of orange blobby-like Mr. Men men who were shaving, gleefully dropping dishes on the floor, flipping a pancake, and sticking a tongue out at a laughing Mr. man that always made me uncomfortable.  Looking back now, it was supposed to represent the sheer anarchic fun of being at camp, but all I could see was half of it was devoted to destructive behavior.

It's safe to say that camp experience was aimed at sociable people.  And I was not exactly a sociable person.

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