Thursday, February 21, 2013
But, I thought, there’s a problem. I would have to come up with seven jokes. Every week. Like clockwork. Who could possibly perform under that kind of unimaginable pressure?
Later I became a Top 40 disc jockey where I had to come up with a new joke every three minutes for four hours, six days a week. For way less than the artist of BLONDIE makes.
From there I gravitated towards sitcom writing. Here I was expected to come up with thirty or forty jokes a day for ten months.
Recently I picked up the comic section of a major newspaper. It had been years since I scanned the funny pages. Without naming names, I was shocked by how bad they were, how painfully unfunny they were. And these are the current cream of the crop? Getting a national syndicate to pick up your comic strip is like winning the lottery only with worse odds. So you’d expect each strip would kick ass.
I read THE NEW YORKER every week and their one-panel cartoons are always funny and sharp. Their batting average is probably .900. But that’s what you’d expect. THE NEW YORKER has the pick of cartoonists. Why doesn’t the same high standard apply to the comic strip world?
Or is it me? Or is the level of humor designed strictly for kids? There are a few exceptions but for the most part I was disappointed.
What do you think about comic strips? Do you have a favorite? Has the quality of a favorite gone downhill over time? Is it lame comic strips and not the internet that is killing the newspaper industry?
Comic books were different. I favored the action hero genre – Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Isis (you know – the classics). They didn’t have to be funny. I had MAD magazine for that.
But it seems to me daily comic strips could be better. Underground comics are. I know what you’re thinking – then why don’t I submit a comic strip? Are you kidding? That’s seven jokes a week.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM