Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I’ve always admired the syndicated daily newspaper comic strip creator—except for Bil Keane, of “Family Circus” fame.

And I think that, in some ways, my haphazard attempt to post a 327-word essay more or less every day is an homage to those folks (again, except Bil Keane) who manage to publish a daily piece, seven days a week, with a significantly longer one on Sundays.

I wonder how they do it. Does Gary Trudeau, for instance, sit down every day and work up the next strip in sequence, and then, having completed it, like me, calls his work done and gets down to the serious business of reading and napping? Or does he work for a longer period until he gets a number of pieces “in the can,” then allows himself a longer stint of vacation?

I appreciate that comic strip artists (writers? columnists? creators?) step up to the plate, day after day, and take their hacks, whether or not the day’s effort is successful or not. Ninety-nine times out of hundred, for example, “Blondie” is stupid, vaguely misogynistic, and entirely predictable. But a couple times a year, it actually elicits a chuckle; what more can anyone really hope for as a content creator? If I can produce three or four essays a year that don’t entirely suck, then I count my efforts a success. (In fact, I don’t even set my standards that high; merely completing the pieces is sufficient for me; I leave the assessment component to my biographers.)

I grew up reading “Peanuts” cartoons; we had a bunch of paperback collections of Charlie Brown and friends archived strips; even as a little kid, I found it fascinating to see how Charles Schultz’s writing and drawing improved (or at least got more standardized and confident over the years.)

I suppose I retain some hope that the same thing may happen with me; someday, this piece will look as archaic as the Linus of 1952.


Post a Comment

<< Home