Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Comic strip triage

Since I keep filling up my Google feed reader with more stuff than I have the will to slog through, I'm deleting a few comic strips from my feed rolls. If you read comics, you can follow along with me.
  • Goodbye, Doonesbury. I've always sort of liked Doonesbury, but only in a "That occasionally makes me smile" kind of way. Most often, when I'm a week or more behind on my comic strips, it's Doonesbury that has the most unread entries. I presume that if there is a Doonesbury cartoon that's especially insightful, someone will point it out to me. In the meantime, I'm bored of reading about veterans in counseling and Mike's whiny college-attending daughter.
  • Goodbye, Fox Trot. I think there's an unwritten law of comic strips that says that by the time a cartoonist goes into semi-retirement, they already suck so much that it's too late to recover. Fox Trot was once one of my favorite cartoons, but I could already see the writing on the wall before Bill Amend decided to transition from a daily cartoon to a Sundays-only strip. One of the side effects of having idiosyncratic characters who never age is that eventually you start telling the same jokes over and over and over again. Jason is still a little geek who deliberately makes simple tasks more complicated with advanced math. Paige is still obsessing about making a splash in her freshman year, every single year. The mom still insists on making healthy food that everybody hates. Ha ha! Bye bye, Fox family.
I went through another round of comic strip triage last year and it was oddly liberating. Back then, I got rid of
  • Dilbert. I should have seen that it jumped the shark YEARS ago. Not that it was ever truly hilarious, but somehow I failed to notice exactly when the office humor stopped being slightly interesting. Besides, there's so many Dilbert strips on office doors around the IBM buildings, that reading the strip just feels like actually working. And also, Scott Adams is a creationism promoter, and an obnoxious one at that.
  • Non Sequitur. Used to be a truly funny cartoon in the spirit of The Far Side - which, by the way, was authored by the much smarter Gary Larson, who quit while at the top of his game. Non Sequitur went into a slow tailspin when it started doing multi-strip story arcs. The tailspin accelerated massively when the story arcs were all about Danae. Even now, as I look at it today, the story is about god damn Danae again. I'm glad I gave up that habit.
  • Calvin and Hobbes. Sadly, I had to finally let go of this one when it occurred to me that I've already read all the reruns like, five times. I'll miss you, Bill Watterson.
I still have plenty of comics to keep me amused, though, and here's what survived the RSS-eliminating scalpel this time around:
Wow. I just realized... with this latest round of cuts, I now officially read NO daily syndicated cartoons that get printed in actual newspapers. It's all online.

Nevertheless, I still read Comics Curmudgeon daily, so I won't completely lose touch with the world of crappy corporate comics.


  1. I'll have to remember to check out some of those others. The only one I read is Sinfest.

  2. If you're in the market for a new one, I'd recommend Basic Instructions (linked to a particularly great one)

  3. I'm pretty much in the same boat: all of my comic feeds seem to be online-only ones. (With the exception of Dork Tower; but the online strips and dead-tree books have different content, so I'm not sure it counts.)

    I could've sworn Sinfest jumped the shark some years ago, but I could be wrong.

  4. I always hated Dilbert, even before Adams went all creo. The way the strip lampooned the drudgery of the dead-end office-cubicle life was designed, in the end, to make it all more palatable to the poor wage slaves stuck in it. A real workplace satire, like The Office (BBC version), would have taken no prisoners.

  5. Anonymous9:16 PM

    Another one you might like is F-Minus. I found it when the St. Pete Times started carrying it a couple of years ago. Funny and cruel.

  6. Here is a simple online one I like