It has been in the Sunday Newspaper for more than a century.
Its part of a daily routine for many people to sit with a cup of coffee, tea, etc and read the funnies to themselves for a good chuckle to begin their day. As recent years has slowly bled the ink out of the newspaper industry, websites have started to develop pages solely dedicated to the art of the comic strip. You can sign up, get a personalized page with all your favorite comics and never really second guess the idea of finding them. Its a nice, relaxing read.
I do not think our generation finds these types of comics to be as entertaining or funny as the older generations have in the past. We want the instant gratification of the laugh without thinking hard into what the comic is really offering to the reader. There are some comic strips that you need to be ready to read between the lines to understand like the comic Dilbert. Others have references that we do not understand because the joke is not meant for us and even after an explanation of the joke, its just lost its touch to us and we keep looking for another comic. Now, why would i want to dedicate this piece to a dying art form? Its because the comic strip has shaped a lot before i was born and in my young life as well.
Comics are my dads pride and joy. Period
He loved reading them on a day off from working in downtown Boston as a FedEx driver. On his weekends, he would not do anything in the morning until he either read the paper for comics or boot up the laptop to read his funnies. He loves these things. To his credit, its how he communicates with a lot of people, including me. We had a family friend named Jack Dillon who got dad’s humor to a tee. While Jack was able, both of them would cut out comics from the newspaper and snail mail it with a ” Hello and you will get a kick out of this” type letter. Basically until jack died in 2011, he still sent a funny or two a month that lifted both his and dads spirits up. What many do not know is Jack was a father figure to my dad for many years, i consider him a grandfather figure to me because i was treated like a grandson for many years. This is one of the reasons my dad loves comic strips, it brings back Jack for at least a moment of joy. My dad will always send comics out to people that he knows either through himself or even some of my aquatints. He will send me a link to send to my guidance counselor or my history professor or even my boss. They are always funny.
I picked up on my dad’s love of comics.
I always enjoy a good comic in the paper or on a website. Its classic humor and never gets old, usually sticks with the times. The first comic i picked up was when i was 10-12 years old. It was a collection of Calvin and Hobbes comics over the years and i never put them down. I collected a lot of books over the years of Calvin and Hobbes adventures, hands down are my favorite comic. A boy who is basically a maniac, his tiger friend Hobbes who is a stuff animal, and his other supporting characters; sounds like me in a nutshell. Even to this day i always read the comic strip, follow the twitter account, and basically love anything associated with it.
Now there is one comic that is basically my life in a nutshell; Zits
No, its not about the skin irritation. Its about a teenage boy living in high school and living with his mom and dad. I kid you not this is basically about me and my parents. We legit always quote it or on every comic say along the lines of ” Yup that’s Kevin alright.” Many things that are exaggerated in the comic strip but i always get a chuckle when dad sends them along to me with the subject line of the email being something witty or at least he tries to be. I have explored on my own to see what other comics i enjoy. One of the predominate ones Pearls Before Swine has become one of my favorite comics. I can relate to the humor that he writes, it seems as if my dad and i write these things.
Essentially, Comics although considered a dying art connects generations.
My father and i share a bond with comics. Since i have grown up into a version of him, i sit on Sundays with my cup of coffee and i read the things he sent me over the week and laugh and give him a call to talk about the comics and laugh and see whats going on. Its a excellent conversation starter especially as he shares a passion of his with me and i have adopted it so well. I can tell you Sunday’s comics take a whole different meaning when you can enjoy them with someone else.