I haven't read newspaper comics in years, and I was surprised that Nancy is still around. Yesterday's strip was about computational propaganda. I like the image of Sluggo as a bot and would like it in a T-shirt. The 123 comments on this particular strip are lively. Here are a couple of examples:
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I don’t see this as being anything close to what Bushmiller – or Gilchrist – would have written, or anything close to funny. I think the new artist/writer is terrible at both. And Nancy and Sluggo continue to have the yellowish green skin that makes them appear to have a severe case of jaundice. The syndicate made a bad choice for the new artist/writer and will have to rectify that soon or this comic strip will go down the tubes. -- Oldiesfan
@Oldiesfan: Read the “Nancy Classics” archives and do some intensive Google/Google Image searches for some of the old Bushmiller strips; then make your decision. I remember the Bushmiller era very well and even have some of his “Nancy” comic strips in the digest book form that was available back in the 1960’s and 1970’s (I think from Fawcett-Crest or Dell or one of those outfits), much like the “Peanuts” strips were. I can attest by comparison that today’s strip jives pretty well with what Bushmiller often did, with the employment of visual gags like the one in the last panel. Quite often Nancy would get into a disagreement or fight with Sluggo and imagine him in some unflattering form or other as a consequence.
The next afternoon the phone rang.
“Hello?” came the unmistakable voice. “This is Jerry Lewis and I would be honored to write a foreword for your book.”
Only hours before; with zero expectations, we had dropped our (then-slender) draft into a Fed-Ex envelope with a brief query. Might Mr. Lewis kindly consider writing a Foreword for How To Read Nancy?
And now, here was the King of Comedy, enthusiastically consenting.
The snappy talking-point for How To Read Nancy (due this fall from Fantagraphics Books) is that “everything that you need to know about reading, making, and understanding comics can be found in a single Nancy strip by Ernie Bushmiller from August 8, 1959.”
Our backgrounds are as cartoonists and educators, and our short 1988 essay on this topic took on an extended second-life in comics curriculums around the globe. When it was time for a book-length expansion, we naturally sought an introduction by a serious scholar to lend credence to our book’s seriously improbable conceit. Luckily art historian and critic, James Elkins, the author of such books as How to Use Your Eyes and The Object Stares Back was intrigued. Professor Elkins has devoted a lot of serious thinking to the benefits of deep-reading visual texts and helped frame How To Read Nancy in a thoughtful, scholarly and substantive Introduction, replete with footnotes, photographs, and maps.
While our book is, in part, a serious reflection on some serious things, it is also a serious reflection on some funny things, particularly Nancy. Read the rest
He'd come in third in a two-horse race Read the rest
Nancy is a harsh taskmaster; resuscitating it was a grueling task, but the challenge was invigorating and edifying. By drawing Nancy, I realized that every character (even the environment) in a strip is the cartoonist and is invested and imbued with the cartoonist’s life force.