Hank Ketcham died in 2001, Chic Young in 1973. OK, so maybe I’m the curmudgeon here. But Dennis the Menace and Dagwood and Beetle Bailey etc haven’t been funny for a long time.
In fact, the May 13 episode of Dennis was insipid and a waste of ink. These interminable comic strips use the same tired punch lines or gags and more often no humor at all. Charles Schulz earned some well-deserved criticism in his later years for overly relying on the dog as if that was endlessly hilarious rather than featuring the children who at least reflected phases of childhood.
Respect for The Far Side (Larson) and Calvin & Hobbes (Waterston) and Bloom County (Breathed) was based on clever writing and creativity. These great cartoonists offered wonderful humor and perspectives and then to their credit when their creativity finally ran dry they retired.
The “funny pages” can be a welcome respite from the turmoil of life and current events. Short of finding new cartoonists I challenge The News to begin to explore other means to express humor and good feelings, maybe colorful short stories and artwork, something readers could look forward to every Sunday.
Send unfunny Dennis and Dagwood and Snoopy and Beetle the way of Nancy, Archie and Mary Worth.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Should we change the comics? Weigh in at firstname.lastname@example.org.