My Head is a Black Bun of Nails

Anyone my age (45-60) knows the seminal, groundbreaking work of cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller from his final newspaper strip "Nancy." The intense blacks, simple geometry and moronically no-side-of-the-brain gags stunned this reader into devotion each day on the Milwaukee Journal's Greensheet (the fun section of the paper.) In a place in my brain I now reserve for my morning Dilbert reset, I would cut open a plastic-tied bundle of fresh Journals in a garage somewhere (I was a paperboy), jump to the greensheet, and flip to the comics to see if today's strip could possibly be stupider than yesterday's atrocity. It almost always was.

I'd lost touch with "Nancy" until a couple years ago, when our local psuedo-newspaper (one of those MacPapers put out in multiple flavors - same layout, different masthead - for all the suburbs of Dallas; mucho typos, jumps that don't go anywhere, chunks of type still crooked in this bequarked age of perfection) started running the "revival" of the strip. I must say my hat is off to the writers and artists, who have recreated Bushmillerland in all its intensity, only occasionally letting a few neo flourishes in. They have a particularly fun time with the racy-again Aunt Fritzi:

Internet pornography? We need to start here. It's more than a little disconcerting while eating one's cereal, in the middle of a perfectly infantile pun or gag about soap or snow, to confront the Hooterized Aunt. All in all, though, a fine job, and as dumb as ever.

Posted: Sat - February 26, 2005 at 11:05 AM         |