|I've actually made this cartoon less depressing than it normally is.|
Have I ever written about Pluggers here before? It's a syndicated newspaper cartoon feature by Gary Brookins, the same guy who draws Shoe now. It's a one-panel deal, like Ziggy or Dennis The Menace, so it's technically not a comic. Anyhoo, Pluggers is about the daily trials and travails of aging, out of shape, working-class white people, except all the parts are played by animals like cats, dogs, rhinos, and chickens. Most of the punchlines are phrased in the form of "You're a plugger if..." so it's kind of like Jeff Foxworthy in cartoon form. What's weird is how relentlessly bleak it is. The average plugger is morbidly obese, depressed, sedentary, and stuck in an inescapable rut. Their lives suck. So naturally, it's a good fit with the modern day comics section, a veritable all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of misery. I've referenced the dour Funky Winkerbean here, you may have noticed.
One of the least depressing of the so-called "legacy" or "zombie" strips -- those titles that continue for decades after their creators die -- is Blondie. The strip's protagonist, suburban dimwit Dagwood Bumstead, is so relentlessly upbeat that he cannot fathom real-world problems, like the ones that plague pluggers ever day. He is a real Pollyanna type. I mentioned that this week over at Josh Fruhlinger's blog, The Comics Curmudgeon, and for my troubles I was awarded the coveted "Comment of the Week." Enjoy.
“How wonderful being Dagwood must feel. Imagine seeing the world through his sclera-less eyes and processing it with his Dippity-Do-covered brain. When a homeless panhandler mysteriously disappears from the streets of his hometown, Dagwood’s assumption is: ‘Oh, he must have found gainful employment at a place that treats him like a human being of value. What a rich, fulfilling new life he must be living now.’” –Joe BlevinsAnd, just because I thought it was funny, here's a mashup of "Rex Morgan, MD" and Reservoir Dogs.
And here's a special Garfield ghostwritten by Dilbert creator Scott Adams:
Maybe it's more legible at this size?