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What do comics mean to you?

Last week, I enjoyed an email exchange with Rebecca Nappi of the The Spokesman Review. She’s renewed her interest in the funny pages after losing interest in them when she went away for college 34 years ago. She’s written a commentary about why the funnies have beaconed her return.

The adult world is pretty scary right now, and we adults need routine, too. Comic strips are once again part of my morning ritual. It’s grounding.

Most people, though, live their daily lives absorbed in more personal headlines. They work out issues with spouses and bosses, snuggle with pets and babies, carpool with life’s smaller crises. The world outside their personal lives explodes with wars and turmoil. Elected leaders do wise as well as stupid things. The economy races up and down. Yet their private narratives move forward, often with little connection to breaking news.

Modern mothers â?? those who work inside and outside the home â?? have guilt talk in their thought balloons when their teens get in trouble, just as Winnie Winkle did nearly four decades ago. Comic strips reflect the daily reality where most of us dwell.

A character in “For Better Or For Worse” is mending from a broken heart. Another character in “Funky Winkerbean” is battling cancer. Sally Forth’s mother is driving her crazy. I have come to care about all these folks, and as silly as it seems in our tense time of war and terror, it’s comforting to ponder where their story lines will take them.

Most of you who visit the blog are serious comics fans – not passive readers. We’re groupies. Is our experience the same as Rebecca’s? What do comics mean to you?

Community Comments

#1 JM
April/2/2007
@ 10:12 pm

I’ve had several conversations with people who haven’t read the comics in years and are now back into the daily routine. I think the daily comic email has had a lot to do with that. Its reconnected those individuals who enjoy comics(or forgot that they enjoy comics) but aren’t going to search them out or don’t see a newspaper every day. I’m not saying that free comics in your email are necessarily good for business but it has helped rekindled an interest in those that had previously tuned out.

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