Tuesday, January 25, 2005

See You Not in the Funny Papers, Sylvia

They took Sylvia away. Even after I pleaded with them not to.

"They" are the wise beacons of all news that fits their bent at The Oregonian, the oldest and stodgiest daily delivered newspaper in the area, who I am dependent upon for my daily comics fix.

"Sylvia" is, of course, Nicole Hollander's ode to being girly, lazy, fashion-obsessed, food-obsessed, and ruled by cats, while being ruled by doofuses in Washington.

"They" claim that they get more negative mail about Sylvia than any other strip, so when they went about their recent updating binge, they targeted Sylvia for termination. I suppose they might get some negative mail about it. It strikes some of the most precision-guided hits at the Bush administration in the entire paper, outside of Doonesbury.

Why wasn't Doonesbury targeted as well? I don't know, but here are my theories: 1) complainers assume they are already beaten by Doonesbury. It's an institution and probably beyond their ability to influence. 2) Everybody knows that Doonesbury is an editorial cartoon, and reacts to it differently for that reason. Sylvia, however, is not necessarily an editorial cartoon, and so people are irritated by getting a political message when all they wanted was a funny. 3) It's editorial content coming from a woman. That wouldn't mean anything for the vast majority of us, but for those misogynists out there it is offensive and threatening, and so they add their voices to the dump-Sylvia-ists. I don't know. Maybe they just don't like her drawing style. But I doubt it.

I will miss Sylvia. Sure, I can read her and a lot of other great strips online, but not on the kitchen table with my morning coffee, fighting over the paper with my cat (yes, very Sylvia-esque, and future blog-fodder). It won't be the same. And "they" are removing Sylvia's cutting jabs from the eyes of many other readers who might need to read them. As we know, an alarming number of Americans now get their news from sources like MTV and Comedy Central, and I'm sure the funny papers figure into that somewhere too. So, here's a middle finger to you, Oregonian comics editors, and another middle finger to The Man, because Dean would insist upon it.

P.S., if you don't know Sylvia, go to http://www.comicspage.com/sylvia/index.html

1 comment:

Dean said...

Okay, let's all say it together.. 1, 2, 3.. DAMN THE MAN! He knew Sylvia was fighting the power, that's why he's trying to get her down. Doonsebury fights the man on his own level, Sylvia fights with the people, that's why the Man went after her first... Don't think Doonesbury's not next just because it squeezed out of this one. There's still four more years. DT