Our Inaugural 'Manhood Chart': Four Characters Square Off
Morning, Cartoon Nation...
On the matter of one Ted Forth -- yes, the one and the same Ted Forth I constantly, endearingly call "Lady Hands" in this space -- I find myself in wholehearted agreement with a certain die-hard comics fan.
This fan recently wrote: "To me, the great part of the Sally Forth storyline is Sally's ma constantly intimating that Ted is a woman."
And the author of that passage? Trusted colleague Gene Weingarten, he of the large wit and even larger Pulitzer tchotchke.
In a strip often dripping with dry-irony ("dryrony"?), there is something wonderfully subversive about the recent storyline involving Ted's office friendship with Aria. I've commented often that I'm eager to see Ted acquire a spine after lo all these many decades.
So, to encourage this trend, Comic Riffs offers its first "Official Ted Forth Manhood Index," to begin gauging Ted's vague promise of growing a backbone. To put it in context, 'Riffs compares Ted to three other male characters who have shown growth (or regression) in recent months.
How does Ted measure up? Here's my take -- if you would rank Ted higher or lower, fire away.
And as long as we're dissecting "Sally Forth" to no end: Today's second panel of the strip is mind-bendingly surreal if one dwells on it for more than three seconds (and I do -- occupational hazard and what-not).
To size this up: Ralph is mocking a mailboy who believes that cartoon characters are real, yet Ralphie, of course, is himself a cartoon character.
If that's not the ultimate act of self-denial, I don't what it is. Thanks for the fourth-wall wink, "Forth."
| January 13, 2009; 10:15 AM ET
Categories: The Charts, The Morning Line
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