My Vow: Why I'm Giving Up "Peanuts"
Call it a dare. Call it an act of defiance. Either way, it's time to face my decades of addiction:
For the next two weeks, I'll refrain from reading my "Peanuts."
Yep, the strip that has filled my days since I was knee-high to a Charlie Brown Christmas tree will -- nay, needs to -- take a 14-day hiatus from my life.
This is not a simple surrender. "Sparky" Schulz was a boyhood hero of mine, and meeting him in person was a professional highlight of my life. But here's the catch: I find myself reading "Peanuts" with minimal payoff these days. It doesn't creatively flat-line for me the way, say, "Frank&Ernest" does, mind you. It's just that I have too much respect for one of the greatest strips ever to grace the comics page to read years of reruns, out of mere habit, as empty exercise.
At its heights, "Peanuts" for me was a matter of personal pilgrimage. So much to be absorbed, appreciated, felt.
Who knows -- come late-March, perhaps absence will have made the heart grow fonder. Perhaps I'll miss good ol' Charlie Brown more than I realized and will again see Linus's warm wit.
Until then, though, I'll give up my security blanket. After more than three decades, it's about time.
Is there an addictive "zombie comic" you're trying to quit? Fire away.
ELSEWHERE 'ROUND THE FUNNIES...
SALLY FORTH: At least a couple of decades of comedy have relied heavily on the would-be smartypants pose of Ironic Detachment. But today's "Sally Forth" reminds me why I like Francesco Marciuliano's being at the helm of this veteran strip:
Marciuliano appreciates the good ol' honest glories of Ironic AT-tachment.
Today, Sally -- aka She Who Must Be Sarcastic -- is self-deprecatingly sly, and it works rather superbly. That's because "Ces" Marciuliano isn't afraid to have his characters mock themselves (with a wink, even), yet the cartoonist doesn't turn on them, and undercut them completely.
All we can say is: Bravo.
MARK TRAIL: At last, we can see precisely why it's so hard for Ken and Patty to love each other. They possess, it turns out, giant immovable heads that are as static and unswiveling as a presidential profile on our national coin.
Buck up, Patty and Ken -- like a couple from clip-art heaven, perhaps you were made for each other after all.
Never before, it's safe to say, have I ever read the term "the wet spot" in a family funnies page. Unless, that is, it involved the feathers of an amorous Mallard Fillmore.
| March 6, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories: The Morning Line
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