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August 10th, 2005

I am sick and tired of finding land mines, fictional or metaphorical, on my comics page. They’ve been about to blow up some character in Funky Winkerbean for several days now. He’s stepped on a landmine. Terrific. The national news isn’t violent enough.

And For Better or Worse has been mostly just For Worse since they killed the damn dog. This week, it’s about sexual harassment. A lovely counterpoint to the landmine.

I know that neither of these strips were exactly laugh riots in their heyday, but they used to be at least moderately funny a fair the majority of the time. I know it’s hard to be funny on cue for years on end. But I suspect that the writers of these two have decided to forgo humor in favor of “message.”

People who can actually set up and deliver a joke don’t appreciate their place in the universe. They treat it as though humor has less value than drama, and, in trying to do something important they overshoot into melodrama.

And they forget that a hack can manage bad drama with less effort than it takes to tell a joke.