Thursday, July 27, 2006


It's been a busy week full of late night, quick updates and tonight is no different.
Today we have:

Blondie by King Features
Sally Forth by Francesco Marciuliano and Craig Macintosh

I've said before that I don't necessarily have a problem with the concept of legacy strips. But the real problem with them is that once the original creator is gone, no one really wants to change anything. They just repeat the same jokes, only changing certain random details to keep the strip from looking entirely like an anachronism. (Check out Dagwood's flat-screen monitor.)

So I'm happy that Dagwood's sandwich shop might force some changes in the Blondie universe. But I don't know if I appreciate the strip acting like an advertisement for a real-life chain of Dagwood fast-food places. Charles Schulz may have made his fortune with licensing, but Charlie Brown never shilled for his own Pez dispenser.


Blogger uglinessman said...

If there was a Blondie strip that acted as an overt and obvious advertisment for the sandwich shop, without any actual joke, and without the standard comic strip structure, I'd be opposed. The fact is, every strip that mentions the shop can be taken by itself. If there wasn't a real shop opening in real life, the strips would still be written exactly the same. Within the Blondie universe, Dagwood is planning to open a shop, and therefore it's a plot point within the strips. In fact, so far there's never been anything in any of the strips to indicate that the shop is opening in real life, the only way people have found out is by word-of-mouth (through blogs like this) or other external methods, not from the strip itself. To some people these might be minor details, but I think the distinction is important. It's not even close to the same thing as the old Casper, Wendy and Hot Stuff one-page comics that were literally nothing more than ads for Hostess Twinkies and cupcakes.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I certainly appreciate what uglinessman has to say, my problem kicks in with "where are they going with this?"

Part of the Blondie universe has always been Mr. Dithers and Dagwood's job (or specifically, his slacking off). If he quits, where does that go? Does Mr. Dithers quit and follow him? Does the (comic world) sandwich shop fail, and he have to come crawling back?

Even if you took the real world sandwich shop out of the equation, I find the story line annoying. Why isn't the shop a division of Blondie's business? (she would obviously have a supply chain and experience by now)

Ultimately, to me, it comes down to a simple advert for a real life new business, rather than a story arc (because I can see no other purpose for the arc) -- and that annoys me. Thinking about it, though, it annoys me more than I'm spending moments of my life disecting Blondie.

3:03 AM  
Blogger uglinessman said...

Two quick notes to Anonymous. First of all, Dagwood's job hasn't "always" been part of the strip. For the first three years the strip focused only on Blondie, until she married Dagwood. The only reason he's had to slave away for Dithers all these years is that his wealthy family disowned him for marrying below his class. Escaping the drudgery and opening his own business might be his way of proving to his snobbish relatives that he's finally going to make something of himself.

Second, if you choose to view it as an ad and not a story, that's your choice, but the story line is clear to me, and can easily be read and understood with or without the knowledge of the real life connection. It's a matter of perspective, I suppose.

4:01 AM  

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