Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brave and the Bald

Ziggy (comic)Image via Wikipedia
The funny pages have provided America with a source of entertainment for many decades now. But there are some strange trends with comic strip characters that I have yet to understand.

I don't understand the humor in apathetic bald individuals. Two individuals come to mind. Charlie Brown and Ziggy. Charlie Brown, I don't think was every meant to be pure humor, instead, the Peanuts strip was an examination of existential conundrums formatted as a Socratic dialogue in three panels with an occasional Jazz background.

Ziggy in contrast is an exercise in pathetic futility.

Now why would I state this about this single daily comic? Well, beyond the pure lack of humor in the strip, Ziggy is an emblem of children's illness. And without getting into too many details, nobody finds a child with cancer funny. Not even me. Even in the comic everyone from Ziggy's pets, friends, and antagonizing parrots tells the titular character that he is pathetic and unwanted.

Ziggy wasn't even originally a comic strip character. He was a greeting card product squeezed into the realm of Family Circles and Far Sides. And nothing says "Thinking of you" like a short, bald, apathetic man who is the poster child of kids with cancer.

If you think about it you probably feel dirty for laughing at the comic. You should. So ask your newspaper to stop publishing it. Then buy a condolence card for someone who really cares.
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