Thursday, April 30, 2009

Comic Strip Bombshell!

They ignored Vietnam, 9/11 and Iraq but Archie, Blondie and Co. sure are worried about the economy! Macleans writes about the economy and our daily comic strips.

From the story...

It’s the most surprising turn of events in comics since Charlie Brown hit a game-winning home run: the recession has become a major issue in strips that never dealt with major issues before. Dagwood Bumstead in Blondie has been working the same generic white collar job since the ’40s, but his boss, Mr. Dithers, just told him that “at the rate the economy is going this company might be out of business by next year.” Hi and Lois is a 55-year-old strip about a round-nosed suburban family where the wife is usually in the kitchen, the kids say cute things, and nobody knows what the dad does for a living. But a recent strip had Hi Flagston coming home and telling Lois that “there were a lot more layoffs at work today” and that he might lose his job, whatever that is. The cover of a recent Archie comics digest has Veronica telling Betty: “We’re not just shopping, we’re helping to stimulate the economy!” The army strip Beetle Bailey managed to ignore Vietnam, Iraq and all the wars in between, and yet it showed the General standing in front of an earnings chart asking for advice on “the grim picture.” If you want to know how the recession is affecting us, don’t look to political strips like Doonesbury; look at The Wizard of Id, where the King bailed out the failed “carriage industry” but refused any money to help a small businessman. The crisis is so big that no comic-strip character can pretend it doesn’t exist. Well, maybe Ziggy.

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