Mallard Fillmore Watch
*thinks about the issue really hard over the course of 17 years*
Wonkette was great during the Ken Layne/Alex Pareene/Jim Newell era; you can see some choice posts I bookmarked over the years here. Then Layne sold it to a new owner, and I gave the new team a chance but I quickly got sick of every article featuring My Little Pony gifs. The breaking point was this stupid post praising Hillary Clinton’s press aide Phillippe Reines for epically shutting down a reporter, the late Michael Hastings, over e-mail. In retrospect the post’s more benign than I’d remembered, but this this follow-up one ups the obnoxious factor by a thousand. That’s not speaking truth to power, that’s not “snark,” that’s not even politics, that’s just fandom. I bring this up because Twitter’s been abuzz about this post and holy shit, I can’t believe that people are still writing in that stupid-ass LOLcatz style.
Speaking of old blogs I used to read, I saw this article about the guy who runs Daily Kos and am not surprised to see he still won’t shut the fuck up about “Bernie Bros.” It’s weird that 10 years ago the “netroots” was considered to be the far left, ha ha.
Random 2006 Era Blog Memory: There was this TV movie about 9/11 that was controversial because it fictionalized stuff and made Bill Clinton look bad and they sent screeners to conservative bloggers. For some reason the AmericaBLOG guy took a video of himself walking to his mailbox to see if he’d gotten one (suprise, he didn’t) and he was extremely pissed off and ranting the whole time.
I finally got around to buying Nancy is Happy and it is delightful. After years of getting my Nancy fix in short bursts from places like Tumblr and GoComics, it feels amazing to get three years’ worth of strips at once. Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, to me, is like the purest ideal of a comic strip. My appreciation may have started as ironic, but like Dan Clowes talks about in his introduction, it became something else. I suppose part of it’s because Nancy and Sluggo inhabit this semi-magical world of comics yesteryear and it’s very comforting. Sometimes, however, that timeless world that is sullied with reminders that World War II is going on in the background and stuff like Nancy’s Chinese friend Floy Floy, which, uh, did not age well. I actually groaned at that, like “C’mon, Ernie,” as if this dude who’s been dead for decades could hear my plea to be less racist because it’s not a good look.
One thing that bugs me is there’s a story arc where Nancy gets a monkey. The first strip in that sequence, which explains how Nancy got the monkey, is blown up to fill up a whole page (this is a recurring aesthetic thing), but it appears after the second and third strips. At first I thought it was just amazing dream logic, like “Ok, Nancy has a monkey now, let’s just roll with it,” and was kinda disappointed that wasn’t the case.
Speaking of Nancy, apparently the guy who took over the strip gave Sluggo a rather intense backstory a few years ago. It’s his strip and all, but I think the mysteries of how Sluggo survives is not for mortal men to answer.
The most grating thing about the current strip is the relentless baby boomer nostalgia from Nancy’s aunt Fritzi Ritz which makes no sense for someone who’s around 25 (my guess for someone who used to be an unmarried flapper girl in the 1920s). Well, Wikipedia says she’s actually in her 50s based on specific references. I think it’s more likely people who make cartoons just never updated their cultural references (how fucking old are Doc McStuffin’s parents if they remember disco?) and don’t give a shit about timeline inconsistencies. My headcanon is that Fritzi Ritz is 25 in 2017, and grew up in the 1950s, and occasionally gets together with Blondie Bumstead to reminisce about their flapper days in the 1920s, which also happened.