this post is originally from tumblr, hence any strange formatting that may occur
recent events in the newspaper comic “mary worth” (yes, the one about the old woman you skip over if you’re one of the 50 americans still reading newspaper comics) have been downright thrilling. local despised bastard wilbur finally bit the big one after drunkenly falling off of a cruise ship after another stupid fight with that dumb broad estelle. everyone on planet earth is pleased with this development, most of all the comics kingdom (the parent company) store, which is producing the best merch in honor of this event. i literally need this shirt or i’ll die.
for a mere $72.00 you can celebrate the happiest moment of your life
additionally, the 55-80 year old age bracket that reads mary worth (that aren’t ironic/not ironic fans from longtime comics staple the comics curmudgeon) is elated over this development. imagine bloodthirsty posts from the crowd that loves minion memes on facebook. ive done you a service of picking the non-horrifying ones.
love this discussion on the science of wilbur visiting davey jones’ locker.
but that’s not why i’m here. well, not entirely. i wanted to talk about two other insane instances in newspaper comics in the “modern day”. the first is the like, entirety of the 2017 comic arc of “the phantom”, a pulp hero comic strip about a guy in a purple costume who does both annoying and useful things in a fictional african country that’s been running daily since the 30s. this story, called “the phantom stamp”, involves a guy who is just orson welles but he wants to make a stamp of the local urban legend….THE PHANTOM!!
the phantom doesnt like that.
his whole thing is not drawing attention to himself unless necessary. so the phantom must arrive to make business negotiations.
by which i mean “call upon his native friends to have a laugh torturing this guy for 24 hours and repeatedly dousing him with hallucinogens”
im going somewhere with this i promise. anyway, when its just the phantom and his very high captive, orson is permitted to make his case for his stupid stamp everyone told him not to make.
which in turn leads to the funniest series of panels ive seen in a long time.
this last one is much shorter bc to chronicle the entire event would take forever. in 2019, a goon (something awful forums member for baby readers) named vargo who did a moderately critical quote tweet of the combination of the official mark trail and artist/writer james allen’s personal account. of the conservative slant, climate change denial in a comic about a nature lover, and lazy traced clip art. allen self annihilated immediately
and then repeatedly and endlessly over the next year as he drew an entire story-line where a guy who looked suspiciously like vargo took mark trail and that lady who’s always with him on a wild goose chase looking for a yeti he claims bit off his leg. not-vargo wants fame…and FORTUNE!
anyway he dies in a bitch way in an avalanche chasing a noise he thought was a yeti and then is memorialized as a sensationalist liar
james allen was fired shortly after this for making a blowjob joke about AOC for literally no reason. he just did that i guess. no one working comics is known for their brains
thanks for reading!
my friend e is right that this is worth mentioning but i will warn people ahead of time that it doesn’t end funny. but it IS wild up until that point.
before olivia james took over nancy, the previous artist was guy gilchrist. guy was a career cartoonist who primarily did work on the muppet comics. you’ve probably seen his work before with this comic, which is unfortunately good (by accident it seems).
you know nancy if you know comics, so you also probably know her aunt fritzi who takes care of her. you probably don’t know about phil fumble, her boyfriend created by artist ernie bushmiller to be fritzi’s clueless boyfriend.
fritzi was created by another artist who left her to bushmiller after a few years. bushmiller, who was picked for the job due to his talent/penchant for drawing pretty ladies, created a loving caricature of himself and his wife in the relationship between phil and fritzi
this is notable because phil is very much just a side character who showed up for gags. but then bushmiller’s playful self-insert was elevated to a different kind of self insert by gilchrist.
gilchrist’s run is defined by two guiding principles: one, nancy must never ever be funny or tell a joke.
the other is that aunt fritzi is hot as hell and fuckable (sorry this is for ants)
gilchrist’s nancy run was like comedy chernobyl. everything he touches withers and rots on the vine. fritzi’s anatomy would become so laser focused that her breasts, hips, legs, and head/hair would all start to dominate the vast majority of panels. she would start wearing shirts with absurdly long (uninteresting) references to random nashville things so that gilchrist would have an excuse to draw a t-shirt straining with huge tits.
the comic took on a decidedly conservative slant. and not the batshit kind of conservative that’s at least fun to laugh at. the bizarre psuedo-wholesome kind that seem at odds with the man’s barely restrained lust for milf milkers.
gilchrist’s fritzi’s obsession didn’t start and stop at her honkers. gilchrist reformed fritzi in his own image like a sort of twisted version of genesis, making her the saint of all things held dearly in conservative amber nostalgia for guy gilchrist only. she would opine over the state of media and kids these days, she would express an inexplicable and inauthentic appreciation for music and movies created prior to 1960, and often the resolution of a comic would be “the 80s were good, right?”
this is really long sorry. i find gilchrist’s bizarre pathological disrespect to the original author and his characters tasteless in a way that’s fascinating. he is a professional 60+ year old man operating on fandom rules at a national scale. i find something immensely repugnant about taking two characters that were light-hearted stand ins for the author/artist and the wife he loved and using them for evident sexual and emotional gratification. he got paid to not tell jokes in a gag a day strip and instead collected a paycheck to, i guess, stir up the dicks of everyone in the retirement home who also want to fuck aunt fritzi from the newspaper comic “nancy”. i cant imagine why an editor let him run wild when it was obvious that his sexual fixation with fritzi was coming to a head with the (aforementioned by my friend lee) sudden leap in height and muscles phil fumble suddenly experienced.
heres where things are not funny. sorry.
in late 2017 it was becoming obvious that something was coming to a head in gilchrist’s run. phil proposed to fritzi, adopted sluggo and got married all very quickly before gilchrist announced his retirement in jan of 2018.
well. that’s the story of guy gilchrist and many other newspaper stories.
what did we learn? cartoonists are severely mentally ill and should be kept in zoos.