A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Microwave

Over the Hedge

The controversy over the last couple of days of Hedge rages on over at comics.com.   A lot of  cranky readers are offended that I might not agree with their world view.   Or more specifically, that I dare inject my world view into their favorite comic strip — as though who I am is somehow incidental to what Hedge is.

It’s been my long held belief, born of years of experience, that the more personal a work of art (even bottom of the entertainment food chain comic strip art), the better it is.   I once wrote a comic strip called, “When I Was Short.”  It started strong, yet eventually failed, I believe, because it wasn’t really, “When I Was Short.” It was, “When A-Generic-Child-Who-We-Hoped-Would-Have-Mass-Appeal-Grew-Up-in-the-Sixties Was Short.”   Big mistake.  Generic is bland.  Personal is specific and well… personal.   I think we’re all voyeurs on some level and we enjoy entertainment more if we believe it’s authentic.   Authentic does not mean biographical or literal.   Authentic is a combination of personal and fictional.  It’s truthfulness.  Not truth.

Look, if you want to read antiseptic, bland, boring, tired, so-tired-their-original-creator-is-dead, comic strips there are plenty out there.   But if you want to read an earnest attempt to entertain an audience with a daily, honest, heart-felt, kinda dark, but in a  funny way, then read Pearls Before Swine.

The rest of you are stuck with us.

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7 Comments

Filed under Comic Commentary

7 responses to “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Microwave

  1. andy graham

    as a long time reader of the comics:

    sin #1: your strips are really just not funny. I occasionally show them to friends & family to see if I’m just missing something. So far…nope. please, stop relying on your squirrel to be a daily furry punch line. very tired, very old.

    sin #2: insulting your audience. (and this has nothing to do w/ fox) YOUR characters are telling us that we are in an age of anti-intellectualism? now THAT’s funny.

  2. It often adds an extra layer of amusement (or bemusement) when people with apparently no sense of humour start telling professionals how to be funny after making a joke that doesn’t sit well with them.
    (btw, that’s not a reply to the above commenter – I would have said the same thing anyway)

    It’s true that there is a trend towards anti-intellectualism and towards people thinking that all opinions are equal no matter how misinformed those opinions may be. It’s intriguing to see how people take offence at this being pointed out.

    Take heart Michael. There is an old saying – I can’t quite remember how it goes, but it finishes with “…if they can’t take a joke.”

  3. Andy, give up. Read something else.

    Bill, thanks. You can keep reading.

  4. JAS

    After reading Andy’s comment, I feel like I should join Verne in sitting under The Tree… why would you continue reading a comic strip you obviously don’t like?

    My. Head.Hurts.

    I’ll second Bill.

  5. Christine

    I say more of the wacky squirrel. When I’m reading funnies I want funny. Not to think… except if it’s Doonesbury.

  6. The Tea Baggers are a tiny movement. They just seem big because they flog the hell out of anyone that touches one of their favorite issues.

    The truth is that climate change is real, is something we can stop, and is something we should be stopping.

    Rock on with your bad self!

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