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.