Finally I discuss a topic very close to my heart: comics. Over the years, have developed a strong fondness for certain cartoons, so much so that they seem like old friends now. Unlike characters in a book or movie that are stuck in the same story for all of time, the daily or weekly-updated format of cartoon strips makes the characters more alive. These are a few of my most-loved ones.
Peanuts: Who doesn’t know about that “round-headed kid”, his beagle Snoopy and their bunch of slightly dysfunctional but eerily normal friends? Who doesn’t identify with their startlingly insightful adult-speak relevant to every situation in life? It speaks to the sheer genius of Mr. Charles Schulz that even years after his death and decades after the birth of Peanuts, these characters are still fresh, timeless and appealing.
B.C.: If living in prehistoric times was indeed such a hoot, I want a time machine, NOW! There is a certain nonchalant, cool idiocy in these strips that just kills me every time. Sample the “definitions” inscribed on a stone that feature periodically, for deep and meaningful answers to any and all questions about the deeper facets of life. Yeah, right!
Marmaduke: This adorable Great Dane is on my list because he is a dog, and by default, is enough reason to be cooed over, in my book. His sheer bigness is what appeals to me. Maybe because I earlier had a dog at home who was pretty darn big, too, and the current resident-canine also definitely fits into that category. Marmaduke perfectly personifies that joyful goofiness that only a dog can have, and is blissfully unaware of his considerable tonnage.
Beau Peep: How do I love Beau? The ways are too many to be described. This intrepid (!) legionnaire in the desert, with his band of outrageous companions, can be counted on to make you hoot every single time. If absolutely pressed to choose a favorite by someone, if they actually pressed a knife against my throat, I might say it’s Egon, the fort chef or Mad Pierre…see, still couldn’t make the choice. Glad to report that I’m on the Beau Peep discussion forum, where one of the creators himself, Mr. Roger Kettle, also writes, and he calls me “Dev.” This is something that makes me feel immensely gratified, much like I’ve been patted on the head had I been a puppy.
Honorable mentions go out to Hagar the Horrible, the Wizard of Id, Calvin and Hobbes, and Beetle Bailey. Some enchanting characters I’ve discovered recently are Frazz, Lola, and Herman. Also, I must mention this slightly obscure comic book detective named Rip Kirby, whose exploits I devoured as a kid. In fact, one of my fond hopes was that medical science would advance so much as to allow me, a skinny, pony-tailed, awestruck 8-year-old, to transform into the uber-cool Mr. Kirby sometime later in life. Alas and alack, this failed to happen and I am still the skinny, awestruck kid minus the ponytails. Anyone know where I can find Rip Kirby comics? (Must admit I haven’t really been looking.)