The masses have spoken, and "Hagar the Horrible
" and "In The Bleachers
" are being stricken from the funny papers at the Post-Dispatch.
The online poll gathered opinions from 16,212 readers--cranky nerds all, if the comments section
on the P-D story announcing the results
are any indicator. (I say that with love, nerds. You are my people.) They voted on five strips and five single-panel comics.
The ten for the chopping block were selected by Jody Mitori, the features editor. So no, cranky nerds, it wasn't 100 percent democratic. But they did count all your votes.
"In The Bleachers," a single-panel daily about sports, was
overwhelmingly given the ax. Makes sense. It isn't very funny, trading
on tired cliches about sports, gender roles and those damn kids and their
It did have a pretty cool visual style, the sort of purposeful ugliness
that works well and is better and more realistically executed in Get Fuzzy
. Though of course Get Fuzzy is the brilliant spiritual heir to Calvin and Hobbes
(yeah, I said it), starring hot vegan nerd Rob Wilco and his dopey
pets. (Hey Rob--if you ever, you know, become real, call me, 'kay?)
Hagar the Horrible barely beat Garfield
in a race to the bottom, getting 1,986 thumbs down. The strip is
definitely a classic, having first appeared in 1973. Personally, I
always kind of enjoyed the red-bearded viking's adventures in alcoholism
and plunder, but found his wife Helga's tired adherence to tropes about
women to be pretty grating: She cooks! She cleans! She's materialistic
and resentful, and her mother is a hideous crone!
The comments pages are a good read, and it's always enlightening to see
how much people truly give a shit about one section in a dying industry,
especially when you consider that it's largely academic--thanks to the
interwebs, anyone can read any comic they like from just about anywhere.