Saturday, 22 August 2009

The Strip That Writes Itself #10 and #11

As a budding comic strip writer, I admit to being grimly fascinated by bad comic strips. Like picking a scab, I find myself drawn towards them day after day once I’ve found one. The idea that people either (a) think this is funny, or (b) think that other people think it’s funny amazes me.

The pinnacle of this was a comic strip called “Reliable Sources” which ran in the Metro in its first month or so. This strip was almost entirely without merit, such that I thought it might be a clever meta-comic strip, mocking other comic strips by using the same form in an unfunny, uninspiring way, it drew attention to the idea that perhaps all comic strips were like this. Then they dropped it, so perhaps it wasn’t.

These days, I like to torture myself by reading “As If”, a long-running strip in the Independent. Written by Sally Ann Lasson, this piece of work is breath-taking in its tiny set of pre-occupations, revolving entirely around the differences between men and women, delivered in two distinct formats with almost no concern for actually being funny. Like naive art scorns the more formal expectations of the art establishment, perhaps As If should be applauded for doing the same regarding humour.

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