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Drama Day by Day

The drama of Chris Muir's black face faux pas continues at a furious pace. The center is now in the comic, rather than blog, community. As first reported here at Comixpedia, Shaenon Garrity wrote two entries essentially forgiving the black face joke but skin Muir alive over his misogyny, mild racism, hypocrisy, crummy artistic skills and panel organization, and basic unfunniness. She then muses on why conservative comics suck, and why liberal ones don't. In return Dirk Deppey firebombs Garrity's posts, essentially accusing Garrity of gross political bias and defending Muir by comparing him favorably to comic deity Gary Trudeau. Given the friendly relationship these two usually have, it is unlikely to get real ugly, but if you like funny, intelligent flame wars this is a good one.

Personally speaking, I do think Garrity has a point. Day by Day is an okay strip. But there are alot of liberal comics I like alot better. In fact I like most liberal strips alot better than I like conservative ones. Is there something wrong with conservative comics? What is it?

Conservative comics don't have to suck.

Winger (when Carson Fire was still updating it) was one of the genuinely funniest political comics I've ever read, regardless of political bent, and Carson and I really strenuously disagree on a lot of things.

It may be that the respective cultures of the "the left" and "the right" make it easier for comic funnymen to find refuge in "liberal" comics, or it could just be that the political right has been in a rut and is suffering through a drought of talent. I do wish Carson was still publishing Winger, though...

Partly Agree

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I thought Winger worked better than any overtly conservative comic I've seen - at the beginning. But towards the end it did have its Millard Fillmore moments.

I ultimately think anyone who sets out to push a worldview as opposed to make a funny comic is going to make a comic that pushes a worldview first and foremost and so more than likely isn't going to be that funny.

A lot of the comics I think people call "liberal" are really more about making fun of the power structure in this country. Poking fun at the man, letting the chips fall wherever, I suspect that's a surer route to comic quality than setting out with a specific agenda.

Also one more note on the Muir story. His Hillary cartoon? Still a middle-aged white guy putting on blackface, no matter how you slice it. Racist and offensive in my book.

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Xaviar Xerexes

On second thought, let's not go to Comixpedia. It is a silly place.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Every political comic,

regardless of political bent, is going to have moments that feel shrill. Even Doonesbury has had "Mallard Filmore moments." Winger always made me laugh even when the punchline also made me cringe.

I ultimately think anyone who sets out to push a worldview as opposed to make a funny comic is going to make a comic that pushes a worldview first and foremost and so more than likely isn't going to be that funny.

As someone who pushes a worldview regularly I disagree. It's more likely not to be funny for people who disagree with the worldview, I suppose... I know a lot of conservatives who don't find Doonesbury funny for precisely that reason.

I suppose another rule is

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I suppose another rule is that all rules about creativity can be disproved.

But I still say it's pretty valid. I can't detect an overriding worldview in Ubersoft myself. It has a theme of poking fun at clueless corporations but it seems to me you're primarily focused on crafting funny comics more than making a point.

I'd agree with you about Doonesbury though (and Bloom County and Boondocks) - they all have had their misses too.

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Xaviar Xerexes

On second thought, let's not go to Comixpedia. It is a silly place.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

I kinda disagree.

Erg's picture

The point of the comic was that doing black face was bad, but so is pandering. It may be offensive, but no more offensive than middle-aged white guy Ted Rall framing Condi Rice as an Uncle Tom. Honestly, you do a political comic long enough you will offend people, plain and simple.

And I never got Winger. It seemed to start as a parody of Sore Thumbs and ended up as, heck, I don't know what.

On the other hand, I do think conservatives need to "respect authority" as well as their loyalty to the republicans as compared to liberals support of the Democrats has alot to do with the funny factor. They self censor more, I think.

In my book...

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

[quote=Erg]The point of the comic was that doing black face was bad, but so is pandering. [/quote]

I think you give Muir too much credit, really. Even so, white guy doing black face = racist and offensive.

 

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Xaviar Xerexes

On second thought, let's not go to Comixpedia. It is a silly place.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

=offensive, sure. Racist

Erg's picture

=offensive, sure. Racist requires knowledge of the man's intent. I defended Rall, I gotta defend Muir.

Conservative thought vs humor

pclips's picture

Disclaimer: I am an independent, but I happen to fear and loathe conservatives about ten times more strongly than I do liberals. (But I do fear and loathe liberals.)

I'd suggest that humor, and particularly political humor, requires having the imagination and insight to identify the absurd. A humorist takes what reality gives them and runs with it.

I'd further suggest that what defines conservative thought is a slavish devotion to simple, self-affirming and self-serving ideas. There may be imagination there, but it's usually misused to rationalize. Conservatives spend their mental energies trying to get reality to fit/support their desired notions.

Liberal thought is more free to run around and throw pies. Liberals have only a few sacred cows they don't allow jokes about. But on those, they display as prudish and uptight a lack of humor as any Puritan ever did.

This blackface joke is a classic example of that. Political correctness is where the Left loses me, because they act as if making a tasteless racial joke is morally akin to owning a slave. Don Imus, for example, is an asshole. I hated his show and never listened or watched. But I'm astounded that so many people think it was fair and appropriate to end his 30-year career for making an offensive remark.

All of you creators of any political bent ought to think carefully about rushing to pillory another creator for what they put in their comic. It could be you on the gallows someday.

Your dedication to freedom of speech is not measured by how you support the person you agree with, but how you defend the one whose words disgust or frighten you.

Oops!

Erg's picture

Oops!

That's spelled "faux pas"

Gordon McAlpin's picture

That's spelled "faux pas"

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