Thursday, March 26, 2009

How come cartoons aren't funny?

Newspapers always have an opinion section because journalists always think that people want to hear their opinions. Sometimes these are crude, poorly formed, or just downright stupid. But at least some of the time, they're funny. Even enlightening. Out of a thousand columns, you can find some gems. At least like one or two.

But cartoons have a zero percent success rate. And I'm not talking about political cartoons (which is a whole other post, because what purpose do they serve?), I'm talking about the cartoon strips that run in every newspaper, even The Diamondback. And none of them are funny. Ever. Is it a rule that cartoons just aren't allowed to be funny?

I don't get it, I just don't. I mean, the part of the newspaper with the cartoons is even called "the funnies," but without fail every single one of them is horrible.

There's a web site that proves this, Garfield Minus Garfield. This is a web site that proves that probably the most well-known comic strip is so unfunny that if you take out its principle character, it becomes funnier. How can an entire industry continue to exist when this is the case?

Like, here's a famous comic strip, called "Cathy."

That is literally the worst thing that was ever created by anyone. Comic strips are a waste of time. Most of them can be boiled down to unfunny one-sentence Jerry Seinfeld observations, like "What's the deal with fashion?" Somehow people continue to get paid to do this.

I have never read a comic strip that was consistently funny. Or even consistently not terrible. Every comic should end with, "...Get it?" Comics are where bad jokes go to get drawn in color and not laughed at by anyone. It's just ridiculous.

I had a friend try to argue this with me, but it's inarguable. Comic strips are always horrible, all the time. They are the third certainty of life. They have never been and will never be enjoyable. If the characters were likable, they would be cartoons. If the subject matter was interesting, they would be actual stories. Instead, they get their own section (besides the trash can). And especially in an era where newspapers are tightening their belts and cutting back, why the hell are we still killing trees to run comic strips?

Calling comic strips the "funnies" is like calling a short guy "Tree" or a fat guy "smalls." It's irony for the sake of irony. Just keep that in mind the next time you open them up, expecting the funnies to actually be funny.


  1. I'm a big fan of "Calvin and Hobbes" In fact, it's one of my favorite things ever. Granted, it isn't always laugh out loud funny, but it was smart and awesome to read.

    But even taking all of that into consideration, this is nothing less than another hilarious and well written column by Rob Gindes.

  2. I agree, Mike!

    Love, your 8th grade soap opera alter ego,
    Holden Bank

  3. Holden Bank and Banky These-balls-in-your-face if I'm not mistaken. The great soap opera that was Mad Monkey Bow Tie.