You would be forgiven for thinking that the world of newspaper comic strips holds no interest for anyone under the age of decomposition. After all, who reads newspapers anymore? But plenty of people do, and despite the continuing preponderance of strips that have been around since Gutenberg, and the rise of webcomics that are ostensibly more attuned to the sensibilities of the young and nerd-centric, there are some strips in daily newspapers that are slipping some interesting things under the radar. You surely know about Fox Trot— Bill Amend is “one of us” — and the a few of the other better strips that are plugging away in a universe increasingly isolated and shrinking in circulation. There are still comics worth reading in the syndication world.
Which brings us to today’s comic page. Several years ago, writing duties for the bland working-mom comic strip Sally Forth were assumed by a guy named Francesco Marciuliano (a/k/a “Ces”), whose own work, including a web comic called Medium Large, is of a far edgier sort than you might find in your local daily newspaper. Over the years, Sally Forth has taken on a different, occasionally demented tone, not the least part of which has been husband Ted’s metamorphosis into… well, one of us, too. Sort of. He’s a fan of all the genre stuff we are, in an arrested-development way: Ted is a child (more of a manchild, actually) of ’70s-’80s-’90s pop culture and, especially, nerd culture. Big time. He’s a guy who celebrates the holidays with the Star Wars Holiday Special on a bootleg DVD every year. Also, he has strange hands and gestures, but that’s for another day. Right now, it’s all about today’s strip, in which Ted teaches his daughter Hilary about…
Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Yes, there’s a whole comic strip in today’s Sunday newspaper about MST3K. Ted explains the setup, even mentions Torgo, and proposes riffing on “some really bad holiday cartoons” while some familiar silhouettes show up to heckle him. It’s a nice tribute to one of our favorite shows ever. Go read it by clicking here while it’s still available online (King Features strips don’t last forever for free online; you’ll have to subscribe to their DailyINK service and app for that. Check it out while you can and take heart that even in the most staid of media, there’s room for the Satellite of Love.
(Also, while we’re talking about MST3K, remember that if you’re in Los Angeles, you can head over to the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax next Friday and Saturday and see Joel Hodgson’s one-man show Riffing Myself and a special screening of the classic riff on Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, starring a very, very young Pia Zadora. Find out all the details from our post earlier this week by clicking here)