Comics Enriched Their Lives! #11


by

Friday, January 30, 2009


Two more, by request:

CUT THE UNFUNNY COMICS, NOT ‘SPIDERMAN’

I can’t believe that you’re cutting “Spiderman” — the only comic strip in the Globe, except for “Doonesbury” half the time, worth reading. Do think again in making way for what sounds like one more jejune set of unfunny panels pitched at the nonexistent (or at least nonreading) X-generation.

And what ever happened to “Mac Divot” — the most helpful set of golf tips I ever read?

JOHN UPDIKE
Beverly Farms

—From a 1994 letter to the editor of the Boston Globe.

And:

The encounter, when all was said and done, had been no stranger than those in ‘Krazy Kat,’ which had given me my first idea of the American desert.

—John Updike, in “A Desert Encounter,”
from the October 20, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.

I remember really enjoying reading the Spider-Man comic strip in the early ’90s, but mostly in a kind of stupefied amazement at the lengths it took to stretch out a single plot point from Monday to Saturday (presumably so Sunday-only readers wouldn’t get lost). I wonder what Updike saw in it, assuming his letter wasn’t a put-on. I was just a stupid kid at the time, so maybe I was missing something…

[Thanks, Jeet.]

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2 Responses to “Comics Enriched Their Lives! #11”
  1. BVS says:

    I grew up in Minneapolis and we’ve never really had a decent comics page(our paper famously refused to give Charles Schultz a raise, driving him to quit and seek national syndication and super stardom). I remember a trip to Miami when I was 8 and reading the newspaper and being totally amazed that there was a spider man newspaper strip and I was shocked to see all the other comic strips I had never even seen or heard of like teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, heathcliff,Prince valiant, Marmaduke,Nancy, and Dick Tracy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why did Updike like the rather tepid Spiderman comic strip. Two things to bear in mind: 1) Updike grew up reading serial strips (Terry and the Pirates, Dick Tracy) and liked the format 2)he wouldn’t have been familiar with the comic book, so its his one gateway into the character and superheroes (although he read The Spirit and Plastic Man when young).

    More from Updike on the Spider-man comic strips: “Or was it simply that I was walking back to enjoy the [Boston] Globe’s sports headlines, Arts Section, and Spider Man (the only one of the “funnies” I still follow, as he juggles his tingling “spider-sense,” his improbable double career as a student and professional photographer, and now his marriage to the voluptuous Mary Jane), while I consumed my invariable breakfast of Erewhon New England Style Honey Almond Granola and orange juice?” From the memoir Self-Consciousness 1989).

    Jeet