Sep 18th 2009 By: Caleb Goellner
Ah, the traditional newspaper funnies page, last bastion for shortsighted sterile gags and out-of-touch social commentary. Sure, there are a few strips that retain some semblance of edge and near-relevance, but there's a reason today's youth has jumped ship to the far superior Webcomic offerings on the Interwebs.
That's why today's "Hi and Lois" filled me with righteous nerd rage. I'd elaborate, but this situation calls for the experienced eloquence of The Comics Curmudgeon
"Speaking of punk rock, here's one of those scary, crazy, anything-goes Webcomics artists! Man, they're a bunch of angry radicals, aren't they! And why wouldn't they be, with their failure to make as much money as the 50 or so widely syndicated newspaper comics artists? Don't worry, my pink-haired friend; someday your son will be smugly paying gag writers to churn out daily installments of the strip you created before heading out to the golf course, right up to the point when the medium in which its published goes bankrupt."
I suppose we should give "Hi and Lois'" creative team the benefit of the doubt. Brian Walker, Greg Walker & Chance Browne might simply be pointing out the "starving artist" aspect of a field that hasn't quite monetized its content across the board (although numerous sites have done so without compromising their creative vision). Also, I read this strip online, meaning that somewhere in their seemingly black hearts, these creators know which way the wind has been blowing for the past twenty or so years.
Still, the strip's inherent smugness, intentional or not, suggests a kind of sad resentment of a medium that's been all but completely eclipsed by superior content on the Web.