Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Funnies: NANCY


"The argument can be made that NANCY is the most representative of comic strips in the clinical sense. And in fact it might have been the very thing Bushmiller strove for when he referred to his formula for comic-strip creation: 'Dumb It Down' -keep it simple, basic, and aimed at the lowest common denominator.
Carried in a certain direction, this formula could be a prescription for loathsome twaddle, and indeed many comic strips have tried to be all things to all people, so bland that they offend no one but neither passionately attract anybody. With Bushmiller the opposite happened: NANCY was superficially superficial, but he constantly tuned and re-tuned his engine so that the strip became a playful exercise in what a strip could be in its purest state, how a strip could be most basically constructed, and how visuals, themes, characters, and gags could interact to produce an interesting and entertaining comic strip."
--Richard E. Marschall

That sums it up perfectly, I think. For years people criticized and ridiculed the strip, and the true genius of it still doesn't get all the credit it deserves.
But try this experiment: read all of today's Sunday comics and then compare them to these.

By Ernie Bushmiller.
from NEMO: The Classic Comics Library #30, April 1989

Another set of vintage NANCY strips CLICK HERE
Read NANCY comic books CLICK HERE

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