Monday, January 26, 2015

I saw it in the funnies



Sunday newspaper arrives. The battle ensues. "Where are the funnies?!" I usually screamed. "Mom, June won't share the funnies!" Yes, the funny papers had arrived.

We called them the funnies when in reality they were called the comics. Throughout the week, a few strips might appear in black and white in the back of the newspaper, but on Sunday the comics came in living color. I had my favorites.

Perhaps my love of mysteries began back when I followed the adventures of Brenda Starr and Dick Tracy. Brenda Starr was created in 1940 by Dale Messick. She was a mysterious, adventurous reporter always landing in exotic places and steamy romances. She was pursued by the man with the black eye batch. Ah, the mystery of the black orchid. See, after all these years, I still remember.

Dick Tracy was police detective created by Chester Gould in 1931. He was often off to save Tess Trueheart who would one day be his wife and mother of Bonny Braids. I sent off box tops for a Bonny Braids doll. 

Blondie was my lighthearted reading. It was created in 1930 by Chic Young. Until I did some research, I did not know that Blondie's maiden name was Boopadoop, and she had been a chorus girl. Dagwood pursued her as he was a playboy son with a billionaire father. This all changed during the Depression when the couple married. Dagwood was disinherited for marrying a gold-digging flapper. It seems that the comic strips changed with the events of the time. I have to admit that one of my favorite names in a strip was that of Mr. Dithers. His name certainly fit his personality. He reminded me of my grandfather.

Li'l Abner pursued Daisy Mae. Tarzan fell for Jane. Little Orphan Annie with her white eyes found Daddy Warbucks. Alley Oop, Flash Gordon, Pogo and his friends, so many wonderful characters came to visit back the lane every Sunday. In 1960 Family Circus came to call. It captured a new audience with all of the things that happened to families on a regular basis. We saw ourselves in those sweet faces and laughed at our own foibles.

Charles Schulz brought Charlie Brown and all of his wonderful friends to life in 1950. Charlie Brown didn't even have a jagged stripe on his shirt when it all began. For years we have followed that young, ageless boy, cheering him on every step of the way. One day after his death on February 13, 2000, a message was posted. A message written by Charles Schulz was posted the day after his death on February 13, 2000. He said 'good-bye' to his little playmates. These are his closing words:

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy... how can I ever forget them...
— Charles M. Schulz

I feel the same about those wonderful characters who came into my life every Sunday when the funnies arrived back the lane. I will never forget.

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