Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I Surf The Web For Comics-Mocking Web Sites So You Don't Have To

Once upon a time, I enjoyed a column in the Baltimore City Paper (online) called Funny Paper. It summarized, and made fun of, comic strips, specifically those in the Baltimore Sun. It stopped publishing in 2003, though they squeezed out a few more columns in February 2004. If you've never seen it, the "back issues" are still worth reading -- they're a funny take on the comic strip medium. Its tag line was "We Read the Comics So You Don't Have To."

After the demise of that column, I eventually found my way to Gene Weingarten's on-line chats. While the topics of the chats vary, a major focus is the comics, specifically those of the Washington Post. Every week, Weingarten gives his "Comics Pick of the Week" and names a few runners-up. There is also a fairly involved discussion of the meaning of other comics.

Recently, someone mentioned to him the web site joshreads.com, which analyzes a comic per day in depth. Its tagline was "I read the comics so you don't have to." It focuses on the Baltimore Sun comics. Because of the Baltimore connection and the tagline, there was some confusion, and the Funny Paper authors (who claimed that their column is just on "hiatus") asked Josh to change its title. So now it's "The Comics Curmudgeon".

Anyway, I suggest anyone interested in thinking about comics more than you probably should to check out these web sites. I actually read these more than the actual comics, since I stopped (for the most part) reading the print edition of the newspaper.