Comic King of Jersey
By stern on Oct 17, 2007
I've blogged at various times about Diesel Sweeties, including characters and panels from the egregiously funny mind of R. Stevens to illustrate a point. Now I'm forced to admit the truth: I love comics. While I'm a huge fan of animation in all forms (from Pixar films to Disney classics to the stop-motion Gumby shows to Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds), comics hold a special spot in my entertainment spectrum. I don't collect comic books, but I am a fan of compendiums, collections, and anthologies that piece together some of my favorite serialized strips: Calvin and Hobbes, Diesel Sweeties, Funky Winkerbean, Dilbert, and at some point in the future, xkcd (linked to a software- and work-appropriate strip).
There's something resembling engineering in setting up a joke or cultural reference in just a few frames, building on everything from internet memes to cross-references with the author's personal likes and dislikes. Charles Schultz, a hockey fan, made sure Snoopy had a miniature Zamboni for Woodstock's frozen birdbath-turned-hockey rink, popularizing the Zamboni more than TC coverage of the NHL. Bill Watterson had recrurring, and hilarious, snowmen riffs appearing in Calvin and Hobbes.
Despite following most strips online, I still love to pick up the occasional book. This week's acquisition was the first set of Diesel Sweeties syndicated strips, which I ordered with the souvenir Clango t-shirt so that it arrived personalized by R. Stevens. If he thinks I'm the "King of Jersey", who am I to argue? In the comic world, you can suspend all belief, three panels at a time.