Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I still hate Marmaduke

Curt Schilling is showing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays exactly why he's the best number two starter in the Major Leagues. There are two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and Schill has tossed about 83 pitches, and he's making the DRays look pathetic.

The Nomar trade is still on everyone's minds. On sports radio this afternoon, Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley was telling everyone that Nomar is going to New York next spring to play second base. I almost drove off the road ... I could just see the cover of SI next March with ARod, Jeter and Nomar all with their arms around each other and the caption, "Best infield ever?"

I can deal with Nomar on just about any team, but going to the Yankees would just be a terrible thought.

So, my plans to be a cartoonist are still moving along and my friends are helping me out. Nick is giving me the Flash program, which can make Internet toons. And Tim has given me some links to cartoonists who write about cartooning. This one guy wrote a whole set of articles about it. He also published his email address, I will probably contact him.

Speaking of comics, I found this about Marmaduke the other day. I wanted to puke.

Marmaduke, the comic panel starring America's most lovable Great Dane, has delighted readers for four decades. Created by Brad Anderson in 1954, Marmaduke is distributed by United Feature Syndicate to more than 600 newspapers worldwide.

This made me want to gag. 600 newspapers and countless readers are getting ripped off every day. And do you realize that this is the 50th year that Marmaduke has been alive? That's over 18,250 panels. That's a lot of shit to throw against the wall.

Marmaduke is the most loved troublemaker in his neighborhood and on the comics pages where he delights readers in more than 20 countries.

Delights? Hardly. Show me a person who "delights" at the antics of Marmaduke and I'll show you a senile, old jackass who has to be spoon-fed his creamed corn. And I guarantee you the fictional people who inhabit Marmaduke's neighborhood hate that stupid dog. He ruins parties, wrecks yards and other property, and is just a nuisance.

But the real focus in this comic panel is the relationship between the Great Dane and his family.

Yeah, they're retarded and Marmaduke is their leader. They bend to every whim that stupid dog has. If Marmaduke wanted to take a shit on every chair in the house, his family (who I don't think have a name) would let him. And not only that, they would enjoy every second of it. Hey, I don't blame Marmaduke. I blame the pussy-ass owners who don't take a rolled up newspaper to Marm's overly large probiscus.

"The Marmaduke strip has never been just a gag," Anderson explains. "I refuse to just go for the joke every time. When you express so-called human emotions in an animal, you're getting into the real character of the dog. When you get into the character itself, you go a step beyond the cartoon and into life."

This is complete and utter bullshit. First off, every single panel of Marmaduke is a old, tired, hacknied joke that was ancient when Vaudville was king. He refuses to go for the joke every time? What kind of pathos does Marmaduke show? What kind of suffering does he experience? Marmaduke does what Marmaduke wants, usually with the help of his enabling owners. The only character less real than Marmaduke is Chester Cheeto. And even he shows some sort of remorse when he realizes that "It's not easy being cheesy." See, he learns something every 30 seconds, Marmaduke doesn't. It's the same thing every day.

God, he's like a retard, canine Sissyphus. Every day he pushes that rock up the hill and every day it comes back down. They should just euthanize him.

Marmaduke is a canine with a conscience. He and Anderson lend a helpful hand to many charities including the Delta Society's Pet Partners program. Marmaduke is the official "spokesdog" for the animal-assisted therapy program in which volunteers and their pets visit the sick and elderly in hospitals and care-centers. Marmaduke has also lent a paw to the American Cancer Society, leading their "Paws for a Cause" dog walk-a-thon for several years as Chairdog. This annual event raises money for the fight against human and animal cancers. In 1993, the American Association of Blood Banks chose Marmaduke to star in several public service announcements to help promote their summer blood drive.

Ok. It's sort of hard to make fun of this. At least Anderson isn't a complete douche, he takes the money he steals from his syndicator and gives to charity. Can't complain about that. Though I do take acception to the ass clown who wrote about Marmaduke like he's a real dog. And one with a conscience.

Winner of the National Cartoonists Society 1976 Reuben Award for Best Panel, Anderson is also the creator of more than two dozen Marmaduke books which have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

It must've been a slow year, though if you think about panel comics, who was he up against? Family Circus? The Lockhorns? That's not exactly "The Far Side", "Calvin and Hobbes" and "Boondocks". I still cannot fathom millions of people leafing through a Marmaduke collection and thinking that it would look good in their library. I wonder if they bought a poster that says, "Hang in there!" and has a picture of a cat hanging off a branch. Or maybe it was a bunch of campers that knew they were going to be lost and bought the book for kindling.

When not working, Anderson enjoys getting together with friends and digging in his garden ("Just like Marmaduke!"). He and his wife, Barbara, live in Montgomery, Tex., and they have four grown children. They share their home with a Great Dane named Marmaladee (no relation to Marmaduke).

Imagine telling your friends that your father draws Marmaduke? I bet his kids are permanantly black and blue. "And this is for Marmaduke breaking another chair!" Whap! And I wonder if Marmaladee is horrible pun (Marmalady) or just a misspelling (Marmalade). Because if that's his real dog's name ... that's just fucking terrible.

BTW, I saw where Anderson compares himself to Marmaduke when it comes to his gardening. That's just too easy, so you guys can take care of that.


Klemmer said...

Very funny shit JMOH. Marmaduke has long been an object of cynical thought and anger from me and my friends. Of course, we do have the one friend who insists that he read us the "antics" of Marmaduke while we throw things at him and threaten to kill him.

Marmaduke blows ass.

Kim said...

Hey B, It's Kim. This is funny shit. I enjoyed reading! In order to post, I had to create a Blog myself so maybe this will kick my ass into writing again.

Love the comic idea! Need a test audience?