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Eric: A brief quote.

(From Medium Large. Click on the thumbnail for full sized social chameleon!)

Here's something I came across, courtesy of Wednesday White, who got it from Comixpedia:

Why did "BC" cartoonist Johnny Hart give himself over to God, and then to total madness? Because writing a comic strip is a lonely, dispiriting, depressing enterprise teaming with self-doubt, self-loathing and self-employment. To combat such demons some cartoonists turn to God. Others turn to drink. Absolutely none turn to sex, given that the average cartoonist makes a Dick Tracy villain look like Clive Owens by comparison. And such a self-realization can be far to harsh for one soul to take. You see, we cartoonists are not a handsome lot. And lord knows few of us can earn a living wage practicing our art. Now true, we do possess hours upon hours of free time within which to masturbate, but that hardly makes up for not meeting new people or being unable to afford ADA-approved toothpaste. But why is the actual act of writing a comic strip so depressing? Because when you get right down to it it's just you and your thoughts, and there's nothing like being left alone with your thoughts to realize that the last creative idea you had was way back in 1975 when you decided to make a bionic frog by inserting a pen spring into the patient's hind leg, only to wind up with a paraplegic amphibian.

Who wrote this? Who wrote this?

Francesco Marciuliano. Whose art director wears a Diesel Sweeties tee shirt, I would add.

Who is Francesco Marciuliano?

Well, he has a pretty good webcomic called Medium Large going. You should check it out. That's where the Sally Forth joke strip at the top comes from.

Oh, and he actually write Sally Forth.

He writes. Sally Forth.

The man (currently) behind the smirky goddess herself has a comic strip where he blasts her very smirky nature and discusses the soul crushing nature of cartooning -- while also publicly calling Johnny Hart insane, I would add.

My mind is blown.

My whole fucking universe is blown.

This is like finding out the writer of Barney and Friends is a chain smoking, Harley Driving leather warrior who patrols the lawless west, and learning that the dinosaur suit itself is worn by a gorgeous hardbodied supermodel ninja who seeks to pluck out the still beating heart of Daniel Day Lewis. The cartoonist of Sally Forth has no right to be this fucking cool.

Naturally, I'm now reading Sally Forth. I mean, damn.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at April 18, 2005 8:59 AM


Comment from: Relja D. posted at April 18, 2005 9:34 AM

Wow. I mean... wow

*runs of to read his comics*

Comment from: hitch posted at April 18, 2005 9:50 AM

I've never understood how everyone bitches about sally forth. I've always thought that it was a really well written comic - even the ones that fall into formulaic things (chocolate rabbit ears, anyone?) are usually at least *attempted* with some finesse. It's one I'd given up on a few years ago and started reading again, startled at how good it was. No mocking!

Comment from: strangestman posted at April 18, 2005 10:44 AM

Now is this very fast, or very coincidental?

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at April 18, 2005 10:48 AM

Snorky was there before I wrote the snark. ;)

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at April 18, 2005 11:10 AM

I have to say, I agree with Hitch. When Sally Forth first came out it was *edgy* compared to what was out there. What? A working woman who was confident and *wasn't* insecure with her weight or obsessing about how she looked in a swimsuit? That and On the Fasttrack made Dilbert possible.

(I wouldn't actually knock Cathy either. That strip was just as edgy when it showed up.)

Comment from: TheNintenGenius posted at April 18, 2005 11:54 AM

I can't say that I've ever read Sally Forth (my newspaper never carred it), but I am finding this webcomic of his to be absolutely hilarious. Now I actually want to read Sally Forth, and that's something I don't think I'd usually ever say.

Also, I'd have to agree with Francesco about Johnny Hart being a tad insane. I mean, B.C. has done steadily, rapidly downhill ever since he started using the comic as his own personal bully's pulpit. And don't get me started on the absolutely retarded way in which he tried to reconcile the fact that the comic was named Before Christ. (B.C. actually takes place in a post-apocalyptic FUTURE. Ooooh, scary.)

Comment from: Shaenon posted at April 18, 2005 12:10 PM

The fact that not even a man this funny can make "Sally Forth" readable suggests how truly difficult it is to produce a decent syndicated newspaper strip in this day and age.

Actually, you know who else is pretty funny in person? Greg Evans, who draws "Luann." And Bil Keane is famous for his cruel but hilarious roasts at the annual National Cartoonist Society dinner.

No, really.

Comment from: coldcut posted at April 18, 2005 12:27 PM

On that syndication note, apparently the creator of Joe and Monkey got an e-mail from Berkeley Breathed, encouraging him to submit Joe and Monkey for syndication. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. J&M's pretty easily the funniest Webcomic going today.

Comment from: Nate posted at April 18, 2005 12:33 PM

I have to agree with his comments about Johnny Hart, that about matches what I'd surmised.

And also, Medium Large is great, I'm gonna have to go read the archives now.

Comment from: Chris Bishop posted at April 18, 2005 1:58 PM

dude writes a nationally syndicated strip but still has a little paypal button begging for money? bah! what's next? cafepress shirts?

Comment from: Shadowydreamer posted at April 18, 2005 2:35 PM

It's true! Caroline in the City LIED to us! Cartoonists of syndicated comic strips can't actually afford trendy lofts in New York!

Tho - this artist stuck at home 27 days out of 30 has her own solution.. I have become very good friends with the people who work in the local grocery store. It's amazing how talking about kiwi will save your sanity.

Comment from: jpcardier posted at April 18, 2005 2:57 PM

OK, this fella is gloriously bent. I love it. Another sound recommendation, Eric. Kudos.

Comment from: Ray Radlein posted at April 18, 2005 5:35 PM

A few years ago, there was one of those April Fool's Day stunts where a bunch of nationaly syndicated newspaper cartoonists switched cartoons (ISTR either Bill Keane doing Dilbert, or Scott Adams doing Family Circle, or both). Sally Forth, however, seemed not to have participated at all in the merry-go-round — until you realized that the writer and the artist had switched places.

I suppose that someone who disliked the strip could have used that as ammunition for an argument that the art and writing were generic and interchangeable; but since I actually liked Sally Forth (it's not one of my absolute favorite newspaper strips, but I do like it), I took it as evidence that the artist and writer were sympatico, and understood each other's work fairly well.

Comment from: Ray Radlein posted at April 18, 2005 5:44 PM

Oh, and this Medium Large strip has immediately grabbed a special place in my heart.

Comment from: Zaq posted at April 18, 2005 5:49 PM

I'm afraid that the only laughs I get out of Sally Forth are my family and I tearing it to bits every so often. Yes, we're cruel to do so, but it's one of the easiest strips to do it to. Not that this is necessarily the fault of Mr. Marciuliano per se, it merely happens. And of course we have the ongoing joke that "Ted" is, in fact, a woman. (Just look at her. Or "him" if you refuse to see the truth in front of your eyes!).

I never said I was infinitely nice.

Comment from: Ray Radlein posted at April 18, 2005 6:29 PM

By the way, he did a Sally Forth reference once before, FWIW.

[Why yes, I did just trawl backwards through the entire archives; why do you ask?]

Comment from: Montykins posted at April 18, 2005 6:54 PM

He's actually snuck some Sally Forth snark *into the strip*, specifically the March 22 one: http://est.rbma.com/content/Sally_Forth?date=20050322 ("I see. And will you be making that smirk for the rest of our lives?" "Maybe. Wait. What?")

Comment from: Montykins posted at April 18, 2005 6:55 PM

Okay, that link didn't work. For the couple weeks or so, you can go to http://www.kingfeatures.com/features/comics/sforth/about.htm and select March 22.

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at April 18, 2005 9:09 PM

As long as we're finding Forths, here's one more.

Comment from: Plaid Phantom posted at April 18, 2005 9:14 PM

I can easily say that I love this comic. And the fact that it's coming from within the syndicated world is just wonderful. Beautiful. I always wondered why it was I liked Sally Forth, and having seen into the mind behind it, I understand. Tankards of kudos, on the house.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at April 18, 2005 10:18 PM

Just my thought...

I think that, by and large, the people who hate Sally Forth are the ones who want to slap that smirk off the smart-assed (epithet)'s face.

And the people who -like- Sally Forth, myself included, are the ones who want to -be- that smart-assed (epithet). The woman has a comeback for EVERYTHING...

Comment from: Ray Radlein posted at April 19, 2005 12:57 AM

This is like finding out the writer of Barney and Friends is a chain smoking, Harley Driving leather warrior who patrols the lawless west, and learning that the dinosaur suit itself is worn by a gorgeous hardbodied supermodel ninja who seeks to pluck out the still beating heart of Daniel Day Lewis.

By the way, I don't know about the writer part, but the dinosaur suit part could easily be a Japanese fetish porn flick. Come to think of it, the motorcycle riding leather warrior isn't exactly unheard-of in Japan, either.

Hell. After the Grand Guignol acid trip that was Gimme Gimme Octopus, I wouldn't be surprised to see your vision as a Japanese kids show anyway.

Comment from: morguerat posted at April 19, 2005 10:35 AM

I could never stomach Sally Forth, it's bland uninspired, and uninteresting. The fact that it took the spot of Calvin and Hobbes when Holbrook retired didn't help either, a truly great strip was replaced with... about as low as a comic can go and still be considered mediocre (without slipping completely into shitty)

Comment from: TheNintenGenius posted at April 19, 2005 12:19 PM

Just jumping back in for a quick second, you do know that Calvin and Hobbes was done by Bill Watterson and not Bill Holbrook, right? I mean, not to knock Bill Holbrook, but I just had to let you know.

Comment from: morguerat posted at April 19, 2005 1:13 PM

ah, darn... my bad and you are absolutely correct, too many Bills, lol.

Comment from: gwalla posted at April 20, 2005 1:05 AM

Bill Keane collects Family Circus parodies. He once complimented Dan Piraro on a Bizarro featuring the Family Circus family sitting at the dinner table with Satan.

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