(From Real Life Comics! Click on the thumbnail for full sized block-shattering fun!)
I realize I'm very new to being back at this -- way too new to be touching on a strip two days in a row. And yet, I think I can get away with it for two reasons:
1. Yesterday's 'critiques' weren't exactly... critiques (hey, I thought they were funny. That counts for something. Right? Right?).
2. I wanted to do it.
Anyway, there were two things I wanted to touch on here. The first is Liz herself.
No, I am not implying I am touching Liz. Yeesh, people. Clean that cesspit you call a mind up. I mean I'm touching on her characterization. I've really enjoyed the last few days of Real Life Comics, because it's allowed for Liz -- often the Mary Richards of RLC -- to be the one who's gone nuts, while Greg has been the voice of... I'm gonna go with reason. I know it's an odd thing to type, but let's call it like we see it, okay?
Excuse me? Oh, you're not sure what I mean by the 'Mary Richards?' I guess it's been a while since we've touched on the Websnark Lexicon, hasn't it? Right -- let me recoin the phrase for you.
One of the most groundbreaking television shows of the 70's -- and indeed, one of the most important television shows in the history of the medium -- was The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary Tyler Moore had spent the 60's as a traditional Sitcommish wife in The Dick Van Dyke show, but in the 70's she went 'on her own' as a single woman making her way in a city without the comforts of traditional sitcom marriage. She had a career (as a television producer, no less), friends and travails. And the writing was among the best television has ever had.
What was interesting, however, was the role the character "Mary Richards" played on the show. In effect, Mary Richards was the sane character. The only sane character, surrounded by nutjobs ranging from her boss Lou Grant straight past cheerfully evil Sue Ann Nivens straight through to egotistical moron Anchorman Ted Baxter. Where in earlier sitcoms she might have been the straight man, feeding setups while the comedians went nuts, on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" Mary Richards wasn't a straight man -- she was sane, reacting to the insanity around her with her own comedic timing. As a result, she became the anchor the show revolved around -- the character that viewers identified with and empathized with. She made everything around her not only work but feel realistic.
Liz normally has that role in Real Life Comics, so every so often having her switch off with Greg is a fun thing. Dean did a good job in these strips by fully switching the roles off. Greg is actually sane during Liz's descent into video game mania, and it works across the board.
The second thing I wanted to touch on -- and honestly the real reason I'm writing this -- is right in the first panel. Liz doesn't say the lack of Rock Band 2 is bad or even uncool. She says it is undude.
Undude. "This is very undude."
Wow do I like that. I know I abuse the word 'dude' both in my writing and in everyday speech as it is, but I had never considered what might something undude before. It's like a whole new world is opening up -- a whole new perspective is dawning. Perspective is no longer limited to "dude" or even "duuuuuuude." Now things can be undude.
And that, my friends, is worthy of mentioning Real Life Comics two days in a row.