Saturday, September 30, 2006

McNeil to Pendarvis: DROP DEAD!

From today's mailbag, despondent correspondent Jeff McNeil claims, "I never said I liked Little Dot. I said I liked the humorous comic books (Archie and Jughead, Beetle Bailey, Peanuts, etc.) because instead of dragging a plot out forever they CLOSED THE DEAL AT THE END OF EVERY STRIP!! There was a joke at the end of every 4 (or 5?) panel strip, and therefore a payoff pretty quickly." McNeil is referring of course to Part One of our controversial series on the earliest influences of our nation's towering literary titans. (This, by the way, is part six of that series, the fifth part having remained unnumbered due to an error on the part of one of our less experienced interns.) McNeil does bring up one cogent subject: Archie and the Riverdale Gang. Through another intern-related oversight (different intern), I have failed to realize until now that BY FAR the cartoon characters referred to most often in the emails of various authors (among them Karen Spears Zacharias, Mark Childress and Pia Z. Ehrhardt, not to mention McNeil himself) are Betty, Veronica, Reggie and the rest. Archie, then, is the primary progenitor of modern American literature, outstripping the former champ, the Legion of Superheroes, by an astounding two-to-one ratio. As the results continue to pour in we vow to keep you posted, even if it means giving up "actual" writing forever. In conclusion I reassure the publisher of my books, who fears that I may be alienating women readers by talking too much about comics, that there is nary a blogger who has as much of true substance to say about the Gilmore Girls as I do.