Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Alerting the Comics Code Authority

I'm really stuck on this whole comic strip criticism thread. Lately, I've been perplexed by a lesser-known comic strip called 9 Chickweed Lane. I was almost positive that the main storyline in the comic strip over the past few months had centered around Edda's relationship with her gay roommate, Seth. The thing I couldn't understand was how a comic strip could include an openly gay character and even feature his partner (Mark) from time to time without drawing any flack from the usual commentators. The problem is, 9 Chickweed Lane is so oblique that I often can't make sense out of it, so I wasn't sure if I wasn't misreading the whole thing. Over the past month or so, they have really been working this subplot, so there is no longer any doubt about the Seth's sexual orientation.

Of course, there is no need for anyone to be up in arms over this. The comics page, however, has a history of conservatism bordering on idiocy. Consider the outcry when Luann started menstruating. Or when Lawrence in For Better or For Worse came out of the closet. My guess is that the reason there is no outcry today is because 9 Chickweed Lane is not a very well-known comic strip. Also, the way that the relationship between Seth and Mark is portrayed is a bit too nuanced for the people who usually lead these kind of campaigns to pick up on.

2 comments:

MDS said...

I had never heard of this strip. I just read the last three days and I have to say I can't imagine why anyone would read it. Is it supposed to be funny? Or do people just get drawn into the lives of these characters and find the drama compelling? I wholly support the decision to include openly gay characters, but I'd like to see a little more humor in there.

dhodge said...

Like I said, I read this comic strip every day and I can't figure it out half of the time. The target demographic is definitely females. My wife seems to enjoy the strip more than I do, but also finds it confusing.