I’m shooting myself in the foot by trash-talking a blog – especially one written by the very editors whose attention I’ve been trying to get for the past eight years – but some statements cannot go by unremarked.
Make ’em Laugh
Humor is all about surprise (a strikingly similar formula to Horror, strangely enough). But it is also about relatability, and demographics, and whatever a syndicate thinks makes a newspaper editor chuckle.
Bill Watterson snuck his weirder tendencies in the back door by making Calvin’s imagination so vivid. Had he sent in Spaceman Spiff as a submission, I have a feeling it wouldn’t have made it to the editor’s Inbox, let alone any newspapers. It seems the safest bet with a comic strip is one that features human characters doing everyday things.
I’m certainly not putting down any of strip that does feature human characters doing everyday things. Like I said, Calvin and Hobbes was, in part, a boy and his parents. Cul de Sac is a “family strip.” Heck, even Charles Addams’ comics featuring the Addams Family could be classified as people doing everyday things (though…weird…things).
Saying “be funny and we’ll syndicate you” is a gross understatement. It should be something more like “be funny in a particular way, with particular characters and particular art, and we might syndicate you. ” But that doesn’t make for a good blog post, does it?