A few (too many) words about Jesusaholics, and why syndicated newspaper comics are lousier than they used to be.
I also really recommend the documentary STRIPPED for a pretty detailed look into the comic strip industry, specifically the way the Internet and the shrinking number of newspapers in the US has changed things, as well as the number of "legacy" strips out there (why take a risk on something new, strange, and unproven when you can just hire someone new to do "Blondie" or "Beetle Bailey?") I just looked it up and, the movie came out in 2013, so I'm sure things have only gotten more extreme since then.
I posted something back on the bird site a few years back. But as crazy seems on the ascendant among these goons and their hired hands, it’s probably prudent not to show a panel. Do you remember the first ones you ever saw? I also grew up in Missouri, and that shit was mental wallpaper.
Michael O’Donoghue once said to I think Rick meyerowitz “why is it artists always think they can write but writers always know that they can’t draw?” Or something or other. I’m paraphrasing ... O’D has some good sketches tho , and I’ve seen his doodles and drawings he did with trey speegle playing a game called exquisite corpse, can find online on one of trey’s blogs
I enjoyed this piece, but as a Boomer I get a little annoyed by how my age cohort is subject to stereotyping. Some of us are still down with the cause and haven't gone over to the dark side. But Gerber's description of the Reagan years rings true.
Glad you were able to work Chick into the kicker. A++.
I grew up in Cucamonga, California (later, when incorporated, the city fathers named it "RANCHO" Cucamonga), which was the home of Jack Chick Productions. His tracts were a major feature of my junior and senior high school years. Hilariously bad but entertaining.
As a liberal Episcopalian living in the South (yes, we still exist), I agree with your assessment of Jesusaholics, though it would be more accurate to call them Paulaholics, plus it rhymes. They actually have little use for the teachings of Jesus, so they emphasize a handful of passages written by St. Paul and yanked violently out of context. Loved your mention of Jack Chick, whose godawful (pun intended) comics emotionally scarred whole generations of fundie kids.
Couple of additional idiosyncratic drawers that are hella funny:
Legacy print: Roz Chast
Internet: Allie Brosh (Hyperbole And A Half)
So based on your account, you are one year and ten months older than I am. In high school and college, it really seemed to me that people born in ‘68 and ‘69 were cooler, as if they somehow absorbed those years by osmosis. I think what’s more likely is that they took in the wonderfully weird exhaust fumes of the ‘70s with just those two additional years of sentience that allowed them into a more “knowing” world inhabited by adults. That world was far more permeable back then (for good and ill)
These things are always overdetermined, but rather than the pat use of 1980 I think of Rick Perlstein’s description of the Bicentennial celebration in 1976, where the U.S., two years after Nixon’s resignation, among many, many other shocks, had a big party and felt…OK! Perlstein considers this a refusal to “grow up”; I don’t see a problem with celebrating a big number like 200. Then again, he was born in ‘68, while I’m a naive ‘71er. 2026 should be an interesting test case…
Well now we all know AIDS was a manufactured virus by Herr Doktor Fauci, his early stunt , before COVID. It’s a Nazi world after all !