THE AMERICAN COMICS PAGE, some readers and cartoonists bemoan to this blog, has become too safe and conservative and fuddy-duddy — too often rendered too toothless because the humor too frequently lacks sharp witty bite. Other cartoon fans, though, cherish the print newspaper’s “funnies’ as a last bastion of warm and family-valuing laughs in a world grown increasingly rude and crude and too enamored with ‘tude.
And then there are those who believe such strips as “Pearls Before Swine” are able to be plenty edgy, thankyouverymuch -- perhaps even cleverly devising ways to slip some things under the sensor’s (or censor’s) radar.
All of which makes today’s “Zits” strip — by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman — a particularly intriguing test case.
Today’s original strip, as distributed by King Features, features Jeremy Duncan’s friend Pierce in need of a Band-Aid after a shaving, um, mishap. The comic builds to the last-panel visual gag, in which we see that Pierce has actually seared off half his face.
Editors here at The Post decided that was a mite too graphic and gruesome as breakfast-table fare, and instead ran a replacement strip that gently plays off just how Jeremy will be spending his summer vacation.
But say you’re in the editor’s chair. Would you have run the original strip in the print newspaper? Or do you agree with The Post’s call?
Comic Riffs welcomes your feedback.
(Feel free to comment below or send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.)