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Comics offensively unfunny

Letter to the Editor | Monday, December 10, 2007

Throughout this semester, the Observer comics have continually offended me – all of them. Is it their topics? Their style? Certainly not. Any style or subject can be made into something funny. Wait, that’s it! They’re just not funny – such that I feel truly offended. I can hardly recall any Observer comic inducing some sort of laugh from me. Perhaps a short guffaw from “Black Dog” or a chuckle from “Tastes Like Failure.” Certainly nothing from the embarrassingly awful “Deuces Manor.” But even those reactions are few and far between. I attribute this to the often weak punch lines from the first two, and the relative absence of one in the last.

I know that comedy is purely subjective, but am I really alone with my criticism? For instance, I don’t recall a single person among friends, classmates, and coworkers who has given me a positive response about the Observer comics. The best I have heard is “mediocre” or “Hey, they try.” Maybe I should just ask more people; perhaps a random poll around campus would prove me wrong. But this late in the semester, that seems pointless.

Instead, I hope that The Observer prepares a clean slate for next semester and takes out every comic from its syndication to give others a chance. I think the best approach for this is to hold a one week tryout for new comics and let the readers decide. (Please, no voting by e-mail. I’m sure someone on the Observer staff can ask around during meal times.) I know that I am taking these comics rather seriously, but previous Viewpoint letters prove I’m not the only one. “Offensive” material doesn’t bother me, but bad material does. Newspaper comics give Notre Dame students, both artists and writers, a chance to practice their creative skills and present them publicly. Instead, these comics seem to be in The Observer just so there are comics in The Observer. There are Notre Dame students who would work hard to create quality comedic material for The Observer, and we owe it these people to give them a decent chance.

Ryan SimmonsjuniorKeough HallDec. 9