Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do You Read the Comics?

(Comic book: Ken Ernst's
 Mary Worth (March 1956)
I recently asked a few bloggers if they read the comics, or if they had a favorite, and no one said they did. I have been a fan of newspaper comic strips for a long time. One in particular I remember from my youth, the Mary Worth series, arrived on my parent’s porch with a loud thud every night around six—in the Tacoma News Tribune. I was eleven or twelve at the time, and I may have been a budding artist. I spent hours tracing this strip on paper and writing captions. I have since learned that Mary Worth was known for its cliffhanger endings.  

In fact, it was considered the soap opera of comics and dealt with issues not uncommon today: unwed mothers, drug addiction, spousal abuse, infidelity, juvenile delinquency, elder issues, and the generation gap, to name a few! No wonder I love writing suspenseful scenes today. And those cliffhanger endings . . . the more the better!

But what I mostly remember about the series are the people that came into Mary’s life, and as a kind neighbor, she tried to help. This savvy silver-haired widow, who had been a school teacher once, offered a deep well of wisdom and loving advice to everyone she met, and apparently, I was one of them! 

Newspaper: Mary Worth by Karen Moy and Joe Giella)

Credits for Mary Worth go to writer Allen Saunders and artist Ken Ernst, and its distributor, King Features Syndicate. Other artists and writers have worked on the series, but most recently, artist Joe Giella (1991) and writer Karen Moy (2003). The comic strip thrives to this day (unfortunately, not in the paper I now get). It should also be noted that most references credit the 1932 Apple Mary series (by Martha Orr) as being the true origin of Mary Worth, but King Features refutes this claim.

Copyright 2013 © Sharon Himsl; Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Worth


  1. I was gaga over Archie and Jughead, Veronica and ? Can't remember the other girl's name. Comics felt like a guilty pleasure, however today they are in full bloom with the hundreds, if not thousands, of Graphic Novel series for teens.

    1. Thanks Cathy for your comment! I hadn't thought about the positive impact on Graphic Novels for teens. But I never felt 'guilty' reading the comics--just enjoyed them:)

  2. I haven't read commics for years. When I was kid the high light of Sunday was reading the funny papers.

    1. A nice memory no doubt. I think we should make time for this pasttime. They can be a nice break in the day. Thanks for reading, Jai!

  3. I don't think we have adult comics in the UK. I used to have the Dandy when I was a kid.

  4. Interesting. I am learning so much about the UK through you and other bloggers. Good to hear from you, Rosalind!


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