Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Dying Art Form

And with that, we bid adieu to Alice and Petey Otterloop, the best comic strip pair to walk out of the newspaper pages since Linus and Lucy.

Few comic strip artists -- and I mean few; I think only Charles Schulz understands children, or at least the oddly adult way kids think they understand themselves and this world they live in, as well as this -- ever capture the essence of childhood ekeing out an existence in the adult world as well as Mr. Richard Thompson.

Mr. Thompson is giving up the comic strip business with some reluctance today, as he fights Parkinson's disease -- a cruel disease no matter who gets is, but crueler still for one who relies on brain and hand to create such art.

Having three kids of my own, I know they approach understanding this world through different lenses than adults. They may have an adult grasp of concepts and consequences, but there's always something oddly childish about their interpretation of those consequences and how they may apply in situations where an adult wouldn't see them at all, as we see Alice here bringing so much angst to the comics pages.

This rerun of Thompson's is a fitting end to his strip. If only it didn't have to end.

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