Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Barney & Clyde Finesse Aging

In the world of newspaper comic strips, aging is something of a problem. A conversation that might take a few minutes in the real world (if we were all so witty), can be a full week of comic continuity. Most comic strip characters don't age at all. Like the Simpsons, their forever frozen at whatever age they were when they walked into the scene.

Sometimes there's partial aging. While PJ of the "Family Circus" will forever be a toddler, "Blondie's" Baby Dumpling grew from child to teenager -- and then stopped aging. 

A few strips have their characters age, although at a slower rate than the real world. Rex Morgan, MD is a good example. When it premiered in 1948, Morgan was a newly-minted doctor in his early 30s. In the current continuity he's the father of a precocious 8-year old. But not as an old man in his late sixties, but as one in his early forties. 

In a 9/28/14 Barney & Clyde sequence, Gene Weingarten, Dan Weingarten, and David Clark make plain a common ploy used in strips where aging is an issue..

That is to say, never provide specific birthdates for characters. Because anyone can do the math.

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