Monday, September 1, 2008

Let me count the ways

I think many people, including myself, have a fairly unshakable morning routine. I feed the animals, bring in the paper and start my own breakfast. The variation would be when I do myself the favor of yoga stretches or, depending upon the state of my elder dog’s gastro-intestinal system, take him for a potty walk.

Back at the breakfast table, I tune in to the Today Show and while it’s playing in the background, I rip through the paper. With all the respect I have for the depth of on-line news sources, you just cannot find a web replacement akin to reading the daily comic strips.

I’ve been known to tear up reading Lynn Johnston’s ForBetter or Worse. Ms. Johnston’s charm and talent centers around telling stories of everyday family issues. She captured the heartbreak of losing a parent, broke ground with her controversial scripting of a young man’s “coming out”, and ripped out our hearts with the death of Farley, the family dog. C’mon, admit it, you cried!

Now if you want to start your day with a good snort, you probably go first to Stephan Pastis’ strip, Pearls Before Swine. I’ve been known to spew Cheerios across the table as I roar over the daily antics of his animal crew. Rat can be really mean to pig.

For sweetness, I’m charmed by Pat Brady’s Rose is Rose. The alter ego to Rose, is Vicky, the Harley riding babe who favors mini-skirts and knee boots. Every woman has a little Vicky in her. Rose’s other escapes include leaning on her “Let it be” tree or ruminating on her own stubbornness while in the “Dungeon of Resentment”. We’ve all been there.

But nothing tugs at my heartstrings quite like Mutts, by Patrick McDonnell. You can’t help but love Earl, cause he’s a lovable pup, and Mooch, the curious cat, or Shtinky, who is very involved with saving endangered species. But my heart really goes out to Guard Dog, a chained dog who asks “How do you guard against loneliness?” While it’s warming your heart, I hope it also motivates you to adopt a bundle of love from a shelter near you.

So when was the last time you stopped to think about how much comics add to your life? For me, here’s the short list: warmth, charm, laughter, motivation, inspiration, complicity, friendship, compassion, balance, creativity.

Much more than just a part of your morning routine....a ritual to be savored.


Cindy said...

Loved what Lynn Johnson did this past weekend to end her strip -- a beautiful ending on Saturday and a satisfying epilogue on Sunday.

Pat (Pyzahn) said...

I completely agree. It would have been sad to see those characters fade away without the touching bit of closure she provided.