Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Speaking of lewd comic strips... 9 Chickweed Lane cartoonist deflowers characters

One of the strips I really like that's not in Washington papers has had some hot moments lately. The main characters of 9 Chickweed Lane, Edda (the girl) and Amos (the boy) rather obviously lost their virginity during the week of November 4th. IIRC, their virginal status was a main point in the news a couple of years ago. However, no one else picked this story up and I thought I might be way off in spite of strips like November 8th.

You can follow the whole story, including the voyeurism of the whole city of Brussels (November 13th) and quickies in the men's room (November 24th), at this link. It'll take a while to load.

Bob Harvey confirmed the story on his subscription website's Rants and Raves column.
Bob wrote:

McEldowney displayed the same surpassing skill in October and November, when Edda and Amos succumb to the inevitable. McEldowney handles this delicate matter with great humanity and comedic agility. He's an authentic storytelling master in the medium. No one can surpass him; Trudeau has, on various matters, equaled McEldowney in skill, subtlety and flair, but no one has surpassed him...

The visual device by which McEldowney depicts the deflowering of Edda and Amos is sheer genius—entwining hands. Breath-taking...

...Yet Chickweed Lane is in fewer than, oh, 70 papers. The rest of America doesn't know what it's missing.

When I asked McEldowney about this episode, he e-mailed back: "I'd been thinking about this sequence for a long time, mainly because the characters were edging that way all on their own. A lot of reader commentary has erupted over it, in particular warring camps representing love and romance vs. morality (with a smattering of concern over cartoon characters as role models). Me? I just think it is fiction, two characters, and a story. Getting away with it has been the tricky part. Not a word was ventured by my syndicate, United Feature, much to their credit—and it must have caused them moments of concern. The thing is, the story is not over yet. I'm still
tiptoeing along the tight rope."

I like this strip. We need it in the Post. And then they can censor it.


Unknown said...

The thing is, the strip is captivating, much as those witnessing Edda's and Amos' music have been captivated. I say that with some awareness that there is a soap opera element to the strip. There remains a pervasive innocence about it all - maybe that's the part that captivates? I don't know, and I think one of McEldowney's inimitable story telling qualities makes me content not to know.

Mike Rhode said...

I agree with you completely, Robert. This is one of my favorite strips at the moment.