18 Comments

  1. It’s not every day that one sees a comic that is simultaneously insensitive, lame, historically inaccurate(*), and poorly drawn. There isn’t even a shred of humor in it.
    P.S. (*) Blondie was first published in 1930.

  2. P.P.S. Dagwood normally constructed his own sandwiches; that’s why they are called “dagwoods”, and not “blondies”.

  3. It’s been a while, but didn’t he support her when she decided to start her own business?

  4. “It’s been a while, but didn’t he support her when she decided to start her own business?”

    The first panels of the strip he had some surprising outdated objections (by 1990 standards) about “No wife of Dagwood Bumstead needs to work” and so on but the punch line was that when she told him it was catering and she’d bring home left overs he immediately changed his mind. Then a month later there was a week plot where he considered quitting his job to let Blondie support him.

    ” Blondie was first published in 1930.”

    I think that’s part of the (so called) joke. This is a “what it’d be like in the 1919”. On the other hand, Blondie is not a single panel caption cartoon.

    I think the joke is “Make me a sandwich” is a (anti)misogynist meme these days and Dagwood likes sandwiches. I think this cartoonist doesn’t like Blondie and assumes no-one else does either.

  5. The gag panel in question doesn’t work because while Blondie isn’t THAT old, she darn near is and that muddies the joke. Also, Dagwood is neither a stereotypical oppressor nor a trendily enlightened male, so there’s no specific joke in his behavior.

    Maybe the sandwich reference is it — although, as pointed out by others, Dagwood proudly builds his own. But why 1919? Blondie could carry a sign saying “Fight Sexism” and be current. Maybe she could yell “Go make YOURSELF a sandwich!” at Dagwood, who wonders aloud whether he missed some subtext even as he cheerily does so.

    Doing a gag about a current comic strip’s hypothetical distant past might be funny with a “new” strip, but how many major strips are new enough to make a 1919 setting funny? Maybe Dilbert: The characters are all working on adding machines. Alice says “Very soon I will be accorded the same respect and remuneration as my colleagues.” Eccentrically-Coiffed Boss replies, “But Alice — I was given to understand you are a woman.” “Beware the Slapping Hand of Mortality!” warns Wally.

  6. I also seem to recall the Blondie catering strip about Dagwood accidentally upstaging her at a job by making himself a sandwich and everyone wanted one. The punch line was that while he was apologizing on the drive home, she was requesting that he come along on every job as his sandwiches were such a big hit.

  7. The author also appears not to know that Blondie was a flapper before she married rich bachelor Dagwood. The flappers came into existence partly because of women suffrage.

  8. MinorAnnoyance – The fact that Dagwood is pretty mainstream in his views towards women might be kind of the point of the cartoon. (I still can’t see a joke.) It wasn’t really noteworthy to oppose women’s suffrage back in the day.

  9. Or, carlfink, that Dagwood gave up his money in order to marry Blondie. He went from being an elite to a working class Joe for love.

  10. I recall a video made by some pranksters featuring a petition drive to “end women’s suffrage”.

  11. When I worked in a hospital admitting office, I often had to ask husbands what their wife’s occupation was. I’d get, “Oh, she doesn’t work” and I’d give them the stink-eye until they asked why. Then I’d point out that unless he had a maid, a chauffeur, a cook and a nanny, she worked. She worked non-stop.

  12. MinorAnnoyance – I would read that Dilbert cartoon for sure. Actually, I would read a lot of strips who tried this out.

  13. Tree, this isn’t so much comics strips trying this out on their own as much as Pop Culture Shock Therapy lampooning them.

  14. The older I get the more I find myself to the clean your own house first/wash your glass windows before throwing stones attitude.

    I think the idea is “isn’t Blondie just a dinosaur socially irrelevant strip that’s outlived any purpose” and I might have felt so in my twenties, heck I might even believe it and say it to myself now, but now I feel, well, what have *you* ever done, Culture Shock Therapy, to justify *your* existence.

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