The NCCC™ FINAL FOUR® semi-final match-ups are:
Dead Writer Division Champion Shoe vs.
Pointless Soap Division Champion Mary Worth
Just Not Funny Division Champion BC vs.
Walker-Browne Division Champion Hagar the Horrible
Who will cut down the nets?
In the first game of the semi-finals of the NCCC(tm), we have Mary Worth against Shoe. These two strips have one major difference; the funny one is not meant to be and the unfunny one ought to be. Meddlin’ Mary, as she is unaffectionately known, is the subject of constant ridicule and scorn. The subject of countless parodies and often amazingly vituperative satire, she never seems to quite notice the “Kick me” sign written in permanent marker on the back of her electric blue outfits.
Shoe, when he is noticed at all, usually elicits a grown and quick glance to the next comic. Long term exposure to Shoe may lead to excessive familiarity with old Vaudeville routines but nothing more serious.
Mary on the other hand induces nausea, resulting in gag reflexes strong enough to make you pay attention to acid reflux medicine commercials. Obviously Mary is as hazardous as typhoid or any other disease spread by exposure to sewage.
In our second Final Four Steel Cage Comic Deathmatch™, we have Hagar the Horrible squaring off against BC. Hagar and BC both work in a tough comic genre, the Wildly Anachronistic Milleu (WAM™). Hagar is no more about medieval barbarian culture than Sherman’s Lagoon is about marine biology. Most of the humor derives from laughing at these ancient people having the same problems as we do. The other strips in this category, which includes Crock, Tumbleweeds, and Redeye, tend to be horrendously lame to begin with. Perhaps the only strip currently working this concept well is Johhny Hart and BrantParker's Wizard of Id, which is faint praise indeed.
Hagar never really takes off on the absurdity of the Viking world, often resorting to other set-ups like deserted island and cannibal gags, and then just recycles material older than his ever-sinking Viking ship.
BC on the other hand, has abandoned any internal consistency whatsoever so that he can say what he wants when he wants like some sort of fundamentalist Tourette’s Syndrome sufferer. The strip features cavemen living alongside dinosaurs, One Million BC style, but includes many pop-culture references in addition to the obviously anno domini religious ones. One of the older running gags had an apteryx constantly explain that he was about to become extinct, yet Hart, in his evangelical zeal, now rejects and ridicules evolution. Two of his newer characters are a painfully sterotypical Native American and a handlebar mustached Italian who have no connection to the other cavemen whatsoever except to allow for ugly ethnic humor.
BC quit being about cavemen a long time ago and the guys in the furskin togs are now just filler between the increasingly baffling and mean-spirited evangelical tirades. Johnny should be looking at the mote in his own misogynistic eye a little closer. Could any newcomer get a strip published today where one of the characters is known only as The Fat Broad? Does The Cute Chick have a name either? Rather than constantly giving sermons to the choir, maybe he should practice what he preaches, unless that doesn’t include tolerance and compassion.
For the final game, click here.