After counting the votes, we have the finalists in the National Corniest Cliche Comic Character Countdown and they are a motley bunch of stereotypes. Many people were frustrated with the No Patterson Rule. For Better or For Worse is a tough strip to pigeon-hole in these categories because it is part humor strip, part soap opera, and all lame. And know that it is in the zombie strip limbo of the living dead, the strip is beginning to compete with itself in any topic where spleens can be vented.
We had plenty of write-ins, most of them very well-reasoned. There were over a thousand votes cast, so I feel I got a real slice of the comics-loving community. And they love to hate the losers. Lets go through the finalists and then we can decide who is the Best (or Worst) of Show
|Alarming Alcoholic – Leroy Lockhorn|
Despite having an early lead, Andy Capp got edged out by Leroy Lockhorn. Now both of these characters have a glass in their hand as part of their defining character traits, but Leroy is bitterer and far more likely to be in an out of control stupor. I really wish Andy had won because he is a more iconic figure with far better clip art available online, but the readers have spoken.
|Dopiest Dad – Dagwood|
Dagwood would give anyone a run for the money in dopiest anything category. There is not anything he does that he doesn’t do lazily or incompetently. Except perhaps make oversized sandwiches. Happily married but dim-witted fathers are one of the last safe objects of derision in America and Dagwood has been blazing that trail for over severty-five years. Other dopey dads owe him a debt of gratitude for making them look good in comparison.
|Perplexing Pet – Marmaduke|
As I mentioned in the comments, this was Marmaduke’s category to lose and he won by the largest margin of any category. Even the much maligned Garfield got out-voted two-to-one. How this hyperactive Great Dane has managed to milk one joke for decades is the real mystery. And nothing I can say about the sexual subtext of the strip can match this.
|Kid to Kick In The Ass – Dolly|
I just could not fit everyone’s favorite loathsome brat into this category. I could have doubled the field and still not pleased everybody. Danae from Non Sequitor was favorite write-in. Still, Dolly is a worthy winner in the toughest division.
|Judge’s Choice – Flagstone Family|
At least one reader caught on that the candidates seemed to include an awful lot of folk from Hi and Lois and this was no accident. While no character finished higher than fourth in their respective category (Thirsty at least beat out all the other Walker/Browne lushes (a disturbingly common character type among that clan)), the entire Hi and Lois cast epitomizes lazy caricature driven characterization. For over a half century, this white-bread family has been a collection of “types” that went obsolete somewhere around the British Invasion. Even as they have tried to adapt and stay relevant, they remain constantly at least one decade behind the times.
So make a choice and check some boxes and we’ll see what you think.
In the meantime I’m going to start compiling a list of divisions for next year’s tourney. Some ideas I have kicking around are: Most Unforgivable Patterson, Swishiest Soap Star, Least Fulfilled Female, Most Dysfunctional Family. Go ahead and give me some other ideas. Until then, read my regular stuff and be sure to come back next year.