Books Waiting for Sluggo
posted by July 16 at 15:55 PMon
Editor and Publisher brings news that Samuel Beckett had a correspondence with Nancy creater Ernie Bushmiller wherein he suggested some Nancy comic strip ideas. Apparently, Beckett was a big Nancy fan and he thought that his existentialism would be perfect for the comic strip. Bushmiller did not agree.
“One letter includes the following: Your gag and strip ideas for Nancy are much appreciated, and I have to say interesting, too. Many readers send me ideas for the strip, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any quite like yours….
“I donít know how well they’re going to work. I think the problem you’re having, Sam, is the same problem any literary man might have. You’re not setting up the gags visually and you’re rushing to the snapper. It seems to me you’ve got the zingers right there at the beginning, in panel No. 1, and although I have to admit you got Nancy and Sluggo in some crackerjack predicaments, I don’t see how they got there.
“For instance, putting Nancy and Sluggo in the garbage cans is a good gag, but in my opinion, you can’t have them in there for all three panels. How did they get there? Same thing when you had them buried in the sand. I like to do beach gags, but I don’t think that having Nancy buried up to her waist in the first two panels and then up to her neck in the third one is adequately explained, and I’ve been at this game for a while now. Also, why would Sluggo be facing in the opposite direction when he’s talking to her?”
I wish that a couple of Beckett Nancy cartoons actually did come out. A lot of Bushmiller’s gag ideas (like the one above) are so stupid that they’re almost smart, or at least they’re profoundly weird. A Beckett Nancy wouldn’t have been that much of a stretch.
UPDATE: I am the stupid credulous fucking hack of the day for taking Editor and Publisher at their word. But I still appreciate any opportunity I might have to put a Nancy cartoon on Slog.