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Sally Forth, 7/30/04

If I were a different sort of comic reader — that is, an insane and hypersensitive one — this is the sort of comic strip that might prompt an angry letter to the editor about the open sewer that is American popular culture today and shouldn’t the comics pages be the one place where we can escape from the smut and won’t somebody please think of the children? As it is, my main thought was just “Ew.” Yeah, I know that it’s important for parents to have times to themselves and everything, and that a healthy sex life is not incompatible with parenting and/or responsible adulthood, but still: Ew. Imagine the trauma that would be unleashed on the unsuspecting comics readership if other comics, like Cathy, Barney Google & Snuffy Smith, or, God forbid, Marmaduke start encouraging us to imagine that the main characters are going off to get their Smoove B-style freak on immediately after the closing panel. If I wanted to think about that sort of thing in conjunction with cartoons, there are plenty of videos I can order from Japan, thank you very much.

When I was taking Latin in college, I was looking up the verb prodeo and was told that one of its potential translations into English was to sally forth. Immediately a little light went on in my head: The name of that comic strip is a Latin joke! Just like the Family Circus! Maybe failed classicists end up on the funny pages, or, in my case, commenting on the funny pages on the Internet. It sure would explain Prince Valiant.