Escape From Death Towers
Panel from Mary Worth, 11/7/10
Few things brought more delight to me today than the opening panel of Mary Worth. “I had fun!” the fleeing K-car declares sunnily as it speeds away from the towering concrete monstrosity that is Charterstone. Never has this supposedly high-end condo complex looked more like a ramshackle series of cinderblock structures thrown up in short order after the whole area had been leveled in an Allied bombing raid, following a plan laid out by M.C. Escher. The faux-Spanish tiles slapped on the roofs cannot hide the buildings’ essential ghastliness. Hovering merrily over it all, of course, is an Oscar Wilde witticism about stabbing people.
As a rule, Crankshaft isn’t shy about its Northeast Ohio setting, or its characters’ love of the various hapless Cleveland-area teams, so I’m a bit confused as to why Crankshaft’s vitriolic screed today focuses only on “our football team,” Herb and Jamaal-style. Is the strip under pressure from the syndicate to somehow be more “universal” and “relatable”? Can’t readers across the country think of at least one angry, unpleasant old man that they hate, without needing to imagine that he’s raging about their football team in particular?