Comic Kudos: Ballard Street
It's been quite a while since I (Anne) gave a shout out to any of my favorite comics. I've made a New Year's Resolution to be better about this in 2013. (Yes, I know it's already the middle of April - I'm a busy, disorganized person. Sue me.)
One of my absolute favorite comic panels is Ballard Street by Jerry Van Amerongen. (Don't worry if you can't pronounce his last name, I get it wrong about half the time.)
I've been a fan of Jerry's work since his first comic "The Neighborhood". True story: In 2008 John and I flew to Los Angeles to attend our very first Reuben Weekend. Next to me on the plane was a guy flying home to L.A. In the course of our small talk, he asked what brought us to L.A. When I told him we were attending a sort of convention for comic artists he launched into a tidal wave of praise for one of his favorite comic strips - "Ballard Street" and lamented its removal from the L.A Times. Lo and behold, one of the first people I met when we got to the hotel was Jerry. I promptly passed on the comments of his fan and thought "what a small world".
But I digress.
Do I even need to explain what I find so funny about the above cartoons?
Perhaps it's the looniness of the inhabitants of Ballard Street - I struggle between the thought that these are folks from far off the beaten path and the nagging feeling that, to the contrary, I actually meet people like this on a regular basis. Nuts like this don't exist. They couldn't exist. (Except they do.) I propose we get rid of all the reality TV shows and put up panels of Ballard Street on the cable networks instead. Much more entertaining.
The other thing I love in Jerry's cartoons are the dogs. They have their own secret lives going on and, without a word of dialogue inserted into their mouths, we know exactly what that secret life looks like. Plus they have that added bonus of the crazy "chicken toes" of the dogs of venerated New Yorker Cartoonist George Booth. ("Chicken toed dogs" is my own pet name for the paws of Booth Dogs - I don't know when I started calling them that, they just always look like chicken feet to me.)
So head over to Ballard Street and get a bigger dose of the asylum that is running around in Jerry's head. (Today's - April 12, 2013 - made me laugh out loud!)