(This one originally appeared in January 8, 1999.)
This top one was slated to appear, but newspaper editors were allowed to substitute this older one if they didn’t want to expose their readers to the word “crap.” Turns out the word is verboten on the comics page in any usage.
When I talked about the strip with Brendan, my boy wonder editor, he suggested we offer an alternative and let newspaper editors make the call for their readers, as they know them best. I was fine with that. (Besides, someone recently told me they liked this shopping cart strip from way back, and I am not allowed rerun past strips unless there is an occasion like this.)
The comics page in a newspaper has a 1950s veneer to it, where certain words aren’t allowed. (Dork, suck, and the above c-word, which in my book has at least two c-words in front of it on the bad c-word podium.)
When will comics page language catch up with common vernacular? Probably not until Little Jeffy in The Family Circus can say the third-tier-c-word without fear of being cancelled by papers. Until then, the rest of us are S.O.L.