Mundane Mary Worth Tackles Technology

There is a long-running comic strip called Mary Worth, which you'll find in many local newspapers. Of late, it has focused on the empty-headed character Toby and her naive but perseverent attempts to understand computers. The series' sequential nature, combined with its stupefying dullness, inadvertently makes individual strips seem like blunt nihilistic ruminations. It's like removing Garfield from Garfield, but they made it this way to begin with.
There is an organization, devoted to stopping Mary Worth being canceled, called "Don't Cancel Mary Worth." I suggest you tithe yourself to it at once.

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20 Responses to Mundane Mary Worth Tackles Technology

  1. Stefan Jones says:

    The Oregonian moved “Judge Parker” from the comics page to the classified ads.

    Cathy ended up there too.

    I wish they’d move the undead-retread For Better or Worse back there too. (It’s OVER folks; do you really want to see the dog get neutered and die again.)

    And Peanuts. DIE already! Just DIE!

  2. Wally B says:

    @ #15 Todd, thankyouthankyouthankyou, that link is freakin’ brilliant. That’s the first time I’ve laughed out loud at Garfield in, like, uh… ever.

  3. Jake0748 says:

    Mary Worth is so stupidly boring. I’m compelled by some strange force to read it every Sunday, just to see if something, ANYTHING is ever going to happen.

    Thank you for today’s bit of cognitive dissonance. I never in my life imagined that this ennui-laden strip and BoingBoing would somehow cross paths in my awareness.

  4. trueblue2 says:

    1: Hurrah for other CC fans!

    Seriously, for those of you who are sick of the current comics-page lineup (but still read it anyway, thinking that something for once might happen), you should definitely check out that website.

  5. historyman68 says:

    @1, 11 – Hooray for boingboing/Comics Curmudgeon crossover! Somehow, I’m not surprised about the shared readership.

  6. eustace says:

    I remember discovering, when I was eleven or twelve, that the slow-moving daily comics could be a very different experience when read from microfilm spools at the university library. Months and even years just fly by!

  7. HeatherB says:

    I laugh every time I read Mary Worth. It’s not every day I get to see a comic strip with such dramatic, bad acting!

  8. Stefan Jones says:

    I looked at Comics Curmudgeon. An interesting mix of strips I read every day and things I’ve never seen before.

    Wow . . . so Mark Trail is a lame daily strip as well as a lame Sunday feature?

    I joked on Whitechapel that Mark Trail should be revamped as a vigilante environmentalist who commands a pack of timber wolves and torches the homes of people who don’t put out their campfires.

  9. Todd Sieling says:

    Oh Mary Worth you well-meaning meddler. And, for anyong intrigued by the idea of Garfield without Garfield:

  10. mcscruffington says:

    Also: Prince Valiant, The Phantom, Dennis the Menace, Marmaduke… about 80% of the Sunday comics have been the same for about 20 years. And they aren’t getting better. They should put these next to the obituaries… so that they can reach their target audience.

  11. Anonymous says:

    ob Simpsons:
    “Please do not bang your head against the glass. It contains a very rare Mary Worth, in which she advises a close friend to commit suicide.”

    This particular storyline has the whiff of the PSA about it, but for those who want to see more of Toby’s adventures, get thee to 0tv (a link I may have originally got from bOINGbOING):


  12. mcscruffington says:

    I just visited the King Features Syndicates website… turns out they provide all the comics in our local paper, including such hits as Crock, Rex morgan, Judge Parker, Beetle Bailey, Crankshaft, Famiy Circus, Hagar the Horrible, Hi and Lois, the Lockhorns, Mallard Fillmore, Marvin, and the Amazing Spiderman.

  13. Paul Coleman says:

    I highly encourage you to go to

    And for anyone who hasn’t gone to the Comics Curmudgeon site…you should. Great snark on lots of comics.

  14. edgore says:

    I linke that the phishing email is accuratly mis-spelled. “Irgent” indeed!

    @Paul – thanks for the link – brilliant

  15. edgore says:

    Ah, the irony of my many typographic errors.

  16. Bucket says:

    In that first frame, is her monitor actually an ant farm?

  17. Clay says:

    I had always thought of Mary Worth and its ilk as unreadable due to the incredibly slow continuity of time from comic to comic.

    To me, this sort of comic is like reading a novel, taking a 24-hour break after each paragraph, the narrative stretching into a glacial miasma that is neither moving nor still.

    More than that, it’s a novel in which none of the pages are numbered, you can only start in the middle, and you can never know how many pages came before where you started or how many will follow.

    I never stopped to imagine the strips as self-contained narratives, though. Postmodern nihilism indeed.

  18. Rob Beschizza says:

    I think the best way to highlight that for humorous effect might be to repeat the last panel exactly, but without any speech or exposition.

  19. dculberson says:

    Clay, the thing that drives me *crazy* is when it’s a three-panel comic and the first two repeat what happened previously. Really? They spend 67% of their art recapping their previous art. Really. It slows the glacial miasma into the continental drift range. The state of California outpaces the author’s ability to pen new content.

  20. Daemon says:

    Calvin & Hobbes: Just about the only newsprint comic series that was worthy of true respect.

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