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    Sunday, September 24, 2006
    Curtains for Aldo?

    For those of you following plot developments in Mary Worth, and I know that all of you are--

    No, wait. Let's try this again. For those of you who read The Comics Curmudgeon, the latest plotline in Mary Worth has been an endless source of entertainment. I'm actually sorry to see it coming to an end, though the end looks pretty damn spectacular. Or to put it another way, it's the weirdest strip I've ever seen. I'd pay to know what the artist was smoking when they came up with this one.

    If you still don't know what I'm talking about, here's some background. Mary Worth is a postmenopausal widowed busybody who lives in the fictional town of Santa Royale, California, in a condo development called "Charterstone." Basically the strip is a soap opera, with issue after issue cropping up. New characters are introduced for each plot, Mary sticks her nose into their business, and when the plot is resolved the peripheral characters disappear, never to be heard from again. The current plot has attracted a lot of attention from readers because a) it's halfway interesting and b) it was presented in a very strange way. Basically, there's a stalker at Charterstone pursuing Mary Worth.

    Yes, I said Mary Worth. Our stalker, who bears a strong resemblance to Captain Kangaroo and looks at least twenty years younger than his prey, decided to go after Mary instead of one of the younger women who seem to infest the place as background figures. Why? Who cares? It's Mary Worth-land, where no one makes decisions that bear any resemblance to reality as we know it. Anyway, after making several halfhearted attempts to woo Mary, Aldo was dragged into an "intervention" organized by her concerned neighbors, who told him in no uncertain terms to leave virtuous, meddling Mary alone. Heartbroken, Aldo responded by hitting the liquor store and then going for a drive with his good friend Johnny Walker. In a remarkably poorly drawn sequence, he then missed a turn and sent his car nosediving off a cliff; I assume that means he's dead, but I'm waiting for tomorrow's strip to find out for sure.

    What response has this plotline gotten from readers? Suffice to say, there are a lot of people out there who are incredibly creative and have a LOT of free time on their hands. As follows:

    • My favorite reader comment from Josh's site: "If Aldomania doesn't end with Aldo shrieking maniacally, a bottle of Bombay in one hand and Mary's head in the other, backlit by the flames of the burning pyre that is Charterstone, I for one am going to be disappointed."
    • Two very clever parodies, one a takeoff on Shelley's Ozymandias and the other of Marvell's To His Coy Mistress.
    • A Benny Hill- type video you aren't going to believe. See below.

    Anyway, it's been fun, Aldo. It's safe to say you will be remembered.




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