Thursday, January 31, 2008


Sarah went into town yesterday and brought a copy of the Metro back with her, it's a free London paper that usually has nothing worth reading in it but you can't help picking one up and thumbing through it anyway. The Metro's only useful function is to provide something to peruse when you're on the London Underground and you've forgotten to bring a book. You can try putting off the inevitable by reading all the adverts on the train fourty-seven times but eventually you'll grab one of the many discarded copies littering the train carriage and start flicking through the paper (unless you're one of those lucky people that can doze on a train and never have to resort to such desperate measures).

The Metro's most heinous crime is the inclusion of the comic strip 'Nemi' by Norwegian cartoonist, Lise.
Nemi is the second most popular strip in Norway, according to Wikipedia. The Nemi gallery on the Metro site, part of the heading says: her or hate her, she always gets a reaction!

I can't argue with that. My reaction in this case was goggle-eyed, head-smacking disbelief; that a cartoonist could be so lazy and unfunny at the same time. Cutting corners I can understand, producing a comic strip day in, day out isn't the doddle that it may appear and if you can come up with an idea that allows for an easy ride once in a while, I'm all for it. There are times when the economical approach can be more effective and successful than any other. But if you're going to be this lazy and not even try to improve or enhance the joke with some artwork then it had better be brilliant...

This makes me want to weep. A black panel in which all you're imagining is Nemi sitting on the loo. It's not funny, it's not clever but it is weak and boring. If she was shouting in annoyance at the perpetrator then it might have, at least, raised a small smile of recognition. Instead we get an explanation of why there's a black panel.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the "older sibling" line doesn't make much sense either, surely a younger sibling is more likely to muck about and turn the lights off? And how often is the light switch on the outside of the toilet? Can't say I've found it to be all that often. 

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