Return to Non sequitur (thing)

A beautiful comic strip appearing single-paned black and white during the week and multi-paned color on Sunday. Authored by Wiley Miller. The current strip as well as archives can be found at the site's home page, www.non-sequitur.com/.

Non Sequitur is, in my opinion, extremely witty, intelligent, and pleasurable to read. It deals with a variety of things, but focuses on politics and "the new economy." The only recurring character (besides Homer, whom I'll discuss in a second) is "Obviousman," a take-off on Superman, who appears in situations that are in desperate need of logical correction. He wears a cape and a shirt that has the word "duh" with a slash through it (ie. "no duh"), and though he is introduced to the situation with great force and mightiness, by the end of the strip it usually becomes apparent that his efforts to introduce logical thinking to the situation are to no avail, at which point he recedes into a cynical businessman type who people call "O-Man".

Homer: The Reluctant Soul was sort of an alternate comic that would appear in place of Non-Sequitur on Sundays in 1996 and 1997. It told the story of an angel, Homer, who would was repeatedly put on Earth in various situations, most of them unfortunate in one way or another. From being born in a bear cave to Medieval Europe to a life of politics, Homer saw quite a lot. From what I can tell, though I wasn't following it too closely at the time, Wiley first decided to move Homer into a comic strip of its own, but it wasn't in high enough demand to get press syndication. So he decided to try an online version, with subscriber fees of $2 a month, but he only got 1,200 subscriptions, not enough to warrant the amount of effort it would take. So he's now working on a series of Homer books instead.

Besides being witty, Non-Sequitur is gorgeous visually. The daily strips are usually drawn isometrically, and make beautiful use of shading. The Sundays are even more appealing, Wiley makes excellent use of color, unlike most comic strips which seem shallow or blocky. The expressions he paints on peoples faces are great, too.

The strips "mascots," if you'd call them that, are the hummingbird-penguin and the pencil-headed hatchling, names I just invented to describe wonderfully ironic beings of his own creation. Visit the website, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Puts stupid and annoying comic strips like "The Family Circus" to shame.

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