41 Comments

  1. Smartphones have turned people into zombies. This is just old people being old people with old people complaints.

  2. Singapore Bill is surely right, but doesn’t panel 1 mix the metaphor? In panel 1 the joke is set up as being about how zombies are sluggishly aggressive and have fragile bodies, but in panel 2 phone users are zombies despite not wanting to eat anyone and having basically sound bodies. Is the common denominator just the slowness?

    Also, a rather accusatory tone – I am sorry that it was apparently specifically my phone that broke the camel’s back and started the zombie apocalypse.

  3. Singapore Bill is surely right, but I agree it’s poorly done.

    It took me at least two readings to realize that the tone of first panel was sarcastic. The arrow in the second panel suggests it’s the same person thinking as was talking. But then, shouldn’t the thought end with “you got that” rather than “you got this”?

    The hairstyles in panel one and two are remarkably similar, making me wonder whether they were the same person. After a closer look, I don’t think so, but I don’t think I should have had to look that closely.

  4. The Zombie Apocolypse that occurred in the 50’s was caused by trashy comic books. The repeat occurrence in this century is a result of ubiquitous electronics.

  5. The thought bubble in panel 2 is coming from the gutter. Specifically, Guy Gilchrist’s signature.

  6. Is the connection how zombieness spreads? In panel 1 she thinks that zombies are “the worst” because they could never catch anyone by chasing and biting them, and is implicitly doubts the zombie apocalypse, but in panel 2 she is proven wrong because the actual way zombieness spreads is through email, viral videos, &c?

  7. Stop and think. Have you ever seen someone staring at a phone walking substantially below the typical walking rate? How about walking right into clearly visible solid objects? Blissful (or otherwise) ignorance of events transpiring right in the vicinity?

  8. My interpretation is that the older person was thinking what lame monsters zombies are while reading a monster comic/magazine of the 50s/60s. Then today, this person is out of panel and thinking that their descendant (grandchild?) has turned into a zombie because they have “one of them eyefones”. Typical old-person complaint. I hear it all the time.

    Now, the reality is, of course, different. Look at this photo of old-time commuters. All are heads down into a newspaper. http://also.kottke.org/misc/images/kubrick-subway-newspapers.jpg Yet I don’t hear my friends condescendingly rail against that. When I was a child, I used to walk down the street reading a book. I’ve still seen people do it, and not just children. But nobody talks about how horrible books are.

    As I tried to explain to one of my older friends, the person looking at the phone could be reading a book (as I often do when on public transit), news stories, reading their mail (if someone had a sheaf of paper letters and was reading them on the bus, the oldsters wouldn’t look down on them ) selecting music to listen to (the oldsters all have radios in their Buicks, don’t they?), or making plans to meet a friend, but they’re using text rather than making a voice call. These tools are really versatile and when the old fogies go off about them, it’s because they haven’t got a clue what people are actually doing with them.

    Yeah, some people may use them inconsiderately, even dangerously. But then the fogies drove drunk without seatbelts for decades. They smoked in offices and restaurants. They drank while pregnant. And today, they continue to drive into their nineties (looking at you Prince Philip). There are plenty of people who make inappropriate choices.

    If I’m a zombie because I’d rather read a prize-winning novel than listen to someone sitting next to me on the streetcar go on about the developments of their latest reality show, or I’d rather send a text to my friend than engage with a racist family member during the one dinner a year we have to spend together, well sign me up.

  9. With both of them having the same hair and eyebrows, I kept trying to figure out how a younger version of the one reading comic books was looking at a phone.

  10. Chak – that’s my problem. Fritzi is obvious, but I have zero clue who the second character is – not Nancy, even in the reboot, not Fritzi with those eyes (or a really bad drawing of Fritzi)…I’m not following the reboot at all – read the first few and decided I had my maximum daily allowance of snark supplied elsewhere. So it may be someone who a follower would know. Not me.
    And lacking that knowledge, yeah, it’s totally confusing who’s talking about what.

  11. jjmcgaffey, this is pre-reboot. The reboot uses a different and less glamorous version of Fritzi.

  12. The reboot is horrendous. The best I can figure, it’s supposed to be an uber-hip deconstruction of the actual strip. It looks to me like the sort of intentionally-weird comic strip parodies Mad Magazine did in the 1950s (Superdooperman, et al)

  13. Singapore Bill, it is my experience that “eyefones” are a hell of a lot more obnoxious than newspapers. Most of their users insist on carrying on loud conversations or playing noisy videos at full volume. This happens every day at work. We have a small break room. Viceos with loud yelling, cheering, screaming, explosions, etc. are the worst. By contrast, I have no problem with rustling newspapers.

  14. The character in panel two is clearly Aunt Fritzi, though I agree she looks different due to the way her eyes are drawn.

    I still say the thought bubble is coming from Gilchrist himself.

  15. “The reboot is horrendous.”

    Thank you. The art is horrible, and the “jokes” are forced trendiness, and not funny. But I keep seeing people praise it to the skies, and I can’t figure out what they can possibly be seeing.

  16. Add me to the list of people not cool enough to appreciate (or even understand the point of) New Nancy.

  17. “Add me to the list of people not cool enough to appreciate (or even understand the point of) New Nancy.”

    I think I and you are way too cool. It’s just not funny and it’s banal. The artwork is non-existent and it have any character or personality and doesn’t even try to follow the original concept. The post-modern “deconstruction” jokes which get so much mouth play aren’t actually that frequent. And when they are they aren’t actually that intelligent just… blatently there, forcing us to acknowledge them.

    It’s basically a sucker punch. It’s just Internet detached self-awareness *just* enough so that the response to anyone who complains is “oh, you’re an old-fashioned dinosaur who doesn’t get the mindset of the post-modern world” whereas in actuality detached ennui just isn’t interesting or substantial enough for the diet a comic follower should have. And the actual strips about things happening are just … banal, almost bizarrely so.

    I think Gilchrist was taking the strip is such an irritating and wrong direction that the praise comes from it not being Gilchrist. But the replacement is much more “phone it in” than Gilchrist ever was.

  18. My comment is in moderation? For what? Using the Word “post-modern”?

    Apparently that’s not it, Woozy.

    WordPress isn’t letting me into my admin screen via my phone just now, so unfortunately I won’t be able to free your message from Moderation until I get home.

  19. I read the original strip as a kid, but after comparing two weeks of Nancy as written by Olivia Jaimes with the “classics” as written by Ernie Bushmiller, I can’t remember why I bothered. I don’t see much difference in the (lack of) sophistication in the humor. Bushmiller’s inkwork is more consistent, but the drawing style in either version is rather dull, and I don’t think the shading or the color in the new version is an improvement.

  20. woozy: I suspect it’s not about filtering curses, it’s about filtering spam.

    I’ll leave it to your imagination what sort of material might use that word not as a curse.

  21. @ WW – I never would have connected that word with spam, I always thought it was on the moderation list to prevent comments on the order of “… this comic strip really *ucks.
    P.S. It would be interesting to know whether Bill put it on the trigger list, or whether it’s one of WordPress’s defaults.

  22. “Kilby, I put it in the trigger list because it’s a common word in some types of spam.”

    That’s…. disturbing.

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