1. I just made the mistake of looking up why “Marciuliano” still gets credit in the tags when the third panel clearly says “Keefe”. I quit reading Sally Forth decades ago, having disliked both of the first two changes of illustratorship. The strip used to be reasonably funny, but the Wikipedia article makes it sound like a tedious soap opera.
    P.S. I have never been able to understand why Howard (the strip’s original creator) picked a name that directly conflicted with Wally Wood’s R-rated strip.

  2. Since it’s open, I would have thought they could see how many flights of stairs there were while they were still standing at the bottom. As opposed, say, to a lighthouse.

  3. It can be surprisingly difficult to see how many stairs there are in a lookout tower, because if you look straight up from the bottom the lower flights obscure the higher ones. And there isn’t always a lot of “beside” to look from, because the towers were generally built on high ground. Maybe they assumed that they could see all the stairs, and that’s part of why they got confused.

  4. No, it isn’t true of all long staircases that they’re constantly under construction. Nor that they take over 20 minutes to climb. I’m honestly not sure what you mean.

  5. The “twenty minutes” might have been believable if it had been a “subjective” measure (perhaps as part of the dialog). It does not work when framed as an objective clock time: I have never been on any observation tower that took more than 5 minutes to climb (for an adult).
    For an extreme example: in the early 70’s it was still possible to walk down the stairs in the Washington Monument. Estimating one second per stairstep for about 900 steps would result in a 15 minute descent.
    For an even more extreme example: the best times for the run up the Empire State Building (86 floors, 1576 steps) are under 10 minutes.
    Neither one of those examples is entirely realistic, but “normal” people would of course take the elevator.

  6. @Kilby: I think the 20 minutes is meant to be seen as an absurdity, rather than a realistic number. I usually enjoy Sally Forth, but I like Ces’s humor in general. The strip will do longish arcs, but the soapiest it’s ever gotten was the death of Ted’s father and that was mostly Ces dealing with the death of his own father.

  7. I don’t think that “tedious soap opera” really captures it. It’s more of an absurdist take on the matter. Remember the giant werewolf statues that some 12 YO girls managed to make out of . . . something and attach to the house?

    The Forths have a history of getting lost in corn mazes. In a previous panel, they discussed whether they are still trapped in the last maze.


    Ces will lampshade various things all the time. In the one I linked, it was the fact that Hilary has been 12 for a long time now. There is supposed to be “time jump” coming.

  8. I just made the mistake of looking up why “Marciuliano” still gets credit in the tags when the third panel clearly says “Keefe”.

    Had you gone to the Comics Kingdom site for the strip, you’d have seen:

    “Francesco Marciuliano; drawn by Jim Keefe”

    Jim reads the comments and will sometime reply. Usually to compliments or questions about the artwork.

  9. Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that the strip was a “tedious soap opera”; but rather that the iterative record of incidents in the Wikipedia article makes it appear as if it were one.

  10. @Kilby: I mean, you could make Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes sound horribly repetitive with a list like that, too. Ces has made it clear that he can only get away with so much, since the strip actually belongs to the syndicate and they keep fairly tight editorial control. He also took over the writing for Judge Parker a couple of years ago and turned the strip completely upside down. It’s still a soap opera, but the main characters lives are far from perfect anymore.

  11. @ DemetriosX – Syndication control explains a lot, especially that “squeaky clean” scent surrounding the whole strip. Most of the strips carried by King Features seem to be on the conservative end of the comic strip spectrum.
    P.S. [OT] Every time I happen to run into a Disney sitcom while zapping through channels, it’s that same “wholesome” aroma that reveals the source within seconds, even before the laugh track cuts in to seal the identification.[/OT]

  12. When I was in college it was a big thing to run up the stairs of the library building – an 11 story building. Porker that I was even then (I weighed 27 lbs more than I do now and I am not far from average weight now) I used to do this. I am not sure that I could even walk up it now without a number of stops along the way. And yes, as we ran – it always seemed that there was another flight of stairs ahead of us.

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