Late last year, I said I planned to feature more webcomics on the blog. This post … is not quite that. It is, however, a look at a daily comic that is posted on the web, and that you should definitely be reading.
In April 2018, writer/artist Olivia Jaimes took over the long-running Nancy comic strip. I knew nothing about Nancy before Jaimes turned it into the world’s most memeable newspaper comic. Now, I can’t get enough.
Because no one reads newspapers anymore, I wanted to show you all a random week’s worth of Nancy (plus an extra Sunday strip, because why not). I am writing this introduction on Sunday, March 21, 2021. I will write this post’s conclusion on Sunday, March 28, 2021. In between, we will laugh. We will cry. We may watch a girl GO IN on some cornbread. And we will certainly weep for the travesties that modern technology has inflicted upon our society.
At the end of this journey, you will likely be convinced to read Nancy. Probably not by anything I wrote, mind you – but I have to make this look like a real post, so I’ll be commenting upon each strip.
Let’s get to it:
March 21, 2021
I’m very fond of the “parent considering her child’s fate; that fate likely not good” shading used in the fourth panel here. The fact that the strip very quickly breaks back to comedy makes the shading even more brilliant. Also, note the mirrored poses in panels 1/2 and 5/6.
Additional fun fact: I’ve been turning my phone off as much as possible on the weekends to avoid ending up like Nancy and Fritzi here. Somehow, I still spent an hour looking at Magic: The Gathering decklists and articles on my phone today. I don’t even currently play Magic: The Gathering. Smartphones, man.
March 22, 2021
I have yet to use hand sanitizer for nefarious purposes. I suppose I should try.
March 23, 2021
I don’t know what kind of masks Nancy is packing, but I’m pretty sure my masks couldn’t launch a pebble more than four inches. My only mask with elastic earbands is pretty worn out given its year of near-constant use. I’ve sewn the earbands back to a shorter size twice already, so the mask doesn’t flop uselessly from my face. I expect to have to do so again.
March 24, 2021
I hated grocery shopping before the pandemic. But the fact that I now can’t even smile at the checkout cashier, attempting to bond over the fact that we are both at the grocery store and would likely rather not be, makes it even worse. Sometimes, I attempt to smile with my eyes, which is the opposite of what is happening in this comic. I hope that whatever I’m doing is not as creepy as this.
March 25, 2021
So, there is an actual reason to have every other answer in the back of a math book! It’s to let students either a) confirm they got the correct answer, telling them the method they used to solve the problem is correct or b) give a struggling student the answer so they can work backward and figure out why that answer is correct. Giving a student an answer may actually “teach” them more than letting them solve the problem incorrectly. This, of course, assumes that at least some students are not lazeballs like Nancy.
March 26, 2021
Pictured: The Midwest Nice Struggle.
March 27, 2021
For a couple minutes, I wondered why Sluggo was on the phone with a therapist and/or customer support in this strip. But then I remembered the lady in the screen is his teacher. Gods, it must be so odd to be a child these days.
Relatedly, seeing newspaper strips incorporate and comment on the irregularities of pandemic life has been so interesting. Especially in comparison to monthly comics, which have largely chosen to avoid incorporating pandemic-era practices and effects into their stories in favor of remaining “timeless” later.
March 28, 2021
This strip made me laugh so hard that I decided to break this post’s original conceit (“a random week of Nancy – that’s a surefire hit!”) to include it. That’s how funny this strip is.
It is absurd how consistently entertaining Jaimes’s Nancy is, given that Nancy herself is now over 80 years old. If reading through these strips (and my excellent commentary) convinced you to bookmark and read Nancy, you can find the strip’s GoComics page here. If you (like me) are not big into webcomics, you can buy a physical collection of Olivia Jaimes’s first nine months of Nancy (and support the blog a bit via affiliate fees) by clicking here.