Over the course of 2½ years of presiding over this forum, sharing nearly a thousand daily posts and over 19,000 reader comments about your work, I’ve managed to hang on to a tiny shred of admiration for you. When the “Fuck you, TB” comments flew, I could confidently poke my head out of the foxhole and say, “Hey! Give the man credit. He’s made a forty-year career of doing something he loves.” Or, “He’s seems like he’s actually a nice guy in person.” Or, “Well, he has some interesting musical tastes.” Or, “He’s raised a fair amount of money and awareness to fight cancer.” Or, “O.K., today’s strip is truly funny.” All right, that last one, not so much.
And then, today, Tom, you pull this. You spend three weeks on an arc where Crazy Harry gets fired (or retires, according to one strip), with one week’s notice, and no severance, pension or unemployment benefit, and has to sell off his books and comics before accepting a part-time temp job (which he’d willingly do for no pay) at the Komix Korner. Come Sunday, he-e-e-e-e-re’s Harry, in full postie drag, to deliver the annual “Buon Natale dalla soleggiata Florida!” postcard from Tony (along with a bonus potshot at e-mail).
Admit it, Tom: your heart’s just not in it any longer. This is more egregious than having Les show up in Westview a week after getting on a plane to Tanzania. You fancy yourself a writer; you regularly lecture and chastise the readers; you dismiss as “beady-eyed” anyone who finds fault with your creative output. Even in a fictional milieu where continuity long ago became an afterthought, today’s strip signals to the readers that you flat-out don’t give a shit anymore.