Not just another Welsh hornpipe July 19, 2006Posted by Jeff in Cartoons.
Note: click on the art thumbnails for a fuller view.
Brooke McEldowney must not have much spare time on his hands.
In 1993, his comic strip 9 Chickweed Lane first appeared in newspapers. Nine years later, he started Pibgorn, which was published on the Internet in hopes of being picked up by newspapers.
Of course, in these days of shrinking newspaper comics pages and strips that have to be read with a magnifying glass, artwork like you see at left is not going to easily find a home in print. Never mind — Pibgorn is far and away the best comic strip going these days.
The title character is described as
a fairy who is not satisfied flitting around when she could be getting in trouble instead. She’s sweet, effervescent, charming and flighty … She has a talent for trouble, a knack for friendship, and a magical kiss which can effect miraculous healing.
Her best friend and romantic rival is Drusilla, a succubus who competes with Pib for the attentions of Geoff, a church organist.
In Fenruary 2006, McEldowney announced he was cutting back from six strips a week to three. Since then, he has embarked in a saga of a scope unseen in comic strips since George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. The combined casts of Pibgorn and 9 Chickweed Lane have embarked on what can best be described as a 1930s Art Deco production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Pib, Drusilla and Geoff as Puck, Titania and Oberon, and complete with authentic dialogue:
I’ve noticed that especially since this saga began, 9 Chickweed Lane has gotten into sort of a rut, although this can hardly be suprising given the quality and quantity of his Pibgorn work.
The history of comic strips is filled with artists who have flamed out after producing this much excellent work this fast (are you listening, Berke Breathed?) So you should enjoy it while you can … Pibgorn can be read free of charge here, but you will only have access to the last thirty days of work; I recommend a subscription that will have the new panels e-mailed to you, and give you access to a complete back archive. Enjoy!