Big news in the typically moribund world of the newspaper funny pages this week, as fans old and new descend into shockingly heated arguments about pseudonymous writer and artist Olivia Jaimes and her recent takeover of long-running comic strip Nancy. The news comes—
Nancy. With the little girl and her hat-wearing pal, Sluggo? No, she’s not blonde; you’re thinking of Luann. We’re talking about Nancy right now. No, damn it, if we meant Funky Winkerbean, we would have said Funky Winkerbean. Fuck off with the Funky Winkerbean talk for a second, okay?
Anyway, Jaimes—the first woman to ever work on the character, who was originally created by Ernie Bushmiller back in 1933—and her work have caught the eye of the internet-reading public, for a couple of reasons. First: It’s actually funny, which is not something people go around saying very often about octogenarian comic strips:
But also, Jaimes has spent the last week adding things like “smartphones” and “video games” to the Nancy world, all of which are changes, and nothing riles up a comic page audience like the dreaded specter of change. Thus, the first week of Jaimes’ tenure on the strip has seen its GoComics comments pages erupt into flames, with the various verbal fighters more pissed off about the art changes on a Nancy comic strip than most of us get when someone drives over our mom. “You make me feel like dropping this comic strip because it ain’t even close to funny,” one writes, while another notes, “I just can not get into the new Nancy..just not what I enjoy reading with my breakfast. Bye, I will unfollow this comic.” “Guy Gilcrest(sic), where are you?” a third demands, beseeching the comic strip gods for the return of the comic’s previous artist.
Fans of Jaimes’ changes are just as vocal, meanwhile, causing the Nancy comment boards to be a hotbed of lively discussion and personal attacks. (No, we weren’t expecting to write that sentence in 2018, either.) Meanwhile, Jaimes is simply continuing to put out a pretty great gag-a-day comic strip every day, except Sundays (even if it does seem like she might have anticipated some of the negativity her changes have summoned up.)