Little Bilby Goes for a Walk

by wootbot

All In The Family

Did you know that the dog's name was "Barfy?" 

Call me a snob, but I feel like every single-panel comic about the lives of a suburban family has been so derivative of B. Keane's original masterwork. Yes, "sing-pan-fam" is a legitimate genre unto itself now, with myriad authors, collections, and even conventions spanning the comicsphere. But it's hard to see a comic with a young girl asking her mommy, "How do chickens make chicken salad?" without thinking of Dolly.

In some sense, this is the fate for all new genres and forms. How long after "Don Quixote" did it take for novelists to be seen as anything but blatant thieves? So I give sing-pan-fam authors some slack, but I wish they would try harder to expand the universe beyond the legacy left by Mr. Keane.

For instance, does every character name have to end with a "ie" or "y"? I know it's a small quibble, but when I open up a new sing-pan-fam collection and see that the characters are all fat, stupid kids named "Alfie" or "Suzy" I have a hard time taking it seriously. Aren't we ready to move out from the Master's shadow? Can't we explore the banal non-humor of outmoded nuclear family lifestyles in new ways?

Wear this shirt: and you'll be the Belle of the Premiere.

Don't wear this shirt: while wearing The Ring or nobody will see how KEWL you are.

This shirt tells the world: "I'm going there, but I'll be back again."

We call this color: We must away ere break of day / To seek the pale enchanted silver