Lincoln Peirce October 23, 1963 – still going strong
Here is a quick author bio from the book.
I don’t know if it is a coincidence, but both Peirce and Stephen King live in Maine. Wonder if one influences the other. Or not.
I came across this book at a library book sale. The price was most certainly right, as they were closing and did not want to box it back up. “Take it”, they said. And I did.
Big Nate is carried in my local newspaper. Kind of. The paper publishes, they say, Tuesday through Saturday. However, the Saturday issue usually shows up Sunday morning. This shortened publishing cycle would not be much of a problem, but since the gags usually run for a week, or sometimes two weeks. And the set up is always on Monday, by the time the paper rolls around on Tuesday, it is not always clear just what is going on.
Luckily, I can usually find the strip on line, and see what the set up gag was.
Another problem with the local paper is the censorship of questionable items. Questionable that is to the editor. The following cartoon, was replaced by Blondie. This happens quite often, so I wonder just what the editor finds offensive.
I do know that an article on a woman golfer who mentioned that her coach told her to keep her girls together had that reference cut.
My town is interesting in that it lies on the dividing line between urban liberal and rural conservative. We have an adult store, and Recreational Marijuana dispensaries, but seem to tend Republican in local and National Elections. A proposed Wall Mart is being fought tooth and nail.
Anyway, you are not interested in my town, rather Lincoln Peirce and his strip, Big Nate.
The strip debuted in 1991.
Oh, and the censored cartoon is about School Picture Guy. A recurring figure, who pops up as a DJ, Videographer, and many other things. I believe he lives in his mother’s basement, which he calls his bachelor pad…
There is an excellent Wikipedia article on the strip. . I suggest you link on over for all the background on the strip and the characters. Wikipedia has a rather snarky comment about the information as being too long or excessively detailed. I, however, appreciate the detail. Give it a look.
The Washington Post March 6, 2015, has a nice question and answer session with Michael Cauna and Peirce. In that article we learn that Big Nate has been going for twenty or so years. Probably more important is that Peirce acknowledges that comics are now found in more than newspapers and comic books.
MC: Is there anything newspapers and features editors can do in 2015 to lure more kids to the comics page? Or are we past some evolutionary — or de-evolutionary — point?
LP: Well, they can do away with readers’ comics polls, for one thing. You can’t lure kids to the comics page by selecting your content based on the feedback of elderly adults. And they could spend a few extra bucks to make the Sunday comics “destination reading” again. How about adding pages to the Sunday section, increasing the size of the strips and putting the comics front and center, instead of burying them with all the reams of drugstore coupons?
That wouldn’t necessarily make kids drop their iPhones and pick up the Sunday funnies. But it would make reading the comics a far more enjoyable experience. When something’s fun to do, it at least stands a chance of creating new fans.
There is also a Wikipedia article about Peirce, himself, in which we learn that he cartooned in school, and was for a time a school teacher.
Here is a link to a video, in which he talks about Mrs. Godfrey.
The video, is followed by other videos by/on Peirce. All I can say is that I am glad I never had a Mrs. Godfrey as a teacher. This video, and the ones that follow it, are quite instructive about the cartoonist in his natural environment.
You can also experience Peirce at his blog, a veritable cornucopia of things Big Nate and Peirce. For one thing, you can catch the cartoon that was censored by your local paper.
So, on to the book I scored from the Library.
Let us start off with his father. The father is divorced, and has the kids, and that is all we know. The ex never pops up, and is never mentioned. Since many of the items in the strip are based on Peirce’s childhood, I wonder if he was raised by a single father. In any case, Here we see the family at Christmas. The older sister has not been around much in the strips, but maybe she was earlier.
The old man is a terrible golfer.
But quick enough on beating Nate to the report card.
Yo Mama, Trash Talking, Smack Down, et. al.
And speaking of basketball, Nate decided to let Fates in the form of a basketball decide his love life.
It’s hard to be cool in the sixth grade. So, off to the expert you go.
I don’t know how Nate got roped into being a Book Buddy, especially for a kid whose IQ is up in the stratosphere, but here he is doing his best.
Nate has a favorite super hero comic, Femme Fatality.
And the next one, that just works on so many levels.
Some teachers Nate can work with ease.
And then there is Mrs. Godfrey
She does however have her good side.
For a short time.
Mr Rosa, the long suffering Art Teacher.
Mr Rosa has to work at an ice cream parlor in the summer to make ends meet.
At the top of the heap is the Principal. Nate can work him, also.
And let us close with Nate’s famous locker.
Check out Peirce’s blog, and the other articles.
Oh, yes. I almost forgot. google, as usual, has a whole lot of Big Nate cartoons.
Thanks for reading.