It’s that time of year. Of course those who follow my blog know that I take the comics way too seriously. Resurrection Sunday has come and gone and so have the Sunday funnies. What amazes me each year are those comics that mention Easter, but no resurrection. It gets easier and easier each year to pick a winner because fewer and fewer comics actually mention something about Jesus Christ rising from the dead, instead opting to run strips about candy, bunnies, and eggs. What those things have to do with the real meaning of Easter kind of baffles me. I grew up with it. Every Easter I would get an Easter basket filled with candy, we would all hunt for Easter eggs, and I would usually get a new set of clothes that I was required to wear to church that day. Even though I grew up with it, that doesn’t mean that I have to follow that tradition. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with any of those things. However, if we say we are celebrating the day that Christ rose from the dead and then we never mention anything about it, are we really celebrating that fact?
So, on to the entries. None of these strips actually entered in a contest, but I’m giving them grades anyway. I’m not going to mention strips that don’t mention Easter at all. But the following are strips that mention Easter without the real meaning of Easter.
Baby Blues only mentions an Easter egg hunt; how old are those eggs, though? Blondie has a bizarre Easter egg/Easter candy hunt. Speaking of bizarre, check out the Easter eggs in Heathcliff. Definitely do not eat the eggs in The Born Loser. Soup To Nutz focuses on Easter eggs, but what type of animal are they from? As far as Easter eggs, Rhymes With Orange is probably the only strip worth a chuckle. Dennis the Menace is all about Easter candy (and Halloween candy). Since Mutts is a strip focusing on animals, it is predictably about the Easter bunny, although the Easter bunny in Marvin is hardly worth a mention. Don’t bother with the Lockhorns, and Pooch Café doesn’t deserve to be mentioned either. Gasoline Alley has jokes about the Easter bunny, except jokes are supposed to be funny. Pickles is about the, or rather AN Easter bunny (cute bunnies beware). Pearls Before Swine also has a take on the Easter bunny, and chickens too. Red and Rover is about eating a chocolate Easter bunny (or squirrel). Sally Forth also has the running gag of Sally eating the ears off Hillary’s chocolate bunny for who know how many years in a row. Wizard of Id has a chocolate Easter bunny as well, but don’t be fooled. (On a very weird note, two strips that ran the day after Easter were almost identical concerning chocolate bunnies. Check out Mother Goose and Grimm and Speed Bump.)
Some strips get a little closer to spirituality, but still don’t mention the resurrection. Family Circus is primarily about the candy, but there is a mention of church. BC is more about spring transformation this year than anything to do with God. Hi and Lois talks about going to Easter Service to celebrate the real meaning of Easter. However, that real meaning isn’t explained at all. Luann is examining her preference of holidays including Easter while Bernice asks if she has given any thought to the purpose of the holidays, which she obviously has not.
Agnes sometimes hits the mark, but this year it focuses more on her misunderstanding of religious things which is a common theme in the strip. This year we find out that her grandmother is as much at fault as she is for the confusion that Agnes has about God and faith in general. That should be a lesson to us because the misunderstandings that our children have, many times can be traced back to us.
Now onto the winners this year. These are strips that mention God in some way on a holiday that is all about the redemption of mankind. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is proof that He is the Son of God. So let’s size up the competition.
I don’t like Mallard Fillmore as a whole because it’s primarily a political cartoon and the art isn’t that great. But this year it does have John 3:16 written out and a nice thought on saving the world in an unexpected way.
Nancy does not mention Easter or even the resurrection. But there is no way this strip could slip by me without an honorable mention. Nancy shows the true meaning of thankfulness to God and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this strip ran on Resurrection Sunday. Excellent job!
Frazz surprised me this year. I’ve stopped reading it on a daily basis, although I followed it for years. Here is a well put together strip with Caulfield wrestling with the changing date for Easter each year. The amazing thing is that it specifically states that Easter is the day that Jesus rose from the tomb. That’s pretty blatant along with the characters being true to the creator (of the strip) and the original design for them. I like it. Clip it and put it on the refrigerator as a lesson for how Easter changes the date and how we as humans can be control freaks. Frazz gets the runner up place this year. Good job Jef Mallett!
Heaven’s Love Thrift Shop, drawn by Kevin Frank, is a Christian comic strip that only runs on Sundays. The theme of the strip is centered around a thrift store that has Christian volunteers that work there. It should be no surprise that this strip would not only mention the resurrection, but it’s practical application. This year, the volunteers that are usually at the thrift store are serving at a soup kitchen. As the folks are served, those who are serving are proclaiming the resurrection message to them. So just edging out Frazz, I have to go with Heaven’s Love Thrift Shop this year just because they are putting the message into practice by serving others. Good job as always, Kevin Frank!
So, did you tell someone that Jesus has risen from the dead? Did you really celebrate the Resurrection of Christ? If not, you can do it today. Will you? Don’t just be “spiritual” and come close to the idea of the resurrection. Be blatant about it. After all, it’s a matter of life and death, and life after death.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman