Mary Worth Wants You To Know She Great, Challenges Definition Of “Story”


[ Edited the 15th of May, 2017 to add: ] I’m grateful you see this site as a place to learn what’s going on in Mary Worth. My most recent story summaries should be at or near the top of this link’s essays, if you are looking for the current or for more recent stories than this post has.


So remember a month or two ago I was noting how the current Mary Worth story had gone on a long while without any actual story? It was all just mood-setting as Mary visits the recipients of some past meddling and they thank her all over again?

The sequence ended, with past meddlee Olivia talking about how great it was to have someone she could talk to, and Mary Worth agreeing how great it was Mary had someone listen to her. And … that was it. They spent several months in New York City, wandering around random tourist location, talking about how great the other one is. There wasn’t even anybody with a mild problem needing the order to get married or anything.

Mary: 'When I advise others, it HELPS ME as much as I hope it HELPS THEM! I get the feeling that I'm improving something outside of mself, and even if it's only a small part, it's tremendously gratifying to know I make a POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!' Jeff: 'I don't know about others, but YOU make a positive difference in MINE, Mary.'
Karen Moy and Joe Giella’s Mary Worth for the 20th of March, 2016. It’s been going on just this scene for two weeks already.

Since then, Mary’s come home for a long and pointless date with Jeff. That’s always good for a spot of ironic appreciation, since the strip has somehow let it get encoded that Jeff wants to marry Mary Worth, and she would rather drive through seedy Downtown Santa Royale, California, than consider him. The curious thing is this time around they’ve spent a lot of time explaining how Mary Worth wanders around meeting people issuing them advice, which they take if they know what’s good for them. One of the commenters on Comics Curmudgeon (I’ve lost the link) said it read as though the comic strip got picked up by a new newspaper and they were worried they had to explain the premise in crushing detail for all their new readers.

If the comic had just reached a noteworthy anniversary, I’d understand running a little victory-lap story like this. But Mary Worth started in either 1934 or 1938, depending on whether you consider Apple Mary to be part of the continuity. (It’s not an obvious question.) Either way the timing is off.

But there’s another reason one might do a valedictory sequence. D.D.Degg, of Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.comics.strips, brought to the group’s attention an interview with Joe Sinnott and Joe Giella. Sinnott inks the Sunday Amazing Spider-Man. Giella draws Mary Worth. The interview mentions:

Giella who will turn 88 years old in June, is still penciling and inking the daily Mary Worth newspaper strip. He told me that he’s on the last of the Sunday pages for Mary Worth, but will continue to draw the dailies for the newspaper.

A new artist for the Sunday strips? Possible. Dismal news for the Sunday strips? Also imaginable. I don’t know, but am interested to know.

Finally, I know it’s been two whole days since I mentioned something like this before.
But there were some more mathematically-themed comic strips that I discussed over on my other blog. One of them gave me an excuse to do some actual real calculus, if you want to see what hat looks like. It won’t be on the test.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

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