By Emily Lahr
Let’s face it, how many of us actually read the paper? Yes, I know I am guilty of it too. I do not read the paper as much as I should and I work for one. How terrible is that. Sometimes I am one of those people who sees a paper and after looking over the headlines, jumps to the back of the paper to read over the comic strips before I start a story. My eyes would scan the page for the classics like “Dennis the Menace,” “Calvin and Hobbes” and “Garfield.” Nothing beats a good old innocent humor to start or end the working day. It reminds us that sometimes we can’t take stressful days too seriously. I think every newspaper needs to have a comic strip, even the Troubadour.
I thought it would be appropriate to introduce the Troubadour’s newest member to the team, Steven Pass who showcases his talent through his comic strips. Pass has been drawing cartoons since he was 6-years-old. His inspiration came from the Japanese cartoon “Anime.” Then he started reading “Calvin and Hobbes,” “Garfield” and the beloved “Peanuts.” He said after 12 years of perfecting his work, his cartoons were developed and eventually evolved into a strip named “Rhodeway.” They follow the adventures of three troublesome canine brothers, Roscoe, Beedle and Scooter. Pass also developed 11 other ancillary or supporting characters that have names and roles in his epic strip. Many of these characters reflect some of his family members and family experiences. He gets his inspiration from the Golden Age of cartoons particular “Looney Toons” and old Disney characters dating back to the 1940s and 50s. One of his goals is to step back into that style again because he said there is a lack of comic strips today that reflect that style of clean innocent humor. Interesting enough Pass is from Rochester, Minn., which is only one hour away from St. Paul, Minn. where Charles Shultz, author of “Peanuts,” grew up.
I did a little web searching and interesting enough the Golden Age comic strips are still the most popular comics among major newspapers. According to the “Top Ten’s List,” “Calvin and Hobbes” ranks first with “Garfield” in second and “Peanuts” in third. “Craveonline” lists the top 10 newspaper comic strips of all times and it shows that the old classics are still the favorites. “Garfield,” which has been active since 1978 until now, ranked third. In second was the old comic strip “Krazy Kat” which ran from 1914-1944. And no surprise at all was “Peanuts” which ran for 50 years from 1950-2000. Even after Schultz’s death in 2000, newspapers still run his comic strips under the “Peanuts” classics.
Luckily for the Troubadour we have an original comic artist whose work may someday join the infamous Golden Age comics. I hope you enjoy reading his strips. I won’t take it personally if you read his strip before you read my column. Admit it, you already did.