Wednesday, January 13, 2010


What can I say about 'Mary Worth'? Parodied in popular culture for her inveterate meddling, the old gal has lasted 70 years on the comics page and is the mainstay of the 'soap opera strip' genre. I never really read the strip until the late 90s, and only then to commiserate with my pal Jeff about it's awful and agonizingly long storylines.

The strip was created by writer Allen Saunders and artist Ken Ernst, debuting in 1938.
This strip from May 1, 1966 is near the middle of their four decade collaboration. Note how the writer's name is mispelled "Ernest" above the strip. I wonder if that was just for this week or an ongoing error. It seems that this time Mary's meddling has gotten her stuck going to Atlanta to straighten out another mess. From the context, it would appear that she's going to be buying that ticket at the airport (never cheap) and she's only got her purse on her. Hope you like that green outfit, Mary!

Saunders' son, John, took over for him in the 1970s. The current strip is written by Karen Moy, who took over after John Saunders' death in 2004. It's drawn by Joe Giella, a legendary DC comics inker who took on the strip in 1991. In the current storyline, Mary's neighbor Wilbur Weston has learned he has an adult love child.

Mary Worth is no stranger to the blogosphere. For a daily offbeat look at the strip, check out the blog - Mary Worth and Me. There's also another blog, Mary Worth, Style Mavin where a young woman provided analysis of the fashion choices in Mary Worth. It went defunct in '08 (presumably because the author went mad). There are several bizarre YouTube videos in tribute to Ms. Worth. Here's my favorite -

Before we go, just a reminder that Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and nothing says "I love you, but in a grandma kind of way" like some Mary Worth merchandise.

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