The Zen of Nancy

by

Ernie Bushmiller’s “Nancy” was one of the most innocuous yet ubiquitous comic strips ever. It was never funny or clever, it was just odd, and it ran in hundreds of papers for decades. There are many Nancy afficionados/analysts out there, just google ’em. One of the best taps into the zen of the strip, with a game called, “Five Card Nancy,” and it’s not funny either.

nancy-time-2.jpg
Although Nancy didn’t have a mom or a dad in the strip, her Aunt Fritzi took care of her. Fritzi was a babe, and better looking than Blondie. Honest.

nancys-aunt-fritzi1.jpg

Nancy’s best friend Sluggo was odd in his own zen-like way:

sluggo-recursive1.jpgsluggo.jpg

There are so many pointless, humorless comic strips around today that try to be funny. At least Bushmiller’s “Nancy” was deliberately pointless and rarely humorous, but it was drafted in a tight recognizable style.

Sources: Nancy panel clipped from the Sunday funnies years ago; Aunt Fritzi from here; Sluggo panels from here and here.

7 Responses to “The Zen of Nancy”

  1. Bunk Strutts Says:

    P.S. Does anyone know what happened to Nancy’s parents?

  2. Alpaca the Awesome Says:

    No idea, but I’ve seen Nancy and Sluggo in a few Pearls Before Swine strips.

  3. Nessa Says:

    Gosh, and here I thought I was too dense to get the humor.

  4. Bunk Strutts Says:

    After all these years of admiration for this one color panel, I just noticed this: Look closely. Something brighter than the sun is somewhere off to the left, throwing shadows that obliterate the shadows cast by sunlight. Are Nancy and her green friend about to be vaporized by a nuclear blast? And why are her shoes the same color as the alien’s hair? Also, Nancy is in profile here, but her hairbow is skewed 45 degreees toward the viewer without explanation. Truly a scary graphic statement when you think about it.

  5. 5-Card Nancy Solitaire Online! « Tacky Raccoons Says:

    […] [PLAY HERE. Related post HERE.] […]

  6. ncba Says:

    nancy is zen b/c she cannot be described. she just can’t. as much as you write about her, you can never pin her down. she is infinitely simple and endlessly complicated. she is transcendent. she is a reflection, but of what, i dont know.
    i wish there were a place where all the nancy drawings were stored.

  7. Bunk Strutts Says:

    ncba–

    We’ve been posting Nancy stuff sporadically for years [Nancy Archive].

    You might find the link you’re looking for embedded in the posts; otherwise you might search here, or maybe here. Nancy was and is a mindtrip.

    She went “BANG” without explosives or explanation, never blew up anything, yet blew up everything at the same time. Pure Zen.

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