Changing Places on the Comics Page
12:00 AM, Jul 26, 1999 • By MICHAEL TAUBE
In the end, they decided each cartoonist would draw his own panels, leaving a space open in each strip for the other's submission. When I reached Harrop for comment, he was quick to give Street credit for the idea. Mentioning his excitement at seeing his own work appear in another strip, Harrop noted that it was a complicated procedure and admitted that he was nervous about how the final product would look. Street observed that the fact that both comic strips are exclusive to the Globe and Mail gave readers "a special feeling towards them" that helped them identify the visiting characters.
The irony of the comic-strip crossover lies in its proof that even those little atomistic narrative universes stacked on the comic pages of the newspapers can have their illusions -- that even fantasy worlds can have their fantasies. And the successful collaboration of Street and Harrop proves that the logistical problems are not insur-mountable; all it takes is a little extra dollop of creativity from newspaper cartoonists. My own fantasies include seeing Garfield holding a football for Charlie Brown and the liberal cast of Doonesbury discussing politics with the conservative cast of Mallard Fillmore. That would be something really worth reading -- from Bangor to San Diego, Seattle to Miami.
Michael Taube is a columnist for the Moncton Times & Transcript in Canada.