Thursday, June 5, 2008

Where Do YOU Stand on The Forths Having Child Numeros Dos?

Which side do you support?

Put a Bun in the Oven
I for one (who has been reading Sally Forth for 20+ years) would LOVE it if they had a baby. It happened to Blondie & Dagwood and Charlie Brown's parents. And maybe Hillary could turn 11.--Pam


The Forths Already Have Enough Bread
We HATE the current storyline but do like Ted and Sally...We don't want baby blues to have more kids - they have 3 and that is great - dagwood and blondie don't have more, foxtrot has the 3 and they didn't grow up and move away, Dennis the menace stays the same age as does family life or whatever that is called...Sally Forth is cute but get off this line. Thanks.--The Five Star Blogs

Let me know in the comment section. After all, your votes may just play a factor in thefinal outcome.


Greg Sanders said...

I'm cool with change and like the idea of Hillary aging. However, I'm slightly opposed to the idea of having a new kid. Baby humor is probably one of the most filled niches in comics today.

So if you're confident you've got a new take or something go for it. However, if it's just one possible way of changing things up, I'd say try something else.

Martin said...

Give them know you want to do it.

Seth Johnson said...

I don't hate the current storyline, but I do think it would be more interesting if it ended with them deciding not to have another kid. Not enough seeming foreshadowing turns out to just be rational discussion of a choice.

For bonus O Henry points, then Hillary could announce that she's pregnant.

jfruh said...

I'm an only child, and since my only other comics only-child role models are Dennis the Menace and Marvin, I beg you let Hillary remain sibling-free.

If they do have a kid, though, make it a mutant flipper-baby. Or a different ethnicity than Ted.

Dan said...

The problem with having them end up deciding not to have a kid is that Arlo and Janis had pretty much the same storyline several years back. So, you're stuck either way. Maybe they should adopt.

Kedamono said...

Let's go whole hog.

They decide to have a kid, and decide to check with their doctor about the viability. However it turns out that Sally has the first stage of ovarian cancer, and ends up having a hysterectomy.

But the Forths want to have a child, and Ted isn't shooting blanks, so they opt for a surrogate mother. Who volunteers for the job? Why Sally's sister! She wants to have a kid, but not the responsibility of raising one. Go figure.

So they go through the in vitro fertilization process, and the sister (I forgot her name) moves in with the Forths and for the next nine months is at odds with Sally over how she takes care of herself and the bun in the oven.

Then comes the day she gives birth, and suddenly decides that she wants the baby after all. To make things work, she ends up living with Ted, Sally, and Hilary and baby makes 5!

Oh, and yes, it's about time for Hil to get older and go out on dates with her lesbian lover... :-)

Lindsey said...

I would like them to have a baby, personally, but I'm not sure I want Hilary to get older. If you're going to start aging them you have to go all the way or it gets too confusing.

Ethan said...

I'm fine with the change. You're a good writer, you will make it not inherently obnoxious. The strip is fine the way it is, I don't think an additional child would hurt things.

Brush them hatas off.

Linda said...

Huh, until you actually asked the question, I had no idea I didn't have an opinion on this issue. So I say do whatever it is that makes you happy. Or even better, do whatever it is that will make me happy. Cause that would be great.

A Double Whiskey and Splash said...

After all, your votes may just play a factor in the final outcome.

So you're saying this isn't already resolved in the Saturday strip?

(insert Sally Foth smirk here)

Actually, I figured that this was just a way for Sally to get Ted to stop watching David Hasselhoff videos and give her some, er, attention. Hilary is almost 11, so it's been a while.

LaCynthia said...

How about they try to conceive for a long time, then go through infertility testing, fertility drugs, IVF, ICSI, the whole nine yards, then say fuck it and get a pair of puppies instead? That's been my life for the past few years, we're just about at the puppy stage. I'd find it funny if the drugs hadn't made my hair fall out.

Woodrowfan said...


Yet Another Steve said...

Oh, sure, let's take one of the few remaining strips that isn't about babies and preschoolers and cutesy talking animals, and let it join the happy spit-up-upon throng! Surely there must be at least one cliche that hasn't been pounded into the ground over and over, or at least not within the last couple of days.

Shavin' Nates said...

As long as Sally eats the ears off the child every Easter then I am fine with them having a kid.

DrBear said...

I think they should have the kid - but give it up for adoption to Elizabeth Patterson and Granthony.

Or maybe have the kid get a horrible disease in a blatant attempt to steal the Funky Winkerbean audience.

catbus said...

Isn't that what sitcoms do when they run out of ideas? Don't jump the shark, man.

Neil J Murphy... said...

Yes, Sally and Ted need another child. And when this child is born, it should age in real time. Maybe even a little faster than real time.

But here's the twist: Hilary doesn't age! As the new kid (and he's a boy, okay?) gets older she stays an eleven-year-old in middle school until her baby brother graduates high school. At which point the new kid does a Chuck Cunningham and goes up to his room after dinner one day, and is never seen again.

Laura said...

How about adoption? She could even adopt an older child, as those are the ones that need homes.

You could do a lot with that.

As others have said, baby strips are over used.

So-Called Austin Mayor said...

I don't think Sally should have another child.

But Ted should.

so-called "Austin Mayor"

Hetty Fauxvert said...

I personally am rather in favor of the Forths having another child... since my husband and I had our first children (twins!) when I was 44. But I beg of you, sir, if you go forward with Sally having a baby, please please PLEASE make it at least a little realistic, in that women of 40 only rarely can just decide to have another kid, and then get pregnant without any further ado. Oooooooh no, it just isn't that simple. Fertility goes down very, very rapidly after about age 35. True, you occasionally hear about an "oops" baby, but those are the exception. Just google "infertility" and "over 40" and you'll come up with myriad blogs attesting to how infuriatingly difficult and sometimes heartbreakingly impossible it is to get pregnant at an older age. I blush to think how ignorant I was on the subject, before we ourselves started trying for a child. Our media loves stories about older women getting pregnant, and plays up those rarities instead of covering the truth, which is that if you are 40 and want to get pregnant, you had better have the patience of Job and/or a large bank account, because both will be sorely tried. My hormone levels were considered unusually good for an older patient, my ovaries were kicking out eggs like clockwork, my mother didn't hit menopause until nearly 60, and yet after two years of trying on our own, we finally resorted to IVF. We spent $25K on two tries, and were lucky (VERY lucky) to come up with twins on our second try. My SIL, who is my age and a very accomplished woman who teaches in the sciences at a university, went through FIVE tries at IVF before finally landing a live baby. You can imagine how much money she and her husband spent and how much heartbreak they went through.

I'm not saying Sally shouldn't have a baby at her age. It does happen, but it is rarely easy, that's all. I would actually very much like to see her have one, just so we could see some of the reality of pregnancy and parenting after 40 reflected in your strip.

Sorry I'm so verbose. I'm just so tired of people regarding IVF as an "easy" option that will make everything okay. It isn't easy, and it only sometimes makes things okay.

I do love your strip, btw! Our local rag dropped it for a while but now has brought it back again, and I'm so glad! Carry on. :)

Jym said...

=v= I don't want to sound like a suck-up or anything, but your writing on this strip has been brilliant and you should go wherever your muse tells you to. I do appreciate that, after a rather needy (but funny) period for Ted, this storyline (so far) has put some emphasis on the strip's titular character.

garricks said...

I think having a baby would "start the clock" for the Forths. They'd all have to age, IMHO.

As another poster wrote, I had no idea I didn't really have a strong opinion. You're a good storyteller, and I'm mostly content to follow the path you mark for us.


mintzworks said...

This is fascinating.

I've never been in contact with a comic writer before in any way. I've also never felt a hint of power in any way, and your proposition is a bit daunting.


I...I don't want a say. I want the magic to continue, be it in my movies, comics, or books.

If I get a say, I become too close to the process, I think. It's actually a bit fuzzy for me to know anything about you and then to read Sally Forth.

Now when I find something clever in the strip, I feel a small sense of pride, as if I have actually met or known you in some way. It's an unusual and wierd feeling.

I prefer not to know. Not to have say. And I never ever really want to meet or know Garry Trudeau, except to say to him 'Thank YOU' for all the strips and the enjoyment.

I think I'll leave it at such for you in these comments as well:

Thank YOU for all the smirks and clever commentary condensed down into 3-4 panels each week day. I like reading the work of talented people who HAVEN'T given up (Jim Davis comes to mind...hell, even Berkely Breathed comes to mind).

Do whatever it is that you do. Just know we appreciate it.

Nom du Jour said...

You could let them try for a second child and then come up empty.

Then you could go exploring the possibility of the Forths adopting a child from China, or Guatemala, Romania, or some other third world country that is supplying childless couples in the US with the plug that fills their empty lives.

Plus, you could start to incorporate international smirks and snarkiness.

Holy Prepuce said...

OK, how exciting for an old-school "SOAP" fan like me (4 years old when it went off the air but remember it vividly and of course have the first season DVD set) that your post yesterday contained an extended riff on "Benson's" origins as the Tates' butler -- and then Billy Crystal turns up last night on Letterman with the full series "SOAP" DVD set and a minature horse in a pink dress like the one he wore as Jody in the pilot?

Holy Prepuce said...

Oh yeah, and then to your actual question: a new baby would allow the strip to revisit Greg Howard's original premise for the strip, which was a humorous look at a serious subject: Sally navigating the workplace challenges faced by women.

When the strip debuted, just being a (non-secretarial) female office worker was a source for plenty of material. Nowadays, "Sally Forth, The Working Woman" isn't much of a premise, so the strip has shifted more to being "Sally and Ted versus the World."

But one workplace subject that is still rich with material is how the world of work deals with the fact that women sometimes reproduce, and sometimes have to be absent from the office for extended periods after doing so, and sometimes want to come back to their jobs whether part-or full-time afterwards.

So if you can use the new Forth to tell those stories, good on you. If Re-run Van Forth turns your strip into the Family Circus, I will be unhappy.

Brent McKee said...

I'm for anything that lets us see Sally in a frilly next to nothing, or with a post coital bounce in her step. If Ted dies from exhaustion as a result of her forty year-old whoopee making well that's a bonus. As far as a baby, well I don't really care one way or the other.

Dvandom said...

Adopt. That way you can add a new little kid character while not increasing the surplus population. Now get back to work, Mr. Cratchit!

G'Tron said...

If it means we get to see a Sunday strip's disposable title box featuring Sally doing some parody of that Vanity Fair cover with Demi Moore... then DO IT DO IT!

Actually, talk to your compatriots in the cartooning world and announce that the celebrity baby boom is officially bleeding over into the comics page. Nothing would make me a happier camper than to see Sally, Miss Buxley, Marcy Cobb, and maybe Luann and April, unexpectedly encountering each other in a grand Lamaze class crossover.

ParallaxG said...

I think they should go for it, but end up with Sally giving birth to sextuplets, resulting in Ted snapping into total madness and getting committed to an asylum.

At that point the strip shifts focus solely around Ted's exploits at the asylum, and is renamed 'Beyond the Forth Wall' as Ted tries to convince the doctors and fellow residents that they are all puppets in some madman's (sorry Ces) comic strip.

Either that or after Ted gets committed, Saturday's strip shows an autistic Faye peering into a snowglobe of the Forth house, with Monday's strip reverting back to normal with Hil as the only Forth child.

2fs said...

Baby, long as it's a strangely mutated-looking thing, and they eat tiny little chickens that spurt black goo, and there's a pasty-faced woman singing from the radiator, and...

usaftsgt said...

NO more kids!!! Please leave that to Baby Blues, For Better or Worse, and Family Circus.

cappadocius said...

Sweet lord, Ted just spent a year unemployed, and the Forths were just scraping by as a single-income family with one kid at pretty much the cheapest age children are ever at. It would be criminally irresponsible for them to even consider having another baby!



Chris H said...

I'm all for adoption, how about rat from pearl's?

Wallsy said...

I don't care one way or the other, but what I do care about is internal consistency. If time is passing for one person then it has to pass for everyone.

If Sally gets pregnant then ~9 months later the baby is born, how do you justify Hillary still being 10? If the baby becomes a toddler, how do you justify Hillary still being 10?

A lot of animated TV shows make this mistake, and it just ruins the continuity. Take King of the Hill for example: Bobby turned 13 in 2000. Yet in 1997 he was 12, and in 2008 he's still 13. This just doesn't make sense.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either time is frozen in place and no one can change, or time moves forward for everyone.

rincon said...

Perpetuating the culture of “bundles of joy” as romantic is na├»ve, irresponsible and self-serving. It’s way past the time of having babies with a Hallmark mentality. This strip gave some responsible and valid reasons for not reproducing merely out of whimsy. How about landfills (ten diapers a day) or consumerism/resource exploitation (plastic carriages the size of small SUVs that decompose about as fast as radioactive waste)? We can’t both think of the human race as “special” AND act indiscriminately or impudently. “Just one more” is how we got to 6.672 billion.

Eric said...

Why not? You've had the characters evolving for some time now, and I trust your writing enough that I don't expect that the strip will suddenly become too "cute" once it has a baby in it. It could be interesting.

D.B. Echo said...

Off-topic: I loved the Sunday (6/8/08) strip! Are those real names?

I was half waiting for Ted to launch into the story of how he and his friend tried to give a frog bionic implants!

Francesco Marciuliano said...

d,b,: Indeed those are real names and the story Ted relates is how I spent many a summer. In fact, you just encouraged me to post the strip here so that maybe my friends from a long lost time may find it.

Ciao Bino said...

How about Sally finds out that she cannot conceive, due to fallopic tube scarring from an old chlamydia infection, BUT...

... it is revealed that Ted is actually an transgendered female to male who still has her reproductive organs! (You have to admit he's always had those vaguely girlish gestures.)They go on a merry hunt for an appropriate sperm donor - you could bring in potential candidates from other strips! A nine month roller coaster ride ensues: international media attention, visits to Oprah, tabloid covers! It practically writes itself!

And I don't know where Hillary came from. Probably the same place as the chlamydia.

Dawn said...

There are so few positive portrayals of single child families in the media. Sally Forth has always given me irrational and pathetic comfort about my own one-kid family. Let Hil stay an only!

Original Lee said...

On the one hand, leaving Sally Forth with a singleton child reflects the reality of a lot of working women, which is that it's very difficult to have more than one child and be taken seriously on a professional level, not to mention the home front issues.

Sally getting pregnant at 40, though, opens a door to explore other workplace and health issues, including fathers using FMLA for paternity leave. Think about Ted at home with a baby for 6 months!

I kinda like a modified version of a story arc posted above, though: Jackie gets pregnant before Sally and Ted make any kind of decision about another kid, she moves in with them to keep Laura from moving in with her, Laura comes for an extended visit anyway, Sally and Ted adopt the poor kid to save it from being raised by either Jackie or Laura.

Although I do like the adopt-an-older-kid idea very well. Some friends of ours just adopted a 5-year-old, and it's been a very different experience for them from bringing a baby home.

OptimistiCynic: said...

Oh please, no kid. A bunch of my friends have kids and it's one of the toughest trials of my social life to try to seem interested when they talk about the trivia of kid-rearing. Why do they think I want to hear about what their child eats? In great detail? Or worse, about its bathroom habits? Don't let that world invade Sally Forth!

STIR FRY LAD said...

I'll skip the second-child business, thanks. You'll do it, though, because you've committed yourself. Once any news of a possible baby gets out the cult of the baby assumes all control of every aspect of your existence, and will hound you to your grave if you don't do exactly what is required to bring another precious wittle snooky wookums into the world (even a fictional one; just ask the producers of Mad About You). They, of course, will take no responsibility for it once it arrives, so you'll be stuck coming up with all the witty bits that child will need to survive in the world of the Forths.

Chickadee_Jones said...

I came to your site just to check up on this story line! I was out of town for a week earlier this summer and to my surprise when I came back there was this baby talk going on!

I don't have my heart set either way. I was a little concerned it was just a gimmick but you are such a good and funny writer, I think it would be very well done. Sally would have to deal with sleepless nights, what to do about childcare, and all that nitty gritty. Sally would still be the main focus.

Also I don't think Sally's 40, aren't Ted and Sally about 35? Hardly geriatric.

For the folks complaining about world population, uh, it's a cartoon!! I don't see Sally and Ted composting, recycling, and driving a Prius either but I don't care, it's not real, hello!!

Looking forward to whatever you come up with next.

Anonymous said...

I'm for the Forths having a second child. Hilary will finally get some space from Sally and hopefully the new baby will keep Sally off her case and out of her face.

Sally can be darned annoying and I think it serves her right when Hilary admits she does not tell her everything. Who in their right mind would?

I'm glad Hilary's hair has been updated from that silly preschool coiff.