Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sally Bananas (comic strip)

Created by
Charles Barsotti

Writing comic panels is a different art than writing comic strips, and few people are successful at both.  Charles Barsotti was a long-time New Yorker cartoonist who tried several times to launch a strip, but never had much success.  But one of his failures was a delightful strip named Sally Bananas.

There wasn’t much to the strip.  Sally was pretty much the only character, a hippyish young woman who lived in the park.  The story was told in Barsotti’s trademark art – simple lines and curves.  Sally would talk about the world around her.

I remember the strip very fondly for one particular strip that still brings a chuckle.

Panel 1
Sally (upon meeting a strange looking creature):  “What are you?”
Creature:  “I’m a Roovil”

Panel 2
Sally:  “What a Roovil?”
Roovil:  “I don’t know, but I eat money.”

Panel 3
Sally:  “You eat money?”
Roovil: “Sure.  Haven’t you heard that money is the eat of all Roovils?”

Panel 4
Sally (walking away):  “Imagine renting a roovil suit to make that stupid joke.”

I love puns, but what sells the strip is the final panel.

The strip only ran three years.  Issues with the comic syndicate didn’t help, and it was probably too whimsical for a mass audience.  Barsotti returned to the New Yorker and continued his successful career until his death in 2014.


Anonymous said...

I remember a strip where Sally's friend Norbert complains about the New Year, saying he is always writing the old year on his checks.
Sally asks, "When did you ever write a check?"

Philip Cohen said...

The one I remember (wording approximate) has an off-panel voice asking Sally 'What's today's date?' She replies 'March fourth', and a bunch of people go by, TROMP TROMP TROMP. 'They've been waiting all year for that one,' she says.

Stuart Strickland said...

My favorite had Sally looking at a dotted outline of a tyrannosarus rex, who's handing her a pencil, saying, "Aw, c'mon, connect the dots!" I had that one tacked to my wall for years.

Melissa Helsel said...

My dad's nickname for me when I was growing up was Sally Bananas. I wonder if he got it from this comic strip?

Alan In Ann Arbor said...

I like the one where Sally yells TANKS to Norbert and he says 'You're Welcome!' and the last panel shows him being run over by a tank.