Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sally Bananas (comic strip)

1969-73
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.

10 comments:

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?"

Unknown 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.

Unknown 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.

Unknown said...

I still remember a few, but one of them is: 1st panel.. Norbert running with panicked look on his face, shouting "Run, Run, the invisible indians are back!" 2nd panel.. Sally looking after him saying "Norbert, you're such a paranoid" 3rd panel.. empty but a single headband with a feather sticking out of it, apparently going after Norbert, suspended in mid air.. 4th panel.. Sally looking in their (departed) direction, alone in the panel saying "Well, you only have to be right once.."

Unknown said...

I still remember a few, but one of them is: 1st panel.. Norbert running with panicked look on his face, shouting "Run, Run, the invisible indians are back!" 2nd panel.. Sally looking after him saying "Norbert, you're such a paranoid" 3rd panel.. empty but a single headband with a feather sticking out of it, apparently going after Norbert, suspended in mid air.. 4th panel.. Sally looking in their (departed) direction, alone in the panel saying "Well, you only have to be right once.."

Anonymous said...

First panel approximately: Sally is approached by a headband with single feather, floating in the air. "Excuse me miss, I'm an invisible Indian. Would you like to buy an invisible umbrella?" "No thanks"
Next panel(also approx.) "too bad" and"dance, dance, dance" appears in the panel about where his feet should be. Rain pours down on Sally.
Next Panel: Sally is approached by a cowboy hat floating in mid air, "Excuse me ma'am, I'm an invisible cowboy. Did you buy an invisible umbrella from an invisible Indian?" "No I didn't". "Too bad".
Again, the dance, dance, dance and rain pours down on Sally.
Final panel, just Sally, "I'm not even gonna tell my diary about this one."
Baranthar

Anonymous said...

There were a lot of great strips, but the one I most remember started out with a little man confronting a bum in a park. He says, As the Parks Commissioner, I'm ordering you out the park, you dirty bum! Next panel has the bum stating, hold it, I am no ordinary bum. I am the world's oldest bum. I was a bum when the whole world was a park. The little man thinks about it for a minute, then declares, Then I would have been...Commissioner of the World! The bum then says, think I'd better move on. The morale: Scratch a minor bureaucrat and you'll find a Stalin.

David Stewart said...

Sally witnesses two birds discussing divorce. One says "I want everything. Money, property, children."
Other bird (shocked) "You're taking the kids?"
First bird "Yes.I leaving you with no egrets".

Is this the strip where her friend left beer cans balanced on people's noses?