Both the funnies and parables begin by enticing us with a wonderfully imaginative--even playful--tale or image, each in their own way introducing us to a world or story that seems seductively familiar, and thus enchanting.
The best of the funnies can teach us something important about being human by offering us a radically different frame of reference a prankish, funny perspective that pulls the rug out from under our most treasured assumptions and deflates our most sacred pretensions.
The art-parables of the funnies don't just sneak up on us because they're humorous but also because they look so unimportant.
It seems like something of a minor tragedy to me that the last few years have seen the early passing of such comic strips as Breathed's "Outlandand" "Bloom County," Larson's "The Far Side," and now Watterson's "Calvin and Hobbes." Gratefully, there continue to be some wonderful strips like Schultz's "Peanuts," Guisewite's "Cathy," Parker's "B.C.," Johnston's "For Better or For Worse," Doug Marlette's "Kudzu," and Trudeau's "Doonesbury." And let's hope there will continue to be new and refreshingly quirky strips invigorating the funnies in the future.