Are you familiar with the comic Nancy?
It’s the Sunday strip featuring a fuzzy haired girl as she gets into innocent, all American hijinks. It was came out in 1938 and has been a staple in the comic world for generations.
As strange and unsurprising as it may sound, the young, female voice of the character has always been penned by men, particularly older men. This is obviously quite old fashioned.
Now, in 2018, change has arrived. Nancy has gotten a revamp by way of a new artist and new voice by way of twentysomething woman Olivia Jaimes, a cartoonist working under a moniker as not to reveal her identity. The comic has undergone a markedly contemporary shift, yielding extreme LOL moments with comics addressing ridiculous eating habits and materialism and millennial laziness and topical technology. The shift is a marked upgrade from the fusty puppy-in-mud antics of the artist Jaimes is relieving. It’s perhaps one of the best updates of an old entertainment product.
Jaimes shared her thought for revamping the comic with The Washington Post, where she explained how desperately the elementary character needed attention.
“Nancy has been my favorite sassy grouch for a long time,” Jaimes says in a syndicate statement. “I’m excited to be sassy and grouchy through her voice instead of just mine, and I can complain to the whole world about things that bother me instead of just my friends and family.”
If there is ever a time to sassy and grouchy, that time is now.
But, of course, not everyone is pleased. Fans of the strip have been very vocal about how mad they are at the tone shift. The Washington Post has reported on people craving the old artists but did find that Jaimes’ introduction has done something major: it’s gotten lots of eyes on the work. The story explains.
Prior to the change in creator, “Nancy” averaged about 5,000 page views a day, says the Kansas City-based syndicate. Last week, the Jaimes version of “Nancy” attracted 133,000 page views on Wednesday, then spiked to 390,000 views the next day, according to Andrews McMeel.
Damn. That’s some serious impact!
It’s also a lesson: why come into a role or job or position and keep things “business as usual”? Fuck shit up! Set everything on fire! Do things that make people mad! Not necessarily your boss, no, but your audience. Don’t just spit hot air to get a reaction but challenge people to see and think and do differently. That’s the lesson here, one that Jaimes is doing inadvertently as all the comics that are rolling out were made months in advance (and, funny enough, Jaimes isn’t reading what people are saying about her work).
Don’t be quiet, don’t be boring. Be like Nancy: get grouchy and silly – and don’t shut up about it.