I have a strong preference for the black and white Nancy comics over the colorful ones. Something about the stark contrast of colors makes Nancy’s deeply felt and always earnest emotions seem more “live.”
The liveness of Nancy is something I think about a [probably] weird amount. When I read a stack of comics or am trying to explain them to someone, I inevitably end up saying “Oh, Nancy!” in the same tone of voice one uses with a wily kitten. Cartooness aside, the incredibly palpable expressivity of the black shapes on Nancy’s face had a undeniable realness that is the basis of any writing I’ve ever done on the comic.
The realness is what makes me chortle and say “Oh, Nancy. You sure are fuming over this one!” and “Oh, Nancy, you’re really gonna give it to Sluggo this time!”
There is something of interest to me about the humanity/realness that can be found in comics that are conceived to be created outside of the context of “art” comics. We know Burns and Clowes make us feel melancholy and such, and we respect them as artists who set out to do that.
But what about the emotional investment we have in Beetle Bailey? In Nancy?