May 22nd, 2010

Snarky Candiru2

Sally Forth: the hero subverted.....

As we know, Sally Forth herself is meant to be another variant of the most common hero of the modern media: the hyper-competent mother who makes sarcastic remarks about the follies of those around her. Like her fellows, she comes equipped with a goofy, adult child husband, precocious daughter and dolt ex-boss as standard equipment. The interesting thing about having Marciuliano writing her strip is that he makes it plain that there's a cost to being Sally. Simply put, her aura of competence hides the fact that she's racing around trying to make things happen in order to avoid having downtime. We start off with his making it crystal-clear that her childhood was fairly unpleasant; she had a corrosive, demeaning jerkass mother and a flake sister who was indulged shamelessly. This tells me that she was forced to be the adult when she shouldn't have been; it also explains why she doesn't see certain things that Ted and the rest of us notice right away. As by way of example, she can't seem to see that she has a lot in common with her antagonist Ralph; both of them are forced to manage by means of threatening their subordinates but, since she doesn't get what made Ralph that way, blows off any comparison.