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A few days ago we told you about the new artist on the long running Nancy comic strip – a woman who uses the pseudonym Olivia Jaimes. The first strip was confounding, as all Nancy strips should be, revealing “going IN on that cornbread” to be a defining human characteristic and somehow…humorous.

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Since then James has really set the Nancy loving world reeling with her references to everyday objects such as earbuds and social media sharing.


But people everywhere are beginning to notice. Industry icon Ryan North was perhaps the first to anoint the new Nancy.

Followed quickly by influencer @skullmandible.

The new Nancy-verse has perplexed many with its toned down Aunt Fritzi – is that her in the cornbread strip? Fritzi was traditionally drawn as a stylish woman of the times, and previous Nancy cartoonist Guy Gilchrist made her a buxom sexpot.


Jaimes is also going IN on breaking the fourth wall (something the original strip did a lot as well), with two strips already referencing the art and creator such as the one at the top of this strip. And she is also up to date on the controversy as this strip shows. Screenshot 2018-04-20 03.18.19.png



While you may have laughed at my phrase “Nancy loving world’ above, Ernie Bushmiller, the creator of the strip, has a loyal cult, following mostly among other cartoonists. This was revealed to all with the publication of Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden’s How to Read Nancy, which goes in heavy on how Nancy represents the comic strip in its purest, most direct form, a language of sigils and also Sluggo. But also just ineffable weirdness.


Nancy’s existential drollery – and bonkers payoffs – even led to the development of a game called “Five Card Nancy” that is played with individual  panels cut from Nancy strips. The game is to make a sensible strip from the weird parts, kind of like comic strip anagrams, and it’s more fun to play than it sounds. Scott McCloud invented the game and it led to some lively outings amongst comics gathering of the 90s. Yeah, cartoonists love Nancy.

Anyway, all of this is to say that Nancy purists have been somewhat, well, appalled by the new strip, although I gather they didn’t like Gilchrist much either. I’m a member of a secret Nancy cult group on Facebook, and after three days of endless alarms and horror over the new strip a SPIN OFF Nancy cult secret Facebook group had to be created just to complain about the strip so the original gang could go back to just appreciating Bushmillerism.

I’m sympathetic to the pain of Nancy Cultists, but I feel they must face a simple fact:


Granted, keeping legacy strips going when the creators has gone on to the big printing plant in the sky is a controversial move in itself. However, this new Nancy has got people talking like mad! And reading the strip like mad!

And the comments are indeed buckwild. In fact The AV Club beat me to the punch to be the first media outlet to write about the reaction to the New Nancy (gnash gnash) and there are more than 300 comments on THAT piece too.

The power of Nancy compels you.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this is that it’s been more than a week and the internet has not yet outed the real identity of Olivia Jaimes. Ineffable.

As I said, I’m not entirely in favor of legacy strips going on, but in this case, at least, a fresh and some fresh humor has been introduced to the comics (web) page, and that can’t be a bad thing.


  1. Can we talk a out how insane those Guy Gilchrist strips were for 25 years? I just got alerted to them yesterday, and he turned what was one of the most absurd comics in history into a fawning ode to bands he liked, Jesus, and the military-industrial complex?

    Dude was bonkers!

  2. Re Guy Gilchrist: I knew things were getting weird when Aunt Fritzie suddenly became a country music fan. She was usually shown wearing a T-shirt bearing the name of an act that Gilchrist liked (the Oak Ridge Boys, etc.)

    Gilchrist lives in Nashville (though he’s originally from Connecticut), and is a country music fan/writer/performer, which might explain this. He said in an interview that he wanted his readers to “let Jesus be their hero.”

    The current “Dick Tracy” team, Mike Curtis and Joe Staton, are both from Tennessee. But they’re somehow managed to keep country music and evangelical Christianity from dominating Tracy’s adventures.

  3. “The current “Dick Tracy” team, Mike Curtis and Joe Staton, are both from Tennessee. But they’re somehow managed to keep country music and evangelical Christianity from dominating Tracy’s adventures.”

    True — but Curtis and Staton have about everything else in DICK TRACY; or at least, *everyone* else.

    E.g., The Spirit, Little Orphan Annie, Svengoolie, and (as a corpse) Simon Stagg.

    (How they managed the latter, since he’s a DC character — he’s in the first issue of THE TERRIFICS — is beyond me.)

    If the comics strip medium is on it’s way out, at least it’s going out as a viking funeral.

  4. I’m new to this. Sometimes you have to hit me over the head with something to get me to look. Pretty cool, and I can think of several non-comics people in my life who I think would like it. Took a look online and there’s only one of the numerous Fantagraphics books left available at bookdepository, where I normally go. I’ll have to hunt around. None at my local library.

  5. If the new Nancy were poorly-drawn but well-written, that would be one thing. If it were poorly written but well-drawn, that would be another. Its sin is that it’s neither well-drawn or written. It may be better than what Gilchrist was doing, but that both a very low bar and debatable.

  6. What I’ve seen of the new Nancy I’d interesting, seeming to show that someone with a 90s indie orientation has taken over the strip – But the AV Club piece put me off a little, with what seemed to be salvaging and Wii-hooing simply because the strip had some tech/Internet jokes in it. BTW, if OJ is psyudsonous -sp- how do you know she is in fact a woman? What if OJ is a male, or.transgender?

  7. What might be interesting is if they were to introduce a couple new characters, and then spin the new strip off, in the was Nancy supplanted Fritzi Ritz. This would give the syndicate a built in audience, leave Nancy to live on her legacy, and allow the new characters to go places free of Nancy’s bounds.

  8. It’s no Ernie Bushmiller but miles ahead of Guy Gilchrist.

    I’m no fan of legacy strips, but this is a big improvement.

  9. I love love love the new Nancy so far. It is so existentialist. She’s no Bushmiller but this is much better than the syrupy sap we had to put up with the last 20 years.

  10. I am not pleased with the new cartoonist at all. Nancy has changed so radically at first I thought it was a joke. Sorry I won’t read her any longer as the new cartoonist is not honoring Bushmiller’s & the last cartoonists efforts to remain true to our dear old Nancy. I really will miss her as she was.

  11. I tried to give the “new” Nancy a chance, but I just can’t do it. The drawing is terrible. All the characters look mean, and the writing isn’t interesting or funny.

  12. Sorry, but I am not a fan of the new Nancy comic strip. Have been reading Nancy for over 50 years and to me the artistry is just not right and I don’t find it funny.

  13. I always loved Nancy. Not so much now. It has lost all it’s charm. Sad but I don’t even like reading it anymore.

  14. Simply don’t like the new strip. The artwork is radically different and the content is not as funny. I was a faithful reader, but no longer enjoy it.

  15. Used to read daily.. now skipping it… writing is parochial and boring… drawing is painfully bad. I understand things change but some attempt to continue as it was would be better than this. Whatever experiment this was is failing.

  16. Does any one else think the art work is terrible? She looks like a poor Japanse cartoon. I have no trouble with the content but the art work is off putting.

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