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September 12, 2009

Goofus and Gallant

When I was a kid I read Goofus and Gallant cartoons in Highlights magazine at Dr. Bodkin's office. I accepted them at face value, and as something worth pausing to read while scrambling through the magazine to find the Hidden Pictures puzzle.

Periodically my sister J. would call me "Goofus" in response to something I had done, and while I recognized that I was being p0wned, she was generally right.

I gave a talk last year to a group of college students and tried to use a Goofus-and-Gallant allegory in my presentation, and it fell flat on its face - they had no idea what I was talking about. It was like when people talk to me about the Steeler's wishbone defense; it doesn't mean anything.

The times change, everything except for newspapers evolve, and now Goofus and Gallant 2.0 is online with an interactive web presence. You start off with an intro, a story, and a decision, and then you get mouseover advice from both Goofus and Gallant, and you choose your course of action. There's no cartoon presentation, it's text-based, but it's still Goofus and Gallant.

The cartoon-driven Goofus and Gallant is a cultural touchstone for people of a certain age, Boomer Geezers, and there's been some fun with the artifact. Today on Salon and 2PoliticalJunkies we have Tom Tomorrow's This Modern World, with a new "Then and Now with Goofus and Gallant" which does an excellent job of both sending up the original, and making the author's political point-


I'd like to share some (actual and alternative) Goofus and Gallants.

Actual, Genuine Goofus and Gallant







Alternative Goofus and Gallant






21st Century Goofus and Gallant

2 comments:

Joanne Q said...

I enjoyed this very much.

Brendan said...

I remember quite a few years ago I played the interactive story game. Now it is gone.

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