Why not accomplish such a stirring up not by shoving these poor comics forward into the future they all seem to fear but by propelling them deep into the past? It makes sense to me.*
I propose that every day, I shall find a comic--any comic--and post it here...followed by a Middle English translation. I don't claim that the Middle English will be absolutely perfect, so please, Middle English Grammar Scholars, don't crucify me. I do claim that the Middle English will make the comics better. It would, after all, be hard for it to make them worse.
The first entry is from the extremely long-running comic Mary Worth (currently written and drawn by Joe Giella and Karen Moy), which has been dragging through an infuriatingly naive story about phishing and credit-card fraud for something like a month now. This comic appeared on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, and is here reproduced in a critical-commentary sort of capacity.**
One of my fellow Comics Curmudgeon snarkers, a very witty and talented person who goes by the moniker of "bats," has used my translation to create a lovely Middle English version of the comic (I especially like Mary's tiny thought balloon). I'll leave the text translation in below, but now you've got the comic as well. Behold the two versions (click on the images to see readable copies):
Toby: Ich colde not tellen hym, Mary.
Mary: Tho moste, Toby. He wille knowen eftsones, ond he has a ryghte to knowen, as thy hosbonde. Yow moste bothe worken thys owt!
Toby: Alas, myn Ian is nowe yn the compaigne of moste lerned folke, whereas ich haue let myself be ablynt. Ich schalle tellen hym when he retorneth.******
Thank you, and good night.
*I am slightly mad, of course.
**So please don't sue me.