The Born Loser

The Born Loser

"The Born Loser" is a newspaper comic strip created by Art Sansom in 1965. His son Chip Sansom started assisting on the strip in 1989, and the strip is currently distributed by United Features Syndicate. The Sansoms won the National Cartoonist Society Humor Comic Strip Award for 1987, and the Newspaper Comic Strip Award for 1990 for their work on the strip.

Characters

Initially beginning with no regular characters, the strip now stars the hapless Brutus Thornapple. Supporting characters include his wife Gladys, his mother-in-law Ramona Gargle, his son Wilberforce, his boss Rancid Veeblefester, and his neighbor's troublesome daughter Hurricane Hattie O'Hara.The main characters include:

Brutus Thornapple - As the name of the comic implies, he's a born loser. He simply can't get a break, whether it involves his job, his family, or just plain every day life. He's rather old fashioned, perhaps explaining why the modern times seem to be running him over.

Gladys Thornapple - Brutus's wife, she's even more old fashioned than Brutus and doesn't seem to be very bright, especially with popular culture or technology. Taller than Brutus, with blond hair, she's rather similar to Edith "Dingbat" Bunker. She can be a bit scolding of Brutus, and often gets into fights with him that he simply cannot win. Nevertheless, their relationship always seems to be intact.

Wilberforce Thornapple - The son of the Thornapple family, he's a very curious boy who looks up to his father and often turns to him for advice. We can only wonder how this will affect his later life. He's friends with Hurricane Hattie, and enjoys baseball, but as one would expect from being the son of Brutus, he's not very good at it. He currently wears his blond hair in a crew cut but in the 1970s, when boys and men tended to wear much longer hair, he wore his hair in sausage curls, and wore sailor-type suits with shorts. His appearance looked much more boyish with the new hairstyle as his wardrobe was updated with jeans, sweatshirts, and tennis shoes.

Rancid Veeblefester - Brutus's boss, a rich tycoon. A very cranky, unpleasant man, he works in an office surrounded by money bags and doesn't seem to do any real work. He always scolds Brutus for being incompetent and seems to enjoy tormenting him. He loves to give a seemingly nice remark to Brutus to get his hopes up, and then turns it around as an insult (one example being that the only empty cubicle in the entire office belongs to Brutus). It's often a wonder how Brutus, who dubs him "Chief," manages to escape being fired by him; this implies that Rancid is satisfied by Brutus' work and simply enjoys terrorizing him. Even in their home lives, nothing changes (such as when Brutus wants to borrow the lawnmower and Veeblefester tells him not to take it out of the yard). His wife's name is "Lividia", a play on the word "livid"; presumably she is as unpleasant as her husband.

Ramona Gargle - Gladys's mother. A stereotypical mother in law, she often visits to pepper Brutus with insults and emotional anguish. However, Brutus does occasionally gets his own jibes back at "Mother Gargle".

Hurricane Hattie - The mischievous girl next door, she delights in menacing pretty much any adult she encounters, namely Brutus and her teacher.

References

* "The Born Loser's Guide to Life", 1990. (ISBN 0-88687-597-8)
* Strickler, Dave. "Syndicated Comic Strips and Artists, 1924-1995: The Complete Index." Cambria, CA: Comics Access, 1995. ISBN 0-9700077-0-1.

External links

* [http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/bornloser/ "The Born Loser"]
* [http://www.unitedfeatures.com/ufs/news/20050518bornloser40th.pdf "The Born Loser Celebrates 40 Years as America's Favorite Underdog"] - press release (pdf)
* [http://www.reuben.org/ncs/awards.asp NCS Awards]


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