"Pluggers" is a
comic panelcreated by Jeff MacNellyin 1993 that relies on reader submissions (referred to as "Pluggerisms") for the premise of each day's panel. Editorial cartoonist Gary Brookins took over in 1997, three years prior to MacNelly's death from lymphomain 2000.
It is syndicated by
Tribune Media Services.
The term "plugger" refers to one who is "plugging away" [ [http://www.pluggers.com/chief/faq.html Chief Plugger FAQ] ] , meaning that they are continually working in a determined way [ [http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/plug+away plug away - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia ] ] . In the context of this strip, a plugger appears to be defined as a blue-collar worker (mid-Westerners in particular) who lives a typical working-class American lifestyle, accompanied by a mentality characteristic of the
veteranand Baby Boomergenerations. In the comic, pluggers are portrayed in the form of anthropomorphicanimals, most often a plump bear, dog, chicken, or rhinoceros, sometimes a kangaroo or a cat.
Some sample captions:
*"Some folks mow until the mower runs out of gas. A plugger mows until he runs out of steam."
*"A plugger finally 'modernizes' her clothes dryer by replacing the straight, wooden clothes pins with spring-loaded ones."
*"A plugger seven-course meal usually comes in one casserole dish."
*"You're a plugger if a song that played at your wedding is now played in a commercial for a menopause medication."
*"If you've ever worn a beanie copter or a Davy Crockett hat, you're probably a plugger."
Criticism of strip
"Pluggers" has an underlying editorial element to its premise. On one hand, it celebrates simplicity, hard-work and strong family bonds. However, it also implies a superiority to the "plugger" lifestyle over a stereotypical materialistic, superficial lifestyle of non-pluggers. It often criticized modernity, sophistication and safe health practices. By using the term pluggers (in contrast with non-pluggers), the strip implies that people that are not blue-collar, mid-western labourers do not have a continual amount of work or struggle in their lives. The blog
Comics Curmudgeonoften pokes fun at the comic. [http://joshreads.com/?cat=57] Dave Eggersfrom Salon.comcriticized the strip for lionizing the working class, despite being written by a committee of "current and former CEOs" and objected to "the self-important and vaguely jingoistic way the creators promote the cartoon". [Citation
last = Eggers
first = Dave
authorlink = Dave Eggers
title = Crude Caricatures: A Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist goes slumming
year = 1996
url = http://www.salon.com/media/media960710.html
An index of "Pluggers" comics from the last three months can be found on the official website, [http://www.pluggers.com www.pluggers.com] .
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