A lesson in reading the Daily News: How to write a great column
One of the best things to keep in mind when writing a newspaper column—or if you're getting started on a serial blog here on The Batavian, wink wink—is that you will write better the better you know your subject.
On that note, Daily News reporter Matt Surtel proves me right and then some in his column on today's op-ed page. His style is fun and quirky, true to its theme, but above all else, it's informed and well-written, and that's what makes it so enjoyable.
Surtel writes about his longtime obsession with the comic strip For Better or For Worse, introducing me to the devoted and surprisingly zealous fan base of the strip that will end its original run Sunday and start over from scratch. Start over from scratch? Well, you see, this comic strip followed a family in real-time for 30 years, and now it will start over, reducing the kids to toddlers and going at it all over again.
Surtel does not shy from passing judgement on some of the strip's characters, calling out one of them as a "gigantic, stupid dweeb," or lamenting the "stupid mustache" of another whom he describes as a "boring milquetoast loser."
All in all, this is a great column from a reporter I wouldn't mind hearing more from aside from the usual beat reporting. I've never read For Better or For Worse, but by the end of the column, I shared Surtel's disdain for that "milquetoast loser" who finagled an otherwise ambitious and interesting gal into a mediocre suburban pantomime of life, love and marriage. Damn that Anthony!