Good Man Park asks, “Does one italicize comic strip names?”
I say, yes! A comic strip is a set of works over the course of many years, is it not? Therefore, if one is permitted to emphasize a television series, one should likewise be permitted to do the same with a comic strip or a comic book. Ergo, you would refer to the September 12, 2007 installment of For Better or For Worse, and not the September 12, 2007 installment of “For Better or Worse,” which is a bit like referring to the episode “Mirror, Mirror” of “Star Trek” (redundant, yes?) or “The Flying Machine” in Ray Bradbury’s “S is for Space” (likewise, odd to the eye!).
Nevertheless, I really had no idea that this was such a controversial issue. Or perhaps Mr. Park, as is sometimes his wont, is getting me unduly excited about something pedantic. I’d like to know if there have been any vociferous arguments with the copy desk on this subject. If there are any stylistic gurus who have ample justification for ghettoizing a comic strip to quotes and denying a strip’s rightful place into a grammatical terrain that, for crying out loud, is used in relation to Jackass and WWE’s SummerSlam, I’d be curious to hear from them.
(And, no, this assault on exclamation points will not do! It will not do at all!)