'Nancy' (16 June 2019).

Olivia Jaimes is an American cartoonist, who in 2018 took over the 80-years old 'Nancy' newspaper strip. Her name is a pseudonym, and her identity has been carefully kept a secret. With her origins in webcomics, Jaimes returned to the original graphic and comedy style of 'Nancy' creator Ernie Bushmiller, updating the comic to the modern times and turning the rebooted comic into an internet sensation.

Since the cartoonist's identity has not been revealed and she hardly gives any interviews, not much is known about her background. Andrews McMeel Syndication editor Shena Wolf, who hired her to do the 'Nancy' strip, only revealed she was a young woman from the world of webcomics. During a panel at the September 2018 Cartoon Crossroads Columbus in Ohio, Olivia Jaimes made a sporadic live appearance for a small audience, albeit in disguise. Cellphones and any other recording devices were carefully checked at the door. Writer and blogger Rocko Jerome attended the event and wrote down his impression of the cartoonist on his website. He estimated her in her mid-twenties, and described her as an intelligent woman with an interest in Sukdoku, the TV show 'The Good Place' and the work of cartoonist Richard Thompson.

'Nancy' (2 June 2022).

Olivia Jaimes' tenure on the 'Nancy' strip began on 9 April 2018, when her first strip appeared in the newspapers and online. On 18 February of that same year, longtime 'Nancy' artist Guy Gilchrist had retired. For a while, it seemed as if 'Nancy' had gone the same way. The final episode ended with aunt Fritzi marrying her lover Phil, while Nancy and her friends celebrated. But two months later, 'Nancy' returned, drawn by Jaimes. The feelgood and heartwarming themes from the Gilchrist period vanished and Jaimes returned to the crisp lay-outs and deadpan humor that characterized the feature's creator, Ernie Bushmiller.

Even though the main characters Nancy and Sluggo still have haircuts and clothing dating from the time of their creation (the 1930s), Jaimes modernized the comic with references to modern trends and technologies, including smartphones, social media, ear buds, selfie sticks and a robotics club. In line with the times, Aunt Fritzi is no longer portrayed as a sexy pin-up, but with the same stylized simplicity as the other characters. Olivia Jaimes also added several new characters to the cast, including new family members, classmates and neighborhood kids. The 'Nancy' comic's renewed focus on irony and self-reflexive comedy proved a perfect fit with the curent generation's meme humor and the style of modern social media webcomics. Within no time, views of 'Nancy' at GoComics.com went up with 500%. In 2019, Andrews McMeel Publishing released the first collection of 'Nancy' dailies by Olivia Jaimes.

The 3 September 2018 episode, with the iconic "Sluggo is lit" phrase.

Sluggo is lit
One of the Bushmiller traditions that Jaimes brought back was the annual Labor Day episode. During this special early September strip, Bushmiller usually made an out-of-the-box meta humor gag with very limited graphics or puns, because "the cartoonist also deserves a break". In her 4 September 2018 strip, Olivia Jaimes states she is taking the day off, so therefore that day's strip will feature "sneak peeks at panels that will appear in upcoming strips." In one of them, Nancy is seen riding a hoverboard with two smartphones and a selfie stick, announcing that "Sluggo is lit". This strip was widely picked up online, going viral and even spawning a "Sluggo is lit" Internet meme, with the phrase inserted into other comic panels and other images.

As could be expected, Jaimes' new take at the character also received online backlash, but overall, the critical and professional response was positive. Already during her first year, she was mentioned in "best of the year" lists by The Hollywood Reporter, Paste Magazine, Tech Crunch and other media. In 2019, her 'Nancy' was awarded in the category "Best Comic Strip or Panel" in The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards (Ringo Awards).

Meta humor in the 'Nancy' strip of 12 June 2018.

Nancy at Gocomics.com

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