Sunday, April 02, 2006

Back home again

I just finished a six and a half hour drive, but that's not going to stop me from alerting you of today's silent penultimate panels:

Cathy by Cathy Guisewite (explanation below)
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley
Candorville by Darrin Bell

Cathy may not belong here. The silent reaction panel is actually the third to last panel:

But it serves the same purpose--it's a useless reaction shot used only as a crutch to create "comic" timing. Cathy is one of my least favorite comic strips. It's part of the axis of drudgery--along with Garfield and Mallard Fillmore--that saps all energy and intelligence out of the comics page. Cathy is so bad it can't even get a standard cliche like the SPP right.

Candorville (which I don't hate) doubles up on the silent panels, but keeps them apart. If one silent panel is a cliche, two silent panels spaced apart actually help to illustrate the awkwardness of the conversation. But still, this is your third Sunday in a row here, Mr. Bell.

From the world of alternative weeklies, Sarah points out this week's Too Much Coffee Man. Thanks, Sarah. (I'm so cool, I bought Too Much Coffee Man #1 at the comic book store back in 1992.)

And Ugliness Man was kind enough to update me on the Betty storyline I was confused about earlier this week:

It looks like their ink problem has been solved. They bought a new printer. What an exciting week in the world of Betty.


Blogger Matt Guerrero said...

I might quibble with Non Sequitur's inclusion. Usually, we're talking about a silent, motionless (therefore useless) set up to the punchline. In Non Sequitur he's silent, but moving toward the joke (and some spectacluar pay-off, huh? makes me almost wish he'd bring back that Homer the reluctant soul crap. wait, it doesn't). Like I said, it's a quibble, but still ultimately a silent penultimate panel.
PS: hope you enjoyed your trip. First Graceland and now Snoopyland. We must all bown down before the altar of Schulz.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Matt Guerrero said...

ALSO: while you were gone they replaced Boondocks repeats with the jaw droppingly unfunny flying mccoys. what kind of merciful god would allow that?

7:56 PM  
Anonymous shannon wheeler said...

It's funny - I just started reading your blog a couple weeks ago. It's your blog that inspired me to do the silent panel. I kept reading silent panel after silent panel - I couldn't resist. It's like telling someone not to blink. Say it and they'll do it.

I didn't think I'd make it on to your site though. I figured I'd be under your radar. It made my night!!! Thank you.

I do agree with you that the abuse of the silent panel is simply a crutch for timing. I love your blog. I wish more cartoonists would read it.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Holmes! said...

I really love this blog!

I'm gonna have an eye open for vintage examples of this phenomenon, but I'm not very hopeful. Those fellows from Back In The Day didn't have much truck with wasted space!

Keep it up, you're performing a great and necessary service. After you help eradicate the poorly used SPP, may I suggest expanding to single-panel Sunday strips and lame computer lettering. The contemporary comic war against craft and industriousness will not go unjoined!

7:52 AM  
Blogger The Matt said...

OK, I'm pretty new to this blog, but is there a term for today's (Monday) Get Fuzzy? You know, when all panels but the penultimate are silent?

7:55 AM  
Blogger Matt Gill said...

Is there a word for what Get Fuzzy does today? How about "anti-pantomime penultimate panel?" Or maybe just "confusing." Hopefully the rest of the week will explain what's going on.

7:21 PM  

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