Friday, May 12, 2006

Over the hedge/Mutts is good

One, only one today and I had to do some searching to find it.

Over the Hedge by Michael Fry and T. Lewis

A movie version of Over the Hedge is coming out soon. When the posters and billboards started popping up around town, I thought it was a teaser poster for The Wild, which I thought was a straight to DVD sequel to Madagascar. In Los Angeles, every single movie, no matter how inconsequential, gets at least one gigantic billboard ad. (Sometimes they never come down. Off of 101 North, leaving Hollywood heading into the Valley, there is still a giant wall-sized mural advertising Terminator 3--which came out so long ago, that guy wasn't even our governor yet.) All these movie ads just become one big blur and they make very little impression one me. And I'm just saying all this just to say that I don't have much interest in seeing the movie version of Over the Hedge.

Mutts doesn't count today. Mostly because it is a pantomime strip. But look at what Patrick McDonnell does here. Simply having the man turn his head in the second panel makes the strip work. The head turn does several things: First, it creates some action. But also, in conjunction with the man's head in the first panel, it is a framing device for Mooch's sign--emphasizing the joke's set up. In turn, the two signs in the strip frame the man in the second and third panels, further stretching the time between set-up and punchline.

Look at the strip without the middle panel. The punchline is too abrupt.

And look at it with the man facing forward in the second panel. Why, it looks like a standard, dull SPP.

Just a simple turn of the head makes the strip work. I spend so much time making fun of comics, it's only fair to point out the good sometimes.


Anonymous Ferrick said...

Today's Baldo had a completely useless SPP, too.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Suzii said...

On the other hand, Soup to Nutz for this day was another example of an absolutely necessary, artistically useful SPP.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great site loved it alot, will come back and visit again.

12:46 PM  

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