Saturday, April 22, 2006

Quick Saturday update

Quick Saturday update with another big haul of silent penultimate panels

Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph
The Duplex by Glenn McCoy (thanks, Ugliness Man)
Monty by Jim Meddick
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller

Barkeater Lake is this week's champion with three out of the six days using an SPP.

The Duplex gets honors for a particularly useless SPP.

Just when I start to think my work is done here, things like this come along. I'll never rest.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sherman's Lagoon

We've got a good sized lot of silent penultimate panels today:

Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph
Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
Sherman's Lagoon by Jim Toomey

I'm still getting familiar with Barkeater Lake, still learning who all these folks are. I'm not sure about this dog:

He's ready to take that guy's head off. Do not piss him off.

Sherman's Lagoon is fairly popular. For me, I've never liked cartoon fish. I've always thought an underwater setting is too awkward to work well. It brings up too many issues--like how does a laptop work underwater, and how does one grasp things with only fins. I just look at cartoon fish and feel uncomfortable. Obviously, considering the popularity of things like Sherman's Lagoon, and Finding Nemo, this is a personal issue on my part. But give me an airplane-flying dog pushed to his last nerve over a goofy-yet-lovable shark any day.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Three today:
Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph
Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau
Frazz by Jef Mallet

And The Matt pointed out that I missed one yesterday. It wasn't a shut-out afterall.
The Buckets by Greg Cravens and Scott Stantis

So I only recently discovered Barkeater Lake and I've started following it online. Last week, all I knew was that there was a talking dog in it. Now I know that the talking dog's name is Banks, he flies an airplane, and he's a sarcastic jerk.

Doonesbury has been on the watch three times in the past month, and each one has been from the B.D. storyline. I don't know that means...I just notice these things.

Frazz is back after a long break from the watch. Frazz, the self-righteous school janitor, makes fun of a kid for not having any income. What's your problem, Frazz? When are you going to do something with your life and get a real job?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Nothing but almosts

Three almosts today...sort of. On a grumpier day I would have counted all of these:

Peanuts 1959 reprint, Pearls Before Swine, and Get Fuzzy

During this era, Peanuts was full of silent penultimate panels. Fantagraphic's Complete Peanuts 1957-1958 is a veritable bible of SPPs. As I've said before, the silent penultimate panel is a cliche now largely because of Schulz's influence. Anyway, this is funny. It's a comic beat done right.

I think Darby Conley's cut and past experiment would have worked better had he picked a different week to copy Pearls Before Swine. If it was just a week of Pig and Rat talking, the results would have been a little more comprehensible. As it is, the original Pearls Before Swine is pretty bizarre and obtuse on its own.

Oh and Chickweed Lane gave us only one day of the cat this week. We're back to the ongoing story now. I'm glad, but I think the random and brief appearance of the cat lends credibility to the Brooke-McEldowney-missed-a-deadline theory.

But because there are no true SPPs today, I need to do a special alternative. The Spanish Ziggy thing was funny to me at first, but after a few times, it gotten kind of old. I need a replacement for the replacement.

So, today, I give you the best of the L.A. Times' Kids Jokes and Riddles section:
What does an owl us to brush it's beak?
From Zoe, Age 7

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Garfield debuts (?)

Four silent penultimate panels today (all found thanks to Ugliness Man.)

Garfield by a thousand hired hands (debut)
Monty by Jim Meddick
Overboard by Chip Dunham
Red and Rover by Brian Bassett

This is Garfield's debut on the watch? How can that be? I'm blessed in the fact that my local paper dropped Garfield a couple of years ago. (It was a masterful drop on the L.A. Times' part: Mutts was doing a special month-long Holiday series in addition to its regular strip. The Times announced Garfield would be replaced temporarily by the Mutts holiday special. Well, Christmas came and went, the Mutts special ended and, in a Christmas miracle to end all miracles, Garfield just never came back. Ho, Ho, Ho!) Anyway, I don't see Garfield everyday, and it seems that most of the readers here entirely avoid it--and definitely don't search it out. So I never hear about Garfield's SPPs. But not today. Thanks, Ugliness Man.

Monty is unique in that it's a five-panel SPP strip. The silent penultimate panel normally occurs in three or four panel strips. (And, really, I don't know what the significance is. I just notice these things.)

And what about the Pearls Before Swine/Get Fuzzy experiment:

Well, first of all, I'm not counting it as an SPP. The zebra is waking up in the penultimate panel., so it's not just silent reaction. But, as far as what I think about what Darby Conley is doing--I don't know. I like artists playing with their media. I like artists challenging their audiences. But, I have mixed feelings here. In just the past month we've had the Pearls Before Swine/Baby Blues cross-over, Foxtrot doing Boondocks, and, currently, La Cucaracha doing Boondocks. It's meta-joke after meta-joke on the comics page. It's all starting to look like an undergrad studio art course. And coming right on the heels of a week and a half of Bucky's booger saga, it might be too much. Just tell a joke, Mr. Conley. I mean, you're not doing Zippy the Pinhead. All you need to do to make us laugh is draw Satchel with a broken flower pot on his head. It works everytime.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Chickweed Lane's stretching cat

Two silent penultimate panels today, both from not-in-my-newspaper:
Kudzu by Doug Marlette (thanks to Big Al)
Sherman's Lagoon by Jim Toomey (thanks to the always reliable Ugliness Man)

Since starting this blog I've been reminded of a lot of comics I've long forgotten about. For instance: Kudzu. I haven't seen this one (or even thought of it) since I moved away from my hometown Richmond, VA back in 1998. I'm racking my brain trying to remember what it was all about. There was that preacher guy with the hat, there was that kid, and...what else? I don't know. I probably read this strip nearly every day of my life growing up and it has made entirely zero impact on me. How sad.

I'm not counting Pearls Before Swine today. The silent panel is not a silent reaction panel, it's more of a panel to set up the passage of time. So it's off the watch. (And whenever I do call out PBS, everyone tells me that I'm wrong, anyway.)

And it looks like we have another week of this crap from Chickweed Lane:

I like Chickweed Lane. It's one of the most original and unique things on the comics page. But every few months, Brooke McEldowney gives us a week of the cat stretching and hiding behind the panels. I'm not trying to hate here, but I am curious, do the dedicated Chickweed Lane fans enjoy this? Did you open up the comics page this morning and say, "Yes! It's the cat again! Get me my scissors!" Please let me know. It's possible I'm missing something.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Born Loser

Three silent penultimate panels for Sunday:
The Born Loser by Art and Chip Sansom
Monty by Jim Meddick (both thanks to Ugliness Man.)
Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! by Tim Rickard

Brewster Rockit is unique. It is one single image divided into panels, but the effect is the same. Is it funnier to have all the character off-screen? I don't know.

Why is the Born Loser still around? Who are the fans that demand that the Born Loser stay in their local papers? Who are these people? Who are the people that ensure that a new Born Loser is created every day? Why, please tell me why?

The only thing I'm really happy about is that after tomorrow, the IRS jokes will be put on hold for whole 'nother year. Ugh.