Saturday, May 27, 2006

Two and a half.

Just two for my first guest spot.

Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
Sherman's Lagoon by Jim Toomey

Wiley has four SPPs total for the week, three of which were consecutive. Probably a record of some sort, but I think I'll wait until Matt returns before I make any official declaration.

Drabble is technically off the watch today, since the silent panels show action rather than a "comic beat". However, it still deserves to be mentioned, since it's another example of stretching action over too many panels, which is something that Kevin Fagan does far too often.


Matt has already ranted on the inconsistency of webcomics, specifically the disregard for deadlines... however, Something Positive is one of the few long-running webcomics out there of consistent quality, and SPPs in it are so rare, I decided to forgive the fact that today's strip was updated in late afternoon rather than morning, and give the above honorable mention.
note that today's S*P strip is family-friendly, but the language and content on other days are quite often under the "stuff I wouldn't show to my mother" category, so proceed at your own risk.

Friday, May 26, 2006

This weekend

Three silent penultimate panels today, all from my own paper

Jump Start by Robb Armstrong (a rare appearance)
Drabble by Kevin Fagen
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller (working on a streak)

I am heading off to New York today, a strange land where the newspapers don't have comics sections. But that does not mean the work at the watch will stop. In my absence, faithful reader Ugliness Man will take over the daily updates.

I'll be back next week.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Email reading

What is that? Eight? Holy cow, that's a lot.

Candorville by Darrin Bell
Frazz by Jeff Mallett
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
Overboard by Chip Dunham
Piranha Club by Bud Grace
Red and Rover by Brian Basset
Sally Forth by Francesco Marciuliano and Craig Macintosh
Sheldon by Dave Kellett

That just might be a record. It's so many, I had to break everything up into three different jpegs.

Cartoonists' quest to develop a reading-email device continues. Lynn Johnston tries a jagged tail leading to the screen, similar to the Blondie solution.

I don't think this works, either. The tail implies actual sound, like from a television. The simple solution is this: Rigid-type font suspended above the scene--just like Snoopy's typing. No balloon, no tale. All cartoonists reading my blog, I give this idea to you for free.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Left to right

Three silent penultimate panels today. Well, two are really time-passing panels and one is a vacation reprint, but I'm counting them all today.

Adam@Home by Brian Basset
Cathy by Cathy Guisewhite
Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau

Because we read from left to right it can sometimes be difficult for a cartoonist to get the character blocked on the right side of the scene to say something first. There are a few solutions.

Put the word balloon above the other character's.

Swing the camera around between panels to show the characters from the rear.

Or simply have them magically trade places.

Only of these solutions is lazy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Baby Blues

Another three today:
Andy Capp by Roger Mahoney and Roger Kettle
Baby Blues by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman
Blondie by King Features

I like Baby Blues, but this week's storyline is about leaving the father alone with the kids. Bumbling-father-alone-with-the-kids jokes are just as old and tiresome as women-shopping-for-bathing-suit-jokes. (None of them fit, ha ha.) It's impossible to expect absolute originality three hundred sixty five days each year, but aren't there some less-recycled gags waiting to be recycled?

Out-of-context panel of the day:

It's the exclamation points that make it funny--and the guy pondering the best color for the word balloon above him.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Brewster Rockit's eyes

Three silent penultimate panels for this Monday:
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
The Other Coast Adrian Raeside
Piranha Club by Bud Grace

I think Wiley Miller can now be considered a perennial offender. Considering that two or three strips each week are one-panel gags, he has an extremely high SPP ratio.

Why doesn't Tim Rickard like to draw eyes?

Everyone either squints or wears glasses. It's become a real annoyance for me. It's not as bad as Cathy Guisewhite's missing noses, but it is a stylistic decision that doesn't make much sense.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

They always return

Wow, really big day today. Silent penultimate panels from:
Adam@Home by Brian Bassett
Andy Capp by Roger Mahoney and Roger Kettle
Baby Blues by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman
Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman
Betty by Delainey and Rasmussen
Cathy by Cathy Guisewhite
The Duplex by Glenn McCoy
Candorville by Darrin Bell

That's too many to count. And that's not even getting into all the almosts.

Continuing my Opus rant from last week, Opus is again confounded by the brand new technology of automatically flushing toilets. And Breathed tries to use automatically flushing toilets as a political metaphor.

Still, as far as socio-political astuteness goes, Breathed looks like Noam Chomsky compared to today's Mallard Fillmore.

On a positive note, Zits, Foxtrot and Get Fuzzy, perennial purveyors of four panel Sundays all turned in multi-panel, true Sunday strips. Things are looking up.