Saturday, June 03, 2006


A rare day today--nothing.

The closest we have is Momma.

But to be fair, two silent panels would just make Momma look pathetic. The third silent panel makes it funny. Sort of.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Silent punchline

It looks like we have our standard three for the day.

Monty by Jim Meddick
Sherman's Lagoon by Jim Toomey
Candorville by Darrin Bell

I've written about my thing about underwater cartoon settings before, and here is that laptop in the ocean again. How does he type with just fins? For some reason, I have no problem with alligators living in a suburban house drawing comics, but as soon as the location is underwater, all these questions that I should just ignore pop up in my head. It's a personal thing, it must be.

In Candorville, Darrin Bell follows up the silent penultimate panel with--

--another silent panel!

This actually works pretty well. The silence becomes the punchline rather than just the set-up.

The Comics Curmudgeon
has already made this observation, but it remains very sad that we won't see a good, old-fashioned Mark Trail slugging in the current storyline.

The bad guy just turned himself in. What th-? There are so many things to love about Mark Trail--the hail storm of exclamation points, the talking animal panels, etc.-- but the greatest thing of all is the patented Mark Trail slugging of the bad guy. The slug defines Mark Trail's brand of environmentalism. Mark Trail doesn't just drive a Prius and re-use his Trader Joes bags, if and when necessary, he will punch your lights out for screwing with his Lost Forrest. We can only hope that Mark Trail will still slug that bad guy. Because, after all, an apology does not make you innocent, and someone needs to pay for that dead mountain goat.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Cow and Boy

It's turned into a big day for silent penultimate panels.

Cow and Boy by Mark Leiknes
Overboard by Chip Dunham
Peanuts by Charles Schulz
Peanuts by Charles Schulz
Mother Goose and Grim by Mike Peters

There are two series of Peanuts reprints out there--one from 1959 and one from 1993. Charles Schulz manages the unique feat of two SPPs from the same day of the week from two different years decades apart. In the earlier era, Schulz was an SPP addict. By 1993, after he broke from the four-panel format, Schulz hardly ever used them.

Cow and Boy has been getting some attention recently. I've been following it, but I don't particularly like it. I think Leiknes might suffer from a case of Frank Cho syndrome--an over-abundance of illustration chops with a shallow dearth of wit. (The reverse of this is Scott Adams syndrome.) And, mostly, I just don't think this Cow looks very funny.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Old friends

Hey, I'm back. Let's have a big round of applause for Ugliness Man. He filled in admirably while I was out. (Did you even notice I was gone?) Three silent penultimate panels awaited me in my Los Angeles Times.

Foxtrot by Bill Amend
Candorville by Darrin Bell
Prickly City by Scott Stantis

Candorville and Prickly City are regulars on the watch--and it's good to see old friends when returning home.

I've been away from a newspaper and comic strips for about four days now. It can be disorienting to come back. I've barely comprehended the comics that I read today. I'm exhausted. The only thing good about flying cross country is the extra few hours you get in the day--and I have to spend that extra time throwing out all the accumulated junk mail. Sorry, I'll be more coherent tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tuesday blips

For some reason, several of yesterday's comic RSS feeds updated rather late, and these two SPPs were among them:

Candorville by Darrin Bell
Red & Rover by Brian Basset

Now on to today's:

Adam@Home by Brian Basset

Yep, that's it, just the one. A nice, quiet last post for my guest slot, and it's fun to try to figure out what the heck is going on in that panel. And did anyone ever notice that Adam and Rover have the same shape of nose?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Take a breath.

The Duplex by Glenn McCoy
Cathy by Cathy Guisewite
Luann by Greg Evans

Cathy is usually so wordy that I think the occasional SPP should be manditory so the characters can catch their breath. At least this particular SPP is made almost interesting with the use of a starburst border.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Quiet Sunday

Between Friends by Sandra Bell-Lundy (debut!)
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller

Usually Sunday is huge, but instead today's offering is a sea of almosts. The ever-reliable Non Sequitur comes through, and Between Friends makes its debut. I've never seen such a scarce Sunday, it looks like Matt's mission is making headway.