Saturday, July 15, 2006


Three silent penultimate panels today:

Animal Crackers by Fred Wagner
The Duplex by Glenn McCoy
Momma by Mel Lazarus

Mel Lazarus doesn't just let an SPP happen, so as to eliminate any possible confusion, he adds a giant question mark in a thought bubble.

Overboard is again champion of this quiet week. Chip Dunham was the only one to appear more than once during the Monday through Saturday watch.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Windows ME

Again, only one silent penultimate panel today:

Overboard by Chip Dunham

This is the first appearance for Overboard since Monday. That's one of it's longest non-appearing streaks in a while. Overboard has been keeping this blog afloat for some time.

In response to Les's comment here about the animated FOOB strips: Yes, it is creepy and weird. It adds nothing and really only distracts. The super hero comic book world has been experimenting with this sort of hybrid comic/animation for a while now, and nothing they've come up with has worked--popping word balloons, audible sound-effects, voice-overs. It all just doesn't work. In 1999 or so, when this whole internet thing was still new and exciting, every web page was just filled moving things and noise. By 2006, we've realized that, just because something is digital, it doesn't have to do tricks. A blogger can just type, he doesn't have to fill up space with animated GIFs. These slightly animated comic strips are just so 1999, so Windows ME, so Web 1.0. Not just creepy, but dated and silly.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Well, it looks like just one today:

La Cucaracha by Lalo Alcaraz

After avoiding the watch for months, La Cucaracha has been appearing more frequently. SPPs come in waves.

And we have another very quick post. Some evenings are busier than others.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Just one silent penultimate panel today that I can count without controversy.

On the Fast Track by Bill Holbrook

Who knew that I could be so wrong about what's funny? Evidently, I was entirely off the mark here when I said that yesterday's Pearls Before Swine was funny.

Here it is again:

Okay, so maybe the SPP is as useless as I've been saying they are all along.

and today's variation on the theme is wittier:

But I thought yesterday's was funny, and in my book funny always trumps. Funny trumps draftsmanship, funny trumps theory, funny trumps politics. I'm not always proud of what makes me laugh (just watch me crack up when I see a commercial for that movie "Little Man.") But I can't deny that--despite the fact it may go against all that I've written here--that comic strip made me laugh.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

But these are funny

Three silent penultimate panels today:
Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis
Sherman's Lagoon by Jim Toomey

Okay, so my whole reason for being here is that I think the SPP is a useless cliche--that it is a lazy symbol of comic timing and not actual comic timing itself. But sometimes a strip that uses one is actually funny. And here we have Pearls Before Swine and Get Fuzzy.

Both funny.

But not funny enough to prove me wrong.

Monday, July 10, 2006


It's time for another just-the-pictures update. Some days are busier than others.

This week is off to a big start with four silent penultimate panels:

Mutts by Patrick McDonnel
Overboard by Chip Dunham
Sheldon by Dave Kettle
Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! by Tim Rickard

Tomorrow: More wit, guaranteed

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Oh, they're two different people

Yes, it's another big Sunday--seven silent penultimate panels. Let's see if I can name them all without notes:
Andy Capp by Roger Mahoney and Roger Kettle
Garfield by Paws Inc.
Hagar the Horrible by Chris Browne
Jump Start by Robb Armstrong
Overboard by Chip Dunham
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis
Prickly City by Scott Stantis

I didn't realize it, but last week's Peach Fuzz was the end of the story. The girl finally put the ferret in its place--The End.

So now we have this: Van Von Hunter

I guess we'll be getting a new, chopped-up manga story every six months or so. At least it's something different.

Have I picked on Mallard Fillmore enough, lately? I don't think so. I'm not going to touch the political end--that's not what I'm here for. But look at this:

Young cartoonists, take note. When drawing a comic strip with two different characters, don't make them look exactly the same. All you need to do is give one hair. That's it--just one extra squiggle of the pen, and readers might actually understand what the hell is going on. The thesis in this strip is dubious at best, and it doesn't help that it looks like it's being enacted by the good side and bad side of Gollum.