Saturday, August 05, 2006

Quickly, so that I might enjoy my weekend

And a quick Saturday update:
The Duplex by Glenn McCoy
Frazz by Jef Mallett
The Other Coast by Adrian Raeside (I think that's a debut)
Piranha Club by Bud Grace

No real winner this week, just a lot of strips with two silent penultimate panels for the week.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday update

Quick update with four silent penultimate panels:
Andy Capp by Roger Mahoney and Roger Kettle
Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph
Peanuts (1959 reprint) by Charles Schulz
Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan

Evidently Barkeater Lake is in reprints this week, thus supporting my original theory that I have a huge influence on Corey Pandolph. There is a giant drop in SPP occurrence from strips made before my blog started to ones from after. You're welcome, Corey.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The verbose Mallard Fillmore game

One lone silent penultimate panel today:

Red & Rover by Brian Bassett

The panel by itself is kind of hard to read, so here it is context:

And, in a follow up to the silent Mallard Fillmore game, here is a variation:

1. Leave all the words and art intact.
2. Guess what the hell he's complaining about this time:

Is it a rant about public education, a plug for some obscure book, something about gay liberals? Whatever it is, it's a train of thought riding a rail no one else can see or follow.

(incidentally, I was going to make a joke about the book Mallard mentions as being one of those books printed on mimeograph paper with a yellow card-stock cover found in the far corner of a used book store with a giant sun-faded American flag in the window, but then I looked it up on Amazon. It does seem to be a real book, published by a real publisher. In 2001. Way to keep up with the zeitgeist, duck. If you're interested, the book is available used for 19 cents.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Maybe, maybe not

Five silent penultimate panels, four from the present day:

Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph
Bo-Nanas by John Covaleski
Cow and Boy by Mark Leinkes
Peanuts (1959 reprint) by Charles Schulz
The Duplex by Glenn McCoy

I'm letting Chickweed Lane and Non Sequitur off the hook today. Their penultimate panels both show essential action. (These really could go either way.)

But there is no mistaking the SPP in today's Barkeater Lake. Corey Pandolph totally rejected the notion that I may have had some influence on him, and, I guess today he proved he was right, afterall.

And you had come so far, Corey.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Statement of purpose

Three today:
Piranha Club by Bud Grace
Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! by Tim Rickard
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller

Lest you think I'm just fetishizing dislike, let me restate some things. On a case by case basis, some silent penultimate panels work, some (most) do not. However, whenever any technique is used too often, and with little skill, it becomes a cliche. Is the silent penultimate panel a cliche? Well, the evidence I have gathered here seems to suggest so. And that is all I mean to do here--track the SPP appearances. That's it. And maybe make a few wise-acre remarks along the way. (Or maybe I just really, really love disliking things.)

Monday, July 31, 2006

The silent Mallard Fillmore game

Four classic silent penultimate panels today:

Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau
Monty by Jim Meddick
Non Sequitur by Jim Meddick
Sherman's Lagoon by Jim Toomey

And just what is a classic SPP? Here's Jim Toomey to demonstrate:

Here's a fun game to play:
1. Take all the words out of Mallard Fillmore:

2. Guess what the hell he's complaining about this time.

I'll give you a few moments; the answer will appear Marilyn Vos Savant style at the bottom of the article.

Could it be child obesity and the FDA again? Maybe vegetarians? Bill Clinton? Those are all good guesses, but all wrong.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Airplane food...(it's so horrible, am I right?)

Five that I'm comfortable about today. I'm really trying to be more selective here, marking only silent reaction shots and entirely useless panels. I have been a little lax in the past.

Herman (reprint) by Jim Unger
Overboard by Chip Dunham
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis
Sally Forth by Francesco Marciuliano
Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan

I'm not such a Herman historian that I have any idea what year this strip is from, but evidently it was from a time when a meal on an airplane trip was de rigeur. What a strange concept. The last time I flew, they gave me a pack of croutons and some sort of white puffy cheese spread.

It was also a time when a joke writer, facing the strongest writer's block or the most impossible deadline, could always fall back on an "isn't airplane food horrible?" gag.

(They seem to have been replaced with "aren't reality shows stupid?" gags.)