Saturday, September 23, 2006

Weekly champion

Just two silent penultimate panels to wrap up the Monday through Friday week:

Andy Capp by Roger Kettle and Roger Mahoney
Sally Forth by Francesco Marciuliano and Craig Macintosh

Today's Sally Forth appearance gives Marciuliano and Macintosh the weekly championship. With three SPPs out of six dailies, that's a batting average of .500.

Friday, September 22, 2006


One lone silent penultimate panel this Friday:

Sherman's Lagoon by Jim Toomey

Meanwhile, at the Say It Again, But Slowly Watch:

Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Silent Mallard Fillmore game, second edition

Three more perfect examples of the silent penultimate panel:

Frazz by Jef Mallett
Prickly City by Scott Stantis
Red and Rover by Brian Bassett

I think it's time for another edition of the Silent Mallard Fillmore Game.

Where we take out all the words out of Mallard Fillmore,

then guess what the hell is stuck up his craw.

Singer-songwriters again? Pre-9/11 naivety? Shiftless bushy-haired folk who want a hand-out?

All wrong, for the answer, click here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Heat of the moment

Four for this Wednesday:

Drabble by Kevin Fagan
Garfield Paws Inc.
Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Sorry, this has to be a quick, late post. I just got back from seeing rock super-group Asia at a bar in Long Beach. I need to go to bed and try not to let the chorus of "Heat of the Moment" that's ringing through my head keep me up all night.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sally Forth/time displacement

Three perfect examples of the silent penultimate panel today:

Cathy by Cathy Guisewite
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis
Sally Forth by Francesco Marciuliano and Craig Macintosh

Because I'm on the west coast of these United States and because I sometimes do these updates late in the evening, by the time I make my post it is already tomorrow for most of the world. Anyway, when I started working on yesterday's (9/18) entry, I accidentally grabbed the Sally Forth for the next day (9/19). I didn't even notice that the strip was not the same one that was in my newspaper. So yesterday's SPP mural is wrong. This is what should be there for Sally Forth:

My apologies to Marciuliano and Macintosh for the confusion. But see what can happen when you do two strips with the exact same cadence two days in a row? Even the question marks are in the exact same place.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Feeling sentimental

Four silent penultimate panels this Monday--a few from some of the dimmer objects in the comic strip firmament.

Andy Capp by Roger Kettle and Roger Mahoney
Garfield by those who call themselves Jim Davis
Sally Forth by Francesco Marciuliano and Craig Macintosh
Sherman's Lagoon by Jim Toomey

I've mentioned this before, but one of my favorite running themes in the comics is Joe's dad's love for Klondike Ike. It's not that it's particularly gut-busting funny, but it is just really pleasant. It's nice to see a dedicated comic strip reader in the comics.

And I like today's because, well, we all have our favorite comic strips that we swear is the funniest thing in ink, but we also all really know that most strips, even from our favorites, can be kind of lame. No one can be a genius each and every day. (I think I might even have been guilty of a few less-than-stellar daily posts.) It's all part of the strange wonder of the daily comics.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


A typical bountiful crop of Sunday silent penultimate panels.

Broom Hilda by Russel Myers
Between Friends Sandra Bell-Lundy
Mutts by Patrick McDonnell
The Born Loser by Chip Sansom
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis
9 Chickweed Lane by Brooke McEldowney
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller

Not that I'm a cultural illiterate, but I had to check with the Mrs. to understand today's Frazz.

Because if any one knows anything by Goya it's this, "The Third of May."

And, well, that's just not funny at all.

But Mrs. Penultimate Panel knows a thing or two about art that's not mass distributed on newsprint and she suspects that Jef Mallett was trying to reference this one: "Saturn Devouring his Son."

Slightly funnier.

Cultural references are tough. Gary Larson may have been the best at them--for example, the one with Herman Mellville struggling with the first line of Moby Dick ("Call me Bob.") But they need to be very specific and well known to work. In this instance, there's just not enough detail given for the joke to work. It comes across more as intellectual posturing than an actual smart gag. (And Frazz is no stranger of intellectual posturing.)