Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Duck

Four trying to sneak through on Saturday:

La Cucaracha by Lalo Alcaraz
Monty by Jim Meddick
Garfield by a simple algorithm
Mallard Fillmore by Bruce Tinsley

SPPS in Mallard Fillmore are so rare because Tinsley so rarely uses that advanced piece of comics grammar, sequential panels.

Have Garfield's feet always been this huge?

Maybe he has some freak disease and he will die soon. Maybe.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Silent second

Four on this Friday:

The Duplex by Glenn McCoy
La Cucaracha by Lalo Alcaraz
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Frazz uses a silent second panel:

But it works the same as an SPP. The fourth panel is just a tag-on punchline.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Two for this Thursday:

Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Fan Dialogue Week has created three silent penultimate in four days. Way to go, fans.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Barkeater Lake

Still a slow week, just two silent penultimate panels this Wednesday:

Overboard by Chip Dunham
Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph

Pandolph has been doing something called Fan Dialogue Week with mixed results:

I don't know if Barkeater Lake has enough stature or established fan base to pull off something like this. Darby Conley could do this the next time he's feeling a little lazy, (it would be better than pasting Satchel faces onto Pearls Before Swine art) but I think it's always better just to make jokes than to do some high-concept gimmick.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


One lone silent penultimate Tuesday.

Momma by Mel Lazarus

The importance of sound effects:

Without a good thwak or thunk, this could be mistaken as Mark tapping the bear with a magical stick of enlightenment.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Talking dogs

Another all-animal edition of the Silent Penultimate Panel Watch.

Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph
Mutts by Patrick McDonnell
Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan

At what point did cartoon dogs stop communicating in thought bubbles and switch to direct speech?

I mean in mixed human-animal company, of course. When by themselves dogs have always talked out loud, and but it seems to be a relatively recent trend where sassy dogs and cats talk back to their owners in standard word balloons. I guess its called the Darby-effect.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Charlie Brown

A relatively quiet day in the Sunday comics. Three silent penultimate panels from:

On the FastTrack by Bill Holbrook
Herman (reprint) by Jim Unger
Opus by Berkeley Breathed

Pearls Before Swine is off the watch today. The silent panels show progressive action rather than just being a dumb-stare beat. Filler, yes, but true SPP, not quite.

My favorite running gag in all of comics appears today:

I can never get enough of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. While this one from 1959 is not one of the best, it is only the fourth time Schulz did this to Charlie Brown. Here he's still working out the particulars of the running gag. Notably, Charlie Brown does not yell his traditional "Aaugh!" Instead, its the more verbose and redundant "She did it again!"

We don't need Charlie Brown to tell us that Lucy did it again, we can plainly see that. In fact, knowing that she is going to do it again is the whole pleasure of the joke. Aaugh! much better describes Charlie Brown's frustration and anger at Lucy, himself and his place in the whole rotten world. Schulz would spend the next forty years revising and perfecting this gag.