Saturday, December 02, 2006


Three silent penultimate panels this Saturday:

Foxtrot by Bill Amend
Overboard by Chip Dunham
Piranha Club by Bud Grace

You know, you don't necessarily need to be a talented draftsman to make a good comic strip. For instance, Stephan Pastis and Scott Adams are really good at knowing their limitations and working around them. But, if you know you that everything you try to draw ends up looking like a turd, just don't try to draw a picture like this.

Just don't.


Pictures only for this Friday, (Saturday morning for most of the planet.)

Bo-Nanas by John Kovaleski
Momma by Mel Lazarus
Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman

Goodnight. See you in the morning.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Historic reprint

Three more this Thursday:

Arlo and Janis by Jimmy Johnson
Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph (wait, there's something about this one...)
Piranha Club by Bud Grace

Piranha Club may not count, but here it is without the silent panel.

Is it really missing anything?

And just what is so familiar about the Barkeater Lake?

It's the same one from last April that started the very first five-in-a-row barkeater. This is an historic SPP. But should the same trip qualify for the watch twice? That's another issue for the next meeting of the rules committee.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Eight months, 272 posts, 54,000 site visits and still we have days like this. What do I have to do to raise awareness of this issue? Don't make me put together a star-studded fundraiser event.

C'est La Vie by Jennifer Babcock (just to show that I don't ignore all web-comics)
The Duplex by Glenn McCoy
Foxtrot by Bill Amend
Garfield by Paws, Inc.
On the FasTrack by Bill Holbrook
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis
Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan

A particularly disruptive silent penultimate panel:

It is apparent that a certain amount of time passes in the gutter between the first and second panel. With that understood we don't need the third panel to further illustrate the passing time--it would have already been there in the gutter. The SPP does nothing but upset the rhythm of what could have been a fairly good gag.

Pearls Before Swine:

You can't get escape the watch that easily, Mr. Pastis. You can't just write the word "crickets" in your silent panel and hope we overlook you. We've been at this for too long to be fooled by simple tricks. Yes, sir, you certainly are no Mark Trail. (Mark Trail would have used a giant cricket close-up.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Three perfect examples of silent penultimate panels today:

Bo-Nanas by John Kovaleski
Candorville by Darrin Bell
Red and Rover by Brian Bassett

Poor Darrin Bell. It's always hard to time a daily strip with current events. With a two to four week lead time, it's easy to appear entirely out of step with the current zeitgeist. (Not that this has ever bothered Mallard Fillmore.)

But how can you go wrong with jokes about O.J. Simpson's maybe-I-really-did-do-it confessional? These strips were to appear right at the height of the story, just days before the book's release and the Fox TV special. The timing was perfect, nothing could go wrong. But who would have expected Rupert Murdoch to have his first second thought ever. That, combined with our collective desire to wash our hands and face and body in a hot, high pressure shower of all this nonsense, makes this week's Candorville look as dated as a joke about Dick Cheney shooting an old man in the face. It's enough to make you want to give up and just do a strip about nothing but lazy animals.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Three for this Monday:

Baldo by Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos (thanks, DemetriosX)
Cow and Boy by Mark Leiknes
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis (somewhere, someone will complain about the depiction of a lit cigarette.)

Congratulations to Josh, the Comics Curmudgeon for his Op/Ed piece in today's L.A. Times. And thank you for the kind mention of this blog. This article arguing that newspapers can save themselves by dedicating more space and attention to daily comics appeared right in the same space that used to be occupied by the editorial cartoonist that the L.A. Times fired a year ago.

Today's Sally Forth (minus the unnecessary caption panel (the UCP is something I could dedicate a whole 'nother blog to)):

Was there ever a Q*Bert Christmas special? While Q*Bert was a part of CBS' Saturday Supercade, I don't believe there ever was a Q*Bert-themed depiction of the Nativity (or even a Q*Bert O. Henry story.) In my childhood I was a connoisseur of both video game cartoons and Christmas specials, and I don't remember the two intersecting at Q*Bert. I could be wrong.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mark Trail

And I'm back--only to discover one of the slowest Sundays in memory.

Heart of the City by Mark Tatulli

Pooch Cafe comes close, but it doesn't quite count as a silent penultimate panel.

Those two silent panels do show progressive action. Very slow progressive action, but progressive none the less. And, actually, I think it works. I grant it a funny pass.

So while I was gone, I missed out on some of the best Mark Trail action ever. The Comics Curmudgeon has already commented on this here and here, but I can't let a good ol' Mark Trail slugging pass without comment.

Damn! That's right, Mark!

And there are some classic bad-ass, gun-wielding lines in this world, such as:
"Say hello to my little friend."
"You've got to ask yourself one question, 'Do I feel lucky?'"
And now we can add the ultimate one: "You stole a friend of mine's pet bear!"

This is why we love Mark Trail.