Archive: July 2008

The Interview: 'Pearls Before Swine's' Stephan Pastis

Stephan Pastis: Will Larry the Croc go Hollywood? And more important: Will Stephan let us invest? . The Washington Post, it seems, likes to ask a bit more of "Pearls Before Swine" creator STEPHAN PASTIS than do other papers....

By Michael Cavna | July 31, 2008; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

The Morning Line: Garfield -- Bring on the Crazy

Enlarge Comic | Dr. Liz may administer her own lip injections, but her shots at Garfield are getting toothless. (Universal Press Syndicate) Oh, we once had hope for Liz. Given her intelligence, education and access to large animal-prodding implements,...

By Michael Cavna | July 31, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

The E-Mailbag: Dr. Duncan, Studmuffin

WARNING: This blog-post contains saucy material that might be inappropriate for impressionable young (or not-so-young) souls who could reasonably be offended by such words as, oh, "studmuffin." We at Comic Riffs were remiss in one regard yesterday when prattling on...

By Michael Cavna | July 30, 2008; 11:25 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Morning Line: When Parents' Bedrooms Attack

Big Nate: Funny, funny. Now: We think we just threw up in our mouth a little bit. (NEA Inc.) . We cannot lie: Today's "Big Nate" so took us by surprise, we almost choked on our wheat Chex. And...

By Michael Cavna | July 30, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

Seven Rules for Reading This Blogger

We had a feeling this would happen. We just didn't expect it to be quite so soon. Namely: We have offended one of our cartooning idols for apparently all the wrong reasons. Oh, we stand by our criticism, such as...

By Michael Cavna | July 29, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

The Morning Line: "Judge Parker," Laff Riot

Judge Parker: A sly guffaw? Hardly par for the course. (North America Syndicate) . Ladies and gentledudes of the court: Let the record show that today, Tuesday, July 29, for the first time this year, we -- ahem --...

By Michael Cavna | July 29, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

The E-Mailbag: 'Tooning In to Obama & McCain

Ever since The New Yorker's Obama cover, we've received e-mails and comments about how political candidates are depicted in cartoon form: What's fair, what goes too far -- and does Mitt Romney really look like a character out of "Mark...

By Michael Cavna | July 28, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

"Pearls Before Swine's" Stephan Pastis

If you've ever laughed aloud at Rat and Pig, then it's time to act now -- and be bold, lest the Lionesses not respect you. The man behind those reliably funny animals in "Pearls Before Swine" -- Stephan Pastis --...

By Michael Cavna | July 28, 2008; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (7)

The Morning Line: Cartoonists -- No Vacation for You!

Non Sequitur: Old news is good news if you're a cartoonist needing a little time off. (Universal Press Syndicate) . Baldo: Cutlery aside, running your reprints can cut both ways. (Universal Press Syndicate) . The writers of "Non Sequitur,"...

By Michael Cavna | July 28, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

The Morning Line: Carlin in the [Censored] Comics

Doonesbury: How much did George Carlin inspire us? There's so much we just can't say. [click to enlarge](Universal Press Syndicate) George Carlin had his Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television. According to today's "redacted" "Doonesbury," drawn in...

By Michael Cavna | July 27, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Morning Line: Blondies Have More Puns

Blondie: Could the end be near? As the late-great Warron Zevon said: "Enjoy every (Dagwood) sandwich." (King Features) No, no, this cannot be. Dagwood is going seriously existential on us. The plaintive gaze, those soul-bearing eyes staring right through...

By Michael Cavna | July 26, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The E-Mailbag: Pearls Before Feline

The time is now, fellow comic fans: Stephan Pastis is ripe for recruitment. This week, in our "Bucky Katt v. Garfield" rant, we proposed that the perfect cartoonist to draw a showdown/throw-down between these comic-cat titans is Pastis, aka the...

By Michael Cavna | July 25, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

The Morning Line: "Sherman" Survives a Snark Attack

No lame or flat-lining punchline consumes us today, and the badly drawn panel holds no perverse allure. Like flecks of gold in the creekbed, three strips catch our eye and fancy this morning, each mined for small joys. So without...

By Michael Cavna | July 25, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

The Interview: Marvel Comics' Joe Quesada

Joe Quesada: The man who helps make big Marvel projects and readers' "nerd-gasm fantasies" come true. (Marvel) As Comic-Con kicks off today, the event banks on six-digit attendance over four days and the glare of international attention -- but...

By Michael Cavna | July 24, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Morning Line: Hands Don't Lie

The eyes might be the windows to the soul, but when it comes to cartooning, the hands are the dead giveaway as to an artist's attention to detail, time-spent and talent. "Zits' " Jim Borgman does stylish hands that "read"...

By Michael Cavna | July 24, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Rant: Bucky Katt v. Garfield

It's not a matter of if any longer, but only a matter of when. And the sooner it happens, the sooner we can all relish the thrilling spectacle: Bucky Katt and Garfield must throw down. Paw-to-paw combat for comic-feline supremacy,...

By Michael Cavna | July 23, 2008; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (16)

The Morning Line: Losing All Perspective

Quick riffs on today's toons... Perspective, shmerspective! "Beetle's" slacking off again. (King Features) Perspective and proportions are so staggeringly askew in "BB" today, we can say with almost absolute certainty that Mort Walker himself did not personally draw this comic....

By Michael Cavna | July 23, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Interview: 'Boondocks' Creator Aaron McGruder

"I'm way too invested in" this presidential election, says "Boondocks" creator Aaron McGruder. (AP Photo/Sony Pictures Television, Kyle Christy) Let the record show that The Washington Post, on occasion, withheld Aaron McGruder's now-defunct syndicated strip "The Boondocks" back in...

By Michael Cavna | July 22, 2008; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (10)

The Morning Line: Go 'Forth' and Multiply

Some mornings if we're not careful, the comics -- especially prior to that first jump-start cup of coffee or Darjeeling -- can really play with our sense of Commonly Accepted Reality. Text doesn't match facial expression, or sequential time is...

By Michael Cavna | July 22, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (18)

The E-Mailbag: Beyond the Irony Age

"Oh, irony. We do not get that here. ... We haven't had irony here since about, uh, '83, when I was the only practitioner of it ... and I stopped as I was tired of being stared at." --Steve Martin,...

By Michael Cavna | July 21, 2008; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (4)

The Morning Line: Honey, They Shrunk the Strips

Cartoonists have joked for years -- through gritted teeth and inky fits of frustration -- that newspapers publish their strips so small that the occupation has been reduced to scribbling on stamps. But some days now, when we look at...

By Michael Cavna | July 21, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

About This Blog

(Illustration by Michael Cavna) Comic Riffs (comicriffs@washpost.com) is devoted to you, the fan of comics, animation, sci-fi film or fanboy culture. Grab a seat and an opinion as we celebrate, contemplate, eviscerate and pontificate on cartoons -- from strips...

By Nancy Kerr | July 20, 2008; 11:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Morning Line: Do You Do 'Derivative'?

Drawing wacky single-panel toons is treacherous work in "The Far Side's" long wake. (Universal Press Syndicate) "Imitation is the sincerest form of syndication." -- Anonymous* (* okay, we coined that -- but "anonymous" lends that certain authoritative air, no?)...

By Michael Cavna | July 20, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

The Morning Line: Get Thee to a Punnery

Beware, comics page, you just got served. A fellow cartoonist has thrown down the gauntlet. (Or the Rapidograph pen. Or whatever it is exactly that a cartoonist throws down when issuing a challenge.) In your type-face, Inkboy. We've seen a...

By Michael Cavna | July 19, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (8)

Readers Speak: Your Top Joker Moments

"This town needs an enema!" So said Jack Nicholson as the Joker, and so said some readers this week when citing favorite Joker Moments. Other Jack lines also made the list of favorites: "Have you ever danced with the devil...

By Michael Cavna | July 18, 2008; 2:52 PM ET | Comments (1)

Dark Knight: Joker Moment No. 1...

Once Heath said yes, the dye -- and makeup -- was cast. (Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics) With today's debut of "The Dark Knight," we conclude our weeklong countdown of the Top Five Moments in Joker history (a...

By Michael Cavna | July 18, 2008; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (7)

The Morning Line: Introducing the "Riffy" Awards!

In our minds, the arrival of Friday means three things of note professionally: (1) San Diego Comic-Con is less than a week away; (2) hordes of "Dark Knight" fanboys and fangirls will be pushing past the "Mamma Mia!"-heads for uber-tubs...

By Michael Cavna | July 18, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

Dark Knight: Joker's Top Moments...

Robin, the Boy cast asunder. (DC Comics) As we eagerly await "The Dark Knight's" debut tonight at midnight, we're counting down the Top Five Moments in Joker history. Here's Joker Moment No. 2... The moment: In one of the...

By Michael Cavna | July 17, 2008; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (6)

Dark Knight: Heath vs. Jack

We are hours away from the midnight showings of "The Dark Knight" in theaters across the country. Meantime, just in case watching the trailer online for the 500th time isn't enough to hold you over, we here at Comic Riffs...

By Michael Cavna | July 17, 2008; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (69)

The Morning Line: All the Moose That's Fit to Print

A fluent-in-French moose can meander in Wiley world... (Universal Press Syndicate) ...but moose get chased right off Elrod's land. (North America Syndicate) My first rejection slip from a syndicate dogged me for months: The comics editor's reply was complimentary...

By Michael Cavna | July 17, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Batman: The Joke That Just "Kills"

The Joker takes his best shot at the commissioner. (DC Comics) As we here at Comic Riffs eagerly await Friday's cinematic release of the Batman sequel "The Dark Knight," we are counting down the top five Joker moments of...

By Michael Cavna | July 16, 2008; 1:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

The E-Mailbag: When to Hold a Feature's Funeral?

When I was a newspaper cartoonist a few years back, a salesman from a competing syndicate used to come by the newsroom, comic samples and tales-from-the-road in tow. "How are they selling?" I would ask. His telling reply, with a...

By Michael Cavna | July 16, 2008; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (52)

The Morning Line: Doing the Full Doubtfire

Project Teddy: The wife is always the last to know. (King Features) MEMO TO: Sally Forth FROM: Comic Riffs RE: Your Husband We never thought it would come to this, but: Sally, your family is creeping us out. Ser-iously....

By Michael Cavna | July 16, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Countdown: The Joker Gets The Last Laugh

The Joker: The head that can't be shrunk. (DC Comics) As we here at Comic Riffs eagerly await Friday's cinematic release of the Batman sequel "The Dark Knight," we are spending this week counting down the top five Joker...

By Michael Cavna | July 15, 2008; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Garry Trudeau: The Interview

Garry Trudeau sees this as a golden time for booming satire. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post) For nearly 40 years and seven White House administrations, Garry Trudeau, creator of the Pulitzer-winning comic strip "Doonesbury," has been America's foremost satirist of...

By Michael Cavna | July 15, 2008; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

The Morning Line: The Cat Also Rises

Jeremy responds to the thundering herd. (King Features) Neither curiosity nor lasagna moves this kitty. (Universal Press Syndicate) Now that we've known each other lo these past 24 hours, I feel as though I can trust you. So in...

By Michael Cavna | July 15, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Let the Countdown to "Dark Knight" Begin...

Jack Nicholson as the Joker in 1989. (Herb Ritts -- AP) As we here at Comic Riffs eagerly await Friday's cinematic release of the Batman sequel "The Dark Knight," we will spend the next five days counting down the...

By Michael Cavna | July 14, 2008; 1:50 PM ET | Comments (15)

The Morning Line: Meta? Meh.

The funnies? Agnes is not amused. (Creators Syndicate) What is in the drinking water -- or at least the inkwells -- of some of the nation's cartoonists these days? Why are some comic artists, when staring blankly at their...

By Michael Cavna | July 14, 2008; 10:39 AM ET | Comments (14)

Calling All Comics Fans...

Would the Pulitzer folks really mush up great "Peanuts" art? Its creator seemed to think so. (United Feature Syndicate) I am standing smack next to my boyhood idol in the men's room of a posh Pasadena hotel. Now this...

By Michael Cavna | July 14, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (52)

 
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