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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 07/25/2008

The E-Mailbag: Pearls Before Feline

By Michael Cavna

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 creator of the twisted-and-truly-funny "Pearls Before Swine." Some of you immediately grasped the mad brilliance of our hairballed proposal (ease99 wrote: "Pastis would have a field day with this one. I'm laughing just thinking about it") and commented with knowing cross-toon wit that befits Pastis himself (thank you, jsutliff, for: "Before they can fight, Catbert will get them to sign liability releases and sell the whole thing on pay-per-view.")

And now Pastis has heard our plea. That doesn't mean he's agreed to set pen to Bristol paper, mind you, but he has heard it, which is a start. Which is precisely where you come in...

Pastis has agreed to be interviewed by Comic Riffs, which -- and I know, you're way ahead of us here -- means here's our chance to appeal to Stephan's sense of inter-strip adventure. So post any and all questions you have for Stephan Pastis now -- as well as your best sales-pitch for the good of the "BKvG" cause -- and we'll pose some of your queries to him. Now, if only we can get Darby "Get Fuzzy" Conley to design the fight card...

Speaking of "Fuzzy," on to our end-o-the-week Riffy Awards:

Get Fuzzy: Bucky's diatribes were fast and furious this week -- emphasis on the furious. (United Feature Syndicate)

The best-strip Riffy this week goes to "Get Fuzzy," because -- really? -- how can one not be charmed by the onslaught of rat-a-tat (cat-a-tat?) wordplay? "UNwelcome Wagon...Apartmentland Security...unconscious objects...booby baboony trap!" (Some of this requires the context of the dialogue, natch.) As for "interfenestral monkey penetration," well -- somehow that just vaguely disturbs us...

The Riffy for art this week goes to "Agnes" -- or more precisely, Agnes's grandma. That loose, flowing line somehow conveys her sturdy, powerful presence -- for the rest of our reasoning, read this morning's "Morning Line" post.

Prickly City: Too soon to declare a Ba-ba Wa-wa fatwa?... (Universal Press Syndicate)

And lastly, we still can't get past yesterday's "Prickly City," which was unusually cruel, even for this strip. And some commenters had the same reaction as us: Not only is it an unprovoked ad-hominem slam at Barbara Walters' appearance, but the whole Hugh Downs reference twists the knife in a vicious turn. So just for you, "Prickly City," we invent the Miffy -- for the strip this week that has some serious anger issues to work out somewhere other than in this punchline.

What are your picks for this week's Riffys -- or the Miffy? The E-Mailbag is open...


By Michael Cavna  | July 25, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  The E-Mailbag  
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Big fan of "PBS," Stephan -- so if "Stephan Pastis" your cartoon avatar could appear in any other strip what would it be?

Thanks and go zeeba zeeba!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Can we just give Prickly City a lifetime Miffy and retire the strip from the Post comics page? Just knowing that there's this pimple of unfunniness sitting there on the page taints my entire comics reading experiment . . . Please, "Powers that Be" at the Post, put a bullet into Prickly City, your readers will thank you.

Posted by: Badger | July 25, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I said it before (sorta): my vote for Best New Character is Becker. Every strip she's appeared in has been fun.

It seems like in many strips when a new character is added the strip is OVER. The talking furball in Single & Looking was the start of the end. Dingburg has been a waste of comics inches. The horse (and now a moose). Making Liz a regular (maybe she used to be Lyman) is making Garfield duller than ever.

The last character introduction I enjoyed as much as Becker was the first days of BC, when the cavemen "met" each other.

BC: "This is Curls, the master of sarcastic wit."
Other cavemen: "Say something funny."
Curls: "I'm very happy to meet you all."

Posted by: f2 | July 25, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Prickly City was very funny. Walters got a pass on the whole affair and so did the senator.

Posted by: Bernie | July 25, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Miffy to Judge Parker for taking 5 days for Sam to grab his golf clubs and walk out the door.

Riffy for Abby in Judge Parker being smokin' hot...

Posted by: JkR | July 25, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Any fight between Bucky and Garfield needs to end with Garfield being fed to the Crocs. Or maybe the Lions' wives swoop in and eat both of them? Or, if Pastis won't feed the fat cat to the crocs, what about having Duck "neutralize" the subjects. In any case, Garfield must die. Please?

Posted by: M Street | July 25, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Miffy? You mean...this bunny?
Could she be angry at anyone? I ask you.

Posted by: h3 | July 25, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The riffy for today has to go to Pearls again
even though you know whats coming the last frame is a hoot. My miffy has to go to FBOW.
poor old guy how much are they going to milk his stroke before they let him go in peace. Even Farley was treated better.

Posted by: ease99 | July 25, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Every time I read Prick City, I mostly just feel sorry for the guy. It just must be terribly difficult going through life being so angry all the time. Add in that the guy can't draw worth a darn, and doesn't know how to construct a joke...well, it's just all very sad, isn't it?

Posted by: Barmy | July 25, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ABLEBAKER | July 25, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

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