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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 08/25/2008

The Morning Line: Finding Political Strips to Nominate

By Michael Cavna

As the Democratic National Convention gets into gear, often will we hear the impassioned chant: "O-bam-a!" And when Sen. Clinton has her Denver moment, her Greek chorus of diehard followers will chant: "Hil-la-ry!"

To those names we'd like to submit a third candidate for chanting: "Tru-deau! Tru-deau!"

Before we get "four more years" of the "Doonesbury" cartoonist satirizing a new prez, we get Trudeau's convention toons. And based on the tone of today's, we couldn't be more thrilled.

But is it still "Bill"? (UPS)
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We recently got word from Universal Press Syndicate that a new book about Trudeau is being published. Trudeau's partisan interests over the decades result in some readers not being able to appreciate his strip (the same can be said of conservative editorial cartoonists like Steve Breen).

We cast about elsewhere in the comics and Saturday, at least, there was another satirical comic that deserves props: "Candorville."

Addressing the age-old issue. (WPWG)
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Working at a consistently high level every day can be a gargantuan task, but we would encourage Mr. Bell to look back to Saturday's strip whenever he's struggling to get it right. So many technical elements click in this particular strip that even if you see the punchline coming in advance, the kicker still delivers. The satire turns social because, as we know, is there any greater "sin" in our society than getting old? Well, yes actually, there is one: Being PERCEIVED as old.

And then we have today's "Frank and Ernest," which aims to keep in light and fun -- and so we take it in the spirit it's intended.

When conventions (tele-)prompt the question: What is real? (NEA)
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This actually is a better gag than the strip typically delivers -- with a sly bite we don't usually get -- but we quibble in one regard: The premise feels so 2004. Yes, convention coverage has morphed and cable news networks handle the lion's share but still: With all those chants of "O-bam-a" and "Mc-Cain" ringing out on broadcast channels, perhaps "F&E" should have waited till 2012.

What politically-minded comics do you love or loathe? We invite your comments.

By Michael Cavna  | August 25, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: The Rant: A Showdown to Whet Our Appetites


Since its debut I have found "Prickly City" to be routinely unfunny and occasionally irritating, but last week it sank to a new level of true offensiveness. The strip in which the right-wing little girl has been brainwashed into being a "ranting communist" who will "fit right in" in Denver during the Democratic National Convention was incredibly insulting. I was already considering canceling my Washington Post subscription for other reasons; this comic strip has made the decision so much easier.

Posted by: John B. -- Washington, DC | August 25, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse


Lighten' up, Francis....

While Trudeau may not be in a class by himself, it certainly doesn't take long to take role. So many story threads and characters to tie into current events; humor so biting, clever, and just plain funny.

I got on the Doonesbury bus in the early '70's and consider it critical reading to understanding our culture.

Trudeau is certainly on the cartoonist's Mt. Rushmore*

*(dreadfully overused cliche - I apologize)

Posted by: JkR | August 25, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Amen to that. He's still the deftest writer on the comics page, and what great & subtle characters he's created.

As to Stantis, eh. He's occassionally thoughtful (as on waterboarding), other times irritating, but my skin's not so thin I'll let him be my reason to cancel my subscription.

So is Opus dead or what?

Posted by: buggit | August 25, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I love people who are "insulted" by comics. Stop taking yourself so seriously.

I'm requesting that the Post go ahead and cancel your subscription. You don't deserve it.

I'm thinking about canceling my subscription because the Nationals don't win enough and it hurts my feelings. And that damn weather page ... why is it so insensitive to my agenda?

Posted by: Horacio | August 25, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

So, who's going to lip-synch for Michelle tonite?


Posted by: MSchafer | August 25, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Oh no! MSchafer said something possibly insultingly stupid about Ms. Obama! I'm canceling my internet!

Posted by: buggit | August 25, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Well, back on topic...

Ted Rall is neither funny, nor entertaining, so I have no idea how he has gained the following and notoriety he so enjoys. Oh yeah, he is shocking and in the online world that means lots of fwds and clicks. I am very liberal minded person, but he is so far out there he just comes across as bitter, cynical and arrogant.

Posted by: FTI | August 25, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

fr John B:

>Since its debut I have found "Prickly City" to be routinely unfunny and occasionally irritating, but last week it sank to a new level of true offensiveness....<

So don't READ it. There. That was simple, now, wasn' it? I think Prickly City is hysterically funny!

Posted by: Alex | August 25, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

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