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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 08/11/2008

The Morning Line: The Olympic Bar Is Mighty Uneven

By Michael Cavna

When you're a comic-stripper staring at that blank Bristol board, turning to World Events for inspiration can be a double-edged Exact-O knife. In the best of all worlds, you tap into the approaching zeitgeist with sparkling wit and eerie prescience.

Then there's the grimmer scenario: You enter a flooded marketplace of topically trite ideas with seriously lame material.

The current deluge of Olympic-pegged strips runs the full spectrum. So in the spirit of the Games, we take a seat at the judges' table and post our scores. For those of you scoring along at home, we invite your tallies.

The Cartoon Olympics leaderboard: Highlighting a handful of today's sports-happy strips...

PEARLS BEFORE SWINE: The U.S. gymnastics team searches for another Hamm... (UFS)Enlarge Comic

9.2 -- "Pearls Before Swine": We're a sucker for the visual -- ponytailed Pig in the striped 'tard. Bonus points for the degree of difficulty: This effectively whets our appetite for the weeklong storyline.

TANK McNAMARA: Death to the squiggly-lined American... (UPS)Enlarge Comic

8.2 -- "Tank McNamara": The page's regular sports strip is raising its game for the occasion. Bonus points for: "The Chinese are on the down-low with executions."

PRICKLY CITY: Are Carmen and Tank in the same cell?... (UPS)Enlarge Comic

7.0 -- "Prickly City": Nothing exceptional, but sticks the fourth-panel dismount.

ON THE FASTRACK: Next up: When a computer bug swims the "butterfly"... (KFS)Enlarge Comic

6.5 -- "On the Fastrack": The strip attempts the move that has perhaps the highest degree of difficulty: Graft the Olympics onto an office-computer theme. And it sprawls crumpled onto the mat. Time to start looking toward 2010.

MOTHER GOOSE and GRIMM: Dumbbelling down.(KFS)Enlarge Comic

4.0 -- "Mother Goose and Grimm": A punchline even more tired than Grimm's heavy lids.

The scorers' cards are now yours -- how you do grade today's Olympalooza?

By Michael Cavna  | August 11, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Interview: Political Cartoonist Mike Luckovich
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I'm going to give you a solid 7 for the use of "Olympalooza."

Other judges, what say you?

Posted by: erin | August 11, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

The award for Really Bad Timing goes to FBOFW for holding a wedding during the Olympics. Everyone's going to sneak out to a bar to watch the 440.

Right now, I'm wondering which is going to last longer -- Spiderman's fall, the golf game, or the wedding. My bet's on the golf game.

Posted by: f2 | August 11, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

They're not even playing golf, they're just having a long drive contest. It will STILL last a week. 18 holes would take us to 2009...

Re: Olympalooza, props to Prickly City. Not real funny, but edgy. Still Pearls Before Swine made me snort coffee through my nose....

Posted by: JkR | August 11, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Tank is so wordy it's hard to read. I just can't psyche myself up to do it.

And Prickly City looks like the guy drew it on Metro on the way to work.

Posted by: Horacio | August 11, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't read "Pearls", period.
Think "Fastrack" was right in line with their theme and "City" is going quite serious. Enjoyed all three(Tank not available).

Posted by: PearlandParch | August 11, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

How'd you miss Blondie as an extreme example of a lame Olympics theme? Or is Blondie so consistently lame on a daily basis it's not even worth mentioning?

Posted by: Arlington Gay | August 11, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Tank continues to disappoint. China is not a fully free and open country but it's also not the way Millar & Hinds portray it.

Posted by: William | August 11, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Low scores from the East Bloc judges for Grimmy, I see...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 11, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

(NOTE: Even blogs get trimmed for space by Wise Editors.)

LOL. For the record, I'm a web designer. Trimming for space makes sense for print media, but your editor needs to learn the rules are different for online work.

Posted by: Arlington Gay | August 11, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey web designer Guy:

Most readers won't even open a comment list when it gets sooo long that there's no hope of reading all the comments. WISE EDITOR knows basic human tolerance level for long-windedness, or whatever you might know it as.

Posted by: MSchafer | August 11, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"Most readers won't even open a comment list when it gets sooo long that there's no hope of reading all the comments."

That never stops us over on the Soccer Insider. :)

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

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