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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/25/2008

The Rant: A Showdown to Whet Our Appetites

By Michael Cavna

If Garfield won't fight other critters, then we implore him to put up his paws and display the one activity he has shown a talent for: Eat, you zaftig kitty! Eat!

Feline, meet fusilli. Fusilli, feline. (UFS)Enlarge Comic

There's just one catch, G-Cat: You must face off against Sarge. That's right, the butt-kicking, chow-downing leader from "Beetle Bailey." You and him, mano a paw-o, may the fleetest eater win. You've seen the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest? Well, you and Sarge will have six days worth of daily strips to pack away the pasta.

The portion size? Let's just say we're livin' large, Sarge. (KFS)Enlarge Comic

We instigate all this silliness because cartoonists know that nothing speaks to the greatest mass (so to speak) of readers than to put humanity's common appetites on display. And since the family funnypages can't delve into sexual and substance appetites in the same manner, the best device the artist has is food. That's right: The way to a reader's heart is often through the tumtum. If only print strips could be scratch-n-sniff.

Oh, we will invite other prodiguous contenders. Jeremy Duncan, come on down (from "Zits"), and we'll see whether all that food really goes straight to your chunky shoes. Hagar the Horrible, we hear, can lard away lutefisk the size of a fjord. And the legend of eternal beanpole Dagwood is so large, he even has that leaning tower of processed luncheon meats named after him.

Still, we're quite confident this showdown to award the Golden Gullet will come down to you and Sarge, the comics' two titans of the trans-fatties. Sarge may outweigh you, outthink you and outrank you, but you've got something NONE of those other Esteemed Eaters have:

A teeming entourage of writers who know how to pace you before you gag.

By Michael Cavna  | August 25, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Rants  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Morning Line: Finding Political Strips to Nominate
Next: The Morning Line: Brewster Rocks Our E-World


Garfield will win.

Here's a summary of the contenders:

Jeremy - teenager rebuilding cars, figuring out women, driving his parents nuts, a variety of friends

Hagar - father, husband, son-in-law, leader of men, gets into (and apparently out of) a variety of cliched situations (tax collector, desert island, MIL visiting, etc)

Dagwood - the King of Food, someday he'll burst that one button. But he also bathes, naps, works (well, naps), carpools, and rolls mailmen. Husband and father.

Sarge - leader of men, follower of other men, strong hands (hangs from branches regularly), good at fighting without leaving any marks on the subjects no matter how battered they look at first

Garfield - eats.

Garfield'll win. What else does he have?

Posted by: f2 | August 25, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Going back to the political topic, I just saw Darrin Bell's other strip. Same joke as Candorville, except a little different:

Posted by: f2 | August 25, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

On the American obesity front, Doonesbury recently had a story arc about Zonker's working at McFriendly's and the mega-caloric portions served by fast food establishments.

Individual inclination is one thing; when it becomes a corporate money-spinner, obesity IMO stops being funny. Let's call this what it is: Race To The Coronary Care Unit.

Posted by: Daniel J. Drazen | August 26, 2008 5:26 AM | Report abuse

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