Archive: September 2008

The Riff: "Garfield's" Jon Arbuckle: Unlucky Chap or Self-Loathing Sicko?

Comic strip or particularly sordid episode of VH1's "Behind the Music"? Judging by the rogues' gallery of single women who make up Jon Arbuckle's creepy dating history, it's a close call. Now showing: the gruesome dating history of Jon Arbuckle....

By Michael Cavna | September 30, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

The Morning Line: Brad Pitt & the Art of Body Language

As Brad Pitt coolly strode past us in the newsroom, my co-worker sighed, "I would marry him in a heartbeat." "But can he cook?" I teased. "Who caaares?!" she replied without pause, as the word "cares" hung in the air,...

By Michael Cavna | September 30, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

The E-Mailbag: The Final Smackdown: Which Comic Would YOU Drop?

Comic Riffs inquired and, with wit and passion and indignation, you delivered. Last week this blog took on The Post's print comics, page by page, polling readers about which comic they would drop. Some 1,500 votes later, one thing became...

By Michael Cavna | September 29, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (35)

The Morning Line: The New Power Rankings Are In...

A week ago we unveiled our first Power Rankings, based not on which strips are necessarily best, but on which current storylines are most engaging us. This ridiculously subjective formula is called the Story Line Attachment Quotient , or The...

By Michael Cavna | September 29, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

The Riff: Who's the Online Comics "Editor"? YOU Are.

To many readers, the news apparently comes as both bombshell and revelation: The Washington Post does not edit its daily choice of online comics and editorial cartoons. Yep, you read it right. Although every comic in the print edition is...

By Michael Cavna | September 26, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (27)

The Morning Line: "Forth" vs. "Parker": Which Brings the (Sexual) Heat?

Ahhh, can you smell it? The whiff of sexual tension grows so thick in "Sally Forth," you can cut it with a knife. (Perhaps even Glenn Close's cutlery of choice in "Fatal Attraction.") Sometimes no words are needed. (KFS) Enlarge...

By Michael Cavna | September 26, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

The Interview: Comic-Book Writer Grant Morrison

When everyone from Comic Book Resources to Entertainment Weekly cites your status as a creative superstar, you know your place in the comics pantheon is ensured. Scottish writer GRANT MORRISON's legacy includes providing one of the most unique interpretations of...

By Michael Cavna | September 25, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Morning Line: Today's Comics, "Sponsored" by Target.

Times are tight in comics land, and new revenue streams must be tapped. What's your visual evidence, you say? My cheeky reply: Direct your gaze, if you will, to today's "Mother Goose and Grimm." Will the "Arrow" shirt company want...

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

The E-Mailbag: Which Comic Would You Drop? Act Now.

As the singer Meat Loaf -- or was it Yogi Berra? -- once said, "Two out of three ain't bad." So far this week, you've rendered judgment on two of The Post's three comics pages, telling us which strips you'd...

By Michael Cavna | September 24, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (17)

The Morning Line: A Warning to "Get Fuzzy"

TO: Rob Wilco c/o "Get Fuzzy" FROM: The SPCCA (The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Cartoon Animals) We're on to Rob's tricks. (UPS) Enlarge Comic Dear Mr. Wilco: This urgent letter is to inform you that we are...

By Michael Cavna | September 24, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

The E-Mailbag: Tell Us Which Comic You'd Like to Drop.

The Readers Have Spoken. Yesterday, you were vocal about which strips you'd like to see spiked from the first page of The Post's print comics. Now, we ask you to unleash that enthusiasm -- and umbrage -- toward the paper's...

By Michael Cavna | September 23, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (11)

The Morning Line: Garfield's Secret E-Files...

GARFIELD: The unhappy kitty is hacked off. (UPS)Enlarge Comic Suddenly, Garfield has conspicuously acquired yet higher proficiency at the keyboard. If he can actually send nasty emails, who knows what else this kitty is capable of? If we were able...

By Michael Cavna | September 23, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

The E-Mailbag: Which Comic Would YOU Drop? Vote Now.

When "Little Dog Lost" replaced "For Better or For Worse" on The Post's print pages this month, many of the hundreds of responses had a common refrain: The Pattersons' loss was this lost pooch's gain. (WPWG) Enlarge Comic "If you're...

By Michael Cavna | September 22, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (43)

The Morning Line: The Power Rankings: 5 Toons We're Attached To

Just the other day, a new study measured our "emotional attachment" to television shows. By a formula that seeks to quantify human reaction -- and really, good luck with THAT -- market researchers measured fickle viewers for such things as...

By Michael Cavna | September 22, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (8)

The Interview: HBO Animator Steve Dildarian

Rising HBO animator STEVE DILDARIAN has never feared sacrifice in the name of gainful employment. He has toiled over scalding asphalt. He has been locked in a cage. And he has voiced a talking toilet. The man is fearless, if...

By Michael Cavna | September 19, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Morning Line: The Riffys Go "Forth"...

Nothing like a tantalizing storyline -- a plot brimming with sudden sexual heat -- to re-stoke one's interest in a comic. Sally Forth, you have our complete attention. Or in this case: Ted Forth does. Someone is sure sallying forth....

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

The E-Mailbag: Is Opus the Penguin Playing His Swan Song?

It musn't be easy being Berkeley Breathed's editor these days. What with being peppered by one constant question: (WPWG)Enlarge Comic "Hey, is 'Opus' ending soon or what?" We know that Breathed's editor, Amy Lago, has patiently endured our frequent badgering...

By Michael Cavna | September 18, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

The Morning Line: Decode Your Own Cartoon Name.

We noted recently that you can't swing a Sudoku puzzle over your head without hitting a woman named "Carmen" on the comics pages. Something about that name bewitched the cartoonists behind "Pooch Cafe," "Baldo" and "Prickly City." But what's in...

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

The Rant: Stop "Frank & Ernest" Before They Pun Again...

We are the first to admit it: We love a good pun as much as the next reader. Which is precisely why something must be done about "Frank & Ernest" -- because we love a good pun as much as...

By Michael Cavna | September 17, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

The Morning Line: Six Degrees of Stephan Pastis

Look closely in the last panel of today's "Brewster Rockit." No, closer. Pigs in space? A strip with zero gravity. (TMS) Enlarge Comic Yep, right there on the T-shirt is "Pig" from "Pearls Before Swine." What in the name of...

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

The Rant: When 'Cathy' Haters Are Staler Than the Gag

Is there anything staler than a "Cathy" gag about her latest chocolate binge? Why yes -- yes there is. That one thing would be: Bashing a "Cathy" gag about her latest choco-binge. Sorry, late-haters, but you're tardy to the party...

By Michael Cavna | September 16, 2008; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (6)

The Morning Line: "Doonesbury" Sings the Newspaper Blues

Even "Doonesbury" isn't immune from the print newspaper blues. When Garry Trudeau's "Washington Post" begins a round of buyouts this week, it can't help but hit close to home. (UPS) Enlarge Comic In the pages of The Washington Post this...

By Michael Cavna | September 16, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

The Morning Line: When Palin Populates the Funnies

"Doonesbury." "Candorville." "Prickly City." Even "Get Fuzzy." The Sarah Palin phenomenon has escalated to Category 5 so quickly -- not just politically, but comedically (witness Tina Fey's "Saturday Night Live" take over the weekend) -- that the candidate even seems...

By Michael Cavna | September 15, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

The Interview: Ex-BET Chief Reg Hudlin of "Black Panther"

When REGINALD HUDLIN was ousted last week as programming chief at BET, the network cited Hudlin's desire to "get back to his roots." Which, in his case, means his longtime interest in movies. Reginald Hudlin calls Black Panther "the baddest...

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

The E-Mailbag: When Candidates Utter the Ideas of Others

Four candidates running for the White House. Two political rock stars. And one big fat godsend for humorists. The nation's cartoonists are having a field day with the election that, for many, doubles as entertainment fix. Which is why we...

By Michael Cavna | September 12, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

The Morning Line: The Envelope, Please, for the Riffy Awards...

Time once again, boys and girls, for the week's Riffy Awards. (Creators) Enlarge Comic 1. FAVORITE BALLOON: All week, "Agnes" has featured the costumed classroom exploits of Wellness Woman. Today, Agnes's second-panel rejoinder to her teacher is: "A better question...

By Michael Cavna | September 12, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

The Riff: Secrets That Cartoonists Don't Want You to Know...

Yesterday, in the spirit of encouraging potentially talented artists -- and more so, to discourage the talentless so they would not toil for decades in vain -- we offered a Comic Riffs Quiz for Aspiring Cartoonists. Some of you, it...

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

The Morning Line: ¡Viva la Revolucion, Mon!

In theory, it should not work. You should not be able to dress up rats and cats and ducks as agents and soldiers and rastafarians and have it, on paper, be this entertaining. "Noooo zeeeba, no cry..." (UFS) Enlarge Comic...

By Michael Cavna | September 11, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (8)

The Riff: Take This Quiz and Become a Famous Cartoonist!

Every now and again, an aspiring artist accosts us with a portfolio the size of a small watercraft and asks: "Do I have what it takes to make it as a professional cartoonist?" To which we reply: "Absolutely not."...

By Michael Cavna | September 10, 2008; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Morning Line: Need a Friend? Dial 1-555-TED-4RTH

For years, Ted Forth has been as reliable as grout. Silly, mildly sarcastic and always as comfortable as old Hush Puppies, Ted could be counted on. He was the warm comic foil who could withstand anything. He was the...

By Michael Cavna | September 10, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (15)

The Interview: Jim Borgman of 'Zits'

He wins the respect of his peers. He wins the big cartooning awards, including the Pulitzer. And he most certainly keeps winning legions of fans. JIM BORGMAN, who co-creates the comic strip "Zits" with Jerry Scott, has accomplished much in...

By Michael Cavna | September 9, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

The Morning Line: When Timeliness Is Next to Godliness...

One poster to this blog, "MSchafer," inquired several days ago about Turnaround Time. That is, what is the window between when a syndicated cartoonist submits a strip and when readers can hear the newspaper cartoon land in their shrubbery or...

By Michael Cavna | September 9, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Riff: Vote Now to Adopt-a-Dog...

Now that we're reading "Little Dog Lost" religiously in The Post, we've come to a quick conclusion: This is about the saddest, most melancholy pooch we've ever encountered on mainstream comic pages. Is the moon half-full or half-empty? (WPWG)Enlarge Comic...

By Michael Cavna | September 8, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (16)

The Morning Line: "Non Sequitur's" Misbegotten Sex Scandal...

Wiley, Wiley, Wiley. (Sigh.) You know better than this. But we have renamed our staff restrooms for Larry Craig. (UPS) Enlarge Comic Talented "Non Sequitur" cartoonist Wiley Miller can skewer the media with the best of 'em. Over the years,...

By Michael Cavna | September 8, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

The E-Mailbag: Jim Borgman & This Week's Riffys...

ZITS (KFS)Enlarge Comic It's time, once again, for this week's Riffy Awards. Let's go right to the winners: 1. FAVORITE ART: The supremely gifted Jim Borgman announced this week that this fall, he's going to leave behind being the Cincinnati...

By Michael Cavna | September 5, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

The Morning Line: When Cartoonists Draw the Identical Gag

You ever read a comic and you could just swear you've heard that joke before? Well in this case, you probably have. This is the Thursday gag... (KFS) Enlarge Comic ...and this is the Friday gag. Yes, we're serious. (KFS)...

By Michael Cavna | September 5, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

Remembering 'Peanuts' Animator Bill Melendez...

"What a sweet, sweet guy!" That is how comics editor Amy Lago remembers BILL MELENDEZ, the sublimely talented animator who collaborated with Charles Schulz on 70 or so "Peanuts" productions. Melendez, who died yesterday at 91, made the warmest...

By Michael Cavna | September 4, 2008; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

The E-Mailbag: Let's Vet the Presidential "Caption Contest"...

A dog, a cat, a doctor's labcoat and a clipboard. What more does one need for hilarity to ensue? The (operating) tables are turned. (Creators)Enlarge Comic In this case, perhaps your caption. That scene is the setting for a recent...

By Michael Cavna | September 4, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

The Morning Line: 10 Things You Might Not Know About "Dennis"

TEN THINGS You Might Not Know About "Dennis the Menace": 1. Despite decades of rumor to the contrary, Dennis is not a lifelong root-beer addict, hopped up on Hines. Today's panel perpetuates this vicious rumor -- which some believe to...

By Michael Cavna | September 4, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Interview: 'Hulk' Writer Jeph Loeb

When Marvel Comics decided to do a Hulk mystery story, it knew it had the perfect man for the job: Jeph Loeb, who's one of the comic industry's best mystery writers. Loeb -- who has put Batman through such adventures...

By Michael Cavna | September 3, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Morning Line: On the 'Trail' of Love, Lust and Caution

Twin damsels in distress! One shining white knight, radiant with Brylcreemed hair! The snarling threat of Mother Nature! And o, that ever-treacherous cavern! Pell-mell arrives the "other woman," Kelly Welly. (NAS) Enlarge Comic You could read the current "Mark Trail"...

By Michael Cavna | September 3, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

The Riff: When a Hurricane Hits the Comics

Many days ago, a hurricane began to hurtle toward "Pooch Cafe." (UPS) Enlarge Comic Forget the hurricane zone. We've just entered "The Twilight Zone." Weeks and weeks ago, before Hurricane Gustav was upon us, the cartoonist Paul Gilligan wrote the...

By Michael Cavna | September 2, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

The Morning Line: The Secret Files of "Judge Parker"

"Judge Parker's" Dewey Cheatham has been toe-tagged for days now, but as witnessed by today's strip, the details around this gruff duffer's life are still vague. Who was Dewey Cheatham, exactly, and more important: what shortcomings caused this golfer to...

By Michael Cavna | September 2, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

The Riff: Sarge or Hagar, Who Is More 'Macho'?

Once upon a VHS era, "Saturday Night Live" had an inspired game-show parody titled "?Quien Es Mas Macho?" -- in which Bill Murray quizzed contestants about who most embodied the manly heights of machismo. When we read "Beetle Bailey" and...

By Michael Cavna | September 1, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Morning Line: From Cartoonists, the School of Hard Knocks

Cartoonists, one could surmise, are a cruel and spiteful lot. How else to explain why so many of them are teasing the tots with today's back-to-school taunts? Hey, kids! Read the funnies and let us quasi-grownups pepper you with scholastic...

By Michael Cavna | September 1, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2009 The Washington Post Company