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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 09/29/2008

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

By Michael Cavna

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 SLAQ.

Herewith, this week's story arcs that crack our list:

1. Climbing to the top spot is "SALLY FORTH," thanks to the Sci-Fi Flirtation That Dare Not Speak Its Name. Ted "Lady Hands" Forth is looking conspicuously smitten, thanks to the song in his heart that goes by a single name: Aria. Ted may have the letters, but it's his new friend who has just picked up her male.

2. "GET FUZZY": At last, the political debate that promises the biggest fireworks of the season, if not the most claw marks. And apparently the sweet but slow-witted Satchel is Darby's stand-in for the media, eh? For the greater good of a swell storyline, we can live with that.

3. "JUDGE PARKER": The murder mystery known as "Dixie, Driver and the Detective" climbs up the charts with an actual bullet. However: Should this interrogation drag on past Friday, we'll draw a chalk line around it and declare it dead-on-arrival.

4. "BREWSTER ROCKIT": Tim Rickard's promising particle-accelerator story is ripped from the headlines -- ripped as deftly as the limbs that are about to pop in panel three, it seems.


Between "Tank McNamara's" athletic sperm and "Pooch Cafe's" tapeworms, we'll pass on all the biology; however, we're a sucker for "Pearls Before Swine's" earworm.

By Michael Cavna  | September 29, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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The earworm epidemic is highly contagious and could cause a riot. I'm thinking Pig will get the blame.

Posted by: Jimbo1949 | September 29, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I blogged about the Sally Forth story line over the weekend and speculated where it's going.

My best guess is that Aria is Ted from the future after his sex change operation. And yes, I am the world's biggest Ted Forth fan.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks. You HAD to mention the earworm. I FINALLY got rid of it and now....

And isn't the Pooch Cafe line more theological than biological?

I'm not sure if I like to PC habit of picking a joke (I hesitate to call them story lines) and beating them to death.

Posted by: f2 | September 29, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm digging Brewster Rockit. That's been a good addition.

Agreed on Judge Parker. Let's wrap up this interrogation, and get Sam focused on which of these 2 girls will be in the next arc of the storyline.

"Sally Forth" just doesn't do anything for me. The stories are a bit slow (Not JP slow, where the glacial pace renders it absurd genius), and the artwork distracting.

Posted by: JkR | September 29, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

(Do I have to SPELL OUT the layoff, yello?)

Which came first, "tune cootie" or "earworm?"

The original Sally Forth was good artistically. So is the current one, but it's not the same. Most people don't understand the love the cartoonists have for the ink. It's in the blood. So few viewers get it.

Posted by: Jumper | September 29, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Judge Parker features a beautiful woman in a bikini -- from the neck up. What a waste.

Posted by: Tom T. | September 29, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Sally Forth drawn from Sally Jenkins the sports columnist?

Posted by: charlie | September 30, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

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