The Morning Line: Market Blues? Political Strips Need to Bail Us Out
We're entertained by Tina Fey's latest eerie take on Sarah Palin. We smile as Stephen Colbert skewers failed bipartisan bailout efforts. We laugh at Bill Maher's new election-themed interview with Chris Rock.
Healthy campaign humor abounds on the screen, but what about on the funnypages? Honestly, some weeks, not so much.
The comics serve a wide array of readers, of course, and a limited number of strips wade into topical waters to begin with. But even among those chosen few, it has often felt -- in this historically fertile year -- that if the funnypages have not missed the boat, then they are at best clinging to a puny dinghy.
When we interviewed Garry Trudeau some months ago about satire's potential influence on the electorate, the one field he felt was in flagging health was his own. And we couldn't help but concur.
Which is why today, we're pleasantly surprised by some of the politically themed strips. To wit:
1. BREWSTER ROCKIT: In its pure and simple reaction to the bailout figure, today's "Brewster" is an absolute beaut. As cathartic as it is funny -- even if only to distract us from our our own personal fiscal bloodbath for a few seconds. (Brother, can you spare an extra hobo bindle?) And bonus huzzahs for the timeliness.
2. GET FUZZY: This storyline is hitting its stride, right down to the signs ("Satchel News Network" is great, and "Re'Lic" helps make plain Darby Conley's political leanings). The debate is mostly premise for his characters' lactose-fueled shenanigans, yet read closely ("the temperament to...um...to lead") and you realize Darb's painting in several shades of commentary here.
3. GET PRICKLY: By having a female veep candidate even prior to McCain picking Palin, this strip was perfectly poised to hit this storyline outta the park. Some days, though, it feels as though Scott Stantis is settling for infield singles. "Field-dress" is a too-easy gag -- though we appreciate the "Straight Spin Express" signage.
| October 1, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: The Morning Line
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