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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 11/13/2008

The Morning Line: When We're With 'Sally,' Time Seems to Stand Still

By Michael Cavna

Some days, we gallop through the funnies at a healthy clip, smiling while not breaking stride and then suddenly ... we hit "Sally Forth" and come to a full stop. Bam! All momentum is lost.

But here's the thing about "Sally Forth." It's not just any one thing. It's chock full of elements that -- like shiny objects to a baboon -- distract our dumbfounded gaze.
Instantly, we're riddled with pesky, mind-numbing questions that hurt our noggin. To wit:


Oh, where to begin... (KFS)ion Enlarge Comic

1. Squeaky Fromme?!? Where did Ted pull that out of? Even if one remembers her as the would-be Gerald Ford assassin, how many of us attribute specific personality traits to her -- the way some of us might Carrie Bradshaw? Okay, now I KNOW we're hurtling headlong into the Land of the Bizarre...

2. What's going on with the woman in the background? Look at her meal in the first panel, if you will; then look at it in third panel -- wha' happened? (Did she have time to grab a new meal while Ted was pulling "Squeaky Fromme" out of the seat of his pleated pants?)...

3. Speaking of the third panel: Ted and Aria aren't leaning in compared with panel one, yet they're suddenly much closer -- is this the magnetic magic of their geeky office attraction? We might say "yes," except Aria's about to harpoon Ted's gullet with that jabbed fork. (This woman is "Fatal Attraction"-dangerous, Ted -- flee! Scurry! Run for your wife--er, life!)...

4. Why -- when Aria's mouth isn't masticating -- do Ted and Aria have almost identical profiles? Physical soulmates, or artistic slackerdom -- you decide.

Although we must admit: This is still the juiciest plotting going on in the strip these days. So in terms of storyline: Tally ho, and sally forth!


In our continuing adventures of "Why Lio Isn't Like Some Other Cartoon Boys": Today, turn your attention, if you please, to "Pickles," in which Nelson -- we are told -- says post-sneeze: "That was a juicy one, Gramma."

Opal, our resident Miss Manners. (WPWG) Enlarge Comic

By contrast, the post-sneeze Lio immediately hits the microscope to 'scope out the molecular structure.

When science is nothing to sneeze at. (UPS) Enlarge Comic

We like both strips today -- running on the same day, we enjoy each boy character a little more fully.

By Michael Cavna  | November 13, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: Requiem for the Staff Political Cartoonist (2009)


I got the Squeaky Fromme reference immediately. Fromme was a mild looking woman who was a member of the Manson Family. Sums up Sally's sister exactly.

Pitch-perfect cultural references are part of Francesco Marciuliano's stock in trade and what makes Sally Forth such a great strip.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 13, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Why -- when Aria's mouth isn't masticating -- do Ted and Aria have almost identical profiles?

Maybe they are twins that were seperated at birth?

I am fully into adulthood, but, um, am not old enough to have any recollection of Squeaky Fromme - I would have had to look that up if not for the explanation here.

I love, love, LOVE Lio! I hope my son grows up to be just like him - monsters and all!

Posted by: VaLGaL | November 13, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Considering his supposed age, I don't suppose Ted would know much about Fromme.

Mebbe Marciuliano figured the name was funny enough to people who wouldn't get the reference. I don't know who Carrie Bradshaw is. I know who Terry Bradshaw is.

As for the look-alike thing, I hope we don't have a Luke/Leia subplot going on here. It would probably be fitting, for the geeksters.

Posted by: f-squared | November 13, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Cannot stand Lio....don't even get people that do like it....enough said.

Sally Forth is so totally readable I never miss it. I know who Fromme is, is Carrie the gal from Sex in the City?

Read this column daily...keep the good works coming.

Posted by: ZeldaJane | November 13, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

can we get rid of lost dog? i dont need any more talking animals!

Posted by: lfooter | November 13, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Who do we complain to about the lost dog? Is there ONE person out there who likes it?

Posted by: tws1372 | November 13, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse


Feedback regarding The Post's selection of print comics should be directed to the newspaper's comics editor, Shirley Carswell.

Posted by: cavnam | November 13, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Plenty of people know who Squeaky Fromme is. If you weren't alive during the Ford Administration, she was also a character in Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins" (and we know Ted loves showtunes). A nineteen-year-old reader of my blog recognized it.

Maybe you need to bone up a little so you can be smarter than a comic strip character.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 14, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, "yellojkt" -- plenty of folk know who squeaky fromme is. (some of us who grew up on the california headlines of the time can even recite many of her life's many troubled moments, backward and forward.) still, wouldn't have gone with "squeaky" in this particular case...

then again, was always more of a patty hearst "fan."


Posted by: cavnam | November 14, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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