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

The Morning Line: Bucky Katt v. The English Language: We're the Winners.

By Michael Cavna

If it please the court, we'd like to pose a question about comic justice:
Why, when "Frank & Ernest" unleashes wanton wordplay, it often pains us -- yet when Bucky Katt goes on a mad punning spree, we're utterly tickled. Why, for pooch's sake, is that?


Taking a case to the highest cat in the land. (UPS) Enlarge Comic


Yes, it's partly because Bucky's puns are more creative and more delightfully contorted -- as fresh as just-cracked catnip. I mean, who else but "Get Fuzzy's" Darby Conley dare rhyme "Board of Education" with "Horde of Dalmatian"? And Conley often sets up his comic premises lickety-split, so he can quickly get to peppering us with a barrage of quips. But mostly, we're suckers for this punsense because Bucky Katt delivers this wordplay with such swagger and panache.

We should note, too, that some weeks back, we called for a "Garfield v. Bucky" smackdown (to which "Pearls Before Swine's" Stephan Pastis told Comic Riffs, in picking Bucky as the winner: "Never fight crazy"). So somehow, it's particularly great to see "Garfield v. Odie" cited today as a court case from the annals of animal jurisprudence.

Another strip that caught our eye today is "Judge Parker," simply because it's especially "noir" this week.


Cagney meets "CSI." (NAS) Enlarge Comic

The high contrasts, the shadowy tones -- suddenly, it's "Double Indemnity" with a modern splash of "CSI." Huzzahs, Mr. Barreto.

THE 'RIFFS READING LIST:
My colleague Robert Thompson interviewed Art Spiegelman in New York for today's Style section profile. The Pulitzer-winning graphic novelist will appear at Washington's Politics & Prose tomorrow. ... And our fave blogpost by a cartoonist this week is Darrin "Candorville" Bell's heartfelt response to Barack Obama's victory.


By Michael Cavna  | November 6, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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