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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 12/ 4/2008

The Morning Line: Rate That Mustachioed Menace

By Michael Cavna

Some comic characters may fear layoffs in these troubled times, but certainly not the stock villains straight from Central Casting. In recent days, these mustachioed men are thick on the ground in the funnies, with work abundant and nefarious antics aplenty.

Last month, 'Riffs took note of some of these sketchy bewhiskered characters. Today, there are so many of 'em, it seems high time to start ranking these walking would-be convicts and overall no-goodniks. In other words, when it comes to unshaven evil, who wears it best?

The Age of Nefarious: The Official Mustachioed Men of General Menace List:

6. GEN. HALFTRACK ("Beetle Bailey"):

Even when he's innocently putting (and puttering) away, Gen. Halftrack flashes those white whiskers that all but cry out: "Make no mistake, Miss Buxley -- a half-century on, I still loom as seriously pervy.")


Dabney Coleman called. He wants his 'stache back. (KFS) Enlarge Comic

Art looks so harmless, really -- as if he pledged in college right next to the dad from "The Incredibles." But it does not matter whether he actually stole office supplies OR bandwidth -- in the visual vernacular of comics, his Snidely 'stache has already convicted him.

4. MR. DITHERS ("Blondie"):

Whither the evil of Dithers? (KFS) Enlarge Comic

Even when he appears merely avuncular, Mr. Dithers has that Wilford Brimley-esque caterpillar-lip that practically says: "Bumstead -- I could still kick your keister from here to Kingdom Come!"

3. MARK TRAIL ("Mark Trail"):

But why doesn't "Rabbit" rightfully have whiskers? (NAS) Enlarge Comic

Not only does the new lowlife sport a Burt Reynolds "flavor-saver" worthy of the '70s Oakland Athletics, but he's dubbed "Salty." If only we could hear him, he probably speaks in a clipped, Edward G. Robinson manner, to boot.


Can these men be shaved? (KFS) Enlarge Comic

If it's not Jameson (aka "Hitler Gump") wearing a weird mustache, then it's Big-Time's "faux-Spidey" lackey. If 'Riffs didn't want to think so good of her, we'd be tempting to think even Maria is masking a few whiskers.

1. SNOWFLAKE ("Judge Parker"):

When will the Reign of Terrier end? (NAS) Enlarge Comic

No character comes close to the mutt in this storyline. Sure, he may look all cute with that cold nose and pooch whiskers, but look what he hath wrought through apparent Doggy Mind Control: Dixie Julep/Kathy Patterson (the hardened exotic dancer, lest we forget) is willing to even kill to protect wee Snowflake. Now that's some serious crazy.


Speedo freaks. (UFS)Enlarge Comic

This "Brevity" not only drew mustaches on all the non-Americans, but threatened us with the image of their wearing Speedos. Talk about giving us the double-creeps. On this day, the subversive cartoonists Guy & Rodd must have either had Menacing Mustaches or donned Groucho Marx glasses to get into character.

Which of these mustachioed baddies reigns No. 1 to you -- and which ones make you want to take a Schick to all the shtick?

By Michael Cavna  | December 4, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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How could the list NOT include former student radical and gay public radio personality Mark Slackmeyer from "Doonesbury"? After all the garbage thrown at Bill Ayers in the presidential campaign just past, he should have been a shoo-in for the top slot. And he's got the cookie duster to prove it!

Posted by: drazen1 | December 4, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The dog? Really, the dog? We've spent the last 2 months in the desert (2 days in JP time) with the stripper and the hawt detective and it's about the dog??? What is this, 'Snatch'?

So. Disappointing.

Posted by: JkR- | December 4, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Does Dixie shave? :-)

Posted by: MSchafer | December 4, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"Does Dixie shave? :-)"

No, she waxes. You can't have a Brazilian with stubble.....

Posted by: marshlc | December 4, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

You wanna bet Ted Forth's mother-in-law bleaches hers?

Posted by: staxowax | December 4, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Not necessarily nefarious, however today's Zippy the Pinhead has a well drawn Scottish Terrier in the first panel. He has a nice 'stash. Big Nate's Dad has that beatnik thing going on. Earl Pickles' swept back, luxuriant duster is the finest of the batch

Posted by: hdradio | December 4, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Sid Fernwilter!

Posted by: staxowax | December 4, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

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