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

The Morning Line: The Best in Threats

By Michael Cavna

Let's get right to it, Cartoon Nation. It was a particularly interesting week as threats abounded on the "funny" pages -- from nuclear warheads to job cuts to male teen drivers. So in that spirit of laughing our way through anxieties that could rate their own color-coded alerts, we turn to this week's Riffy Awards.

First off is the winner for funniest single-panel GAG O' THE WEEK: Thursday's "Non Sequitur." Part of the reason it packed a punch is the half-second it took my Pentium-1 brain to realize that this couple, in discussing cat food vs. dog food, was actually mulling their own menu options in these hardscrabble times.


As Neil Diamond might sing: " 'Iams,' I cried / To no one there." (UPS) Enlarge Comic

In the lingo of Vince Vaughn's "Swingers": So money, Wiley. So money.

FAVE LINE O' DIALOGUE: The eternally engaging thing about "Get Fuzzy's" Bucky Katt is that, smack dab in the middle of a harebrained monologue littered with half-truths and slander, he'll suddenly let fly an opinion that isn't as untethered as it might seem. On Monday, B-Katt is doing the full "Manchurian Candidate" bit to the Manx and Satchel when he says: "Now listen: After you become president of the U.S., you will dissolve Congress -- no one will
object to that."


The fool on the Hill? (UFS) Enlarge Comic

As one industry friend refers to such priceless lines, that's a "coffee-snorter."

Thanks to you, Darb, we are indeed "havin' a laugh."

FAVE ARTWORK: The stellar team of Borgman/Scott does so many little things just right in Thursday's "Zits":


Straight from the course's mouth. (KFS) Enlarge Comic

Mama Duncan's morning-calm smile, the rising sun, the "weight" of the skillet, the spongy slickness of the catapulting eggs and, perhaps best of all, the loose lines of the piled-up pans. When I grow up, I want to draw as ostensibly effortlessly as the good and great Jim Borgman.

THE MIFFY: And this week's lone, lowly Miffy goes to today's "Beetle Bailey" because of one trait that leaves me peevish: head-scratching ambiguity.


Commander, on chief. (KFS) Enlarge Comic

I, for one, can't say whether Sarge is a true apologist for the missteps of the Bush administration, or whether it's just a much fainter coat of sarcasm that I'm used to seeing from "Beetle." O wiser minds than mine: Help me intuit the one true political meaning, because this has become a verbal "Magic Eye" In which I can readily read it both ways.

Those are this blog's Riffy picks -- what are yours?

By Michael Cavna  | December 12, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Comments

Look closer at that last panel in Zits, I think you'll see one pan, spinning in place. (Making a slightly lower pitched version of that sound you can hear at the beginning of Depeche Mode's "Behind The Wheel".)

Posted by: larrymac | December 11, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Larry, that's the pan spinning after Jeremy threw it back down in his rush to leave. Even concocting that imagery, much less executing it in a tiny space, is what makes Zits so captivating.

Posted by: tws1372 | December 12, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Get Fuzzy has been on a roll with this plotline, but the one that really made me laugh this week was when "Deep Snout" asked for a cookie the other day.

Posted by: oceanchild | December 12, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

re: Sarge. It's not that weathermen are allowed to make mistakes, rather that it's become a joke that they do. In W's case it's a sick joke and it's on us.

Posted by: jimbo1949 | December 12, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

re: Get Fuzzy -- Looks like Darby Conley is having trouble staying inside the lines. Check the last panels in Thursday's and Friday's strips; Mac and Satchel, respectively, are breaking that fourth wall. Brilliant!

Posted by: larrymac | December 12, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I found a number of interesting things in today's (12/12) strips. That is, after one can get past the distracting, half page photo of Amy Adams on page one of the Style section :) 1. God has returned to ZIPPY. I mean, how many comic strips have God as a regular visitor? And I like his visage. He seems to resemble a 1960's doctor in one of those ads where a doctor recommends a product. Whoa, how strange is that?! Gotta love the line in panel two "God is not a snack, Zippy." 2.NON SEQUITOR... bagpipes are always good for a funny joke :) 3. SPEED BUMP, Ha ha, Santa telling his reindeer "They didn't leave you any carrots, go ahead and eat their hostas." Hostas are funny! :) 4. Last but not least FRAZZ is eating a pomegranate. What's this, hostas and pomegranates? Unusual vegetation in today's comics. And where would you expect to find the line "That's what you get for eating a pomegranate."

Posted by: hdradio | December 12, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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