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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 12/ 2/2008

The Morning Line: The Ultimate "Slight" of Hand

By Michael Cavna

Comic Riffs has long said that how an artist draws hands is a telltale sign: Deftly rendered digits reveal an admirable attention to detail, if not a signature style.

Along those lines, we have noted here before that "Sally Forth" takes a distinctive approach to hands, which can look somewhat Seussian. As such, we have good-naturedly teased Laura for having "Grinch Mitts" and Ted for having "Lady Hands."

Judging by today's "Sally Forth," 'Riffs apparently has missed the point -- or body part -- entirely. The real key to Ted -- we are told by Laura -- is his allegedly "slight wrists."

A verbal slap on the wrist.(KFS) Enlarge Comic

'Riffs can't help but love Ted's long-winded retort, too: That Laura is "crippled by insecurity" and that she won't feel "the least bit superior." Not exactly snappy, but it isn't sappy -- and it's just plain swell to see that Ted's backbone is not so slight.


Before the "Mark Trail" storyline threatens to turn kinda "Deliverance" (and the mustachioed no-goodnik in the third panel does look somewhat like '70s-era Burt Reynolds), I can't help but note: The foregrounded waterfowl in the first panel -- eyes all asparkle -- seem to be smiling.

When waterfowl go bad. (NAS) Enlarge Comic

Why are they so happy to see our man in khaki kidnapped? Is there a subplot we need to know? (First guess: For Thanksgiving, Mark feasted on a cousin of theirs in a fine orange sauce.)

And...'Riffs rather likes "Rhymes With Orange" today -- from the very funny "Far Side" kicker to the Larsonian dog speaking in the cartoon-within-a-toon. Brava!

Time flies when your calendar skips half the days. (KFS) Enlarge Comic

If you've got picks for fave (or un-fave) toons today, fire away.

By Michael Cavna  | December 2, 2008; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Sometimes it's the small things... I like the snow flakes in Blondie as Elmo is at the Bumsteads' door selling raffle tickets. Plus note Daisy who is observing the exchange in panels 1 & 2, and then has a "What!??" look on her face in panel 3.

Big Nate... In panel 2 Dad has a closeup and a pointillistic halo as he dispenses fatherly wisdom regarding "alleged dog" :) And I like Dad's shaded "dark cloud" thought balloon in the last panel.

Finally the very cool car parts display rendered in _nice_ orthographic projection in the strip Baldo. It jumped right out at me. Although that may just be me, as I worked hard to master the technique in my mid 60's high school drafting class.

Posted by: hdradio | December 2, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

And on the other, er, "hand", you have those enormous non-human hands in "Gil Thorp", often seemingly detached from any wrist, arm, and torso, that dominate the panels like the giant birds and squirrels that overwhelm the humans in "Mark Trail". The use of perspective and especially shadow in that strip are also unique (to use a euphemism for, "Huh???").

Posted by: seismic-2 | December 2, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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