Miffys for 'Tank McNamara' and 'Curtis'
Morning, Cartoon Nation...
One summer, while teaching a course in cartooning to teens, I found myself repeatedly emphasizing two recommendations:
1. Keep the writing tight.
2. Keep your characters' reactions authentic and true. If you can't do that, you'll never find the true laugh.
This week, "Tank McNamara" and "Curtis" blew those theories all to heck.
So this week, both strips share this blog's lowly Miffy Award.
TANK McNAMARA: In "Dilbert," Scott Adams's routinely hits his gag within 40 words. Many strips come in at 50-60 words. And "Lio," of course, never has dialogue. (Neat feat, that.) But in mainstream strips, there is one type that is as rare as the dodo bird: The Seldom-Spotted 100-Word Strip. This week, though, one "Tank" strip clocked just a few words short of the stunning 100-word mark.
As some readers noted yesteday on this blog: Sorry, but we simply don't have time for 100 words, Mac--we've got to speed to "Family Circus" for the one-second read. Say this for the Keanes: They don't make us work!
CURTIS: This is the single most inauthentic/lame/hamhanded/completely tone-deaf character reaction I've seen in many, many months.
Have you ever contemplated actually losing a child, or have known someone who did? The parent might experience everything from frozen terror to wild fear to manic rage. Any of those reactions, I would buy? But a mom who manages a wry, snide comment, tossed offhandedly?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is the most moronic non-gag in many, many moons.
Okay, thanks--I've vented. I feel better now.
Those are my Miffys. If you've got Riffys or Miffys this week, fire away.
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