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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 01/27/2009

The Burning Question: Is 'Zits' Painting in the Off-Color?

By Michael Cavna

Time to play, stump the band. (KFS) Enlarge Comic

Morning, Cartoon Nation...

So for nearly 24 hours, I've asked the same Burning Question of colleagues and friends, male and female. Now, because we've come to know each other so well, I ask you, too. The big Stumper Du Jour:
"What color is a nipple when twisted?"


The source of my Sphinxian puzzler is this "ZITS" strip, in which Jeremy wants to paint his room the color of "twisted nipple." My reaction to reading the strip was:

1. I laughed.
2. I applauded Borgman/Scott's success at getting the word "nipple" past the censors in a fun, playful way.
3. Then I began to wonder: What color IS the strip trying to suggest, anyway? ("Wheat Sheaf" and "Tepid Oatmeal," I get.)

The guesses I got from pals ranged from peachy-pink to Frappuccino-brown.

Now, I've been reassured that by week's end, "Zits" will indeed inform us what paint-color "twisted nipple" is. (And for that, I thank Jim&Jerry in advance.)

Meantime, I put it to you, fellow Riffers -- in the context of this strip: What color--really--is a twisted nipple?

All guesses will be officially accepted until midnight Thursday. For the answer, I'm told we should all look at Friday's "Zits. Until then: Feel free to keep those guesses coming.*

(*Offer prohibited to anyone who actually is in the alleged rock band Twisted Nipple.)

Elsewhere in cartooning...

One week after Inauguration, here's our FAVE OBAMA TOON OF THE DAY, based on artwork, comic tone and execution-of-gag:

Today, 'Riffs also picks its FAVE NON-OBAMA TOON DU JOUR:

And speaking of Obama political cartoons, Alan Gardner -- imploring his cartooning colleagues at the industry site -- posted this tangy note yesterday, about an article than had just run in Politico:

Politico has an article about the difficulty cartoonist will have skewering President Obama. Let's see... no, this isn't a re-print of an earlier article that we've talked about before. ... Can we be officially done on this topic yet? Or better still, can editorial cartoonists, when asked this question, say emphatically, "Obama is not the re-incarnated Christ. He's a politician with a lanky body and big ears. He's going to be no harder to skewer than any others" and then be done with it."

By Michael Cavna  | January 27, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Is this believable though? Remember Zits was embarrassed to hear about his mother breastfeeding him. And when I was a kid, I couldn't ask for chicken breasts or thighs--too embarrassing. And nipple was unimaginable! Have things changes this much for teenage boys?

Posted by: rerai1 | January 27, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"Have things changes this much for teenage boys?"


Posted by: rw-c | January 27, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

When I read that cartoon, I had a ghastly image of rosy pink.

Posted by: tws1372 | January 27, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

A lovely shade of purple.
I'm assuming Twisted Nipple = Purple Nurple

Posted by: jimbo1949 | January 27, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

fr the cartoon:

>One week after Inauguration, here's our FAVE OBAMA TOON OF THE DAY, based on artwork, comic tone and execution-of-gag...<

GREAT one! Loved it!

Posted by: Alex511 | January 27, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh deary me! I only have personal experience to go by, but I would say I dark dusty rose color for "Twisted Nipple". On the other hand if Jeremy was bottle fed it might be a light brown. In the context of the strip though as jimbo says "Purple Nurple" sounds good.

I also think there will be no problems skewering Obama and his administration once things really get going. There will ALWAYS be something to laugh at/about in politics.

Posted by: elyrest | January 27, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Twisted Nipple...a really off, muddy, shade of purple came to mind immediately upon reading. Good luck, Mom.

Posted by: ZeldaJane | January 27, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all you guys who are sending j-pegs of would-be "twisted nipple" paint samples. i could redo my newsroom cube -- if not the home office -- with this glorious rainbow o' paint e-chips.

[Reminder: Direct e-mail is]

Posted by: cavnam | January 27, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Since a twisted nipple is the result of a purple nurple, QED.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 28, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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