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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 01/12/2009

The Morning Line: Laughing in the Face of History...

By Michael Cavna

Morning, Cartoon Nation...

All too often in pop culture, the images of iconic figures are resurrected for low and sullied and -- here's the real crime -- uninspired motives. The mind turns to a swingin' Audrey Hepburn shilling The Gap togs from beyond the grave, or Satchmo and James Cagney singin' for Coke.

In these retroclipping and hologram-happy TV commercials, it's often painfully the case: Dead is the new alive.

As Inauguration Day nears, though, 'Riffs can think of few iconic figures we'd rather see resurrected from pop culture than that "Sage of Anacostia": Mr Frederick Douglass. The great abolitionist/orator/editor... (the list goes on-and-on) -- and the first black man nominated for the U.S. vice presidency -- deserves to witness this "miracle" that he dare not dream. I only hope that "Candorville" continues with his noble visage throughout the week, and perhaps right up till Jan. 20.

Plus, it's a gleeful bonus just to hear C-Dog say to the esteemed Mr. Douglass: "Whachawant, old man?"

(Creators)Enlarge Comic

From this Maryland legend's historic head-and-shoulders, we turn to that Virginia giant, George Washington, in today's "Speed Bump" for a swell silent gag.

My favorite three-second joke of the day.

Elsewhere, we'd be remiss not to remark of today's "Mark Trail": For the second-panel vantage point, it seems a safe bet that either:

(a) we the viewer are standing IN the fireplace, toes soon scorched; or

(b) the Trail cabin floor is wildly ablaze -- a quickly spreading conflagration that threatens to quickly consume not only Cherry Trail, but also all their petty, whiny problems as if by divine (or much appreciated) act of God.

And speaking of needed divine intervention -- in reaction to reading "Frank and Ernest," we issue a plaintive plea:

"The intense and mind-numbing pain. Please, oh please. Make the punning stop!"

By Michael Cavna  | January 12, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What Will You Miss About Bush? Top Cartoonists Tell Us
Next: Our Inaugural 'Manhood Chart': Four Characters Square Off


Please drop Frank & Ernest. What a waste of space.

Posted by: tomtildrum | January 12, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The unusual perspectives drawn in Mark Trail (and pointed out here frequently) make it even more fun to follow. At least the burning logs aren't the source of the dialogue....

Posted by: JkR- | January 12, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, LIKE the PUNgent sense of humor frequently on display in Frank and Ernest. After all, time flies when you're having pun!


Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 12, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

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