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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 01/ 5/2009

The Rant: Introducing a D-Day in the Cause for Comics

By Michael Cavna

Speaking from an extremely self-serving place -- that is, as both cartoonist and writer of features -- I can say with full confidence and honesty: I find today's "Mother Goose and Grimm" to be the funniest cartoon of the year. That is, if the only criterion be that the deepest, most cathartic "funny" hails straight from a place of unrelenting pain and suffering.


In other words: The abrupt bluntness of "Mother Goose" hits precisely where both I and my resume reside. (Not an easily scaled precipice, that.)

Not long after I was done laughing and wincing, another comic 2-by-4 thwacked my battered sense of well-being. There, striking even deeper, was "Brewster Rockit." (I chuckled aloud, once I was finally able to stanch the bleeding.)


The main reason I highlight both these strips today is because I offer them as Exhibits "A" and "B." Consider them State's Evidence for 'Riffs new proposal:
It's time that newspaper comic strippers set aside a single day to collude for the good and glorious cause of, well, newspaper comic strips.

Specifically: Every syndicated cartoonist could deliver a pointed gag or plot-point about the state of the comic industry, all on the same designated D-day. Imagine the publicity such a high-profile coordinated effort could garner -- provided there are enough non-laid-off reporters around who have time to actually report on the event.

If cartoonists trumpet the cause of stopping the shrinkage and clear-cutting of newspaper comics, perhaps the resonance would be greater than the proverbial sound of one hand drawing. Because more readers would have awareness raised to the matters at hand.

So when should this grand Day of Reckoning be? Well, May 5 is National Cartoonists Day -- a day often given over to such wacky stunting as massive character cross-pollination between strips. Instead of such standard high-jinks, though, why not reach the brighter star, the higher cause, the noble calling that is, for lack of a more mytho-poetic term, Soul-Grippingly Extreme Self-Preservation?

Comic strippers of the world, unite. We may not have Sting, Bono or Bob Geldof to spearhead our cause, but we do have a one great unifying figure to lead this fight: Bucky Katt. (Um...come to think of it, perhaps we're in even greater peril than I'd realized.)

In any case, come May 5: Rock the page, cartoonists....provided that come May, you still have enough devoted space on the page to rock.

By Michael Cavna  | January 5, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Rants  
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Next: The Interview: 'Brewster Rockit' Cartoonist Tim Rickard


Cinco de Mayo? (spanish for "Please pass the Mayonnaise.")

Let me guess what will be in the news that day? Drinking, maybe? :--)

Posted by: MSchafer | January 5, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes. The Mother Goose and Grimm cartoon was the one I was alluding too in the previous entry.

One thought: Isn't holding a pro-newspaper protest four months from today wildly presumptuous? If I were in the newspaper business, I wouldn't be buying green bananas.

Furthermore, you've probably already missed the syndication deadline of Garfield, Hi and Lois, and other topical cutting-news type strips. After all, Prickly City has been railing against eminent domain cases that were decided back in June.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

As the child of a newspaper editor, I spend a lot of time fretting about the state of the newspaper industry, and I read any and all commentary about it that I can find. But I start to wonder if people who aren't so invested in the business don't get tired of everyone involved with newspapers talking incessantly about their demise.

Do other people find this funny?

Oh, who am I kidding? They probably stopped reading the paper ages ago.

Posted by: oceanchild | January 5, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to get a little worried about you Michael. Don't give yourself an ulcer, take a deep breath. It would cruelly ironic if you had to loose your job for health reasons instead of all these layoffs. :-)

Posted by: HallieRoseC | January 5, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

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