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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 02/25/2009

Morning Funnies: The Rapid Rundown

By Michael Cavna

Morning, Cartoon Nation...

Quick, unfiltered takes on the morning's funnies:

All week, something about ZITS -- and Jeremy's attraction to his tutor -- has unnerved me. At last, gazing at the strips, I've put my finger on it: Under all that hair, the tutor's facial features --lips and nose especially -- look strikingly like those of Jeremy's mom. Paging Dr. Freud on line one...

So this is AGNES's list of "perfect painting" chintz and cheese, eh? But what's this: No warm-glow cottages (a la Kinkade)? A grievous omission.

(Tenuously related side-note: My iPhone's spellcheck, oddly, always wants to change
"Agnes" to "Agnew." As in Spiro. Yes, my "outsmart"-phone may have been built in
2008, but its dictionary -- like Styx, Bruce Jenner and Charo -- seems sadly stuck in
the '70s. Paging Danny Bonaduce on the rotary phone...

That last panel in JUDGE PARKER summons an insta-memory: A few years back, at an only-in-Washington after-party, I came face-to-face with then-recently-outed spy Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson. Well, in today's final JP panel, that woman at right looks strikingly how I remember Plame (as long as the strip's dealing in federal agents) looking that night. But the dude next to her as Joe Wilson? Not-so-much. (Joe looked much more, oh, professorial.) Paging Bob Novak on the secretly planted bug...

I drew this EXACT gag for a single-panel cartoon when I was age 12.


It even appeared in my hometown newspaper. So either "Family Circus" is accurately channeling the thoughts of a 12-year-old, or somewhere, a desperate gag-writer-for-hire unearthed my yellowing cartoon. I'd bet on the former. Time to page Mom to check on that
sixth-grade box in the attic...

Do you have a favorite -- or least favorite -- toon today? The floor is now yours.

By Michael Cavna  | February 25, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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The tutor looks nothing like the mother (at least in this strip) She looks more like Jeremy's twin.

Posted by: capsfan77 | February 25, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I hope the version of today's "Family Circus" that you drew at age 12 was drawn better than this one, so that it didn't look as if Grandma is opening a door that's standing in the middle of an open field.

Posted by: seismic-2 | February 25, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

All the Zits chix look the same with different hair.

I keep looking at the 3rd panel in Judge Parker and forgetting whatever point you were making... sorry, just did it again.

Posted by: JkR- | February 25, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

That's a pretty "perky" looking spy.

Posted by: elyrest | February 25, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

3rd panel of JP: dude's just not making eye contact.

Posted by: jimbo1949 | February 25, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Having grown up in the mid-"East" (of the Missippi River), I can tell you that the "field" seen from Grandma's open door is actually what is known there as a "front yard", folks. Yes, and we also have "back yards" that are equal in size to the front yards...or even larger! With trees! And fences! And stretches of lawn! Just like the one in the drawing. But also ice and snow and cold in the winter....

Posted by: zerodefect01 | February 25, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

As a long-time reader of Judge Parker, I have been asking myself, "What on earth is going on with this strip?" Are they trying out a new artist? What happened to the idea of normal-looking people, albeit attractive normal-looking people? Please! April Bower is all sexed up...obviously visited the ole nip-tuck doc for HUGE pointy implants since we last saw her. Maybe part of her CIA spy's disguise? Although one might surmise that shadowing could prove difficult with that pair of watermelons. Judge Parker's wife, too, who used to look a respectable and lovely "his age" now looks to be younger even than her son, Randy. There's a work of plastic surgery for you! Mom looks so young she could be her son's daughter. New Oedipal interpretation? Long-time maid Marie, whom I always thought to be Abby's age, now looks like a curly haired teenager that facial acne? 19-ish Neddie was transformed briefly to a 30's-something "Apartment 3-G" "new April Bower look" sexpot. EW. Welcome back, Ned! At least Sophie seems to be aging somewhat normally and Abby still looks the classic and tasteful beauty. But who knows? Maybe Sophie will show up next week with the HUGE pointy watermelon implants as part of her cheerleader gig. No! Please! Let her remain an innocent teenager for just a while longer?

Posted by: zerodefect01 | February 25, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

As a long, long, longtime reader of Judge Parker, I think Eduardo Barreto is doing a masterful job of transforming Judge Parker into the way a serial/story strip should look. In a way, more of how they did back in the 60s/70s, but with an updated look. Yes, the characters look different than how Harold LeDoux drew them. But, he has kept most of the essence in them. Yes, they look sexier, you got a problem with that? And, last I checked "Nip/Tuck", "CSI" and other shows are quite popular. Barreto has slowly morphing the strip into his own look since he took over from Harold LeDoux in May 2006.

Posted by: RobM1013 | February 25, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

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