Archive: March 2009

'Candorville' Cartoonist Finds His [Short-Form] Muse

Today, "Candorville" creator DARRIN BELL begins a near-weeklong vampiric adventure that delves into the social wonders -- and woes -- of Twitter. Enlarge Comic So judging by his obvious familiarity with Twitter, does this mean Bell himself has decided to...

By Michael Cavna | March 31, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

Take the 'If I Were Comics Czar' Quiz

Almost daily, as both artist and blogger, I relish the fact that so many people are passionate about comics. Uber-casual readers are absolutely welcome under our big tentpole here. But the passionate fan is the lifeblood of the comics --...

By Michael Cavna | March 31, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (12)

'Black Ink Day': Time for Another Call to Arms

Comic Riffs recently proposed a new "Black Ink Day" -- that is, a single day on which all political cartoonists would use their space to publicize their plight as their ranks thin, as well as to honor their field's rich...

By Michael Cavna | March 30, 2009; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

Meet the New Funnies: Do You Fancy Their Latest Trendy Cut?

Morning, Cartoon Nation... No doubt, if you read The Post's print funnies, you have some sort of reaction to today's new look. Sure, we've got four fewer strips total...on one less page...at two less picas. But perhaps more jarring, the...

By Michael Cavna | March 30, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (57)

Pat Oliphant Draws Fire Yet Again

Oh, there Pat Oliphant goes again. The fiery Aussie political cartooning legend -- who last made controversial waves when he drew Sarah Palin speaking in tongues (prompting more than 750 angry responses to The Post's ombudsman) -- now takes on...

By Michael Cavna | March 27, 2009; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (24)

Word From the Land of Comics Future

Morning, Cartoon Nation... Here at Comic Riffs, we have seen the near-future and be forewarned: It's two picas smaller. Yes, contrary to any "the universe is expanding" worries you may harbor, I've peered at next Monday's "working proofs" of The...

By Michael Cavna | March 27, 2009; 8:45 AM ET | Comments (11)

He Who Gaffes Last: Our Fave Art Goof O' the Day

We begin today with the ol' "TRAIL WATCH" because today's "Mark Trail" is more staggeringly eye-catching than usual -- no small feat, that. 'Riffs refers not to the Central Casting Nimrod Villain, or to Naive Polka-Dot 'Kerchief Boy (aka...

By Michael Cavna | March 26, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (8)

Spare the Editors, Save the World

Morning, Cartoon Nation... Here at Comic Riffs, we've spent many months mourning the decline -- layoff by buyout by layoff -- of the Newspaper Political Cartoonist. But of course, as some newspapers slash their staffs by 10, 20, 30 percent...

By Michael Cavna | March 26, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

Plush 'Pearls' Toys? Indeed--What a Croc!

Afternoon, Cartoon Nation... Here at Comic Riffs, we are no product pimps. We do not shill, we do not peddle. We like to think we are ethically and morally above that. And besides, more to the point: No one...

By Michael Cavna | March 25, 2009; 2:30 PM ET | Comments (5)

What Are the Best--and Worst--Comic Films Ever?

Cartoon movies are as much in the news as ever. 'Riffs tweeted several days back about how Warren Beatty was being sued by Tribune Media Service over the screen rights to Dick Tracy. We've reported on Stephan Pastis working...

By Michael Cavna | March 25, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (11)

Homage to the 'Doomed' Post Strips

Perhaps in this case, even the prospective absence of several comic strips may make the heart grow fonder. Today's "Pooch Cafe," for example, seems just that much more amusing as The Post prepares to kiss the print version of...

By Michael Cavna | March 24, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (15)

Off to 'Watchmen'? Then sally forth!

Morning, Cartoon Nation... We'd dared to hope this day would come, and the fellas behind "Sally Forth" did not disappoint. Ted, proud '80s-centric comics geek that he is, is about to meet Dr. Manhattan on the big screen. With "padawan"...

By Michael Cavna | March 24, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

The Interview: Animator Bryan Brinkman

Thanks to a stunt earlier this month on Jimmy Fallon's late-night NBC show, New York animator BRYAN BRINKMAN not only gained more than 30,000 followers on Twitter. Two weeks later, his raised profile continues to draw fans to his work....

By Michael Cavna | March 23, 2009; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Showdown Poll: 'Judge Parker' vs. No Chance of Parole

Today, The Post announces its funnypage changes in the print edition. But Comic Riffs readers have had the chance to vote informally for their fave of five dropped Post comic strips -- or to check "none of the above" --...

By Michael Cavna | March 23, 2009; 8:50 AM ET | Comments (18)

This Just In: Post to Drop 'Brevity'

Tomorrow, a Readers' Note in The Post will announce that a sixth feature, the single-panel "Brevity" by Guy & Rodd, will be dropped from the paper's print comics section come March 30. Comic Riffs has previously reported on the...

By Michael Cavna | March 22, 2009; 9:57 PM ET | Comments (5)

The Cartooning Cause That's Fit to Print

Okay, here's an idea: As newspaper cartoonists look around their table and see the newsroom herds thinning, or the moving trucks pulling up, or the security guard hovering as colleagues pack up their things, maybe it's time for a single,...

By Michael Cavna | March 20, 2009; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (5)

In Name at Least, Chuckles Come to UClick

Let's hope the comic lives up to the name. The online comics portal UClick announces that it's adding the strip "Chuckle Bros.," by Brian and Ron Boychuk -- who, yes, are indeed brothers -- to its lineup. Enlarge Comic The...

By Michael Cavna | March 20, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (24)

The Exit Interview: Pink-Slipped Memphis Cartoonist Bill Day

When Comic Riffs reached political cartoonist BILL DAY yesterday afternoon by phone, he was still trying to absorb the news: The Commercial Appeal in Memphis had just pink-slipped him, and more than a dozen colleagues, several hours earlier. As Day,...

By Michael Cavna | March 19, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

'Save Judge Parker' Sentiment Unfurled in Force

After more than 125 comments and 600 votes on this blog, two things are abundantly clear about The Post's decision to drop five print comics at month's end: 1. A fair number of readers are more than a little miffed....

By Michael Cavna | March 19, 2009; 8:32 AM ET | Comments (15)

Memphis Political Cartoonist Bill Day Is Laid Off

BILL DAY, veteran political cartoonist at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, tells Comic Riffs that he has just been let go by the newspaper as part of more than a dozen layoffs announced by the paper there today. "It was...

By Michael Cavna | March 18, 2009; 5:45 PM ET | Comments (2)

Sneak Peek: Marvel's New "Wolverine" Images

Wolverine as a freakishly six-headed Warholian portrait? What would Joe Quesada think, let alone Hugh Jackman? Actually, we learn that Quesada -- the big cheese at Marvel Comics -- has blessed such an illustration, as well as numerous other cartoons...

By Michael Cavna | March 18, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

AIG Bonus Brouhaha: Who Draws the Most Interest?

Controversy over the AIG bailout -- and bonuses -- has spawned its share of names for what AIG "really" stands for, such as: Absolutely Into Greed. Ain't Immorality Grand? And my personal fave, which jokingly imagines secret Swiss bank accounts:...

By Michael Cavna | March 18, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (6)

The Winners -- and E-Mails -- Keep Rolling In...

The award announcements are pouring in: MIKE LUCKOVICH, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist, has won this year's Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for editorial cartooning. BY MIKE LUCKOVICHEnlarge Comic The judges cite Luckovich's ability "to incite multiple emotions...

By Michael Cavna | March 17, 2009; 12:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Reuben Awards: Congrats to 'Pearls,' 'Lio' & 'Cul de Sac'

A Pig. A guinea pig. And a cephalopod. Now THIS should be interesting. The National Cartoonists Society has announced its nominees for most of this year's award categories, and I'm particularly struck by the spirited competition in the Comic...

By Michael Cavna | March 17, 2009; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (10)

Pearls Before Meta-Swine: Oh, We Relish This 'Reality'

M.C. Escher, that great master of optical-illusion illustrations, would surely appreciate the pure and blissful meta-tude of today's "Pearls Before Swine." So let's pause long enough to break it down: Rat -- the COMIC character -- is viewing the webcomic...

By Michael Cavna | March 16, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (5)

'Parker' to 'Pooch': Which Dropped Comic Stirs Your Fanhood?

The Post has announced that come the end of the month, amid several changes, five comics will be dropped from the print funnypages (though the strips will continue on washingtonpost.com). If you're a regular reader of Comic Riffs, you know...

By Michael Cavna | March 16, 2009; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (30)

This Just In: The Post Will Drop 5 Print Comics

On The Washington Post's comic pages, a couple of little dogs will soon be lost. The Post has decided to drop five comics from the print funnies, including "Little Dog Lost" and "Pooch Cafe." The other three features that will...

By Michael Cavna | March 13, 2009; 4:50 PM ET | Comments (104)

New Toons and Old Favorites

Morning, Cartoon Nation... Another day, another new strip to scrutinize. Now we get news that the comics portal Uclick has added Creators Syndicate's "The Barn" to its lineup. The daily strip -- created by three-decade veteran of cartooning Ralph Hagen...

By Michael Cavna | March 13, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (7)

The "Check Out" Aisle: Sample These Picks O' the Week

'Riffs readers and comics colleagues flag so much good -- and sometimes just, um, interesting -- cartoon material that today, Comic Riffs pauses to catch up to some of it. Without further delay, here are a few faves. Judge, if...

By Michael Cavna | March 13, 2009; 8:45 AM ET | Comments (2)

Early Peek: Two New Comic Strips Seek Good Homes

Vampires just can't get any hotter in pop culture. We've got the "Twilight" blockbuster/budding franchise. We've got the HBO series "True Blood." We've even got vampires populating "Candorville" in recent days. Now, the digital entertainment site UClick announces that it's...

By Michael Cavna | March 12, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (7)

Marmaduke the Movie? We've Got a Few Stray Ideas

Word comes this week from Animation Magazine and the Hollywood Reporter that "Marmaduke" -- yes, the single-panel high-jinks of a 55-year-old gallumphing Great Dane (that's 385 in dog years) -- is headed to the big screen. To which we've heard...

By Michael Cavna | March 12, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

Last of the Staff Cartoonists: How Can Some Keep Their Jobs?

Cartoonists Ed Stein and Drew Litton have lost their Rocky perches in Denver. Their colleague John Branch is among the latest layoffs in a showdown at San Antonio. Ben Sargent took the buyout in Austin. And in a small town...

By Michael Cavna | March 11, 2009; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (1)

Who Brings the Sexy Back? Now Taking Your '09 Nominations

Ah, the power of an A-list pop star. Justin Timberlake may sing a razor line better than he can draw one, but with just a single near-three-minute performance, he's upped the "Q" rating of a less-than-hip comic character. Namely: Irving....

By Michael Cavna | March 11, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (8)

The Interview (Pt. 2): David Horsey of the (RIP?) 'Seattle Post-Intelligencer'

As his newspaper faces its D-Day sale deadline today, Comic Riffs continues its interview with Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial cartoonist DAVID HORSEY. Horsey, who has the highly trafficked Web site DavidHorsey.com through Hearst Corp., says he is ensured of keeping his...

By Michael Cavna | March 10, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Does Jessica Rabbit Really Bring the Sexy Back?

Morning, Cartoon Nation... First off, before we launch into the lambasting, we must give all fair credit and props to Jessica Rabbit. In a recent survey "conducted" by Cadbury Dairy Milk that asked respondents who the sexiest cartoon was, Cadbury's...

By Michael Cavna | March 10, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (6)

Rush to Judgment: Why Cartoonists Love Limbaugh

To many cartoonists, the return of Rush Limbaugh to the headlines, and center stage, is a welcome sight indeed. The ever-polarizing Rush comes bundled with his own backstory, his own symbolism and his own gravitational pull. Plus, for many,...

By Michael Cavna | March 9, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

David Horsey: How a Cartoonist Survives If Ink Newspaper Dies

It's D-Day for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. With Hearst's stated 60-day window to find a buyer set to close tomorrow, the storied, historic P-I faces the shuttering of its print newspaper -- short of a Microsoft billionaire or some other moneybagged...

By Michael Cavna | March 9, 2009; 7:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Week's Seven Most Terrifying Cartoons

Every week, as we cast our java-fueled gaze upon close to a thousand separate cartoons, there are inevitably a handful of images that might prompt a spit-take (if coffee didn't stain the carpet so stubbornly). Some cartoons disturb the...

By Michael Cavna | March 6, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

My Vow: Why I'm Giving Up "Peanuts"

Call it a dare. Call it an act of defiance. Either way, it's time to face my decades of addiction: For the next two weeks, I'll refrain from reading my "Peanuts." Yep, the strip that has filled my days since...

By Michael Cavna | March 6, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (8)

Would You Miss Your Sunday Funnies If They Went Away?

Would you miss your Sunday funnies? Enlarge Comic In a decision that's unfortunately all too frequent, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has announced that it will trim its Sunday comics section from eight pages to "six full-color pages." According to its Web...

By Michael Cavna | March 5, 2009; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

New to the Funnies: Our Favorite Nut Case

Morning, Cartoon Nation... Glory be to "Mark Trail," for today, it introduces us to the best new cartoon character of the year: The Talking, Taunting Squirrel. Enlarge Comic Yes, Ken the Boorish Bankrupt Jealous Deer-Winging Wife-Abusing Shell-of-a-Man has been felled...

By Michael Cavna | March 5, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

Find-the-Dialogue: Help Give Mark Trail a Silver Tongue

Morning, Cartoon Nation... Enlarge Comic Today, Ken the Gored Boorish Bankrupt Jealous Deer-Shootin' Wife Abuser is not the only one who needs some serious help. So, it's clear, does Mark Trail. The second panel (right) in today's strip just cries...

By Michael Cavna | March 4, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

Have You Got an Obama Joke? Then Enter It HERE...

Enlarge Comic So few weeks, so many issues. From bipartisanship to speeches to tax-troubled nominees to secret Russian defense plans, President Obama's administration -- and the government at large, on both sides of the aisle -- already offers a...

By Michael Cavna | March 4, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

The Poll: Cats or Dogs -- Which Make a Better Comics Pet?

Whenever I get to talking about Garfield or Bucky or Snoopy or Satchel with readers and cartoonists, this subject inevitably rears its head: In cartoon form, who rules: Dogs or cats? Enlarge Comic Get both breeds of pet fans together,...

By Michael Cavna | March 3, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

Taste Test: What Do You Think of These Brand-New Animations?

Richard Thompson may be the "voice" of his comic strip "Cul de Sac," but that doesn't mean he can get a gig as a voice IN his comic strip. "I tried out for the dad and didn't make it,"...

By Michael Cavna | March 3, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (8)

Who Drew It Funniest? We Laugh at the Very Thought

Perhaps because political cartoons typically must traffic in real-world issues and should offer a true opinion, they don't as frequently make me laugh aloud. And by laugh aloud, I mean that burst of honest guffaw that leaves your body before...

By Michael Cavna | March 2, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

How to Save Cartooning's Pulitzer From Extinction

As the ranks of staff political cartoonists continue to shrink -- most recently last week with the twin job losses of Ed Stein (his Rocky Mountain News was shuttered) and John Branch of the San Antonio Express-News (layoff) -- the...

By Michael Cavna | March 2, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

 
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