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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 03/11/2009

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

By Michael Cavna

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.

That's right, IRVING. As in Irving Hillman, the tech-obsessed hubby in "Cathy."

After Timberlake appeared on "Saturday Night Live" in a Weekend Update sketch, several women I know -- women who long ago abandoned their readership of chatty "Cathy" -- said they'd have to revisit Irving as an object of crew-neck sweatered manly desire.

At least in Irving's case, J.T. may have brought the sexy back. Scratch that -- he's perhaps accomplished something even more remarkable: He's stirred at least a few women not prone to ACK!-powered "sweat drops" and "frustration squiggles" to think of Irving as sexy at all.

This blog's riffage about hottie comic folk yesterday prompted some calls for a recount. Last August, 'Riffs -- cheap and tawdry as we are -- solicited your suggestions for Most Attractive Cartoon Characters. Since that time, however, "Judge Parker" has rotated through rooms full of gimlet-eyed, suggestively clad women, as well as skinny-tied, chiseled-jaw men who look as cool-as-the-other-side-of James Bond's pillow.

So let the nomination process begin. 'Riffs is now accepting your hottie contenders for 2009.

From "Archie" to "Ziggy" (well, perhaps not Ziggy), let the nominations begin.



Really?! Mark Trail is really gonna wrap up this whole twisted story-line about Ken&Patty (and the loving stag that came between them) with a pat, swarmy, moralistic and moronic four-balloon wrap-up? Yes, I know, this is "Mark Trail," but STILL.

Such cloying, cornball pseudo-wisdom would embarrass even self-loathing "Full House" writers who've taken their absurdly ample earnings and gone into seclusion.

In the immortal exclamation of the sweat-prone sexpot that is Cathy: "ACK!"


Poor, poor naive Nate. He actually believes ALL those letters to "Walter Scott's Personality Parade" -- all those letters so perfectly timed to movie openings and celeb press releases -- are each written by civilians. Oh, so much yet to be taught at Nate's school.

And speaking of "Big Nate": A couple of weeks back, we wrote about Jeff Kinney ("Diary of a Wimpy Kid") passing along word of the new "Big Nate Island" feature for kids. Well, the feature has now launched, and United Media reports that it's doing strong traffic: A million visitors on the first day, and more than 2 million unique visitors for the first week.


Today's is laugh-out-loud funny, but perhaps not to a couple of my relatives who are dentists. They can assure me that dental folk make good partners because dentists:
1. Have a deft touch with mouths.
2. Are especially good with their hands.
The one dating caveat, though, they'd advise: Beware the co-pay.

By Michael Cavna  | March 11, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Gee, I got a nice reply about my complaint that the comics are not loading properly, but WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO FIX THE PROBLEM was not part of the email.

Dear (XXX to protect my id)

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. I am sorry for the inconvenience. We are experiencing technical problem with comics sections. We hope to have this issue resolve soon.


XXX(to protect their identity)

Customer Care

Posted by: MSchafer | March 11, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Miss Buxley from Beetle Bailey

Posted by: jessecline | March 11, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Sexiest cartoon character must be Seth of 9CL. Only complaint about strips here at -some of the Sunday strips are too small to read (and I have a very large monitor for CAD work).

Posted by: vldazzle | March 11, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

OOPS! Forgot where I was, yes Wash Post ;-) I havent read the comics here lately because stack overflow messages are a pain, and my local paper has all of my favs here plus Between Friends, Mother G & Grim, and Rhymes w/Orange!

Posted by: vldazzle | March 11, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Stack overflow! Miss Buxley again, no doubt! I'll second that emotion.. ;)

I thought Walter Scott had died. But I was wrong. It just seems that way.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 11, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Blondie has been bringing it back consistently for 60 some years. At least a Lifetime Achievement award, Spanx division.

Judge Parker may be trying to win too hard, frankly. Where's the insouciance?

That said, and speaking of Spanx, nice little back shot in the 3rd panel of today's strip. Even my wife and daughter LOL'd at the gratuitousness....

Posted by: JkR- | March 11, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I was rather disappointed by the recent Mark Trail storyline wrap-up. They got me all hot and bothered with thoughts of Bucky and Patty living happily ever after and then that stick-in-the-mud Ken ruins everything.

Do you mean ALL those letters to "Walter Scott's Personality Parade" aren't written by real people? I'm crushed! Is this why none of my letters was ever published?

Posted by: elyrest | March 11, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

To not nominate Abbey Spencer, Katherine Parker or April Bower from Judge Parker would be a crime. IMHO. I know JT believes Barreto has brought the "sexy back" to JP.

Posted by: RobM1013 | March 12, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

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