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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 03/12/2009

Early Peek: Two New Comic Strips Seek Good Homes

By Michael Cavna

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 adding the comic "Scary Gary" -- about the woes of Leopold, a suburban bloodsucker -- to the lineup at

"Scary Gary," by Mark Buford ("Meatloaf Night"), has been syndicated by Creators Syndicate since June.

Also newly announced is "In the Sticks," a new strip about an ex-golf pro, by Philadelphia-area freelance illustrator Nathan Cooper.

Universal Press Syndicate won't launch the strip till August. But here are samples that are available now for previewing.

Any early verdicts on these two new features (which are seeking to bloom in a brutal print market)? Fire away.


As "Mark Trail" beats a hot retreat from its ham-handed foray into domestic abuse (Ken and Patty) and undomesticated violence (Ken and Bucky), the strip -- with a case of denial as ginormous as one of its Talking-Mocking Squirrels -- pivots to an insanely chipper storyline. If nothing else, though, today's comic seemingly provides one thing: A look at how young Davy Letterman first got comfortable around the camera. And at last, it IS good to see chaste Cherry Trail get a little physical affection from someone in the family.

Between the amorous ways of Andy and Bucky, there's some serious Subterranean Sick-Home Blues afoot.

By Michael Cavna  | March 12, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
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I read through all of the samples of In the Sticks yesterday after it was posted on the Daily Cartoonist. I think its got a lot of potential. It sort of has a Family Guy meets Get Fuzzy vibe to it (both in terms of dialogue and art). He seems like a pretty good writer and I am interested to see how the strip does.

Posted by: jessecline | March 12, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a young Dean Koontz learning composition.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 12, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so let's post a Top 10 list: "How 'practicing good composition' might not be a good thing."

I'll start off with:

10. Do you really think there's film in that camera? Wink, Wink.

Posted by: MSchafer | March 12, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Um, can we talk about this Candorville vampire storyline? Is anyone else as confused as I am about what the heck is going on? And why?

I appreciate that Candorville is a political strip with actual storylines, and it's generally one of my favorite strips, but the neverending saga of Roxanne and her baby-daddy has gone on much too long.

Posted by: oceanchild | March 12, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Does "good composition" have anything to do with "depth of field" and "perspective"? If so, then good luck on trying to learn about it in "Mark Trail", where geometry gets Lost in the Forest.

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 12, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

been laughing at Scary Gary since I saw the first one...
I'M totally digging it...!

Posted by: hkit1 | March 12, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I love Mark Trail, who's never learned to draw any car other than an International Harvester wagon, and apparently some sort of Brownie camera.... And now the camera's digital memory card is FULL, so now he needs a new one? I suppose that's good since a computer is outside their comprehension.

Posted by: tws1372 | March 13, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

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