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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 04/15/2009

Morning Quickie: The Taxing Dearth of IRS Gags...

By Michael Cavna

Morning, Cartoon Nation...

Time was, Tax Day brought a bevy of IRS-themed comics, as every other cartoonist seemed to fire up the TurboTax and then immediately channel their emotion into gags about tax brackets and write-offs and H&R Blockheads.

This year, though -- at least on The Post pages -- the tax jokes are few and far between. (Who knows? Perhaps with the economy in such a prolonged funk, many cartoonists think IRS jokes are not-so-funny about now.)

Leave it to three "senior citizen" stalwarts, however -- including "Blondie" -- to provide the April 15 ha-has. We would have bet our tax agent's fee that "Frank & Ernest" would deliver an IRS joke. Even for "F&E," though, this gag feels stunningly half-hearted. Really -- is the best you've got? Not even a groaner pun that reaaaaches for a malapropism involving WD-40 and a 1040 form? This year, we can't even depend on "Frank" for a pre-approved groan.

Thank goodness then, especially, for "Family Circus," which relies mightily on the word "our" for its brand of would-be kiddie witticism. At last, the exact sort of tax-day return that we've come to expect.

Side note: And for anyone who's never enjoyed "the Nietzsche Family Circus," it's worth a clickable gander.


FAVE PUN DU JOUR: Merci (beaucoup, even) to "Cul de Sac" for Ernesto's secret-identity coinage of "pied-a-terror." After that, the remaining panels are pure gravy.

NEWS FLASH: Wait -- what? You mean YouTube isn't ALREADY making news ahead of some print media? Um, yeah, that's the real news flash here.

SPEAKING OF SECRET IDENTITY: Colleague Gene Weingarten wrote last week that he won't be handicapping his pick-of-the-week comics any longer, now that he's got his own comic strip taxiing on the Post Writers Group's tarmac. But meantime, does that preclude his visual doppelganger from appearing in the comics? Judging by today's "Tank McNamara": Not so much.


"Brevity" may have recently disappeared from The Post's print funnies, but enough fans surely remain who are enthused about THIS news: Andrews McMeel announces that the Universal Press Syndicate strip by Guy & Rodd will release its latest book next month. The collection will be titled: "Brevity 4: Another Collection of Fine Comics Hand Selected by Guy & Rodd."

By Michael Cavna  | April 15, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: Morning Line: On the Trail of the 'Judge Parker' Artist...


It's nice to see today's Cul-de-Sac strip herein. Why, then, can we never see the daily strip in the Post's online funnies? Why do we get only the Sunday strip at this site? Isn't Cul-de-Sac supposed to be almost the Post's local comic, so why are we restricted to one new strip per week?

Posted by: seismic-2 | April 15, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse


I'm only guessing, but it's probably a contractual agreement that was worked out some time ago. Syndicates think the online funnies have a value, and that the paper should pay for them separately from the print edition.
The Post (and I) think that's not enough value for the money they want.

(Yes, it's all about the money.)

Posted by: MSchafer | April 15, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I really like the "pied-a-terror" too.

Posted by: jessecline | April 15, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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