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Posted at 7:30 AM ET, 05/19/2009

Morning Line: 'Risque Business' in the Comix

By Michael Cavna

'JUDGE PARKER' (NAS)Enlarge Image

Going forward, Cartoon Nation, we shall heretofore officially call it the Judge Parker Rule:

Namely, if your strip's life is in doubt or on the outs, then skin is suddenly in.

Yesterday, we teased "Judge Parker" -- in as much as it "teased" us -- for invoking scantily clad figures as a bold attempt to gain readers. With "Parker" back on The Post's pages, Eduardo Barreto seemingly is taking no chances.

Now, flesh-forward to today, when "JP" continues the chaise-lounge storyline. But the naked truth is: Barreto isn't the only one this week declaring it swimsuit season. In "9 Chickweed Lane," Brooke McEldowney is also basking in the warmer weather by training his elegant lines on one-pieces: The artist flat-out rejoices in drawing women's bodies.

'9 CHICKWEED LANE' (UPS)Enlarge Image

And while we're discussing matters skewing toward the risque within the relatively innocent bastion of the family funnies: "Luann's" tone grows ever tarter -- if not ever tartier -- with this strip this week:

'LUANN' (UFS)Enlarge Image


'BEETLE BAILEY' (KFS)Enlarge Image

BEETLE BAILEY: I'm of two minds when Beetle goes "true life" on us. On one hand, I applaud when 60-year-old Beetle feels relevant to modern times with contemporary references. On the other hand, it's as jarring as hell (Camp Swampy, like "Family Circus," seems perenially stuck in 1962). What do you think, O "Beetle" readers?


BREWSTER ROCKIT: Breaking the fourth wall can often feel like a cheap gimmick -- an easy out, a stunt in lieu of a real laugh -- but in this "Brewster," it's absolutely beautiful. Bravura execution.


RHYMES WITH ORANGE: Most inspired "Rhymes" I've seen in weeks. Swell gag. But full confession: I remembered "E" and "I" are "Extrovert" and "Introvert," but after that, I drew a blank and had to Google the "N" designation. ("Narcissist"? "Negativist"? "Nihilist"? "Nabob"? Heck if I could recall.)

'SPEED BUMP' (Creators)Enlarge Image

SPEED BUMP: So simple. So slight. And such a laugh. Surprised myself, even.

Those are my kudos and kvetches for the day. If you've got some, fire away.

By Michael Cavna  | May 19, 2009; 7:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Afternoon Quickie: Putting the 'Strip' in Comic Strip
Next: The Interview: 'Comic Riffs' Blogger Michael Cavna


Thanks for the info, I had NO idea what Rhymes with Orange was saying. Yes, ButtBook is so very good...excellant.

Posted by: ZeldaJane | May 19, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

For Rhymes With Orange - it's Meyers-Briggs personality typing.

Unfortunately I picked this up right away. I have a rare personality type, which always sends the person who decided I should take the test (despite me telling them I already know my personality type) into a tizzy.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | May 19, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

You missed Baby Blues today for the skin scene.

Posted by: oldgal49er | May 19, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

It may take some time for the avid Beetle Baily readers. They're napping....

Posted by: JkR- | May 19, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Having gone through all the Myers-Briggs stuff I laughed at the "Rhymes" cartoon. I remembered what an N was - iNtuitive. And I have to say that although I married an INTJ I am not an ESFP.

I don't usually read "Beetle Bailey", but I have to say I agree with the sentiment.

And darn you Michael Cavna - now I have the Meow Mix jingle stuck in my head!

Posted by: elyrest | May 19, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I never read Dinette Set...but today, it fits right in with the clothesless scene.
That's nude.

Posted by: ZeldaJane | May 19, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"Butt Book" is sooooo pure! Ok for nude laughs I agree with ZeldaJane, Dinette Set is consistently hilarious, but today....its the funniest ever. Towels please, I don't want to look at the hairy guy!

Posted by: 2old2readcomics | May 19, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Eduardo Barreto has totally rejuvenated Judge Parker.


And, Thank you, Mr. B.

Posted by: catman2530 | May 20, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

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