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Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 05/18/2009

Afternoon Quickie: Putting the 'Strip' in Comic Strip

By Michael Cavna

Let's say my comic strip has just been freshly resurrected, back among the living on the funny pages of The Post. Now, to avoid getting bounced again anytime soon, my mission as a creator becomes clear: I must draw whatever it takes to build my fan base. How to do that, exactly? Well, to appeal to an immediate common denominator, my nefarious notion surely involves drawing something like THIS:

JUDGE PARKER' (NAS)Enlarge Image

Now, say the second goal on my newfound agenda is to avoid getting shipped to the Kids' Post page, where my strip would run only four days a week. My mission as a creator is clear: I must draw images far too PG-13-steamy to ever appear on the rugrats' real estate. So to make sure my sly litlte stratagem works, I draw something like THIS:

JUDGE PARKER' (NAS)Enlarge Image

Yesindeedy, ol' "JP" could seem to be beguilingly trying a two-fer today with a single strip, as it were. Eduardo Barreto apparently is pulling out all the stops -- and barely-there tops -- to get eyeballs. And unlike some cartoon features, Barreto has such a tremendously elegant line that, if nothing else, it doesn't quite feel as if you're ogling an adolescent boy's school folder. (Operative word here is "quite.")

What do you think, 'Riffs readers? Is such artwork just what the (Rex Morgan) M.D. ordered, or does it have no place so close to "Zits" and other "family comics"? (And if nothing else, pity poor hormone-charged Jeremy Duncan should he decide to look downward.)


'CLOSE TO HOME' (UPS)Enlarge Image

CLOSE TO HOME: You just know a gag is going to be fall-on-the-floor, gut-busting heeLARious when the punchline begins with those familiar words (insert stock tone-of-nagging-superiority here): "I told you it was a stupid idea..."

Hoo-boy. Nothing but guffaws, guar-an-teed.

'BLONDIE' (KFS)Enlarge Image

BLONDIE: Ooh, great question, O daughter of Dagwood. You see, ol' Dag might have been handsome and charming and intelligent and caring and funny, but Blondie leaves out one key Depression-era detail. If you'll recall, Bumstead the Younger was looo-aded -- a child of wealth, born with a silver word-balloon in his mouth. Of course, he forfeited that fortune when he wed Blondie the Tawdry Flapper. Still, given how great a partner Blondie's apparently been lo these many decades, it's easy to say the tradeoff was worth it, eh, Dag?


BREWSTER ROCKIT: This is when comic strips, by all rights, are not only better read online, but also they should include audio links embedded in the balloon text. So as a Friendly Comic Riffs Reader Service, we provide you with those links to the "Meow Mix" Jingle" AND "Who Let the Dogs Out?" AND "Chicken Dance" AND "It's a Small World."

You can thank me later. Right as soon as you're done cursing me.

By Michael Cavna  | May 18, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: Morning Line: 'Risque Business' in the Comix


Barreto is the bomb, in terms of drawing great looking females. Hey...she is a good looking lady and it would be no different if she was at the community pool with a bunch of kids and parents. On the comics page, it is no different. And, it's not like she is naked.

On another note, the Salt Lake Tribune recently ran a letter from a reader who was irritated about the currently look of June Morgan, from Rex Morgan, MD. It seems Graham Nolan has drawn her in a bathing suit in the last few weeks. Similiar to Barreto's Godiva, it is high on skin. The reader was not happy that their child, who looks to cut out the comics, took note of Ms. Morgan's skimpy bikini. Threatened cancellation.

I would push back and say..."really, then cancel". Or don't look, it's not like it is a daily occurence. Although this week, I would think we will see a few drawings of Godiva in her bathing suit from Mr. Barreto.

Posted by: RobM1013 | May 18, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for Stephen Pastis to import a Barreto bombshell into Pearls Before Swine.

Posted by: soccermutha | May 18, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

No more cars, eh? Maybe he's giving her a boat! :-)

Posted by: MSchafer | May 18, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Nah, it's a horse. He mentioned it on Friday.

Personally, I think this is the best drawn strip going. I'd love to see it at a reasonable size.

Posted by: Mrhode | May 18, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Michael didn't mention it, but apropos of the blog topic, check out the punchline in this Luann -

Posted by: Mrhode | May 18, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

>> MRhode:

Thanks -- I'd already grabbed that "Luann" art to feature tomorrow in my "Risque Business" post. How's that for a tease?


Posted by: cavnam | May 18, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Barreto has done wonders for Judge Parker. I can actually tolerate the slowness of the script. He really has brought back the elegance and look of the "story (comic)strip". And, the keyword is strip.

And, yes, it still fits on the comic pages. Parents who may take issue should look over the comic section before allowing their child to view it. But, this is not that bad, regardless. It's just well done, realistic, comic art!

Posted by: brainiac1077 | May 18, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Yep...concur with brainiac. Barreto has done wonders for Judge Parker. Excellent work!!

Posted by: catman2530 | May 20, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

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