Beware All Ye Who Love--Or Loathe--Barry Manilow
THE MORNING LINE:
Today's quickie a.m. roundup, from the sliced to the diced...
My prediction about today's "PEARLS BEFORE SWINE": Cartoonist Stephan Pastis will soon be hearing from Barry Manilow's people.
Not his attorneys, mind you. No, while Mr. Copacabana might indeed be lawyered up the wazoo, it's his eagle-eyed office of Those Who Represent Him that will likely contact the man who birthed Rat and Pig.
I speak here from experience. I once drew a syndicated strip about Manilow's re-emergence on the pop charts in the '90s. The ink on my comic proofs was barely dry, it seemed, when Manilow's peeps were seeking an autographed copy of the cartoon. In other words: Manilow is hiring especially sharp and motivated folk. So while Barry may "write the songs" (and yes, I know he didn't actually pen "I Write the Songs," O irony of ironies), his publicity folk were equally adept at writing those press releases.
Plus, the jovial Manilow knows how to take a joke -- especially at this own expense. So when his people call, Mr. Pastis, I merely forewarn: If they try to put you on hold, don't let 'em do it! It'll be weeks, y'see, before you get that highly infectious "Copa" earworm outta your head.
LIO: I showed this sharp-edged strip to a precocious 9-year-old relative who likes "SpongeBob." She laughed. And laughed. And LAUGHED.
By that clear-eyed criterion alone, I hereby dub this the Best "Lio" Strip of the Year. Bravo! cries the tween set.
AGNES: Every so often, the bleak philosophic ramblings in "Agnes" left slip an observation of melancholic profundity. Today's second panel is such an example. If you're looking for prime greeting-card fodder, Mr. Cochran, then trust me: This is the one to sell. Bravo! cries the embittered set.
SPEED BUMP: So innocent and yet so obliquely suggestive at the same time. Safe enough for kids, but saucy enough for us grownups! A nifty trick on the family funnypages.
PRICKLY CITY: Regardless of one's political leanings, can we all agree that the point of this satire misses the bull's-eye a bit? The knock on Obama by some critics was that he wasn't smooth in his use of TelePrompTers. Satirize that and I'd get it. But this week's "Prickly" makes sense to this Riffster only if Obama were so inept at impromptu speaking that he required TelePrompTers. Help me, O 'Riffs readers: What am I missing here?
| June 24, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories: The Morning Line
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