'Riffs Picks: Best of the Day--and Week
The best and the rest: A rapid roundup of today's cartoons...
FAVE WORDPLAY O' THE DAY: "Pearls Before Swine" has been having a stellar week, and today's punning is the perfect topper. Thing is, often I -- like so many readers -- can sniff out comic-strip wordplay a mile away. But I admit: In this "Pearls," I didn't even see it coming -- and the final-balloon twist on "free" seals the deal. So it's my pick then, too, for COMIC OF THE WEEK.
A TEST FOR OUR TIMES: Many creators, if not a fair share of readers, gripe and snipe about how retro-staid the funnypages can be. Today's "Speed Bump" is certainly not as edgy as, say, Mike Peters's "Peanuts Envy" gag a few years back (in "Mother Goose & Grimm"), but I will say this: This "Bump" wouldn't have made many papers a coupla decades ago.
VISUAL O' THE DAY: The flow through all four panels is swell, but the first panel is particularly primo -- right down to the "Scarlet Letter" being blown straight past his lobes.
TRUTH IN CHARACTER AWARD: "Big Nate," which has become a newly hot online hit among young readers just this year, delivers a winning, well-executed strip by staying utterly true to the characters. Some days, Nate's over favorite pineapple-headed version of a next-gen Charlie Brown.
MOST STRIKING CARTOON OF THE WEEK: If you're used to experiencing Scott Stantis only through his strip "Prickly City" -- and the comparitively mild dialogue of Winslow and Carmen -- then it can be a shock to the system when you pivot to view his editorial cartoons for the Birmingham News. This one, of course, responds to the abortion-doctor slaying several days ago.
| June 5, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
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