Archive: July 2009

Last Call: When Obama/Gates Cartoons Are All the Same Draft

Perhaps more than anything, the purest aspect of political cartooning is the ability to distill. To distill an idea, to concentrate a truth. So when you've suddenly got a "beer summit" falling into your creative lap, you root around...

By Michael Cavna | July 31, 2009; 2:05 PM ET | Comments (2)

Best of the 'Gates'-Gate Political Cartoons: Pick Your Fave

You've got race. You've got politics. You've got police. And now, you've even got Bud Light. For editorial cartoonists, it's a welcome perfect storm that requires more than deft punch lines. To comment properly, the story demands the cartoonist...

By The Reliable Source | July 31, 2009; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (4)

Private Parts: A Laugh Built Entirely Upon Misdirection

THE MORNING LINE: The early a.m. roundup of today's toons, from directional abilities to correctional facilities... 'BEETLE BAILEY' (KFS)Enlarge Image This Riffster comes today not to bury "BEETLE BAILEY," nor to praise it. No, this is just a case...

By The Reliable Source | July 31, 2009; 8:05 AM ET | Comments (2)

G.I. Joe to Salute the Troops at Andrews Air Base

The new G.I. Joe movie doesn't hit theaters till Aug. 7, but some members of the military will see it a week early. Paramount Pictures is announcing that it will screen "G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra" tomorrow...

By Michael Cavna | July 30, 2009; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (1)

Painfully Funny: The Strip That Puts the Pun in 'Punch!'

THE MORNING LINE: Back in the land of the daily funnies... 'FRANK AND ERNEST' (NEA)Enlarge Image 'DILBERT' (UFS)Enlarge Image After nearly a week in the Super-Sized Surreality of Comic-Con, it's good to step back into the comfort of the...

By The Reliable Source | July 30, 2009; 8:05 AM ET | Comments (6)

Pearls of Wisdom From 3 Top Cartoonists

Cartoonists Stephan Pastis, left, Keith Knight, center, and Richard Thompson, seated. (Michael Cavna/The Washington Post) NOTE: San Diego Comic-Con the Behemoth Event has trampled out of our town, but our notebook remains mammoth. Here's another jaunty dispatch... Once this...

By The Reliable Source | July 29, 2009; 1:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

Twenty Questions: What Hollywood's Comic-Con 'Sneaks' Taught Us

NOTE: Today at 11 a.m., Comic Riffs hosted a live chat about San Diego Comic-Con International 2009. At times during this year's San Diego Comic-Con International, the seemingly constant unspooling of Never-Seen-Before! Footage -- typically interspersed with Acts of Random...

By Michael Cavna | July 28, 2009; 1:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Comic-Con Wrap: Vote Now for Best Fan Costume

NOTE: Today at 11 a.m., join Comic Riffs for a live chat about San Diego Comic-Con International 2009. One in a series of occasional photographic forays into the world of San Diego Comic-Con 2009. Previously: Fan costume photo gallery. More...

By Michael Cavna | July 28, 2009; 8:45 AM ET | Comments (9)

The Truest Thing You'll Read About San Diego Comic-Con. Perhaps.

Note: If you're looking to read about the glitzy side of Comic-Con -- yes, Robert Downey Jr. was genuinely cool to talk to -- or are eager to see the Top 10 Con Costumes, please check back shortly. We'll...

By Michael Cavna | July 27, 2009; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (5)

San Diego Comic-Con: The Top 10 Moments (So Far)

Greetings from the Land of Con... As this Riffster hits the midpoint of Marathon Comic-Con, here's a rundown of Top Ten Highlights so far: 10. Pixar founder John Lasseter telling several of us the advice he gives to aspiring...

By Michael Cavna | July 25, 2009; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (5)

Dispatch from Comic-Con: Fan Costumes

One in a series of occasional photographic forays into the world of San Diego Comic-Con 2009. BELOW: Going only by their aliases, Catwoman and Black Canary get righteously black-leathered for the Big Con's Opening Day at the San Diego Convention...

By Michael Cavna | July 23, 2009; 2:20 PM ET | Comments (4)

Twittering from Comic-Con

Follow me live from San Diego Comic-Con. Today I'll Twitter from sessions featuring filmmakers Tim Burton, Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron. Latest Tweets:   MultiTweetUsers = "comicriffs"; MultiTweetMask = ""; TweetsPerUser = 4; getUserTweet(MultiTweetUsers, TweetsPerUser);...

By Nancy Kerr | July 23, 2009; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

Comic-Con: No One Knows What to Call This Thing

San Diego Comic-Con International suffers from an ailment, a nagging symptom, a tsetse fly in the ointment. Call it the Curse of the Lame Name Game. Comic-Con -- as great an event as it is -- cannot seem to...

By Michael Cavna | July 23, 2009; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (7)

San Diego Comic-Con: 5 Star Cartoonists Do the Time Warp Again

Greetings from San Diego: The Land of 'Con... As San Diego Comic-Con: International hits 40 years old this week, Comic Riffs asked five veterans in advance of the 'Con to recall their first impressions of the once-toddlin' event, which...

By The Reliable Source | July 22, 2009; 8:05 AM ET | Comments (3)

Does 'Beetle' Mania Live On? Time to Defend That 'Toon

'BEETLE BAILEY' (KFS)Enlarge Image Later today, this Riffster will begin blogging from San Diego Comic-Con. But first, it's time for this week's edition of "Defend...That...Toon!" Today's strip on the talking block: "Beetle Bailey." This famously was the last comic strip...

By The Reliable Source | July 22, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (16)

Save Frazz: What Strip Would YOU Send to KidsPost?

'FRAZZ' (UFS)Enlarge Image Greetings from California, comics fans. This Riffster might be en route to this week's San Diego Comic-Con (which I'll blog...and Twitter...and Twitpic...and whatever other random means is at hand to convey a sense of this year's...

By Michael Cavna | July 21, 2009; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (23)

Strip of the Week: Supersize Your Comics Complaint

In a fairly inspired week of comic strippage, one strip stood out from the rest... 'DOONESBURY' (UPS)Enlarge Image This week's Riffy Award for Strip O' the Week goes to "DOONESBURY," which tackled the sticky matter of the Incredible Ever-Shrinking...

By Michael Cavna | July 18, 2009; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

Is 'Dennis' Merely a Menace? Time to Defend That 'Toon

Yes, 'Riffs readers, time once again to play: Defend...That...Toon! 'DENNIS THE MENACE' (KFS) Just how old is Dennis the Menace? Well in theory, this "lovable" mischievous scamp is a perpetual 5-year-old. By real-life applications of Actual Time Measurement, though,...

By Michael Cavna | July 17, 2009; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (13)

At One Certain Syndicate, Love and Loss Are King

THE MORNING LINE: The early a.m. roundup of today's 'toons, from the lovelorn to the lack of juris prudence... Today's test: Gaze across these four strips and find two elements they have in common: : HAGAR THE HORRIBLE' (KFS)Enlarge...

By The Reliable Source | July 17, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

'Cul de Sac's' Richard Thompson Shares Some Personal News

"Cul de Sac's" Richard Thompson (Courtesy of Richard Thompson) If you're a true Richard Thompson fan, as I am, you read his "Cul de Sac" -- with all its warmth and gentleness and keenly observed sense of human nature...

By Michael Cavna | July 16, 2009; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

The Sotomayor Hearings: Is This Cartoon Offensive?

'BILL BRAMHALL' (courtesy of New York Daily News) Over at the excellent "The Daily Cartoonist" blog, Alan Gardner spotlights the controversy surrounding a New York Daily News editorial cartoon. The New York State chapter of the National Organization for...

By Michael Cavna | July 16, 2009; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (17)

Look the Doors, Hide the Tykes! The Comics Are In Heat

THE MORNING LINE: The early a.m. roundup of today's 'toons, from the salacious to the rapacious... 'BREWSTER ROCKIT' (TMS)Enlarge Image BREWSTER ROCKIT: Take a tip, Frank. That means you, too, Ernest. Tim Rickard gets today's nod for organic Pun...

By Michael Cavna | July 16, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Political Cartoon Gallery: From Sotomayor to Cyber-Kim

North Korean cyber warfare, Jong-Il 2.0 style. General Motors's financial "return." And entire days of Sonia Sotomayor hearings, from soup to nunchuks. Each can spark its own form of trepidation. And, fortunately, its own fertile humor. Here are five...

By Michael Cavna | July 15, 2009; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Top Five 'SpongeBob' Episodes: We Pick 'Em

As "SpongeBob SquarePants" celebrates its 10th anniversary this month -- marked partly by tonight's VH1 documentary "Square Roots" -- Comic Riffs discussed some of its favorite episodes with creator Stephen Hillenburg and Tom Kenny, the voice behind the sponge....

By Michael Cavna | July 14, 2009; 2:05 PM ET | Comments (3)

The Interview: 'SpongeBob' Creator Stephen Hillenburg

Stephen Hillenburg (Reuters/Luis Enrique Ascui) Tom Kenny, who voices the character of "SpongeBob SquarePants," says the show's creator, STEVE HILLENBURG, is a prime lesson in the importance of following your passions. Hillenburg was working as a marine biologist, but...

By Michael Cavna | July 14, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Comic Riffs Anniversary Gift: Telling Quotes From Top Cartoonists

It only fully dawned on me several hours ago: The ever-humble, still-sprightly Comic Riffs blog is officially turning 1-year-old. Like, today. Hitting that milestone wasn't always a foregone conclusion, so the blog tips its proverbial cap to the thousands...

By Michael Cavna | July 13, 2009; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (4)

Sarah Palin: Is She a 'Quitter'?

So now would-be "second dude" Levi Johnston is attempting to slap-shot departing guv Sarah Palin, contending that she's bailing on the governor's gig to catch the Money Train before it pulls out of the Wasilla station. And the latest...

By The Reliable Source | July 13, 2009; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (3)

Morning Quickie: When Primal Urges Predominate

THE MORNING LINE: The quickie a.m. roundup of 'toons, from testosteroned dudes to pheromoned pugilists... 'GET FUZZY' (UPS)Enlarge Image GET FUZZY: The mere coinage of "cato a dogo" has me at, well, "hola." But the last panel is particularly...

By The Reliable Source | July 13, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Iron-Man to Otterloop: San Diego Comic-Con Announces Its Schedule

DAVE GIBBONS on Graphic Novels in the Digital Age. The legendary STAN LEE on his new digital motion comic series "Time Jumper." MATT FRACTION on the "Mondo Marvel" universe. And a spotlight on comic-stripper RICHARD THOMPSON. San Diego Comic-Con...

By Michael Cavna | July 12, 2009; 4:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

Best of the Sunday Funnies: We Pick 'Em

The Sunday morning roundup of 'toons, from beached whales to pantless waterfowl... FAVE PSEUDO-FACT DU JOUR: "PICKLES" gets some swell comic mileage out of the ol' myth that a Pantless Donald Duck is -- as Popeye might pun --...

By Michael Cavna | July 12, 2009; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

This Just in: The Actor Who'll Play Hollywood's Green Lantern Is...

'GET FUZZY' (UPS)Enlarge Image "Frank & Ernest" pummels us with the groaners. "Rhymes With Orange" and "Pickles" often like to slice their wordplay wry. And "Mother Goose" can construct days of gags built on a single punning premise. Perhaps...

By Michael Cavna | July 11, 2009; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (5)

The Interview: Exiled Iranian Cartoonist Nik Kowsar

"I believe my cartoons are on the same frequency as to what the Iranian people are feeling," says Iranian expat cartoonist Nik Kowsar.(Courtesy of Nik Kowsar) Iranian-born political cartoonist NIK KOWSAR has been jailed because of his commentary. He...

By Michael Cavna | July 10, 2009; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Riff: When Refried Gags Cause Deja-Vu All Over Again

'FRANK AND ERNEST' (NEA)Enlarge Image This Riffster doesn't necessarily mind that "Frank & Ernest" traffics in old jokes. No, what really galls is when these jokes are old even within the lifespan of "Frank & Ernest." Or, put in...

By Michael Cavna | July 10, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

Best Political Cartoons This Minute: We Pick 'Em

This Riffster's favorite political cartoons this minute... 'DAVID FITZSIMMONS' (courtesy of cagle.com) 1. DEATH KINDLY STOPS FOR THEE: When memorializing Robert McNamara, many a cartoonist was quick to invoke the Grim Reaper. In its effective understatment, Fitzsimmon's was arguably...

By Michael Cavna | July 9, 2009; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (3)

Anatomy of a Censorship: Why a Strip Is Spiked

When Censorship Takes the A-Train... 'CANDORVILLE' (WPWG)Enlarge Image This week in "Candorville," almost nobody was offended by a cartoon that was seen by many even though it didn't run. Sound contradictory? Well, so much involving Michael Jackson can quickly...

By Michael Cavna | July 9, 2009; 7:05 AM ET | Comments (7)

Does 'Frazz' Have Zazz? It's Time to Defend That Toon

'FRAZZ' (UFS)Enlarge Image 'FRAZZ' (UFS)Enlarge Image Yes, fellow Riffsters, time once again to play: Defend...That... 'Toon! When The Post returned "Judge Parker" to its funnypages this year, the stay of execution perhaps adversely affected no one worse than Frazz....

By Michael Cavna | July 8, 2009; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (37)

Would You Censor This Cartoon?

THE MORNING LINE: The a.m. roundup of today's toons, from the verbose to the verboten... 'CANDORVILLE' (WPWG)r="0">Enlarge Image Now boarding for Controversy City. Some of Darrin Bell's best "Candorville" strips, in my humble opining, come when the spectre of...

By The Reliable Source | July 8, 2009; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (8)

The Al Franken Clustertoon: Because Doggone It, People Like Them!

At first it seemed as if a couple of Al Franken cartoons were popping up with natural overlap. Then sharp-eyed comicsdc blogger Mike Rhode alerted me to a couple more and suddenly, Stuart Smalley spoof cartoons seemed to be...

By Michael Cavna | July 7, 2009; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (3)

From the Good Folks Who Put the 'Meta' in Metamucil

The quickie a.m. roundup of 'toons, from the recycled goods to the adopted Dagwood... 'PICKLES' (WPWG)Enlarge Image Don't sell Earl and Opal short. Some comics featuring senior citizens dwell on gags about, oh, Metamucil; the "Pickles" pair, on the other...

By Michael Cavna | July 7, 2009; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (2)

Michael Jackson: The Biggest Draw of the Day?

MIKE LUCKOVICH (Atlanta Journal Constitution / cagle.com) The official Michael Jackson Public Memorial/ Global Spectacle/ Mediapalooza will be upon us today, and this Riffster can't help but think: Did Atlanta cartoonist Mike Luckovich get it right?That is: Is this...

By Michael Cavna | July 7, 2009; 7:05 AM ET | Comments (1)

Today's Political Cartoon Gallery: Mark Sanford's Alpha E-Mail

Mark Sanford and Michael Jackson! The Hiker and the Moonwalker! One wept for Bubbles, the other cried for Argentina. (Or, more precisely, Maria.) Whether the art is leaning GOP or singing "PYT," here's a batch of this Riffster's favorite...

By Michael Cavna | July 6, 2009; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (1)

The Naked Truth: Boy, We Can See What's Left Behind

THE MORNING LINE: The quickie roundup of today's toons, from the naked and the damned.... 'JUDGE PARKER' (NAS)Enlarge Image POMPOM AND CIRCUMSTANCE: At last, Sophie is validated, the Evil Cheerleaders From Dante's Ninth Circle are vanquished and the new...

By Michael Cavna | July 6, 2009; 8:45 AM ET | Comments (6)

Best of the Sunday Funnies: We Pick 'Em

The Sunday roundup, from salty language to peppery visuals... Many of the reliables delivered hilariously today, but today it boils down to these three: FAVE DIALOGUE: I'll confess, ever so often, I'll read "Get Fuzzy" for a coupla days...

By Michael Cavna | July 5, 2009; 9:05 AM ET | Comments (5)

Best Fourth of July Cartoons: Let's Salute the Stars

As with any proper holiday, we seem to have a theme. Yes, my fellow patriots, if the holiday be Independence Day, the satirical angle of choice this year is: What civil liberties don't we have? Here are four political...

By Michael Cavna | July 4, 2009; 9:05 AM ET | Comments (3)

Friday's Crop of Tasty 'Toons: We Pick 'Em

THE MORNING LINE: The quickie a.m. roundup of today's toons, from all the major food groups... 'AGNES' (Creators)Enlarge Image FAVE BALLOON OF THE DAY: Something about Agnes using "odd meats" as a grand metaphor is so bizarrely bold, it's to...

By Michael Cavna | July 3, 2009; 6:30 AM ET | Comments (4)

Do Redheads Have More Fun?

'CALVIN AND HOBBES' (UPS) Talk this week of redheads -- er, orangeheads -- in "Cul de Sac" has got me to thinkin': The funnypages love a good carrottop. (Not to be confused, puhleez, with the Carrot Top.) From strawberry...

By The Reliable Source | July 2, 2009; 1:02 PM ET | Comments (7)

The Interview: 'Ice Age' Director Carlos Saldanha

Scratte (left) and Scrat in "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs." (Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox) "Coraline," "Monsters vs. Aliens" and "Up" have all delivered brilliant 3-D effects this year -- each offering its own visual strengths -- yet...

By Michael Cavna | July 1, 2009; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (1)

Mark Sanford: Dispatches From the 'Appalachian Trail'

THE MORNIING LINE: The early a.m. roundup of 'toons, from the lustful to the mistrustful... 'DAVID HORSEY' (Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Hearst/courtesy of cagle.com) FAVORITE SCANDAL-INSPIRED CARTOON THIS MINUTE: The e-mails! The yammering! The rambling press conference as confessional performance art! South...

By The Reliable Source | July 1, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

 
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