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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 08/15/2009

Five Things I'm Still Caring About Come Saturday...

By Michael Cavna

It's Saturday, officially the day to mentally "empty-to-trash" so much of what freighted and weighted down your workweek. As I rouse and reflect, here are Five Comical Things This Riffster's Still Caring About...

1. MAKES A GOOD DOORSTOP:
Some cartoonists once labored under the illusion that amid newsroom layoffs, when the "barbarians" were baying at the gates, you had a pretty good shot at safely barring the castle doors with your Pulitzer Prize -- should you have one handy. Well, the latest reminder that this is fallacy: Matt Davies, who won the Pulie in 2004, was shown the door this week by Gannett's Journal News in Westchester (N.Y.), amid massive layoffs. Davies reportedly has been encouraged to reapply with Gannett, however, so there's hope yet. My good wishes are with him...





MATT DAVIES (The Journal News)


2. SERIOUS FEEDBACK:
Every guitarist ever to plug in owes a debt to Les Paul, the original electric guitar-god and true pioneer who died Thursday at age 94. Appreciating his artistry, a number of editorial cartoonists did him right with their take-a-solo tributes; the Washington Examiner's Nate Beeler was among them:


'NATE BEELER' (Washington Examiner / courtesy of cagle.com)


3. BUT IS THERE AN "AUTO-TOON"?:
"Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau mused to This Riffster last year how given technological advances, pretty much any savvy kid in his bedroom could mash together video (as well as audio) and create his own relatively crude form of social satire, posted on YouTube and seen in thousands or millions. We're reminded of that but serious when addictively re-watching a recent installment of the clever "Auto-Tune the News." (How long till digital-short-savvy "SNL" either signs or co-opts this approach? And who knew Arianna could jam so fierce on the keys?)



4. ARCH: ENEMY?
The big news came out of Comic-Con -- Archie Andrewswill finally choose Veronica over Betty! -- but I refused to believe it. Now that I see an online preview of next week's momentous issue, I cannot live in cartoon denial. Say it ain't so, Jughead! It's not that I think Veronica Lodge isn't as 23-skidoo beautiful as any "70-year-old" young woman at Riverdale High. Now, it's just that Archie would be happy with Betty. By choosing to marry Veronica in this flash-forward issue, he's chosen a life of short-term racy excitement -- and then a long slide into disillusionment, disaffection and a permanent back barstool at Moose's Saloon.


5. BABY "BUMP":
Are so many opinions I heard during panel discussion immediately prior to Comic-Con actually true: Do most comics creators see only a very short-term spike in sales when they allow a Hollywood movie to be made of their work? This Slate story, headlined "Batman's Comic Tragedy" (by Bay Area-based journalist Lisa Schmeiser), is reported out well enough to give creators -- and fans -- serious pause.


That's what's on This Riffster's mind -- what's on yours?


Michael Cavna
Michael Cavna
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By Michael Cavna  | August 15, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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