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Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 08/20/2009

How to Become the Next Comics Superstar: Apply Within

By The Reliable Source

THE MORNING LINE...

This Riffster's long maintained that what cartooning could use, as much as anything, is its own version of "American Idol" -- say, an online talent competition by which fans could vote on three-minute "pencil test" YouTube clips, or a page that daily would post the juried work of not-yet-professional cartoonists.

Well, Amazon and Andrews McMeel Universal may have just launched the closest thing going.

Starting this week, the Web site and the publishing company begin their inaugural competition to find the next "comic strip superstar."

The first Comic Strip Superstar will be an international competition that hopes to locate "the next popular comic strip artist." The big winner gets an Andrews McMeel contract, a five-grand advance from Universal Uclick and "a monthly stipend for the development of 20 comic strips that will be considered for syndication."

Through Sept. 12, as many as 5,000 entries will be accepted for the competition at www.amazon.com/comicstripsuperstar.

The winner will be announced Nov. 9. And we should note that the judges in the semifinal round -- during which the field will be narrowed to 10 finalists -- will be Garry Trudeau ("Doonesbury"), Lynn Johnston ("For Better or For Worse"), Scott Hilburn ("The Argyle Sweater") and Mark Tatulli ("Lió" and "Heart of the City").

Good luck -- I know for certain that some readers of Riffs have the comic minds to take on the task.


NOW, ON TO TODAY'S STRIPS...


http://voices.washingtonpost.com/comic-riffs/rhymesorange0820_624.jpgEnlarge Image


THE HOUSE MADE OF LINCOLN LOGGINGS: A catchy visual, a good set-up and a punch line well-timed. Today's "RHYMES WITH ORANGE" is my pick for Strip of the Day. The Official 'Riffs Question du jour: What's your pick for Strip of the Day?...


ELSEWHERE...



'BIG NATE' (SOURCE)Enlarge Image


SPEAKING OF LINCOLN: I'M VEXED BY REX Earlier in the week, this Riffster asked readers whether they would rather see "Doctor Cesspool" on The Post's funnypages rather than such strips as, oh, "Rex Morgan, M.D." Little did I know -- honest -- that "BIG NATE" himself would invoke Dr. Morgan later in the week. If he name-checks Dr. Who tomorrow, I'll feel both (a) damned prescient; and (b) like a thunder-stealing heel. Forgive me, O Lincoln Pierce.


'JUDGE PARKER' (NAS)Enlarge Image

WHAT THE F-STOP!: Oh, what a glorious moment this would be for serial strip cross-pollination. How I would love if the "paparazzi" turned out to be a lost, wandering Rusty, the recently roughed-up "Mark Trail" boy with old-timey camera in hand. O, the abuse Rusty would be in for, trying to snap a sepia-toned pic of Godiva...



'PRICKLY CITY' (UPS)Enlarge Image


PRICKLY CITY TO WINDY CITY: It was announced this week that Scott Stantis will become the new editorial cartoonist of the Chicago Tribune, which had left the perch unfilled since Jeff MacNelly's death in 2000. (Stantis -- who characterizes himself as a "libertarian conservative" -- assumes the new post Sept. 1) We wish the talented Stantis, who departs the Birmingham News, the best of luck in the new gig, but we do ask: Please go easy on those TelePromTer gags; they get old realll fast. No word on whether the Trib will reinstate "Prickly City," now that the creator will be in-house.

THE RELATED READ:

FAVE FAN ANECDOTES: Scott Stantis and Lincoln Peirce share theirs.

By The Reliable Source  | August 20, 2009; 10:05 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Comments

I wish they had announced it earlier...sort of a tight time frame but I will still enter.

Posted by: jessecline | August 20, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I continue to wonder why Doonesbury is banished from the Post's comics pages because it's an editorial cartoon, whereas Prickly City...

Enlighten me, someone, please.

Posted by: Alan_A | August 20, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain today's Non Sequitor? I don't get it.

Posted by: mdem929 | August 20, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The surgeon is flipping a coin. Not very funny, perhaps, but that's it. Not nearly as funny as Doctor Cesspool...

Posted by: Theophylact | August 20, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Doctor Cesspool would flip a coin to decide whether the best way to reach the patient's ruptured appendix is by amputating his arm, or his leg.

Posted by: seismic-2 | August 20, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The original reason Doonesbury was moved from the comics section was not politics, it was format. Around the same time as yet another comics downsizing, Doonesbury's syndicate added a condition specifying the minimum size that Trudeau's comic could be printed in. The Post's solution to avoid layout and comparison problems was simply to move Doonesbury to a different location.

Posted by: kilby | August 21, 2009 4:58 AM | Report abuse

How much do we have to pay to get Stantis off the funny pages?

Posted by: filfeit | August 21, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Doonesbury's placement is not banishment, it's preferred treatment.

Posted by: tomtildrum | August 21, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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