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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 08/ 7/2009

So Many Characters So Pretty in Pink. John Hughes, May You R.I.P

By The Reliable Source

The early a.m. roundup of today's 'toons, from the fleshy to the flashy...

I know, I knowww. I just HAD to go and bring it up yesterday. Apologies, because in today's strips, it seems most everyone's having trouble keeping their togs on.

Yesterday, responding to the suggestive Boudoir-Noir disrobing in "Judge Parker," I asked everyone in Riffster Land when the last time was that they saw such sultry shedding of the garments, "under-" and othewise. Today, folks are losing their shirts -- and not just metaphorically.


Truth be told, I'm a wee bit surprised this "Pearls" stripped -- er, slipped -- past the Eagle-Eyed Post Censors. Oh, not that a little PG-13 cartoonitude will do any harm -- at least nothing deeply, psychically scarring for life. Just glad "Pearls" ran outta panels before Stephan Pastis ventured, irretrievably, into The Full Borat. And even then, I'm putting aside my a.m. flapjacks for a few minutes, till my wounded eyes stop burning.


As for return culprit, I'm getting a little worried about artist Eduardo Barreto here. Either one of two things must be occurring: (1) "Team Parker," in an effort to stanch any cancellations, is amping up the hot-in-herre factor (as if William Hurt is about to "break glass" to get to Kathleen Turner); or (2) Eddie Barreto has been a lee-tle too isolated at the drawing board, devoid of warmblooded companionship. For everyone's sake, I hope it's only the latter -- and that Barreto remedies the sitch right quick.

'BIG NATE' (NEA)Enlarge Image

Then there's the Socially Acceptable Degree of Topless Savoir-Faire in "Big Nate." Why, shades of shirtless Sean "Spicoli" Penn in "Fast Times" even come to mind -- which means yes, I admit that I remember the '80s, mullets and all. And I've got a second confession: I attended the actual "Ridgemont High" that the film and book were based on, and yes, I still occasionally wake up in cold sweats, fearful that finals are upon me and that Mr. Hand has just entered my abode, ready to lay down some bogus rules. In fact, again I must set aside my morning flapjacks yet again till the flashbacks subside, dude.

'GARFIELD' (UPS)Enlarge Image

Speaking of troubling sights, Jon's look today deeply troubles me. Not that he's got the bizarro 'do, as much. No, it's more than he reminds me of somebody with this look. Lessee, lessee -- "Google" images, thankyouverymuch -- and YES! Jon summons thoughts of Boy George from his Culture Club days. And if THAT isn't an '80s flashback to fear, I don't know what it is.

Go to a happy place, gooo to a happy place. Ah, yes, the good '80s. Think of Ducky and Ferris and Bender and Jake and Del and, of course, Mr. Rooney. Thank you, John Hughes -- the man that today is calling "the bard of teen angst." Through all those leg warmers and shoulder pads and soft-focus close-ups, you made the decade a bit goofier, a bit warmer, a bit more bearable.

Here's to you, John Hughes. May you R.I.P., and this Riffster celebrates your cinematic legacy the most feel-good way I know how. Mr. Hughes, this "Twist and Shout" is for you.

By The Reliable Source  | August 7, 2009; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  The Comic Strip, The Morning Line  
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There's another and even more suggestive shirt off aboard the boat in "Arlo and Janis". Yesterday, (Aug. 6) the strip ended with Gene's girlfriend on his lap. Today (Aug. 7) they've moved belowdecks and apparently some time has passed, because she's putting up her hair and Gene's shirt has gone missing. Of course, the title characters Arlo and Janis have been suggestively drawn, even missing articles of their clothing before, but they're married, unlike their son Gene.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 7, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Big Nate: impromptu, last minute internet-only upload of a tribute to Hughes, or an eerie coincidence that was drawn on the usual cartooning deadline?

Posted by: capecodner424 | August 7, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

capecodner424: Maybe "Big Nate" was meant as a tribute to John Hughes but I seriously doubt it, and not just because of the timing involved. A tribute would have used one of Hughes' own movies and John Hughes didn't direct "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" -- that was Amy Heckerling.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 7, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The real anticipation in Judge Parker comes from wondering what sort of deus ex machina will occur to keep Abby from getting the good rogering she's been denied these many years.

And how many days it will take to transpire...

Posted by: JkR- | August 7, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I was really surprised/excited with the Doonesbury storyline about Alex spending the night with Toggle. Baby girl is all grown up! (I KNOW this happened over two weeks ago, but it was during ComicCon and there wasn't a good opportunity to mention it. This felt like my chance.)

Posted by: ishkabibbleA | August 7, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

If there were to be a John Hughes tribute in the comics today, then to fit in with the "undressed" theme of these strips it should involve skinny-dipping in a motel pool with Christie Brinkley. I suspect Mary Worth would **not** approve, however.

Posted by: seismic-2 | August 7, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, that didn't take long at all...

Posted by: JkR- | August 8, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Unlike all of the other comics discussed here, Garfield is ALWAYS naked. Still, despite today's "Boy George" look, there's never any tittelation, unless you happen to be a foot-fetishist specializing in cats. Redesigning Garfield to make him more compatible for TV animation was a profitable, but nevertheless idiotic idea. At this point his feet have grown so much that they are bigger than his head.

Posted by: kilby | August 8, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Twist and Shout. I did a little chair dance!

Posted by: 2old2readcomics | August 10, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

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