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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 08/ 1/2009

Inside Line: Chef Luckovich Prepares a Prime Political Cartoon

By Michael Cavna

The Riffster has got to admit: One of the cool things about this job is the chance to talk process and brainstorming and creativity with some of the sharpest artists around.

Yesterday afternoon, Atlanta Journal Constitution cartoonist Mike Luckovich was talking shop, and to illustrate a point -- quite literally, as it turns out -- he read me aloud the Obama cartoon he was still working on.

Then, several hours later, I checked the Journal Constitution Web site. There, fully inked, was the cartoon, just as he's read it.

To be clear: It's not the "ain't-technology-grand?" element I'm gee-whizzing at. No, rather it's the fact that Luckovich is one of those sorts of professionals who once he makes his mind up -- and he's shown the idea to his editor -- he doesn't seem to look back. Clarity reigns, and he doesn't "overcook" it.

There's a lesson in there that even some seasoned pros could stand to hear again. Oh, and HERE'S the Luckovich cartoon in question.


DENNIS THE MENACE: Ah, yet again -- a "Dennis" strip to satisfy my morbid fascination. Today, good ol' Dennis the Neckless is back. Somehow, it seems sadly akin to Edward Scissorhands: Vincent Price's creator-character died before he could affix poor's Eddie's hands. And obviously here, creator Hank Ketcham died before he could properly finish poor Dennis's spinal column. We can only hope there's a Winona (or Gina) out there who'll love him anyway...

ON THE FASTRACK: The "other" office-humor strip offers one of the best visuals it has in many moons: The fire-breathing Twitterbird. (Time to call "Friend of the Blog" Simon Oxley -- the Twitterbird creator -- to see whether it can apply his full-color vector-imagery magic to this little visual.)

JUDGE PARKER: I a-feared mentioning something earlier in the week, but now I can't stay mum: This Riffster worries that Woody Wilson -- if not artist Eduardo Barreto -- has been watching too much reality-show telly: Namely, "Jon & Kate Plus 8." (This, as the current season resumes Monday after production was suspended.) If Rocky suddenly takes up with a 23-year-old third-grade teacher, it'll confirm that a certain cartoonist is watching too much TLC.

If you read strips today that you made you guffaw or groan, 'Riffs invites you to share them links.

By Michael Cavna  | August 1, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line, The Political Cartoon  
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Dennis the No-Neck Knucklehead is a direct result of the Syndicate using staff personnel to milk a dead cartoonist's legacy. The head is simply copied directly from the design sheet, and the rest of the art is hastily slapdashed in. Drawing a neck would risk calling attention to the fact that the head was not designed, but copied.

It is a telling fact that Dennis appears only rarely in anything approaching perspective. As a two dimensional figure, he would fit in very well in an ancient Egyptian fresco (not a bad idea, considering how dead the comic is).

Posted by: kilby | August 2, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

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