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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 08/ 6/2009

Reader Contest: Time to Do Your Best Hair-Raising LIO

By The Reliable Source

Little Lio chooses Seth McFarlane over V.T. Hamlin. (UPS)Enlarge Comic

Grab your mousse, Wite-Out and camera. It's time to do your best Lio.

Mark Tatulli -- the man and mind behind the strip "Lio" -- and Universal UClick are officially announcing today "the first-ever Lio Look-Alike Contest." Fans of the strip are encouraged to "mimic Lio's trademark hair spike" and capture his "mischievous spirit." (Part of the trick, of course, is also to nail those open "Little Orphan Annie" peepers.)

The all-ages contest runs through Sept. 28, when winners will be announced; the first-place prize is a signed original of the strip.

Fans can submit their "look-alike" photos to Contest rules state that "photos should also include the local newspaper where Lio is read daily, incorporated in the most creative way." Tatulli will pick the top six entries; from those, fans will vote on their favorite at

"Lio" won a National Cartoonists Society award this year, having been voted Best Comic Strip by Tatulli's industry peers.

TANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: Alan Gardner over at Daily Cartoonist points out that the topical sports strip "Tank McNamara" is marking its 35th anniversary. Which fairly blows my mind. Not that a strip has hit the 35-year mark -- "Blondie" alone has lapped that mark as it nears its 80th birthday -- but rather how much sports has changed over the past 35 years.

Consider, if you will, this Riffster's "Tank" Tale of the Tape -- here are a few events in relation to when "Tank" launched in 1974:

1. The Super Bowl was only seven (or "VII") years old.

2. Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez and Peyton Manning weren't even born yet.

3. The famed "battle of the sexes" tennis match -- in which Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs -- was only one year earlier; and Title IX was passed by Congress only two years earlier.

4. The mighty John Wooden was still coaching at UCLA.

5. Both Willie Mays and Johnny Unitas had retired just a year earlier.

6. Jackie Robinson had died just two years earlier; and 1974 was also the year Frank Robinson became the major league's first black manager.

7. Also in 1974: Hank Aaron broke the career home-run record (knocking that Al Downing pitch out of the park); and Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in Zaire.

8. The mighty ESPN was not even a glint in co-founder Scott Rasmussen's eye.

9. And of course: The Washington Senators had left town only two years earlier.

'DOONESBURY' (UPS)Enlarge Image

WHATTA LINE: A line delivered so deadpan, I've got to re-read a coupla times to take it in fully. "That was before Sanford, Pickering and Ensign had all met their soulmates, so I was flying blind!"

No matter your side of the political aisle (or even if you've no side at all), it can be acknowledged from a technical standpoint: There's dry satire and then there's the occasional "Doonesbury" that is positively moisture-free.

'JUDGE PARKER' (NAS)Enlarge Image

THE NOT-SO-COLD SHOULDER: Help me out here, Riffsters. For the life of me, I cannot remember the last time I saw a cartoon character actually in the act of disrobing in the family funnies. I don't mean Frazz doffing a hoodie to go for one of his training-regimen dips in the pool. Nor do I mean a Dilbert or a Sarge pictured in a cartoon-y boxers. No, I mean the straight-out-of-Boudoir-Noir act of shedding those garments. I can use your help. (And somehow, why does this Riffster think all such roads will inevitably lead to "9 Chickweed Lane.")

By The Reliable Source  | August 6, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Comic Strip, The Morning Line  
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No specific cartoon springs to mind, but I know I've seen it in Arlo & Janis.

And, yes, Chickweed had a skinny dipping/Edda hid the clothes line for the last two weeks.

I'm SURE Apt 3G took the lead on this one....

Posted by: filfeit | August 6, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

How realistic does the flesh need to be? It certainly doesn't count as boudoir, but Calvin used to go naked fairly frequently (both on and off panel). This once produced a "nice undepants" comment from Susie, and on another occasion Calvin's dad reported, "I got the little nudist out of [the] birdbath last time."

Posted by: kilby | August 6, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Ed Grimley wins the Lio contest. It's not even close.

Posted by: rw-c | August 6, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

To see a comics character in the act of taking off his clothes, you need look no further back in the archives than two days ago, to the August 4 episode of "Gil Thorpe":

Posted by: seismic-2 | August 6, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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