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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 08/18/2009

Your Pick: What 'Doctor' Strip Would You Add to The Post's Pages?

By The Reliable Source

'BIG NATE' (NEA)Enlarge Image

It's not enough that "BIG NATE" is a well-crafted comic. No, now Lincoln Peirce has to tantalize us with comics that hold the promise of being far, far better than some of what's now on the page.

What's this now -- an ax-wielding character who goes by the moniker Doctor Cesspool? At last, this could be just the strip to thrill, chill and cross-pollinate with "Lio." Warm up the Mac and color us intrigued.

So intrigued, in fact, that here at Comic Riffs, we're quick to take "Big Nate" up on his suggestion. What better way to weigh in on the blood-curdling "Doctor Cesspool" than to conduct an actual comics poll. To wit: If you could add ONE comic to The Post's, would it be "Doctor Cesspool" -- sight unseen -- or one of these other medical cartoon characters? You're invited to vote below.


'BALDO' (UPS)Enlarge Image

BARE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW: "Baldo" not only lives up to the moniker "bald-o" when he doffs his shirt, but he also raises the issue: When might there be a Spanish noun that means "The Boy Mysteriously Born Without Nipples"?


CASH FOR "THUNKERS": Well, well, two days in, "cash for clunkers" is already the go-to topical joke-term of the week, all prepped for handy-dandy appropriation. Now taking wagers on who'll use it next. Brad the Eternal Mechanic in "Luann," anyone? Or will it be the auto shop at which The Boy Mysteriously Born Without Nipples draws a wage?

'LIO' (UPS)Enlarge Image

DEATH IN THE CORNER POCKET: "Lio" has already set the bar high for the Riffys' Image O' the Week. Something about "The Grim Breaker" racking up a game with little Lio is especially swell. Besides, it raises so many mind-blowing questions, not the least of which: Say the Grim Reaper glances away. Can you cheat death?

'PICKLES' (WPWG)Enlarge Image

ANA-GRAMMA: Oh, anagramming grandma, did you think this one through before you began slinging 'em at Earl. I'd be mighty careful, "Opal Pickles" -- especially when your own name yields "Slack Pep Oil," "Pick Ol' Lapse" and "Peck Oils, Pal." Not that any of those entirely make sense

If you've got a strip you loved or loathed today, you're invted to share them links.

By The Reliable Source  | August 18, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Hmmm.... Last week, Chickweed had a series of chest hair jokes. And there were TWO fart jokes in yesterdays WaPo (although they were careful to dance around the word).

And in "cash for clunkers" news, Chevrolet had to drop out of the program ~ turns out they were doing it backwards. ;)

Posted by: filfeit | August 18, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Actually, we've **seen** Nate's "Doctor Cesspool" strip on numerous occasions throughout the years. It often is indeed better than many of the strips that do make the paper on a daily basis, although of course that is faint praise indeed. For my money, though, just having "Judge Parker" in WaPo is only half of my required daily does of Woody Wilson's output. After I read JP to see what Abby Driver is up to, I have to go online to read "Rex Morgan". I've got a fever, and the only cure is... Nurse June!

As for today's Lio, it's an OK twist on the old theme of playing chess with Death in "The Seventh Seal", but it can't compete with Bill and Ted's taking on Death in a game of "Twister".

Posted by: seismic-2 | August 18, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

>> seismic-2:

Thanks. I trekked back years, trying to find a sample of "Cesspool" to post here. Lincoln, if you're reading today: Do you have any favorite "Cesspools" you'd like to point us to?


Posted by: cavnam | August 18, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Like Seismic said, Dr Cesspool was a staple of Nate several years ago, as was his cartoons of Ellen. It seems like Nate's cartooning has taken a back seat to other topics (girls, Artur, sports). Chess seems to have come and gone as a topic as well. The US Chess Center in DC has several of the Big Nate chess strips adorning its walls.

It's nice to have a strip rich enough that the artist can cycle through topics or characters and keep it fresh ~ hear that Davis?

Posted by: filfeit | August 18, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

You should have included Dr. Mel Practice from Brewster Rockit in the poll. He could probably leave the mother ship and carry his own strip.

Posted by: soccermutha | August 18, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Dr. Cesspool brings back memories.

I think what happened is that Cesspool (and Rusty Sienna, and the cartoons, and Nate's sister--what happened to HER?) featured prominently in a different Nate strip. I mean, I seem to recall the title of the thing was "Nate The Great" (but when I Google that, I get just results for a children's series about a boy detective)

Could it be that the artist "re-started" Nate The Great as "Big Nate" and created an alternate universe, of sorts, with mostly the same characters put into completely different situations? By the way Dad's acting here, it doesn't sound like he's ever heard of Cesspool.

Whatever the case, I'm totally psyched that the artist is bringing it back, if only for a week-long story arc.

Posted by: RKaufman13 | August 18, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I stand corrected: the strip has always been "Big Nate," but Pierce just didn't bother to keep the continuity from....almost two decades ago now. (Good lord, that makes me feel old.) Probably the right decision to make Dad unfamiliar with Cesspool, as readers definitely ain't (anymore)!

This Big Nate collection, now out of print, contains as much Dr. Cesspool goodness as you could ever require:

Posted by: RKaufman13 | August 18, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Oldbot also has no nipples.

Posted by: tomtildrum | August 18, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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