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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 08/12/2009

Tangled Web: Of Online Meltdowns & Comical Curmudgeons

By Michael Cavna


'BREWSTER ROCKIT' (TMS)Enlarge Image


"Brewster Rockit" creator TIM RICKARD told Comic Riffs last year: "To broaden the strip a bit, I started using current news or cultural events as material. From global warming, to the economy, to illegal aliens to newspapers, etc."

From newspapers (those awkward inky things that lack keyboards, let alone a decent USB port), Rickard's satire naturally grows to embrace all forms of communication. Which is why today's "Brewster" hits This Riffster precisely where I live (Memo to self: Never again read "Rockit" without protective equipment.)

Newspapers to Tweets to Internet connections, oh my! Just what hot fresh hellscape is Rickard foisting on us here, and how exactly do I erase the skull-searing impression but stat.?

I'll have you know, Mr. Rickard: You'll be receiving my franctic notes when I wake up with the cold sweats. You will know my missives by their soft, whimpering tone. Which raises the question: Can one adequately Tweet from the fetal position?

ELSEWHERE...


'BEETLE BAILEY' (KFS)Enlarge Image


SKIVVIES FOR NON-CIVVIES: Some days, I feel a little sullied after reading a vaguely pervy "Beetle." As if I've just watched the flick "Porky's" itself through a peephole. Does Miss Buxley ever respect herself in the morning comic? Then again, I've gotta wonder: Why do I find essentially the same gag so amusing when Austin Powers perpetrates it on film with sidekicks like Elizabeth Hurley? My only answer: The bespectacled "sex god" includes himself in on the shagadelic joke as an equal-opportunity flasher.


'HAGAR THE HORRIBLE' (KFS)Enlarge Image


MOM'S THE WORD: What's that? Mother-in-law gags are back in are being stale for, oh, at least a half-century. Somewhere in the Great Improv in the Sky, Henny Youngman is having the last laugh -- because he was the last comic to get a genuine laugh out of a mother-in-law joke.



'PEARLS BEFORE SWINE' (UFS)Enlarge Image


QUOTH THE RAT: What's this now? The Stephan Pastis avatar is bemoaning the online behavior of such "rude" folk as the Comics Curmudgeon. Ooh. Gotta go. As soon as I'm done here, I want to see Josh Fruhlinger's take on this comical "calling-out." The remarks sometime today will no doubt be a swell read.

As for the REAL Stephan Pastis, though, he tells Comic Riffs: "I love Comics Curmudgeon...if nothing else, it gets people to TALK about the comics page...how great is that?"

THE RELATED READ:

THE 'RIFFS INTERVIEW: "Pearls Before Swine" creator Stephan Pastis.

THE 'RIFFS INTERVIEW: "Brewster Rockit" creator Tim Rickard.

FAVE FAN ANECDOTES: Brian Walker and Stephan Pastis.

By Michael Cavna  | August 12, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Comic Strip, The Morning Line  
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Next: Keeping Score: Who's NOT Running This Week's 'Tank'?

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