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mygif

What is your opinion of Lio?

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mygif

Are you familiar with The Comics Curmudgeon? There is a pretty big community that reads (and mocks) newspaper comics – it’s a good time.

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mygif

No love for Pearls Before Swine?

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Steve Roby said on August 28th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I’ve been reading Doonesbury for nearly thirty years, and I don’t think Trudeau’s coasting. He has in the past, but he’s taken on the Family/C Street Center recently, and he’s talking more about the Iraq war and its homefront effects than pretty much anyone else.

But you’re right about Mutts. When I first discovered it, I loved it, but it’s been years since I’ve seen anything there I haven’t seen before. As far as conventional mainstream strips go, it’s Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine that keep me interested (though not generally for the art in the case of the latter).

(Fisher is still going? I liked it, but haven’t read the G&M in years….)

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keenerweiner said on August 28th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

While I agree about Zits art–comparatively to other newspaper strips, anyway–that strip forfeited all my good will towards it after only the second year in syndication: it started with great potential and even delved into some hot teenage dramaz in the first year, and then quickly relied on cheap gags on suburban parent-douchey kid miscommunication that seems like Scott and Borgman are on sabbatical and just reprinting old material. I’m obviously not arguing that Zits needs to Gossip-Girl it up or access some of that crazy teen shit, but I’d like some more development and heck plot with Jeremy and his high school cohorts rather than just Jeremy and his parents. Yet again.

Also, re: Fisher: while I concede that relevance is important, there are some comics that coast by on its “oh my god, it’s so true!!” appeal rather than it actually being a well written, well structured strip. For more, see: Retail.

PS: I agree with the Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine love.

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mygif

Nice to see some love for Pooch Cafe; any strip that does a gag featuring a mailman dressed as Galactus gets my attention.( And if Trudeau’s doing less political stuff these days, it may just be that American politics has become too vile for him to have fun with anymore- or maybe he’s just ceded ground to his successors on DAILY SHOW and COLBERT…)

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mygif

This comment I don’t understand:
“I may say that in part because I usually read it online, so I don’t get to see the creative things he does with the Sunday strips”

How does reading online keep you from seeing the Sunday strips? Every online source I`ve seen includes Sundays, and if anything always includes the top panel by the titles that some papers remove for space.

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mygif

I’ll agree that the current Doonesbury storyline isn’t grabbing me, but I think there’s a difference between a bad storyline and a bad strip. I’m willing to be patient; after all, it’s not like it’s a tremendous time commitment to read the strip. :)

For my money, by the way, no strip should be allowed to outlive its original creator; thus ‘Shoe’, ‘B.C.’, ‘The Wizard of Id’, ‘Dennis the Menace’ (which was actually a great strip, once upon a time in the 50s), ‘Peanuts’, ‘Blondie’, and probably lots of others I’m missing (including probably all the soap opera strips) should all gently shuffle off the funny pages and be collected in book form, to be replaced by new comics from younger cartoonists.

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mygif

The other thing that made Pogo an “enjoy the ride” strip was that it didn’t really have punchlines, or at least didn’t always have them; each panel had its own gags.

I remember being disoriented as a kid encountering Pogo and Li’l Abner because they didn’t have the gag structure I was familiar with from most strips (including even Calvin and Hobbes), where the first three panels lead up to a payoff in the last panel.

I do think Pooch Cafe has some of that style, where there’s a bunch of little gags sprinkled throughout the strip instead of one overall gag.

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mygif

Excepting FISHER (which I haven’t seen yet), I’m pretty much onboard with all your other comments. Charm goes a looooooooooong way on MUTTS, but it gets the job done.

I will disagree re a cartoonist always having to be funny artistically as well as in the writing. Sometimes all the strip has to do is set up the punchline by showing who’s talking, other times it has to be instrumental to the finished effect. A typical MR. BOFFO, f’r instance, is rarely that humorous without the caption & dialog, yet I’d rank it among the funniest strips out there (and it is “out there”…).

Just curious: Any love for ZIPPY THE PINHEAD? I’d argue it’s the best drawn strip out there, though I concede ZITS and a few others are almost as good.

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mygif

“For my money, by the way, no strip should be allowed to outlive its original creator”

I’d agree if not for my childhood love of the Phantom strips I read in the 90s. I’m not really sure who wrote them but – considering the age of the character – I highly doubt it was the original creator.

Besides, isn’t the general consensus that BC actually got funny again after the creator died and took most of the heavy-handed born-again Christian stuff with him so that his family could go back to telling the goofy stories about cavemen that originally made the strip a success?

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mygif

Not that I’ve heard–the Comics Curmudgeon singles out the rewritten strips as being painfully unfunny, almost Dadaesque in the way that they attach new dialogue to old art and make something that’s confusing and dull all at the same time.

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mygif

Pooch is one of the best. In my Top 5 all-time.

I can;t say enough about Cul De Sac … which Watterson also praised.

Also, Pearls Before Swine, Lio, Ink Pen, Frazz, Tom the Dancing Bug …

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Matthew Johnson said on August 31st, 2009 at 3:12 pm

@Razelore: I’d never seen Lio before you mentioned it, but it’s very cute and quite funny. I may bookmark it.

To all Pearls Before Swine fans — I think it’s OK, I just had nothing interesting to say about it. (I’m also unjustly hard on it because the very first PBS strip I ever read remains the funniest, and indeed the only one I’ve ever read that actually made me laugh out loud.)Likewise for Get Fuzzy, though it has better art.

@Ed/Jack: I read the comics through the Toronto Star site, so I don’t see the title frame, which is where McDonnell gets creative. I should probably bookmark the Mutts home page but I’m too lazy.

@Buzz: I don’t insist that the art be funny by itself, but that a strip shouldn’t be funny _without_ the art.

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