Friday, February 29, 2008

To the Bold go the Spoils (Feb. 29)

Worst: The wording is awkward, and topical jokes generally aren't very good. Compare this to a strip like the early Peanuts. In 40 years, no one is going to get this joke or care about this strip. Peanuts remains relevant because it is character driven, and builds it's strips on the universal theme of suffering.

Runners-up: Baby Blues, Baldo, Family Circus, Speed Bump


Prickly City is hit or miss, more often miss. Yesterday and today, Scott Stantis has taken a bold stand for the comics page. First, Stantis, who usually takes a conservative slant in his strip, takes a stand that contradicts most of his fellow travelers. Second, Stantis takes a risk with a strip that will probably offend many readers (think of the children!) who are used to such hard hitting strips as Family Circus. Kudos to Mr. Stantis for taking a risk to make a worthy point.

Runners-up: Big Nate, Brevity, Frazz, Lio (I think this would have been even better if we did not see Lio at all in the last panel, leaving it up to the reader to connect the dots), Non Sequiter, Pearls Before Swine, Pooch Cafe, Watch Your Head

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Unspeakable Evil Edition (Feb. 28)

Worst: It's a Nazi snowman. Honestly, that was my first thought when I saw this. Why didn't some editor see this and think they might need to pull it? Am I overly conscious of historical overtones?

Runners-up: Beetle Bailey(Why does the gourmet food on the cover look like a hamburger with a sprig of parsley on it?), Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!, Close to Home (welcome to 1984, suburbia edition), For Better or For Worse, Frank and Ernest, Mother Goose and Grimm, Red and Rover


This is a fun strip.

Runners-up: Candorville, Get Fuzzy, Non Sequiter, Prickly City (confronting the waterboarding issue head on is very ballsy), Single and Looking

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Repeat (Feb. 27)

Worst: I don't get it. Is that supposed to be Larry King? I don't know if he is a relevant enough figure to be recognizable in snowman form. Aren't these supposed to be suggested by kids? Do they even know who Larry King is?

Runners-up: Curtis (we get it already, Gunk can't take off his coat), Frank and Ernest, Garfield (terrible pacing), Speed Bump

Best: Lots of good questions here. Just another clever strip.

Runners-up: Candorville, Lio, Pooch Cafe, Single and Looking, Watch Your Head

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Three for the Price of One (Feb. 25)

Worst: In addition to the same complaints as yesterday, this strip adds a level of family values crap. I hate the whole family values thing because of the hypocrisy of it. All these people pretend to be so righteous and that they have all the answers. Instead of focusing on strengthening families, they waste their energy on a few relatively trivial issues. I am all for values, but I prefer to focus on living up to them, instead of telling other people how they are not.

Runners-up: Frank and Ernest, Garfield, Hagar the Horrible (What the heck is a viking doing in a desert? What would there be in a desert to pillage? Why would they travel so far from home?), Mother Goose and Grimm, Red and Rover


Love Satchel's misplaced empathy.

Runners-up: Big Nate, Doonesbury, Single and Looking, Watch Your Head

Underappreciated (Feb. 24)

Worst:This is such a weird illustration. The joke was bad when it debuted on Sunday. It's not getting better with age.

Runners-up: Beetle Bailey, Curtis, Dilbert, Mother Goose and Grimm, Rhymes with Orange, Speed Bump


Candorville is an under appreciated strip I think. Darrin Bell has created main characters with interesting relationships and unique personalities. He handles topical strips better than anyone, able to make a point without sacrificing humor, unlike most political strips. The art matches up with all but the best strips (Get Fuzzy, Lio and Watch Your Head are better, a few others might be just as good). Candorville should maybe be a top five strip.

Runners-up: Garfield (three best runners-up in four days, Jim Davis is on quite a roll), Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, Prickly City, Single and Looking

Monday, February 25, 2008

Credit where credit is (or isn't) due (Feb. 24)

Worst: Of course today, Cory Thomas abandons his characters and writes a typical joke strip. Not surprisingly, it falls flat. When you create great characters and then don't use them, it's easy to throw out a bad strip. Watch Your Head is the first strip to win Best and Worst back to back.

Runners-up: Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Family Circus, Frazz, Garfield, Hagar the Horrible, Prickly City


Darby Conley is another master of the character driven strip. Of course he is also adept at writing joke based strips, because he has a great ear for dialogue. He also might be the best artist in the business today. I love how Bucky seems proud of his fighting prowess in the last panel and how concerned Satchel is about his teddy bear.

Runners-up: Agnes, Cul de Sac, Dilbert, For Better or For Worse (character driven in a bad way, it's easy to dislike many of the characters; today's strip made me smile though), Non Sequiter, Opus, Rhymes with Orange

Pathos (Feb. 23)

Worst: Not really a bad strip, but there really weren't any on Saturday. Of course it's certainly not a good strip.

Runners-up: Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!, Curtis (Curtis has basically been repeating the same strip all week), Family Circus, Hagar the Horrible, Mother Goose and Grimm, Rhymes with Orange


Perhaps the best character driven strip in the papers today. Cory Thomas has done a great job creating characters who are likeable. It's really easy to empathize with Cory in this strip, because we all want him to get the girl.

Runners-up: Frazz, Garfield, Sherman's Lagoon

So much wasted potential (Feb. 22)

This does not make sense unless the speaker is an epic idiot. Anyone who puts an unwrapped piece of candy in with their ipod would need to be. The living isn't as much healthy, as it is stupid. The art is bad, which is typical of Rhymes with Orange. In the second panel, it looks like the woman has a tennis ball in her back pocket instead of a butt.

Runners-up: Brevity, Family Circus, Mother Goose and Grimm

I love Bucky's line in the last panel, it's the best insult I've heard in a long time.

Runners-up: Doonesbury, Garfield, Pearls Before Swine, Pooch Cafe, Watch Your Head

Bonus Comics Note:I have an intense dislike for Red and Rover. It's generally a mix of trying to be cute and bad jokes. Unlike the legacy strips, it has no glory days to look back on, which might serve as some justification for it's presence in the paper. Today's strip, however, filled me with a sense of hope. The strip, for once, had a chance to transcend it's position as a (very) poor man's Mutts. We could have had a story involving Red and Rover wandering around in a rough neighborhood, which would be rife with potential, both comic and profound. Instead, the next day brought us...
...another dumb joke. Brian Bassett could have run with this story for a week and actually made something worthwhile with it, but he stuck to the formula.

Comics of the Day

Worst: A wonderfully enlightened comic strip. I guess they could be laughing at Mr. Mitchell's choice of apron, but still.

Runners-up: Family Circus, Hagar the Horrible, Mother Goose and Grimm, Rhymes with Orange

Best: Cats with guns are awesome.

Runners-up: Beetle Bailey, Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!, Dilbert, Pooch Cafe, Zits