Saturday, March 22, 2008

Not Cute Edition (Mar. 21)

Red and Rover is built on the premise that dogs are cute. They aren't, and therefore the strip doesn't work. I do not understand how this strip appeals to anyone. It's like Family Circus, it's meant to be cute but it's not.

Runners-up: Blondie, Curtis, Family Circus, For Better or For Worse, Frank and Ernest, Garfield, On the Fastrack

If I have kids, I think I'll teach them to curse like this.

Runners-up: Doonesbury, Frazz, Lio, Non Sequiter, Pearls Before Swine, Single and Looking, Speed Bump

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nuclear Edition (Mar. 20)

In addition to the bad joke, we have a silent penultimate panel. Matt Gill used to document these at the Silent Penultimate Panel Watch, and he points out the flaws better than I ever will. If you're really interested in comic strips, you should read through his archives. The SPP here adds nothing to the strip and ruins the what timing the joke had.

Runners-up: Blondie, Close to Home, Family Circus, For Better or For Worse, Hagar the Horrible, On the Fastrack, Red and Rover


Runners-up: Candorville, Dennis the Menace, Frazz, Get Fuzzy, Non Sequiter, Pearls Before Swine, Pooch Cafe, Sally Forth

The World Turned Upside Down Edition (Mar. 19)

Problem One: basketballs are really hard to pop, and probably could not be popped by a cat's claws. Problem Two: Cat claws are retractable and therefore would be retracted if a cat did play basketball.

Runners-up: Blondie, Brevity, Curtis, Family Circus, Hagar the Horrible, Mother Goose and Grimm, Piranha Club, Rhymes with Orange

I love Pig.

Runners-up: Agnes, Doonesbury, Get Fuzzy, Lio, Mutts, Speed Bump

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Potty Mouth Edition (Mar. 18)


I hate Rhymes with Orange. The art is terrible and it's not redeemed by the jokes.

Runners-up: Curtis, Dilbert, Family Circus, Frank and Ernest, Garfield, Mother Goose and Grimm

I enjoyed this send up of a comic strip convention.

Runners-up: Agnes, Big Nate, Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!, Doonesbury, Mutts, Zits

I Hate St. Patrick's Day Edition (Mar. 17)

This is your typical bad pun with an awkward set-up.

Runners-up: Brevity, Curtis, Hagar the Horrible, Red and Rover, Rhymes with Orange

Agnes coloring a pop tart is a funny image.

Runners-up: Big Nate, Dilbert, Garfield, Get Fuzzy, Lio, Pearls Before Swine, Pooch Cafe, Watch Your Head, Zits

Child Abuse is not Funny Edition (Mar. 16)

Another example of poor family dynamics. I, for one, do not find spousal or child abuse funny. The throw away panels did not run in the Post, so I chose this on the basis of the child abuse.

Runners-up: Blondie, Family Circus, Garfield (very easily could have been Worst. Jon is on hold the entire strip. It's just incredibly lazy and boring.), Hagar the Horrible, Red and Rover

I want some sentient sunglasses.

Runners-up: Agnes, Baby Blues, Baldo, Candorville, Cul de Sac, Doonesbury, Frazz, Pearls Before Swine, Single and Looking

Passive Aggressive Edition (Mar. 15)

The comics have an interesting take on families. Apparently, most comic strip artists think that unhealthy marriages and poor parenting are funny. Helga uses a passive-aggressive approach to solving her problem. Her needs are not getting met so she threatens to withhold something that Hagar wants. This interaction has descended into a contest to see if Helga can control Hagar. In a healthy relationship, the two partners would be able to discuss their needs maturely and come to some sort of compromise. All this would piss me off less if the joke was funny.

Runners-up: Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Curtis, Family Circus, Garfield, Mother Goose and Grimm, Red and Rover, Rhymes with Orange, Speed Bump

Best:Pierce often gets on my nerves. He is supposed to represent wild teenagers and is just a stereotype without much depth. This time, he was funny though.

Runner-up: Frazz

Doh! Edition (Mar. 14)

Bad pacing, worse message.

Runners-up: Big Nate, Brevity, Curtis, Dennis the Menace, Family Circus, Mother Goose and Grimm, Red and Rover, Rhymes with Orange

Doonesbury has an off kilter take on family life in this strip. Doonesbury has great characters.

Runners-up: Dilbert, Pickles, Pooch Cafe, Watch Your Head

Devil in the Details Edition (Mar. 13)

This one is just weird and no makes no particular sense.

Runners-up: Beetle Bailey, Big Nate, For Better or For Worse, Mother Goose and Grimm, Red and Rover, Rhymes with Orange

Much of the greatness of Get Fuzzy is in the details. I love that Rob has a consistent wardrobe. In many strips, the characters wear the same outfit every day. Rob has a series of outfits that he wears on a rotating basis, just like a real person. It's a small thing, but it's a nice touch.

Runners-up: Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!, Frazz, Pooch Cafe, Sherman's Lagoon,

Sigh Edition (Mar. 12)

Another bad pun.

Runners-up: Baby Blues, Beetle Bailey, Curtis, Garfield, Hagar the Horrible, Mother Goose and Grimm

Lio's dad must be the most put-upon dad in the comics.

Runners-up: Agnes, Dilbert, Doonesbury, Get Fuzzy, Pooch Cafe, Prickly City,

Free Food Edition (Mar. 11)

This is just a bad visual joke.

Runners-up: Baldo, Close to Home, Hagar the Horrible, Mother Goose and Grimm

Lio has all the coolest toys.

Runners-up: Baby Blues, Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!, Pooch Cafe, Speed Bump, Zits

Absurdity Edition (Mar. 10)

Rhymes with Orange consistently makes jokes that are meant to be clever, but they rarely are. The joke here is that skunks are black and white. Of course a skunk has no need for a passport, so the premise is absurd. Absurdity can be funny (as Stephan Pastis proves well), but it's hard to cross absurdity with reality and not lose something.

Runners-up: Baldo, Blondie, Brevity, Curtis, Family Circus, Garfield, Hagar the Horrible, Mother Goose and Grimm, Red and Rover

Lio is probably the best example of how absurdity can be funny. Of course everything in Lio is absurd, which helps make it work. We do not get distracted by the fact that Death is hitching a ride because it's Lio, and we're used to anything happening.

Runners-up: Dilbert, Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, Watch Your Head

Monday, March 17, 2008

Terrible Pacing Edition (Mar. 9)

Problem One: It takes Garfield five panels to eat an apple. This strip could have been condensed down to three panels. It's an incredibly boring strip. Problem Two: What is up with the worms? Garfield features spiders and mice, but suddenly we have worms on the counter? Problem Three: The joke makes no sense and is not funny.

Runners-up: Dilbert, Family Circus

Cul de Sac is one of my favorite strips. Alice is perfect as a four year old. She shows a great amount of insight combined with utter cluelessness. The strip mines her absurd take on the world for great effect.

Runners-up: Baldo, Big Nate, Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, Prickly City, Sally Forth, Watch Your Head, Zits

Metanote: Last Sunday marks the end of when I had chosen Best and Worst for each day and simply not posted them. Now I need to go back to the last week of papers and choose the winners. So that's all for tonight. I'll try to finish up tomorrow, but I need to be not lazy.

Over My Head Edition (Mar. 8)

Bad puns are typical for Frank and Ernest, usually there's a strip that even worse, so the strip avoids a lot of worst titles. Some days there aren't any worse strips, and Frank and Ernest end up on the bottom of the pack. The worst part about this is that Bob Thaves has passed, and yet we still get bad puns instead of a fresh strip that would be entertaining. Replacing F & E with Heart of the City, Cul de Sac, My Cage or another strip that is interesting would instantly improve the comics page a lot.

Runners-up: Close to Home, Curtis, Pooch Cafe, Rhymes with Orange, Zits

I love the line about remembering amnesia. I don't get the line about French citizenship, but Darby Conley has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Runners-up: Agnes, Beetle Bailey, Lio, Mother Goose and Grimm, Pearls Before Swine, Prickly City, Red and Rover, Watch Your Head

More or Less Awkward Edition (Mar. 7)

I don't read to the comics to think about sex, that's what the rest of the internet is for. Any joke based around a character having sex, even a dog, has little margin for error.

Runners-up: Beetle Bailey, Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!, Curtis, Family Circus, Mother Goose and Grimm, Tank McNamara

Frazz goes back to back. The image of a train driving into Lake Michigan entertained me. It's a nice touch that this would happen if the train went any direction from Chicago that approximated East.

Runners-up: Agnes, Big Nate, Candorville, Dilbert, Pearls Before Swine, Pooch Cafe

Sexist Edition (Mar. 6)


This bothered me on a number of levels, not least because I spent many hours reading Baby-Sitter's Club books growing up. I just find the idea kind of sexist that a guy can't read and enjoy books about a group of girls, especially when they are well written, at least on the scale of elementary school lit. Also, Billy would need to be a pretty precocious seven year old to reading Baby Sitter's Club books, and the general demonstrated intelligence of the family, it seems unlikely that any of them would be called precocious.

Runners-up: Close to Home, Curtis, Dennis the Menace, Garfield, Watch Your Head


One of the better jokes I've read in a while. The set-up is not awkward, and the punchline is clever. It's a pleasant change of pace from most joke strips.

Runners-up: Agnes, Baldo, Beetle Bailey, Big Nate, Blondie, Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!, Candorville, Dilbert, Get Fuzzy, Mutts, Non Sequiter, Pooch Cafe, Sherman's Lagoon

Metanote: So you might have noticed that I've fallen a little behind. Part of my philosophy of life is that there are many excuses but very few good excuses. I will say that I have been working a lot of overtime at work, but ultimately, I could have kept up if I had been more dedicated, so ultimately all I can do is apologize to any readers I might have and say that I'll try to do better. I should be able to catch up over the next day.