Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Favorite Comic Strips from the Sunday Washignton Post: Tell Bezos We Like The Argyle Sweater

Two weeks ago, "The Washington Post" unveiled a new look, the newspaper's first since billionaire Jeff Bezos took over ownership of one of America's most highly-regarded publications, in its Sunday paper, but surprisingly enough no comic strips were dumped or added.

Editorial Comment: We were kind of hoping "Bleeker" or "The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee" would replace "Beetle Bailey" and "Hagar the Horrible," but we imagine Bezos doesn't read this or any other blog.

We actually didn't get last Sunday's "Washington Post," but we really enjoyed this week's comics page, which included Catzilla taking over Disneyland in "The Argyle Sweater," a dinosaur footprint in "WUMO" which is not something one wants to find on a desert island, and "Lio" encountering a merchant who actually ventriloquist dummies. I guess there are such places.

NOTE: Last week, we were hoping to post our top ten favorite comic strips from the Kings Features web site, on April 13th we will include that survey after the end of this one.

1. "The Argyle Sweater"

2. "WUMO"

3. "Lio"

4. "Rhymes with Orange"

5. "Dustin"

6. "Big Nate"

7. "Pearls Before Swine"

8. "Zits"

9. "Sherman's Lagoon"

10. "Candorville"


1. Retail

2. The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee

3. Arctic Circle

4. Sherman's Lagoon

5. Tina's Groove

6. Take It from the Tinkertons

7. Rhymes with Orange

8. Bleeker

9. The Pajama Diaries

10. Edge of the City

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Last Ten Flms We've Seen: A Film with a Talking Fish

"The Incredible Mister Lippet" is a rare Warner Brothers full-length animation film which resembles a movie. It stars the late Don Knotts, whom would later get stereo-typed for his long-running stint on "The Andy Griffith Show" as inept deputy Barney Fife, and it is about a man who turns into a fish and then helps America win sea battles with Nazi Germany!

The odd film actually has great animation for its time, and Billy Bob Thorton once told Terry Gross in a "Fresh Air" interview that 'Mister Lippet' was one of his favorite films as a child in Arkansas. The film also has Knotts playing a man with a Brooklyn accent!"

We are using a St. Louis Blues key-chain for one image as it resembles a New York Islanders key chain we once had.

Here are the last ten films we've seen; Internet Movie Database scores are on the right:

1. "The Incredible Mister Lippet" w/Don Knotts (top image) (1964. dir. Arthur Lubin) 6.4

2. "Alps" (Greece. 2011. dir. Giorgis Lonthios) 6.3

3. "Tomorrow" w/Robert Duvall (1972. dir. Joseph Anthony) 7.8

4. *"Morgan!: A Case for Treatment" " (UK. 1966. dir. Karel Reisz) 7.1

5. "The Valet" (center image) (France. 2006. dir. Francis Veber)

6. "Malena" (Italy. 2000. dir. Giuseppe Tornatore)

7. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (2014. dir. Wes Anderson)

8. "*American Hustle" (2013. dir. David O. Russell)

9.* "Punch-Drunk Love" w/Adam Sandler (bottom image) (2002. dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

10. "To Rome with Love" (2012. dir. Woody Allen)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Retro Baseball Opening Day Tweets (from one week ago): Will the Fish Make It....

Yes, for those of you who follow baseball here in the United States and in Canada, recognize that these images are meant for: 1) The Miami Marlins; 2) The Baltimore Orioles; and 3) The Detroit Tigers. We lost track of who was winning these games at time, but the tweets paint an interesting picture of the excitement from one week ago today (yes, we were hoping to post these tweets last week.........oh well!):

1) DodgerzGM (who is not really the Los Angeles Dodgers' general manager): "Happy Opening Day! Also the Miami Marlins have been eliminated from playoff contention."

2) Ryan Wagoner: "I can't really focus on my Washington Nationals until after the Final Four weekend. Go Gnats, regardless! Happy Opening Day!"

3) Dave Cutter: "Crazy hail and wind in Boston. Might not be baseball weather in Boston, but it's beautiful here in Baltimore."

4) Wendy Trum: "No matter where we live or who we love or we vote for, we have baseball. Together, we have baseball! Happy Opening Day!"

5) RedEye Chicago: "Chicago Cubs baseball is on the air on WGN 720! Happy Opening Day, Cubs fans!"

6) Cincinnati Zoo: "Opening Day! We are ready for the Reds parade!" (Alas, that day the zoo also had a tragedy as Suci, the zoo's beloved rhino, had died either on Monday or over the weekend).

7) Brad Miller (not the basketball player of former NC Congressman): "Baseball is back!! A healthy year for all! Happy Felix Day and Go M's!" (he is a Seattle Mariners fan).

8) Only in Texas: "It's just about Baseball Time in Arlington! Love Opening Day at the Ball Park! (For those of you in Hong Kong, former president George W. Bush owned the Texas Rangers before entering politics; we wish he had won the pennant!.....That's what we call a back-handed compliment!)

9) Chris Morgan: "The Saint Louis Cardinals begin their quest for world domination today. Sorry, Braves fans. This isn't your year- nor is it ever!"

Sunday Comics Roanoke Times Survey: It's Another Great Week for Funky Winkerbean

There are 21 comic strips in the Sunday edition of "The Roanoke Times" and so far this year, even "Family Circus" (one of our least favorite comic strips) has cracked the top ten, but "For Better or Worse" never has, and that streak continues this week as well.

But, why focus on comic strips we'd like to see dumped for "Sherman's Lagoon" when the newspaper which has a circulation of about 100,000, does have some splendid comic strips as well as ones which are surprisingly good at times, "Dilbert" and "Garfield" are both good examples of comic strips which have come back from the dead, well at least that's the case with the one about a 36-year old cat.

Here is our top ten:

1) Funky Winkerbean (see top image of a "Swamp Thing" comic book): We simply love it when the strip's writer/artist Tom Batiuk designs his own versions of retro comic book characters with Starbuck Jones. In this week's strip, Starbuck Jones is seen fighting off a saber-toothed octo-shark. Yikes!

2) "Pearls Before Swine" (see middle image of Ron Cey): Perhaps the usage of former Los Angeles Dodgers great Ron Cey won't be understood by readers of Stephan Pastis' strip in Manchester, Sydney or Hong Kong, but we loved this week's strip which also features an homage to "The Godfather." Pastis never fails to surprise us.

3) "Speed Bump"

4) "Get Fuzzy"

5) "Zits" (see bottom image): This week, "Zits," a comic strip focusing on a 16-year-old boy who never ages, has Jeremy's mom using a Polaroid camera, one of our favorite Casualties of Modern Technology, which is like 'so totally' lost on him. Images/hallucinations of Fred and Wilma Flintstone add to the hilarious effect of the strip.

6) "Dilbert"

7) "Agnes"

8) "Garfield"

9) "Mutts"

10) "Doonesbury"