Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Our Top Comic Strips from Sunday, Dec. 21st edition of "Herald-Journal" in Spartanburg, SC

Greetings to our blog readers around the world, especially those of you in Norway where it must be verrrry cold!

Some two weeks ago, we passed through South Carolina and we picked up a copy of "The Herald-Journal" is Spartanburg, SC, one of the largest cities in the state.

As a lark, we are posting images from three comic strips in the Sunday edition of that paper which did not make the top ten; The images are of 1) the Northside Vikings football logo, Northside High School is nicknamed The Vikings and they are in Roanoke, Va.;  for "Hagar the Horrible" 2) American soldiers for "Beetle Bailey" and 3) "KizilMaske" or "RedMask" (in Turkish comic books) who is known in America as "The Phantom."

*-Comics which appear in "The Washington Post," which we survey a lot

#- Comics which appear in "The Roanoke Times," which we also survey a lot

Here is our top ten:

1. Bizarro

2. Closer to Home 

 3. Get Fuzzy #

4.  Doonesbury #*

5. Dilbert *#

6. Dustin *

7. Barney Google and Snuffy Smith (the strip's cartoonist John Rose is an acquittance of mine)

8. Garfield *#

9. Gasoline Alley

10. Family Circus *#

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our Top Ten Comics from Sunday, Dec. 14th Washington Post: Bill Cosby Had a VERY Bad Year

Greetings to our blog readers in Costa Rica, Sweden and Australia......

Today, we focus on our ten favorite comic strips from "The Washington Post"(Sunday, Dec. 14th edition). For those of you in Kazakhstan who may have never been to America, Sunday is the day when color comic strips are posted in newspapers and web sites, such as

"The Washington Post" has substantially more comics than small-town newspapers like "The Register and Bee" in Danville, Va. And, there are comic strips for virtually every demographic, including "Reply All" (young women), "Baldo" (Hispanics), "Mark Trail" (children) and "Beetle Bailey" (Republican senior citizens men with hearing airs...........our apologies to Mort Walker).

Darrin Bell's "Candorville" is our top comic strip of the week for the first time in the survey (there are over 30 comic strips in the Sunday Post) when the title character, an African-American man presumably in his late twenties, overhears two school children talking about why their parents don't want them to watch "The Cosby Show." For those of you in Uzbekistan, there are some serious criminal allegations aimed at Bill Cosby (pictured top), a former stand-up comic and sitcom star.

"Candorville" is followed closely by "Pearls Before Swine" in which Rat declares that he wants to be president of the United States so he can aim drones to spy on every living person on earth. Of course, if he were running as a Republican for Congress in South Carolina, he could say something that outlandish and get elected as Congs. Joe Wilson and Mark Sanford, two of the most dubious members of Congress, did on Election Day (forgive the political commentary).

We used "Three Little Pigs" as our image for "Pearls" because Pig is one of the three major characters in the strip (Goat is the third).

Third place went to "Speed Bump," which depicts a medieval jousting the age of social media.

And, in fourth place, there was a hilarious look at Star Wars fanatics in Keith Kinght's "Knight Life," in which guys dressed like Storm Troopers are camping out for tickets to the next Star Wars film, which is due out next year.

Here is our top ten:

1. Candorville

2. Pearls Before Swine

3. Speed Bump

4. Knight Life

5. Lio


7. The Argyle Sweater

8. Dustin

9. Prickly City

10. Doonesbury

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top Ten Things We Should Blog About More in 2015 (our 10th year of blogging) Bird-watching and Girl-watching

Greetings to our blog-readers in Ireland, Mexico and Ethiopia (does our blog reach Ethiopia? Yeah, I guess it does) as well as those of you in Rize, Turkey, an area known for its vast tea resources.......and its small city soccer team which always loses 6-1 to Istanbul powerhouses.......sadeee saka ediyorum, Risedeki dostlarim/just kidding to those of you in Rize..........

We were trying to think about what we should blog more about in 2015, and we decided, well, what the hell, go with the, here is our list:

1) Bird-watching in West Virginia

2) Temple Owls mens basketball (top image)

3) Hot blonde woman spottings (image number two: Uma Thurman)

4) The Baltimore Orioles (bottom image of Cal Ripken Jr.)

5) The Pittsburgh Penguins

6) Opus the Penguin

7) Chilly Willy

8) Woody the Woodpecker

9) Jeb Bush's changes of becoming president (editorial comment: $#%&@#$!!!!!!!!!!!)

10) Angry Birds, Big Bird from "Sesame Street" and Bronx Obama* (tie)

*- Bronx Obama is a New York man who impersonates our president..........

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Last Ten Films I've Seen: "Ordinary People" is a Christmas Movie? kidding.........

For those unfamiliar with our blog, when we do these lists, we usually go with something that is referred to in the film rather than an image from the film or whatever our list is about.

Hence, the reason for the image of a burrito for "Eating," a photo of Jackie Kennedy for "The House of Yes," in which Parker Posey plays a young woman who thinks she is the former first lady, and the Harvard sweatshirt is for "The Paper Chase," a film which takes place on that Ivy League school's campus. That film won a Best Supporting Oscar for John Houseman.

Seven years later, that same award would go to Timothy Hutton, then only 20 years old for "Ordinary People," the 1980 Best Picture Oscar winner which is perhaps the most depressing Oscar winner ever (ok, so there is also"One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Schindler's List")........

"Mental Floss" featured an online article about how "Ordinary People" is actually a 'Christmas movie' as it indeed takes place in December, but, yeah, it's probably better to watch "A Christmas Story" as a family unit......

Here are the last ten films I've seen; this idea came from the great cinema magazine "Film Comment" (please don't sue us for $2.6 million).........

1) Intimate Lighting (fmr Czechoslavakia. 1965. dir: Ivan Passer)

2) Eating (1990. dir: Henry Jaglom)

3) The House of Yes. (1997. dir: Mark Waters)

4) Starstruck (Australia. 1982. dir: Gillian Armstrong)

5) Amour (Austria. 2012. dir: Michael Haneke)

6) The Theory of Everything. (2014. dir: James Marsh)

7) Elysium. (2013. dir: Neill Blomkamp)

8) Ordinary People (1980. dir: Robert Redford)

9) An Unmarried Woman (1978. dir: Paul Mazursky w/Jill Clayburgh)

10) The Paper Chase (1973. dir: James Bridges)

Top Ten European Cities We'd Like Visit: No When in Rome Cliches, please..........

Since Zappa the Family Cat is running loose like a runaway tiger from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. (not that there is a runaway tiger from the National Zoo or anywhere right now, perhaps, maybe the Phoenix Zoo......just kidding!), we will get right to our list:

1) Rome, Italy (Top image is of A.S. Roma, one of Italy's top soccer teams)

2) Stockholm, Sweden (the home country of Peter, Bjorn and John; Swedish flag pictured middle)

3) Barcelona, Spain (pictured bottom)

4) Berlin, Germany

5) Bergen, Norway

6) Lisbon, Portugal

7) Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

8) Athens, Greece

9) Rotterdam, Netherlands

10)  Riga, Latvia

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last Ten Songs We Heard on Simon-FM in Greensboro, NC

On Monday afternoon, between the hours of 4:00-5:00, perhaps when we should have been to "All Things Considered" on WFDD (88.5-FM, Winston-Salem, NC),
a local NPR affiliate, we were listening to 98.7-FM (Greensboro, NC)
and we have a list of ten songs in a row that were played on air during that hour.

The image of the jet plane from Bahrain is in reference to the band Jet, the poster for the 1987 film "Fatal Attraction" with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close is our image for the stalker anthem "Every Breath You Take" by The Police, and Cinderella is for the '80s pop metal band Cinderella.

Here are the ten songs:

1. All Right Now. Free. 1970

2. She Drives Me Crazy. Fine Young Cannibals. 1989.

3. Don't Know What You Got ('Til It's Gone). Cinderella. 1988.

4. Every Breath You Take. The Police. 1983.

5. Green-Eyed Lady. Sugarloaf. 1970.

6. Be Near Me. ABC. 1985.

7. Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Jet. 2003.

8. The Dock of the Bay. Otis Redding. 1968

9. 867-5309/Jenny. Tommy Tutone. 1981.

10. Black Water. The Doobie Brothers. 1974.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our Top Sunday Comic Strips from the Roanoke Times for the Week of December 7th

Greetings to our blog readers in Costa Rica, Argentina and Brazil!

This week, "Doonesbury," which had an exceptional gag with scenes from the comic strip's six main characters and their unique story lines in six different panels. Since the comic strip reminded us of a soap opera, we decided to use an image with the cast of "Young and the Restless" to go with this Sunday's "Doonesbury," but we somehow doubt that Garry Trudeau watches soap operas?!

"Pearls Before Swine" featured a satire of a job interview in which Rat, who has even fewer people skills than Dilbert (for those of you in Slovakia Dilbert is in the comic strip "Dilbert;" we're not making fun as you are our favorite former Yugoslav republic**) tries to be candid and honest to his futility.Oh btw, the snazzy Mexican men's dress shoes are used as our image for "Pearls."

Lastly, "Get Fuzzy," which usually revolves around squabbling between a cat and a third comes in third place as the house pets have it out over a broccoli casserole, or something like that!

Here is our top ten from the Sunday Dec. 7th "Roanoke Times," which does not carry "Rhymes Before Orange," WUMO," Brewster Rockit: Space Guy," "Sherman's Lagoon," "Dustin," "The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee"........................but, hey still have "Hi and Lois"!

1) Doonesbury

2) Pearls Before Swine

3) Get Fuzzy

4) Dilbert

5) Jump Start (highest rating ever for this comic on our survey)

6) Garfield

7) Speed Bump

8) Zits

9) Agnes

10) Pickles

**_ This is a joke! Unlike quite a few Americans, I know that Slovenia is the country that was once part of Yugoslavia.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Top 10 Cities We Want to See in the World: When in Rome....

Greetings to our blog readers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, alas none of your cities made it into the top ten, but one city in Asia got through.

The reason why Rome (top image) and Miami (middle image, Miami Dolphins cheerleaders) rank so high is because I've been to the airports in both cities, but I've never had a chance to visit either of them directly.

Vancouver, Canada (bottom image), was a place I had planned to visit in 1994, but I ended up going to Toronto and Montreal instead.

This is a companion entry to our Daily Vampire entry (see link)

Here is our top ten:

1. Rome, Italy

2. Miami, Fla. USA

3. Vancouver, BC, Canada

4. Marrakesh, Morocco

5. Buenos Aires, Argentina

6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

7. Stockholm, Sweden

8. Barcelona, Spain

9. Berlin, Germany

10. Kuala Lampur, Malaysia

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Washington Post Comics Survey: Brewster Rocket Rules....

Greetings to our beloved blog readers in Panama, Cuba and Serbia.

This week, we look at our ten favorite comic strips from the Sunday, Nov. 30th "Washington Post." For a look at the "Roanoke Times" survey, go to our sister blog "The Daily Vampire"

"Brewster Rockit" which poked fun of both Black Friday and Cyber Monday came in first, hence the reason why we have an image of "Aliens" (top image) as the comic strip takes place in outer space; perhaps Brewster and George Jetson run into each other on their work commute.

Second place goes to the Danish import "WUMO" which shows a family dog getting a lot of perhaps slightly unwanted attention as he or she swallowed the remote control (center image). Third place goes to "Pearls Before Swine," which has a brilliant line that makes of Southwest Airlines (bottom image) which most assuredly can't be as awful as American Airlines (we didn't just say that!).....

Here are our top ten strips:

1) Brewster Rockit


3) Pearls Before Swine

4) Foxtrot

5) Knight Life

6) Lio

7) The Argyle Sweater

8) Reply All

9) Prickly City

10) Big Nate