Sunday, June 28, 2015

Greetings to our blog readers in England, Pakistan and Malaysia......

Happy 89th birthday to the great Mel Brooks.......

Today, we look at our top ten favorite comic strips from "The Roanoke Times" in Roanoke, Va.

The winner is Stephan Pastis, of "Pearls Before Swine" fame, whom like Jerry Seinfeld did on sitcom television, makes brilliant fun of every day annoying occurrences, like people trying to start a second line for the same bank teller (Image #1: a piggy bank is in reference to the strip).

Second place goes to Dave Coverly's "Speed Bump" in which a third cave man makes stone drawings with his food which seemingly irritates his mates. Our initial choice for an image to go with this was "Captain Caveman," but we couldn't find a suitable image.

Lastly, third place goes to Darby Conley's "Get Fuzzy" in which Satchel the Dog sees a headline in a newspaper that Australia nearly executed Johnny Depp's dogs. We will send Javier the Intern to verify if this actually did happen.

Here is our top ten:

1. Pearls Before Swine

2. Speed Bump

3. Get Fuzzy

4. Non Sequitur

5. Doonesbury

6. Dilbert

7. Jump Start

8. Agnes

9. Garfield

10. Zits

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ten Songs We Heard on 98.7 Simon-FM (Greensboro, NC): We Mistook New Edition for the Jackson Five

We made two mistakes when we were listening to Simon-FM (98.7-Greensboro, NC) last night: First, we mistook Lionel Richie (pict. top) for The Commodores, the band he was in before going solo, with Song #2, and then later we assumed "Candy Girl" by New Edition with a young Bobby Brown was from the Jackson Five. But, hey isn't that Wikipedia is for?

Here are the first ten songs we heard during the 9:00-10:00 hour on that radio station last night:

1. Cherry Pie. Warrant. 1990.

2. Easy. The Commodores. 1977.

3. 867-5309/Jenny. Tommy Tutone. 1981 (image #2)

4. I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow. The Soggy Mountain Boys. 2002.

5. More Than a Feeling. Boston. 1976.

6. La Bamba. Los Lobos. 1987.

7. Bad Girls. Donna Summer. 1979 (image #3, it is a disco tune)

8. Janie's Got a Gun. Aerosmith. 1989.

9. Candy Girl. New Edition. 1983.

10. Moneytalks. AC/DC. 1990

For the ten songs we heard on Steve-FM (106.1-FM, Roanoke, Va.), go to

Monday, June 22, 2015

Top Ten from this Week's Father's Day Washington Post: Denmark Rules the World

Greetings to our blog readers in Malta, Colombia, and New Zealand............

Before we get to this week's comic strips survey, we want to encourage those of you here in America to support your local National Public Radio (NPR) station. Earlier tonight, we were both informed and entertained by "Radiolab," a radio show about scientific and psychological topics and trends, produced by WNYC (New York) and co-hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. The show even has listeners in Iran!

This week's image are of the following: 1) For the Danish import "WuMo" we have an image of skywriting as the strip has a skywriting message saying: "Stop Looking At Home;" 2) The Lazy Boy recliner is our image for "Brewster Rockit" as the Buck Rodgers/Flash Gordon wanna be talks about how sitting reduces our lifespan (????!!!, sorry for breaking the fourth wall) and 3) Cumulonimbus clouds are for "Frazz," to find out exactly why, just try to find the strip at:

Here is our top ten:

1) WuMo

2) Lio

3) Brewster Rockit

4) Frazz

5) Rhymes with Orange

6) Doonesbury

7) Knight Life

8) Foxtrot

9) Prickly City

10) Pearls Before Swine

Monday, June 15, 2015

Top 10 from Sunday Roanoke Times: Speed Bump Wins for a Fourth Week in a Row

Greetings to our blog readers in Austria, Egypt, and South Korea........

Today, we look at yesterday's comic strips in the "Roanoke Times," a daily newspaper serving Roanoke, Va., and the southwest Virginia region. This week, "For Better or For Worse," a strip that rarely cracks our top ten comes in seventh with a strip about dog food. But, "Get Fuzzy" which features a strip about cat food ranks five places higher. However, "Speed Bump" with a great take on a woman blaming her husband for passing gas as his dog is eating all beans and drinking beer.

"Pearls Before Swine" has another Stephan Pastis pun which features Mountain Dew; it does appear to be an overt product endorsement and neither is our use of their logo!

Here is the top 10:

1) Speed Bump

2) Get Fuzzy

3) Pearls Before Swine

4) Zits

5) Doonesbury

6) Jump Start

7) For Better or For Worse

 8) Garfield

9) Dilbert

10) Non Sequitur

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Top 10 Dinner Guests: Will Alexandra Petri Be Running Late.....

Greetings to our blog readers in Ireland, Greece and Pakistan....

Today, we start a new entry series as we look at ten dinner guests we would love to have at our table for dinner; we got this idea from both "Washingtonian" magazine and the NPR show "The Dinner Party Download" which runs on radio stations such as WUNC-FM (91.5-Chapel Hill, NC)

Among our guests would be "Washington Post" social life columnist Alexandra Petri who wrote a vintage column about the art of losing.

The other people who made our top ten include: 1) Ambassador Rudolf Bekink of The Netherlands (pict. top), 2) Film director Sofia Coppola (pict. center) and 3) Cong. Jared Polis (D-Colo.). Here is our top ten:

1. Rudolf Bekink

2. Sofia Coppola

3. Cong. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va; even though we don't tend to agree with him).....

4) Gillian Jacobs of "Community"

5) Stephan Pastis, comic strip guy

6) Alexandra Petri

7) Cong. Jared Polis (D-Colo.)

8) Parker Posey, independent film actress

9) Zeynep Tufekci, UNC professor, expert on Turkey

10) Roy Williams, UNC men's basketball coach

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Top 10 Comics from Sunday Roanoke Times: Doonesbury Slam Dunks Kansas Politics; Pearls Praises Guns N Roses

Greetings to our blog readers in Germany, Lebanon, and Kenya..........

Kudos to Garry Trudeau for a brilliant satire of how Gov. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) messed up his state's entire education program with excessive tax breaks for the wealthy; we are pretty sure this might get his comic strip "Doonesbury" banned from "The Wichita Eagle" in Wichita, Kan., assuming the paper carries the strip.

While "Doonesbury" got first place, "Pearls Before Swine" got second place with a comic strip that referred to both Nirvana and Guns N' Roses, hence the reason why former Guns guitarist Slash is our top image.

"Get Fuzzy" came in third. "Jump Start" came in fourth with a look at what might happen if little green men like Marvin the Martian visited an unsuspecting neighborhood in a suburb like Cary, NC, (Raleigh 'burb) and lastly, "Speed Bump" came in fifth with a strip featuring two laid back cheetahs.

Here is our top ten:

1) Doonesbury

2) Pearls Before Swine

3) Get Fuzzy

4) Jump Start

5) Speed Bump

6) Non-Sequitir

7) Zits

8) Mutts

9) Hi and Lois (wow!)

10) The Family Circus (double wow!!)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Next Ten for Netflix: Foreign Films and Docs

Greetings to our blog readers in Turkey, Greece and the Czech Republic.....

Today, we look at the next ten foreign films and documentaries that we hope to watch via Netflix streaming. These days, we've gotten hooked on streaming, and perhaps the late Roger Ebert would have been proud of us!

The images are of 1) Boo Boo Bear, Yogi's sidekick, this image is used for the Turkish film "Winter Sleep" since bears hibernate zzzzzzzzzzzzzz during the winter, 2) the Hollywood sign is being used for the documentary "L.A. Plays Itself, and 3) lastly, Hot Stuff, the Harvey Comics icon, is used for the South Korean horror film "I Saw the Devil."

It may be a while before we get to watch "Winter Sleep" and "L.A. Plays Itself" as the two films combined would run for six hours!

The films are listed according to Internet Movie Database (IMDB) ratings, which are listed to the right.

Here is the next ten on Netflix:

1) Winter Sleep. Turkey. Nuri Bilge Ceylan. 2014. 8.4/10

2) LA. Plays Itself. documentary (USA). Thom Andersen. 2003. 8.0

3) I Saw the Devil. South Korea. Jee-woon Kim  2010. 7.8

4) A Summer's Tale. France. Eric Rohmer. 1996. 7.6

5) Force Majuere. Sweden. Ruben Olstlud. 2014. 7.4

6) A Coffee in Berlin Germany. Jan Ole Gerber. 2010. 7.4

7) Sister. Switzerland. Ursula Maier. 7.1

8) Stray Dogs. Taiwan. Tsai Ming Ling. 2013. 7.0

9) We Have a Pope. Italy. Nanni Moretti. 2011. 6.7

10) Anita (doc on Anita Hill; USA) Freida Lee Mock. 2014. 6.4 (For our other Netflix list, for English-language films)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Last Ten Films We've Seen: Lots of Sci Fi

In case you are wondering, we have an image of Cong. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) because one of the films listen here is "The Congress" with Robin Wright and Jon Hamm, as it turns out the science fiction art film has nothing to do with Washington, but we like both Cong. Clyburn and using a play on words.

The "RoboCop" (top image) film we've seen is the 1987 original, which is much more violent than we remembered. We believe the IMD lists the body count, but we are pressed for time.

Finally, "Ex Machina," which is one of three art sci fi films on the list ("I, Origins" is the other) is quite a strange which has a plot that is challenging to explain, so we will refer you to "New York Times" film critic Manohla Dargis who is an admirer of the film (we gave it a 7 out of 10 on the IMDB).

We got this idea from "Film Comment" magazine, which features exceptional articles from the likes of film experts Jonathan Romney and Amy Taubin.

Here is our last ten (as of last month, for a newer list go to to our sister blog "The Daily Vampire," see link on our home page):

1. Conrack. 1974. dir: Martin Ritt w/Jon Voight

2. Ex Machina. 2015. dir: Alex Garland

3. Army. Japan. 1944. dir: Keisuke Kinoshita

4. The Congress. 2013. dir: Ari Folman

5. Jealousy. France. 2013. dir: Philippe Garrel

6. The Host. 2013. dir: Andrew Nicol

7. I, Origins. 2014. dir: Mike Cahill

8. Brimstone and Treacle. 1982. dir: Richard Loncraine w/Sting

9. RoboCop. 1987. dir: Paul Verhoeven

10. Do the Right Thing. 1989. dir: Spike Lee

Monday, June 1, 2015

Top Ten Sunday Comic Strips from May 24th Roanoke Times: A Trip Down the Yellow Brick Road....

Greetings to our blog readers in Japan, Brazil and Poland.....

This week, we select "Speed Bump" with an homage to "The Wizard of Oz" as our top pick. Second place goes to "Get Fuzzy," where Satchel the Dog and Bucky the Cat have a row. There is a mention of a cat in a Youtube video; hence we are using an image of a Van cat. Finally, "Pearls Before Swine" has a humorous take on a husband and wife having it out via messages in a bottle. This made us think of the famous song "Message in a Bottle" by The Police, a band with Sting which featured Stewart Copeland (pict. bottom) as its drummer.

Here is our top ten:

1) Speed Bump

2) Get Fuzzy

3) Pearls Before Swine

4) Dilbert

5) Doonesbury

6) Garfield

7) Zits

8) Jump Start

9) For Better or For Worse

10) Family Circus