Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday morning toons: Special "Circle of Life" edition

We'll kick off our Labor Day Weekend toonfest with Daryl Cagle's round-up:

First, let's take a moment to celebrate the Americans who manufacture and ship and deliver and sell and install and service and recycle and haul to the dump all the stuff in our lives: Hat tip to R. J. Matson, Mike Lane, and Jeff Parker.

p3 Picks of the Week: Pat Bagley, Cameron Cardow, Mike Lane, Jeff Parker, Stephane Peray, and Dick Locher,

Usually, a news story on Friday isn't in the tooniverse by Sunday, but this time there is a fair amount of traffic about McCain's Veep pick, including Matt Davies and Rob Rogers.

And, probably unfair to all involved, but still pretty funny, there's Pat Bagley.

Finally, the p3 Loving Cup, filled with the beverage of his choice, goes to Cal Grondahl.

About a year ago, we noted that the creator of the daily strip "For Better or For Worse" was placing the strip in a kind of toon homeostasis, in which the characters, who've all aged through roughly thirty years during the life of the strip, would cease to grow older.

A year later, Lance Mannion takes a look at how that's working out, and you can judge his conclusions by his modifiers--including "asexual, masochistic" and "boring, sexless, ineffectual, childish, and, when you think about it, kind of sick"--as well as his verbs--including "baffled," "punishing," "squashing." The focus of his dyspepsia is the impending marriage of two characters who obviously don't belong together, always a tough sell, here aggravated by the fact that the story line has become so drawn out and overblown that Luke and Laura eloped to Reno, by comparison, all those years ago on "General Hospital." What gives this the Mannion touch is his ability to get inside characters' skins, and figure out how that drives what the thirty-year history of the strip has to say about life, death, love, and sex.

And if that isn't enough to get you to go read it, here's a little taste:

I would never have expected a storyline in which Elizabeth was disappointed by Anthony's impotence on their wedding night or one that had her cheating on him or running out on him after they were married. I just would have expected one in which, if she had to meet up with Anthony again---and I doubt any fans would have been disappointed or even noticed if she hadn't---she was smart enough to recognize trouble when she saw it and put as much distance between her and Anthony as she could as fast as she could.

Take that, you girls in Apartment 3-G!

Ann Telnaes looks ahead and wonders what Bush and Cheney will do with the time they have left.

For several weeks, Opus has been filled with little hints and intimations of something dark going on behind the scenes. I'm afraid that today's strip, about the Circle of Life, is no exception.

Portland homeboy Jack Ohman discovers the dream may yet be televised.

Poor, poor Sen. Joe Lieberman. Last week he faced the ignomy of being used as a decoy in the GOP Veepstakes to divert media attention (as if that were necessary) from the unknown Palin (the governor, not the Python). His speech to the GOP convention this week (in which he will undoubtedly excoriate the Democrats as collaborators and traitors, although more in sorrow than in anger) will give him a last buzz of media consequence--after which he will become Dead Man Walking. Unless McCain can somehow pull out the election, Lieberman will likely be stripped (finally) of his Senate committee power by the Democrats he's sanctimoniously betrayed, and shunned by the Repubs who were smart enough to do business with him but also smart enough never to trust him. The Sunday morning chat shows will occasionally bring him on for auld lang syne, but he won't have a standing appointment like the old days. And finally, after four years in the wilderness, he'll have to face the voters of Connecticut who are unlikely to forget how he sold them out in 2006.

But cheer up, Joe--you're not a complete political pariah yet, and meanwhile here's a Tex Avery "Droopy" cartoon from 1946:

p3 Bonus Toon: Jesse Springer also explores the Circle of Life. You can decide which version is less depressing. (Click to enlarge)

No comments: