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The Sunday Funnies (8/22/10)

Submitted for your approval: Medium Large (8/19) by Francesco Marciuliano; Mother Goose and Grimm (8/20) by Mike Peters; Adam @home (8/20) by Brian Basset; Keeping Up With the Sevilles (8/20) by Alex Dudley; Brevity (8/18) by Guy & Rod; and Reality Check (8/19) by Dave Whammond.

(Thanks, Jim Lahue, Kurtis Findlay, Ed Austin, Jed Martinez and Chris Allison)

  • Roberto Severino

    The last two are actually quite good, but everything else is meh to me. Can’t wait for next Sunday’s Funnies.

  • Rooniman

    The Sevilles one is heinously drawn.

  • Isaac

    This reminds me how much I love the Dr Seuss style.

  • I LOVE the “Green Prunes and Ham” comic. Thanks for posting it. Great stuff – made my day!

  • Scarabim

    I have to admit, I kind of dug seeing Jerry bring Tom some Joe. It’d be interesting if they were given the Roger Rabbit treatment – a full-length movie (in 2D) where we see their offscreen lives, and we find that they’re actually good buddies and all.

    Anyway, not a bad selection this week. The Dora one was great. Thanks much, Jerry.

  • The Gee

    hmmmm….Is it that time of the week again?

    Well, first off, on such a glorious day, I don’t want to come across as mean-spirited. However, there’s stuff that I feel should be expressed and have not expressed. So, I’ll start with that and try to maintain a constructive critical tone….and, I realize I could search for these answers but they are kind of rhetorical questions.

    Is Francesco Marciuliano in college or is he college aged? I ask simply because:
    1) he seems to be featured here often–which means many of his strips are riffing on animation;
    2) the gag in this strip is kind of easy and is one which a more mature person would probably reconsider later in life. Probably….
    I don’t mean any offense if he’s a veteran pro with a multi-decade career…but, in the context of this particular showcase(The Sunday Funnies) he–and the other oft-featured strips and one panel gags–come across as using pop cartoon references as a crutch for their creativity.

    When I was younger I knew a guy who did a strip for the college paper and it was almost every one was a looney tunes gag, or similar. It didn’t shine then and it don’t shine now.

    Admittedly, I’ve grown numb to “Mother Goose and Grimm’s” pop culture crutch because for two plus decades now, that’s been the bulk of what I’ve seen. The strip seems to be built around it. But, that doesn’t mean so many strip cartoonists who follow in Peters’ footsteps have to match him toe-to-toe.

    Finally, and I’m sorry for being verbose, is “Reality Check” a gag series that centers around therapy as its theme? If so, okay. If no, then why do most of his animation riffs involve therapy? Again: crutch.

    Something positive: two appearances by Babar, the bland elephant of royalty. Whodathunkit? How did the cosmos align to produce this coincidence?

  • I guess “The Thing From Another World”s name was too inconveniently long to be included in the last one.

  • The Gee

    for what it is worth, I do dig The Sunday Funnies as a feature but it is just odd seeing repeat cartoonists is all.

    Another thing is I don’t want to think that some may choose to do these animation-related strips for whatever amount of attention being featured here could bring. I hope there aren’t younger or newer artists who are that cynical…

    That written, I agree that the Suess one is well done. It is a good, clever twist.

    • Bill

      That Sevilles comic was submitted by the same guy that made it so theres one for ya.

      Elsewhere I’ve argued with Dudley over stuff, he’s basicly a young excutive but with a younger mentality.

      After our argument we were neutral but then he was nice enough to look at some of my work, though all he did was mock it even though I wanted to stay neutral.

      • Bill

        Forget about that first sentence, I misread above.

  • Michael F.

    I especially liked the Medium Large, Sevilles and Off the Mark strips this week. Watching Jerry give Tom coffee and looking sincere about it was pretty funny (and maybe a reference to that vomit-inducing 1990s movie?)

  • Pedro Nakama

    The Thing one was funny.

    • John F A

      Anybody that can recall the VW thing is OK in my book.–Although it should have been titled “these are a few of my favorite THINGS”.

  • Matt Petersen

    Wow, Babar seen twice in one day. Amazing!!

  • To “The Gee”: Francesco Marculiano is the writer of the newspaper strip “Sally Forth.” He’s been doing that since 1999. “Medium Large” is his web comic, which he’s been doing since 2004, although there was a 16 month hiatus in 2007-08. He’s also a professional comedian. His strips often use comics and animated cartoons as well as television as a basis for satire, but I doubt that he’d refer to that as a “crutch for his creativity.”

    • The Gee

      Ah. That dual productivity role does sound familiar.
      Well, first I don’t mean to step on toes, his or anyone who might be into any of his work. Perhaps, to me–and nobody else but me–it seems like he isn’t plowing fertile soil; he’s just re-tilling the same plot.

      Second, I stopped regularly reading the comics section long before he started doing his thing on “Sally Forth,” I guess. So, it’s likely I am only vaguely familiar with his work. If “Sally Forth” is the strip I think it is then I’m glad it is published because it most likely adds to any comics section it is in because it is different enough from other strips.

      But, to call it the ones that are shown here almost once a week satire? It still comes across as a crutch, especially since it is so frequent. Believe me when I say niches are there to be filled, so someone gotta fill ’em. But, with cartoons and comics, the self-referential stuff really is overplayed these days and over relied upon by some creators. That’s not only to the detriment of The Comics but to their comics.

      For example, think of how rare it was when an established but now retired or deceased strip artist would reference other comics or cartoons. When they did do that it was special. It may have been just a wink or it may have been indulgent or it may have been reverential but it wasn’t every other week. They had plenty of other gags to dilute rather than relying on a steady stream of pop cartoon culture gags. Think: The Lockhorns or Andy Capp.

      Again, I like a good gag, I like comics and I look forward to seeing a sampling of what is currently being made. I’d seek it out more but I can only think of one current strip that makes me laugh and that’s online. So, I look forward to Mr. Beck’s featuring some of the strips that are being put out.

      And, thank you, Brent. Thanks for filling me in. I appreciate it.

  • optimist

    They all stink.

  • The “Keeping Up with the Sevilles” creator is attempting to make a comic covering animation news, like what Penny Arcade does for gaming

    • Ryoku

      And he does what Penny Arcade does as a comic, stiff drawings that re-cycle expressions and souless gags.

      Sorry about that but, him and I go ways back.

  • Why is Fao Schwarz being mentioned in the media so much lately?

  • timmyelliot

    These are all pretty bad. They’re just making references. None of the gags are funny in themselves.
    (like the last one, why stop at five things? including the Swamp Thing would have made six, and more things make more funny.)

  • Tim Douglas

    I’m probably way off but isn’t all the stuff mentioned in the 3rd comic actually from MGM cartoons?

    e.g. I remember eyes bulging but not popping out of looney tunes character’s eyes.

    I guess it’s off to youtube for me.

  • oh dear… there is one in there that looks as if someone pressed a button and let the computer draw it.
    I wonder if anyone can guess which one.

    It’s always a useless sport to be mean on the internet
    but my word, what else can you do with this stuff?

  • I find the thing one funny the rest are garbage. I don’t think Babar is getting a live action movie right?

  • anthrocoon

    I think the “Sevilles” one is actually part of a strip/web comic called The Continuing Adventures of Conroy Cat (did a search with artist’s name)

  • I liked the Sevilles one, especially because of the casual insert of Tom getting coffee for Jerry, like they’re regular actors who just play enemies.

  • Mr. James

    I graduated with Mike Peter’s (creator and cartoonist on Mother Goose & Grimm) daughter at Ringling School of Art + Design. He actually gave our commencement speech at our graduation ceremony and he was a riot!

  • The live-action BABAR flick might never come to fruition; it’sproducers purchased the rights only recently. In any case, there is a new CG series coming out.

  • simon

    Didn’t cartoonists used to have to be able to draw?

    • Professional cartoonists, yes. Webcartoonists, not necessarily.

  • Scarabim

    *Didn’t cartoonists used to have to be able to draw?*

    *Professional cartoonists, yes.*

    Pffft. If you believe that, you haven’t picked up a newspaper lately.

  • The Gee

    And isn’t that part of the problem inherent in making fun of other, established characters? Even if all drawings here were on model–top notch all the way–the strip/gag panel would still need to look as good as or be better looking than what it is making fun of.

    I know it is done all in good fun. But, it is tricky. And, not just from the art standpoint but from the standpoint of parody. Parody doesn’t have to be good or clear to legally okay. So, any of the stuff shown here is okay. But, it would be cool if the parody stood on its own as a good work. As good as or better than what it makes fun of.

    If setting the bar that high is taking the fun out of doing them, I guess keep it limbo low.

    What I should do is check out what some of these cartoonists typically do, there other strips, older comics. I’m sure that would be fairer than just being critical right now and basing that criticism on this SunFun stuff.

  • I kinda like the third one, but there’s something about the way they tell their gag that feels a bit… pretentious to me, maybe? Eh. I like the Dr. Seuss ones though. And the Dora comic feels like it’s been done with a million other cartoon characters.

  • Those “Off the Mark” strips are several years old… Just a heads-up.

    • But they were reprinted in the papers last week… so they count as far as my rules are concerned.