The Things They Say

Posted by on December 3rd, 2009 at 4:17 PM

The best comics are those that blend words and pictures to achieve a meaning neither is capable of alone without the other (as I’ve been saying for what seems like tedious centuries). But sometimes the things that are said in the newspaper funnies are notable without the pictures. In Jef Mallett’s Frazz, for instance, the verbal hijinks are often worth a second read. Here’s a kid asking his teacher a profoundly disturbing question: “If horses really don’t mind spurs, how do barbed-wire fences keep them in?” Afterwards, Frazz compliments the kid on the question, and the kid puns: “I like to ask the pointed questions.” Two jokes in one strip.

In Tim Rickard’s Brewster Rockit: Space Guy, the cast’s duty mad scientist finishes building a robot army and gloats: “My plan for world domination will soon be complete! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!” To which the duty cute chick says: “You’re mad with power.” And he reposits: “Ever gone mad without power? Everyone ignores you.” Touche. And further down the page in Rhymes with Orange, Hilary Price depicts Mary Poppins at the post office instructing the postal clerk about the package she’s about to commit to his keeping: “This is supercalifragilistic. Please treat it expialidociously.” Don’t you wish you’d thought of that one?

Finally, Dave Coverly in his Reuben-winning panel cartoon Speed Bumps shows two slacker couch potatoes, one of which is saying: “Whoa. I just had a near-life experience.”

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