Sherman's Lagoon operates from a cheerful, light-hearted, relentless predator's perspective that makes it only natural that one of the strip's book collections is entitled "Poodle: The Other White Meat."
It also has some of the best Bob Newhart timing on the comics page. Those two factors came together today, as they often do, but even better than usual.
Meanwhile, Rex Morgan managed to get one past the goalie this morning:
Rex and June are on a semi-working vacation, taking a beach holiday at an apartment house whose other occupants are a group of strippers, one of whom has breast cancer. It's an interesting storyline that has, so far, managed to make some serious points without overt preaching.
But I don't think you have to see the ditzy blonde of the group from the front to realize that Rex Morgan MD has not allowed his professional training to obscure his appreciation of aesthetics.
(Of course, this would have been a riskier gag if the majority of newspapers still printed the "toppers" on Sunday. What they don't see, they won't find objectionable.)
Speaking of getting one past the goalie, June just revealed that there's going to be a second set of little feet pitter-pattering around the Morgan household. Stay tuned.
And Rabbits Against Magic provides a puzzler that will stick in my mind:
I seem to remember a time when it really did matter which octane you used, and I had a car that would knock if you put in the cheapest stuff. The medium-grade gas would solve the problem. But that was so long ago that I can't even remember what car it was, and it was certainly when I was living at over 5,000 feet above sea level and then mostly when I was going uphill and over 7,000 feet.
Back in them thar days, you had to get a tune-up when you arrived in Colorado. I don't know if the difference is fuel-injection or simply better engineering, but that's no longer necessary. Probably still a good idea if you're staying very long.
But the point of the cartoon is not to touch off a seminar on automotive engineering. If you can afford a Maserati, you can afford to fill it up with the good stuff.
And I like the idea of using fuel selection as a diagnostic tool to weed out incompetent voters. We could employ robocameras like some cities use to detect and ticket speeders.
I also like gags that go off repeatedly, and I'm going to think about this silly strip every time I gas up for a long time.
Greg Cravens also brought logic into the mix with today's The Buckets:
I was just talking to someone the other day about a set of "Rules" that surfaced on Facebook, intended for parents to inflict on their children as they give them their first phones. It was one of those all-inclusive exercises in futility drawn up by parents whose kids aren't quite old enough to need them yet.
Young parents draw up solutions to problems; old parents laugh.
And techies without kids simply shake their heads over old people who don't understand a changing world, which brings us to people who don't even understand how the world got to where it is now, never mind where it's going next.
People who believe in the wisdom of mankind are represented in the first panel. People who have been around the barn enough times to have witnessed how technology actually develops are represented in the third panel.
And speaking of tech and such, here's something that may only amuse me:
Some people are so offended by the stripped-down art of Pirate Cove that they miss what is a very witty comic in which the flood of mistaken identities, bizarre coincidences and absurd villains make commedia d'ell arte seem like Arthur Miller.
Specifically, the introduction of an adventurous, hot, ass-kicking archaeologist named "Laura Seals" makes me giggle. If they revealed her full name when she entered the storyline, I missed it, in which case it's even funnier. I particularly like gags that hit you late.
And now we get down to a really, really personal reaction:
I always enjoy The Better Half, but this portion of today's offerings (You get four on Sunday!) got an extra laugh because it reminded me of a very good reporter at a paper I worked at who made a very silly mistake.
She wrote a health story about avoiding "The Freshman 50."
In a college town, there was no shortage of people willing to point out that the phenomenon of first-year weight gain is called "The Freshman 15," Miss Litella.
And while one of the young cubs on staff would only get a shake of the head over something like this, when a newsroom veteran does it, the horse laughs are long and loud.
I've consistently touted both DailyInk and GoComics as well worth the price of subscribing, both because of their ease of use and for ethical reasons. If you like cartoons, you should be willing to toss a few pennies to the creators of them, after all.
And if you like cartoons, GoComics will unveil tomorrow yet another reason to spend three-and-a-quarter cents a day to subscribe: Tom Racine's Tall Tale Radio podcast is becoming a feature on the site.
Racine's gig is leisurely, relaxed conversations with cartoonists about what they do, how they do it, why they do it, a very interesting mix of childhood memories and art-geek about nibs and Wacom tablets and Bristol Board. And, like all good podcasts, each interview is as long as it ought to be.
This is a win-win, because not only does it bring TTR to more comics fans, but, in his joyous announcement of the event, Racine admits it will be a spur to him to be more regular in lining up and producing interviews.
It's going to be a great resource for anyone who likes comics but hadn't discovered this gem.