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Funny Paper

Scum-Bag Politician

April 9-15

By Scocca & MacLeod | Posted 4/18/2001

Amazing Gracelessness Dep't.: Thanks to The Sun's practice of skipping the Sunday B.C., local readers of the paleolithic comic were spared a look at Johnny Hart's Easter strip, in which a menorah was snuffed out, candle by candle, to the accompaniment of the last words of the crucified Jesus--till, in the end, the arms of the menorah fell away, turning it into a cross. Hart was reportedly stunned to learn that some readers took this to be, ah, anti-Semitic.

But everybody got to see the Good Friday strip, in which Curls, the Fat Broad, and the other cavepersons dropped character and gathered around for a Christian confab: "What if you loved someone so much, you would give your life to save them?" "You mean, like, would we die in their place?" "So they wouldn't have to?"

Funny Paper is disgusted by this--aesthetically, chronologically, theologically, politically, and cartoonically. If we want this kind of stilted, hectoring evangelism from our funnies, we'll get it from Jack Chick. As a freebie palm-sized comic tract, it might-- might--get one rummy in 2,000 off the bottle and onto Jesus for a week. Delivered over our morning grapefruit and Marlboro Lights, it's worthless. Getting religion from B.C. is like getting one of those Democratic strategy papers from Barbra Streisand: Who asked you? vies with shutupshutupshutup in our personal thought balloon.


You Can Say That Again! Dep't.: In the Sunday Middletons, the oldsters sing "Easter Parade" to each other. In the Sunday Family Circus, Dead Granddad swoops down from heaven to sing "Easter Parade" to Grandma. Bonus points to the Keanes for giving Irving Berlin a songwriting credit.


You Can See That Again! Dep't.: Not only was Sunday Easter, it was April 15--yielding two all-but-identical punch-line panels of male-head-of-household tax agony. Hi and Lois gives us Hi in the lower right corner, hunched over his computer, stubbly and squirting perspiration. Curtis gives us Mr. Wilkins in the lower right corner, sans computer but scribbling furiously. Both men are in rolled-up shirtsleeves, with loosened striped ties. Both are sweating. Curtis' father also has stress squiggles, puffs of smoke from the three cigarettes he's smoking at once, and, in one of Ray Billingsley's trademark magic-realist touches, stress-induced flames shooting out of his head.


The Col-egg-table EGGERS Family: The one cartoon that should really cash in on the holiday comes up grievously short, as Lori Lee Landi offers un-time-pegged eggs-ample "Fettucini Egg-fredo," and winning contestant Jennifer He, age 9, proffers "Happy Egg-ster." That's it? The biggest egg-related holiday of the year and that's all Lori Lee Productions Inc. could give us? Funny Paper is dis-egg-pointed. Where's the cruc-egg-fiction? Judas Egg-scariot? Joseph of Arim-egg-thea? Mary M-egg-dalene? Pontius Pil-egg? Golgoth-egg? Calv-egg-ry? The Last Supper, by Leonardo DaVinc-egg? My God, my God, why has thou forsake-egg me?


Mark Trail: Andy and Tabby's encounter with feral dogs escalates into primal violence, with a heroic Thursday opening panel of the St. Bernard, flews flapping, locked in Jack London-esque canine combat. It's nature versus domesticated nature! Much as Funny Paper appreciates Dodd & Elrod's raw drama, though, we're a little confused by the way that the wild dogs have reverted to the wolf phenotype. They're still dogs. Shouldn't we see a feral greyhound or a feral cocker spaniel in the mix?


Sunday's featured plant: the passion flower, "a living symbol of the crucifixion"--which gives D&E an excuse to venture into Johnny Hart territory, spending 50 percent of their space on a grisly, blood-dripping rendering of Jesus on the cross.


Kudzu: Tuesday, in the thick of the 9,000th week of lame Rev. Will B. Dunn gags, Doug Marlette slips in a nonspeaking guest appearance by . . . Kudzu!


The Boondocks: Huey continues hatin', focusing on Sean "Puffy" Combs' name change to "P. Diddy"--which, he starts to say in Saturday's strip, rhymes with "sh----." Like an Isaac Hayes backup singer, Caesar steps in to stop him from finishing the bad word. This was all it took to get a naughty punch line past the editors?


One Big Happy: Ruthie agonizes over the existence of "Puff Mommy."


Apartment 3G: Gradually, glacially, Margo informs her fellow tenants of her victory over nefarious landlord Dratman. Now they all own the building! "Hip! Hip! Hooray!" they cry in the Sunday color supplement--though FP isn't sure whether they're cheering their venture into joint property ownership or simply celebrating the fact that this interminable plot line seems to be ending.


For Better or For Worse: Michael and Deanna discuss their wedding plans with friend Weed, whose quippy dialogue supplies the strip with some rare near-punch lines. Weed makes everything seem funny. Snicker.


Mary Worth: Minnie Monroe, outraged upon learning that a local official wants to seize her property for a private fishing club, vows to go after the "scum-bag politician" with her 12-gauge. "Scum-bag"! Oh, Mary Worth! Stay out The Boondocks!


Jumble: TAX PATIENCE, TEN PERCENT, IN "HI" PLACES, COLD CASH, HIGH AND DRY, A WARM FRONT.


Cathy: Monday: Cathy is obsessed with food. Tuesday: Cathy is ignorant and incompetent at tax time. Wednesday: Cathy is ignorant and incompetent at tax time. Thursday: Cathy is ignorant and incompetent at tax time. Friday: Cathy is ignorant and incompetent at tax time. Saturday: Cathy is ignorant and incompetent at tax time. Sunday: Cathy is ignorant and incompetent at tax time.

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