Despite graduating from college five years ago with a degree in film, I managed to avoid seeing any of the Godfather movies until earlier this summer. When I finally did see the original, I was surprised by how familiar it felt thanks to pop culture references like today’s Jump Start. I was also surprised by the enduring popularity of a movie that holds such a dim view of humanity. That said, I enjoyed part one a whole lot more than part two, which I thought was overly long and plagued by dense storylines. I have part three on my end table right now and am somewhat reluctant to watch it.
Archive for August, 2008
There’s nothing funnier than irrationality, which is why I laughed out loud at today’s Clear Blue Water. I also loved the exquisite timing of the penultimate pause leading up to the punchline. But what I enjoyed most about this strip was the pace of the couple’s banter, which is full of intriguing conflict, dramatic momentum and strong characterization. It’s the type of dialogue that makes you want to spend more time with these characters, even as it tells you everything you might need to know about them.
This strip reminded me of an article I read recently about the havoc that lionfish have caused in the Caribbean by gobbling up native species. The article explained how the exotic creature made its way from the eastern hemisphere to the western hemisphere. “Researchers believe lionfish were introduced into the Atlantic in 1992,” it read, “when Hurricane Andrew shattered a private aquarium and six of them spilled into Miami’s Biscayne Bay.” A goldfish, on the other hand, would hardly make a ripple even if it were carried out to sea. No wonder this strip is punctuated by a sigh.
I don’t think the word “drawers,” meaning underwear, is dated enough to earn the moniker “old school vocabulary.” It would be different if Frazz had referred to “britches,” “skivvies” or “unmentionables” as those terms have been out of favor for generations. But “drawers” is still used by people of all ages. “Ticker,” on the other hand, is not, which is why I found it funny to see a young boy spout the word while clutching his chest in mock agony.
That’s one sad expression on the red-headed boy’s face in panel one. It’s as if he’s ashamed of letting the dog see him with his new ‘do. Then again, if I came home with a haircut like that I would be all mumbles and apologies and staring at my shoelaces as well. In fact, every time a barber uses styling gel without asking, the first thing I do is come home, run my head under warm water and rejuvenate myself by washing the gunk out of my hair.
I spent four-and-a-half years covering television commercials for a trade magazine, so this strip inspired a knowing chuckle on my part. Even though my beat was an exciting one, I did have to rack my brain on occasion to come up with fresh story ideas. The truth is that confining a writer to a single subject means that he or she will occasionally run out of things to say.
Side note: I do realize that I write about the same subject (comic strips) on a daily basis, but also I try to use the strips as a springboard into other topics that interest me. Hopefully the well doesn’t run dry any time soon!
It’s the little things that make Get Fuzzy such a joy to read. I can’t help but marvel, for example, at the level of detail in the final panel. I particularly like Rob Wilco’s aggravated stare, his rage barely restrained by a tiny bite of the lower lip. And Bucky Katt’s continued provocation is pretty funny as well, especially his brazen emphasis on the word trite. It’s more than enough to make up for the odd and confusing dialogue in the first panel.