With Peanuts ending only a few days after the rest of civilization, we
couldn't help but get the hint that it's time to clean out the rest of our
daily newspaper's comics page a veritable elephants' graveyard of one-joke
wonders ready to be put out of their respective miseries. We're happy to
provide the potassium chloride, along with some suggestions for more with-it
OUT WITH The Lockhorns
Leroy Lockhorn is a balding, potbellied salaryman with an expression of
perpetual boredom. His wife Loretta is a bitter, shrewish homemaker, just
this side of exploding with rage. They despise each other, their families,
and their empty middle-class lifestyle. The single-panel gags work the
endless fights, putdowns, and general psychological warfare of their
loveless marriage for maximum yuks, with special attention to insulting her
cooking and both of their in-laws.
IN WITH The Processors
Steve Processor is a freelance graphic designer with repetitive-stress
injuries, poor time-management techniques, and problems with intimacy. His
domestic partner Thalia is a pharmaceutical copywriter who has a pattern of
toxic relationships and is still tormented by her unhappy childhood. The
single-panel gags find them working out their issues in couples therapy,
with special attention to their passive-aggressive dealings with money and
both of their extended families.
OUT WITH B.C.
Sometime in prehistory, tragically before the birth of Christ, pelt-wearing
cavemen and cavewomen exchange wisecracks, write on clay tablets, and learn
to deal with innovations like the wheel and fire. Additional hilarity is
provided by talking ants and daffy definitions from a dictionary on a big
stone. The strip's jokes are cribbed from the Borscht Belt, but are offset by
inspirational Christian musings. Classic collection is entitled Life Is a 75
IN WITH Ancient History
Sometime in the early '90s, tragically before the New Economy, flannel-clad
businessmen and businesswomen exchange wisecracks, write on overhead
projectors, and learn to deal with innovations like Mosaic and Newtons.
Additional hilarity is provided by talking deer ticks and daffy utterances from a
tech guy who's a big stoner. The strip's jokes are cribbed from The
Onion, but offset by inspirational quotes from Kevin Kelly. Classic
collection is entitled Life Is a $12 Download Available Exclusively from
OUT WITH Garfield
A fat, lazy cat spends his days sprawled on his back, making wisecracks at
no one in particular, when he's not scarfing lasagna or bossing around his
happy-go-lucky schlub owner Jon. Over the course of the strip, his eyes
have quintupled in size, making him appear cuter and more sympathetic.
Comic relief is provided by Odie, Jon's silent dog, who is even stupider
and often drools.
IN WITH Polk
A fat, lazy rave kid spends his days sprawled on his girlfriend's couch,
making wisecracks at the TV, when he's not guzzling Ten-High or bossing
around his embittered Goth girlfriend Jen. Over the course of the strip,
his pants' cuffs will quintuple in size, making him appear hipper and more
fashion conscious. Comic relief is provided by OD, their dealer and Jen's
personal "dog," who often passes out in his own drool.
OUT WITH For Better or for Worse
A comedy-drama about a warm-hearted bookseller, her square but cheerful
dentist husband, and their three adorable children. We watch the kids grow
up in real time, discovering the joys and tribulations of adolescence,
young love, and education. The family's dog dies heroically rescuing the
youngest from drowning. General tone is that of an ABC Afterschool Special.
IN WITH I Get the Trailer, You Get the Brats
A comedy-drama about a cracked-out phone sex operator, her series of
small-time thug boyfriends, and her three frequent wards of the state. We
watch the kids develop a relationship with the law in real time,
discovering the joys and tribulations of chugging Robitussin, hoarding
small-caliber firearms, and listening to Impaled Nazarene. The family's dog
dies after eating the youngest's stash of ketamine. General tone is that of
OUT WITH Dilbert
A chubby, homely geek, toiling in a cubicle, has no friends besides his
pets. He and his co-workers spend their days writing meaningless reports
and dosing themselves with coffee to make it through the day. Their boss is
a small-minded autocrat who's constantly micromanaging them. Wacky
corporate policies and unpredictable computers are a constant source of
fun. All the characters live in fear of Microsoft.
IN WITH Dilaudid
A chubby, homely geek at a Linux firm that's just gone public suddenly has
more friends than he can count. He and his co-workers spend their days
checking their stock's value on Bloomberg every five minutes and dosing
themselves with prescription painkillers to pass the time until they vest.
Their boss is a small-minded autocrat who occasionally checks in via
satellite phone from Aruba. Wacky SEC policies and unpredictable
shareholders are a constant source of fun. All the characters live in fear
of The Industry Standard.
words the Sucksters
pictures Terry Colon