Archive: My Cage

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You almost certainly have noticed that King Features has washed its comics in pink today in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! How has our favorite art form managed to acknowledge this important issue in the context of its usual light-hearted fare? Let’s take a look!

Rhymes With Orange and My Cage, 10/10/10

Rhymes With Orange is, as near as I can tell, the only strip with the guts to do an actual joke about breast cancer. My Cage at least attempts a Breast Cancer Awareness meta-joke.

Marvin and Curtis, 10/10/10

Some strips did a half-hearted job of trying to explain why they were all pinkish without acknowledging the “you or your loved ones might get terrible cancer” subtext. For instance, Marvin’s parents are apparently giving him psychoactive drugs, and Curtis is attempting to up his enjoyment of ladies’ church hats by literally viewing them through rose-colored glasses.

Apartment 3-G, 10/10/10

Mostly, though, the creators just churned the strips through a Breast Cancer Awareness Photoshop filter, shoehorned a pink ribbon in wherever it would fit, and went about their business. This sometimes had awkward results. Here, the ribbon of female solidarity silently shames Lu Ann and Margo, who are engaged in petty intragender squabbling.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/10/10

Breast Cancer Awareness Month had the bad form this year to fall smack in the middle of Rex Morgan’s attempt to raise awareness of prostate cancer. At least the pink ribbon had the good sense to not float right next to June’s word balloon in panel one, stealing its awareness-raising thunder. Still, the noble ribbon is oddly juxtaposed with the mayor’s final-panel threat to decapitate whoever is raising awareness about his own personal tumor-ridden prostate gland.

Blondie, 10/10/10

Blondie deserves kudos for not simply slathering Pepto-Bismol all over everything but rather integrating pink relatively tastefully into the color scheme of the Sunday strip.

Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, 10/10/10

Shockingly, the Winkerverse strips are mostly pink-free, though Funky Winkerbean did pair up the boilerplate “Cartoonists Care” ribbon with a hand-drawn “Lisa’s Legacy” ribbon, as if to say “We don’t need to do this crap because we own this issue. We are aware of cancer and suffering and pain 365 days a year, to the exclusion of all else.”

Spider-Man, 10/10/10

And, of course, Spider-Man ignored the campaign completely, the better to reflect Peter Parker’s longstanding tradition of just stone cold not giving a shit.

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My Cage, 10/6/10

Have I ever mentioned in this space that My Cage has been cancelled by King Features? Well, if I haven’t, My Cage is being cancelled by King Features, which is too bad because (a) I like it and (b) it’s not a 70-year-old strip being churned out by the grandsons of the strip creator. Anyway, the strip is spending its last month in newspapers in a cloud of meta, and since I’m a sucker for attention, I’m happy to repost this installment, which name-checks my site and an insult given herein. Cathy was able to attend the awards ceremony at the last minute since she now has no other commitments, but she ought to know that a strap-on duckbill does not a fursuit make.

Crock, 10/6/10

Dear creators of Crock: Despite the fact that the two concepts are often discussed in similar contexts, there is a difference between “camouflage” and “body armor”! Nevertheless, I hope the confusion in this strip arises from your confusing these two things, because otherwise it is nothing but a howling pit of gibbering madness.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/6/10

It should come as a surprise to no one that Hootin’ Holler’s one law-enforcement official is thoroughly corrupt, but the extremely paltry sum with which the locals can buy justice is a shocking commentary on the depths of the community’s economic despair.

Pluggers, 10/6/10

I don’t know which premise here I find less believable: that pluggers, whose lives are notoriously empty and meaningless, might be in a hurry to get somewhere, or that pluggers would even bother going to a restaurant whose very name implies that they’ll be forced to use a fork with their meal.

Apartment 3-G, 10/6/10

Who wants to see Margo ruin a perfectly nice wedding with her terrible behavior, just so nobody ever asks her to be a bridesmaid again? Me! Me! I want to see Margo ruin a perfectly nice wedding with her terrible behavior, just so nobody ever asks her to be a bridesmaid again!

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Panels from Beetle Bailey, 11/8/09

Here you are, ladies and gentlemen: the most throwawayable thowaway panels in the history of the comics. Carefully designed to occupy space in newspapers that run three rows of Sunday Beetle Bailey panels, but not impart any information that would make the comic less enjoyable in those papers that run only two, these panels masterfully tread water, featuring recognizable words and pictures and yet not advancing the narrative a single iota. This particularly specialized artform has now reached its apex; were any panels to be more throwaway than this, they might make the rest of the comic start running backwards or something.

Panels from Mary Worth, 11/8/09

The throwaway panels in today’s Mary Worth, meanwhile, offer a special subliminal treat: the mention of Willa Cather in the first panel made me briefly wonder if one of the tubes that Adrian was fiddling with was Scott’s catheter. “Okay, now, this line seems fine. How does it feel if I jerk on it like this?”

My Cage, 11/8/09

Man, I usually like My Cage, but it’s all preachy and self-referential today. How lame!