Brevity - a collection of comics

Reviewed: December 13, 2006
By: Guy & Rodd
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
128 pages, $13.95

The single panel cartoon is one of the oldest forms, and owes a lot to the standard editorial cartoon when it comes to format. They part company when it comes to content. Aside from the Family Circus, which has been a staple since I was the age the kids in the strip still seem to be, most single panel cartoons now follow the lead of Gary Larson’s “The Far Side”, which he retired several years ago when he felt he had run out of ideas.

Other people haven’t. Imagine Marmaduke suddenly discovering that his life was a joke - and not a very funny one either. Or see another dog, lying on a couch, complaining to his psychiatrist that he feels he’s “ stuck in some lame New Yorker cartoon”, which, of course, he is, even to the ink-wash style of the art.

Or imagine this, suitably illustrated with spooky scenery: “It was a Monday when he discovered the cave of bad puns. By Friday, he was the most successful cartoonist in history.”

There are other people doing this sort of thing in Larson’s absence, but this pair have caught the flavor of “The Far Side”, and I’d have to say that the art is quite a bit better.