The Hard Knock Life: This is Annie?

For some reason, I love Little Orphan Annie. I love the movie (which I understand was voted as one of the worst movies the year it came out) and I love the Broadway musical. For some reason, I have it set in my mind that Annie is some sort of world traveling adventurer in the mold of Tintin or Johnny Quest, except much more optimistic about everything. That really appeals to me.

Do you know what’s not so great? The actual Annie comic strip. I have never read the originals, so I have no idea if world-adventurer Annie exists in those copies. All I know is that she doesn’t exist in the current strip … because she’d never there. I know it’s called “Annie,” but, seriously, the most you ever see of her anymore is in the saucy logo on the upper left corner. I mean … what the what?

About the corner logo: I do like Annie’s modern day makeover. The clown hair was getting to be much. Plus the blue jeans are a more sensible option for adventuring.

Unfortunately, not only does Annie not appear in her own strip, it seems that adventuring is not much the order for the day either. I mean, take out the Annie logo and ask yourself: is this so much different from The Hurt Locker? I pity the poor kids coming back from a rousing performance of Annie, only to check out the Sunday funnies and find their fragile little minds plunged into the geo-political realities of chemical warfare.

Oh, Horsey

Whether or not you agree with political cartoonist David Horsey, you got to admit that he’s a hell of an illustrator.  And he the sort of guy who loves the ladies, if you know what I mean.  I mean, check out his renditions of Mother Nature, both clothed:

… and otherwise:

So, after Sarah Palin won the Republican nomination as Vice President, I thought, “Hey, this is right up Horsey’s alley!  The guy’s all about physically attractive women!  I can’t wait to see what he draws up.”

Eh.

Viva Lasagna Cat!

So what do you get when a comedy troupe gets a Garfield costume, a bad wig, and a custom made Odie suit? Probably something resembling that ultra-creepy scene from “The Shining.” (You know which one.) But you also get that absolute insanity of Lasagna Cat, a collection of short films where Garfield strips are re-enacted, followed by a hilarious music video.

To give you a taste, here’s my favorite, starring Liz and Garfield:

Funky Winkerbean: Where’s Wally?

Not Wally

Finally, the reveal we’ve been waiting all week for. And unless Wally Winkerbean got some black Just For Men just to switch it up, this guy’s completely not Becky’s soldier husband!

First question … who is this guy? I’ve read someone mention that he’s a comic shop owner. Is this true?

Also, who was that dark-skinned girl (Rana) from the previous day?

Is this Becky’s new husband and the girl is her daughter? Rana does refer to Becky as “Mom.”

Or… could this be a total swerve? He’s only been refered to as the dark-skinned girl’s dad, not Becky’s husband. (I noticed that Batiuk seems to be dancing around that particular point in the dialogue.) Is it possible Becky adopted Rana, and black-haired guy was the foster dad?

UPDATE: Astute patrons of The Comics Curmudgeon seem to have a good bead as to where everything is headed. Apparently, Tom Batiuk posted on his blog that there’s a clue to Wally’s fate in the 10/11 strip. That would be the one where Les gets pickpocketed. (Pretty clever timing, by the way. The strip’s just about to expire on the Houston Chronicle page.)
The Clue
Most have pinpointed the clue to the lower left corner of the strip. The headline on the newspaper reads “Soldiers Taken Hostage.”

Is Wally alive and being tortured? Or did he meet the same fate as Daniel Pearl?

Or maybe this is yet another red herring, and the real clue are the pickpocketers … meaning that Wally has amnesia and has become a petty thief, probably in Cambodia or something, to survive.

Anyway, this is the most tantalizing things that Batiuk has done in a while, so hats off to him.

Funky Winkerbean: This pizza sure is Funky

Chunky Funky

Last week, Les, Cindy, and Summer make their way to a New York pizza owned by none other than the title character, Funky Winkerbean. Funky seems to have put on 50 extra pounds, but all in all, he seems to be somewhat successful. Prospering business, good reviews, life is good!

Well, except for his divorce from Cindy. It seems like it was at least an amicable split. Notice that Cindy is not clawing his eyes out or anything. Rather, they share a smirk and a light peck on the cheek. I’m a bit concerned that the story is starting to turn maudlin again, but now that Batiuk has a clean state with the characters, surely he wouldn’t saddle them with yet more terribly “relevant” angst, now, would he?

Drunky Funky?

Oh.

Of course.

*slams head into wall*

That had better mean that Funky was a “chocoholic,” because if Batiuk is going to transform “Funky Winkerbean” into a pulpit against the dangers of alcoholism, I’m dropping this strip all over again! Gah. I thought we were over the whole angst thing, but it looks like I was dead wrong. Is “cancer” going to be replaced with “alcohol”? (Funky: “It’s going to be a great day … except for the ALCOHOL. Smirk!”)

And we still have the impending reveal on what killed Wally Winkerbean. Seriously, things are never happy in the Funkyverse.

Cassandra Cat dances the Kitty Cat Dance

If you ask me what possessed me to make this particular video about Cassandra Cat … well, I can’t rightly tell you why. However, I can tell you that the song (“Kitty Cat Dance”) is by Steve Ibsen, and if you look it up on Google, there’s a somewhat humorous flash toon that involves a cat dancing on two legs.