Susanna McLeod, Five Explanations for Random Grinning

May 27, 2005

    Hee hee, hah! Ha ha… Oh! Hello there, dear comics fan. I was just looking at a few of the less-promoted but hilarious comic strips on-line. Have a look at some of these great funny bone ticklers – some by new cartoonists; some are second offerings by professionals. Sarcastic, warm and fuzzy, ironic or just plain funny, there is bound to be something that will leave you chuckling and others wondering what that smile is about.

Random grinning 1

   By Scott Stantis, joint creator of "The Buckets" with Greg Cravens, Prickly City features a little girl who seems to be a hilariously successful mix of Heart (main character in "Heart of the City" by Mark Tatulli) and Danae, (a character in "Non Sequitur" by Wiley Miller) but with conservative political overtones. It’s a hoot, especially through the eyes of a little girl and her coyote.

    Created during his Bachelor of Fine Art studies at Arizona State University, Tony Carillo designed F-Minus, a wryly funny panel that won the 2004 “mtvU Strips” contest, open to the best of college strips. The winner through online voting and judging by Scott Adams, creator of "Dilbert", and David Rees, creator of "Get Your War On", Tony Carillo earned himself a coveted development contract with United Media.

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    An amusingly odd strip with a cast of characters ranging from a scientist, a farmer, a nerd and something called a “spork”, Brevity is a laundry basket of humour- there are even some sly socks on the loose! Guy Endore-Kaiser and Rodd Perry are the funny guys behind the strip, both producers at The Ant Farm, an advertising agency specializing in motion pictures.

    “Life is challenging enough without a revolting boogeyman living under the bed” is the intriguing theme for Tailipoe. Created by Archie Comics writer Craig Boldman, it is a weekly comic, updated on Tuesdays. Tailipoe has a great storyline, magnetic characters, slick art and definitely worthy of a smile. After all, who can resist a sneaky, plotting, evil-grinning greeb boogeyman?

    Probably out of touch, I haven’t seen many interactive comics before. Trevor! by Gerard Piper and John Lee is a delightful interactive comic strip, meaning you move the mouse over each panel of the strip and another word bubble or action happens. Trevor! really caught my attention for its fine lines, interesting dialogue and ability to bring a satisfying smile at the end. Created by two artistic professionals and launched in 1996, have a look at this captivating comic strip:
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   Do I see a glimmer of a smile on your face, no doubt the remainder of a chuckle produced by one of those talented cartoonists? Wonderful! Thanks for dropping by to share a comics laugh. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got more of this, ahem, serious research to do… hee, hee!

© Susanna McLeod 2005  
(Originally published in The Cartoonists on