The Great Newspaper Comics Challenge Part 4

Here’s our latest look at what’s funny in the funny pages. There’s something fun in the post-“Calvin and Hobbes” era, right?

This week: The return of Ida Know and Not Me!

“Classic Peanuts.” Okay, spring is definitely here. The estate of the late, great Charles M. Schulz gives us the first (?) Charlie Brown vs. kite strip of the year.

But oy vey, this is a lame one. Good ol’ Charlie Brown talks to the tree that’s eaten his kite for, let’s see, six panels, ultimately giving up and acknowledging, “You can’t argue with a kite-eating tree.”

Moving on …

“Zits.” Okay, good stuff here. “Ridiculous stuff moms say” includes “Wear a coat” and “Does anybody want some kale?” As Homer Simpson would say, “It’s funny because it’s true.”

“Garfield.” Jon talks to Liz on the phone, fretting about what movie they’ll watch because he doesn’t want a weepy chick flick. He’s happy she’s picked a monster movie! But she’s chosen “When Godzilla Met Sally.” Ladies and gentlemen, my nominee for funniest newspaper strip of 1989.

“Dilbert.” The pointy-haired boss spouts techno-gibberish like “Do we have enough room in the cloud to Skype?” and Dilbert explains that he “slips in and out of understanding basic technology.”

Dilbert reassures him, “We have plenty of space because we upgraded to a cumulonimbus cloud.” Good stuff.

“Foxtrot.” One of the kids gets ideas for “John Carter” sequels once they run out of Mars stories, including “John Carter of Tattooine.” Extra geeky!

“Blondie.” Dagwood and Blondie continue their master class on household budgeting and economics. Dagwood buys Blondie an expensive necklace at the jewelry store.

“Did you see anything new at the golf shop today?” Blondie asks. “You won’t believe the amazing golf bags they just got in,” Dagwood replies. ‘Cause it’s okay to spend as much money as you can when everybody shares the loot.

“Curtis.” Curtis gets good grades so his dad takes him to buy a reward, “something called an iPad,” Dad says. They return later, sans iPad, at odds over spending money. Counting this and the “Blondie” strip, I think this week’s theme is household spending.

Finally — and I am so excited about this, “Family Circus.” Mom has the kids — have they always had four? — lined up for interrogation.

There’s a broken dish in her hand and a disappointed look on her face.

“I think I know the answer but I’ll ask you anyway,” Mom says. “Which of you broke my good plate?”

Wait, the Keenes have only one good plate? Times must be tough in the newspaper comic strip industry. But I digress.

Joining the line-up of kids being grilled: The see-thru forms of Ida Know, Not Me and Nobody.

Nobody in particular is unfamiliar to me and has me a little worried. He’s got a moustache, for Pete’s sake. How old is this imaginary blame-taker? What’s he doing hanging around with a bunch of school-agers?




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