Friday, December 31, 2010

Walk this way.

As Marty Feldman might say.

I would have guessed that they were there for the human guinea pig program, or to sell blood. The question is, whose blood?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sic transom gluteus.

It's always good to have a Plan B.

You aren't rich if you cannot afford transoms. And accomplices.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Plumbing is fundamental.

Cynthia takes an interest in manual labor.

A good plumber is worth his weight in gold. That's his rate.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Republican economics.

Today we see an example of the root of the housing bubble. As explained by Milton Friedman.

The rich bums get the boxes from the Lexus commercials.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'd walk a mile.

Matthew, 19:24. "Again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

Today's homily is drawn from Matthew, Luke, and Mark, and the Modern Version contains the Ken Follett version, too. (Rent the 1981 movie, starring Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan,)

Next week, the hilarious story of Dives and Lazarus, which we mentioned back in March!

We do wonder why Cynthia has transported a Bactrian camel into a Biblical context, when the Dromedary would have been more locally appropriate.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Barney has a Merry Running Dog Capitalist Christmas! Paint it like it is, Cynthia.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Martha Stewart moment.

At least we know its from somewhere in the vicinity of the heart.

Sincerity is everything.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's the thought that counts.

What a lovely bow. It makes the gift wrapping all the more important.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Doctor, doctor.

Did you hear the one about the Nazi doctor who disguised himself as a crippled stevedore after the war?

Dr. Mengele became a mangled docker!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The larger problem.

Barney cannot remember his own phone number.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Depilation is the trend.

Today, we draw (ha!) your attention to this remarkable, hairless character.

Someone call the comics police!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Twas Freemish and the Schuster's Fork.

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

You can tell that it's a dream, because Barney punctuates a question with a period.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Next window, please.

I would comment, but I have to go on mandatory break.

The slowest stationery creature on Earth would be origami.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Call him petty.

Just because there is no B&C stamp, Gene vents at the Postal Service.

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

The world ends soon. It's not as though your life is important in the grand scheme of things. Besides, she and Dabney are obviously in collusion.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hello, in the box!

And he can make a few bucks entertaining the customers by throwing his voice! 'Sawright!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You cannot spell PICTURE without "Pee."

Today it's paint by the numbers. There's some Number One, and over there is some Number Two.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hey, hockey puck!

Mr. Weinrickles drops his pants and fires a squib. "OMG, Tyler, anyone else hurt in the accident?"

Inside every teacher, there is an angry bald man screaming at Letterman.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's all Greek to me.

The girl with the Roman name should talk! Does Katy have a sister named Helen? And what, may I ask, is wrong with Klytemnestra? This proposition is pretty Iphi.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sleight of P-R-O-N-O-U-N-C-I-A-T-I-O-N.

Strictly speaking, there should be dashes in the name when it is being spelled. But to make the joke work, it has to appear both as if it were being spelled and pronounced simultaneously.

We are so easily tricked. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fear is the path to the diaper on the head.

Zucchini the Great you are. Clyde and Yoda much in common they are having.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Taught to the tune of a hickory stick.

Hickory was an encouragement to good behavior in the days of the Little Read School.

School days, school days.
Dear old Golden Rule days.
Readin', and 'ritin', and 'rithmetic,
Taught to the tune of a hickory stick.

Teacher evidently provided a well-balanced education, what with the bustle to balance her bust.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Last Laugh.

Man, I'm dying out here. Whatever happened to Zerobable Kellum (1808-1878) and Only Patience Burger (1869-1885)? And why are there no dogs?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Urban Turkey Day.

Clyde and Dabney hunt the elusive Urban Turkey. Delicious with hot dog stuffing. "Gobble, gobble" is sure to confuse the bird.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Paging Dr. Mengele.

Oh, yes, there is something worse even than Dr. Frankenstein. "The twins are here for their checkup."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Comics Placebo Effect.

This is a Frazz-like gag today. It requires a lot of work by the reader, and then there is the Oh-I-Get-It-Moment after a millisecond of processing. (Used to be a nanonsecond a few years ago.) The Frazz strip has the nagging defect that Mrs. Olsen is the only character in the strip who is old enough to know the Peter Gunn theme music as coming from the classic Craig Stevens series. Mallett follows on in subsequent strips to explain the gag, but, if you didn't tumble to it the first day, it doesn't get any funnier. Today's B&C has something of that effect. There's the Okay-Okay-Okay-Okay series of semi-funny visual jokes, followed by the Big Reveal, when the reader says, "Ah, okay." After all that, there is an obligation to laugh, dammit!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pop Goes the Weasel.

Hey, it works for Kia, why not for the vampires at the Bloodmobile?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Who says Chivalry is dead?

Barney rides to the rescue, credit card at the ready!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No, it's Mark.

Mark, Mark Slackmeyer, the erstwhile hippie radical, as he was early in his career.

Today we all know the shorn Mark.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Zonker, is that you?

The November 4, 2010 strip appears to feature a guest cameo by Doonesbury's Zonker Harris. From a previous incarnation. The current Zonker is much more mellow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Moustache looks vaguely familiar.

Smart aleckiness. It runs in the family. (Also the title of the sequel to A Christmas Story, adapted from the tales of Jean Shepherd.) I'm talking about hair loss, of course. You would think that the head of a pharmaceutical company would be hairy.

So, Cynthia couldn't persuade Ms. Foxx to pretend to be her big sister?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Shrink, Shrank, Shrunk.

We don't know her name, but we are calling Lucretia's analyst Dr. Priya Shrunk. She also seems related to the Principal of Cynthia's school. Or they have the same optician.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Producers.

Today we pay tribute to Mel Brooks, creator of The Producers, which in one form or another has become the paradigm for a planned failure gone wrong. Now, it is a panel in Barney & Clyde. But if you read the B&C Facebook page, you had the punchline spoiled. But, hey, there are fewer than 1,2oo friends of B&C, so no harm done!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Public Service Announcement.

This is a PSA for today's B&C. Because Fazebook has blocked linking to B&C in apparent retaliation for Gene's column on September 26, we link to today's B&C.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Out of Ammunition.

The allusion in the September 17, 2010 strip to the comic play Lysyistrata by Aristophanes was actually foreshadowed in an earlier strip.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Rant on the face of it.

I wish the people with authority to change things at The Washington Post would explain something to me. Or, being executive types, would ask the people who do understand these things to explain it to them, the executives, so that they, the executives, could explain it to the rest of us, who might or might not be executives: Why is it that some comics on the Web pages of The Washington Post on Sundays are squished into a space that would be large enough only to hold the amount of postage necessary to send a one ounce letter from Washington, D.C. to Alexandria, VA? OK, you're probably thinking, "That's a lot of postage!" Well, considering that the Postal Service is losing about $600,000,000 a month, or roughly as many dollars as the letters they lose in the same time span, it isn't that much postage. If they could find a few of those letters, some probably have money inside, which would go a ways to reducing their deficits. But my point is that the comics, some comics, are compressed to a small size, so small that the words in the balloons become unreadable. Why is that? And why only some? Doonesbury, for example, spreads down the Web page so far that it takes about five minutes to scroll to the bottom, by which time I have forgotten what went on in the first panel. Garfield, as another example, occupies a space about the size of a litter box, while, typically, the dialogue in Garfield Sunday strips will consist of "mice," "pizza" and "Slobber!" Yet, and here's where things get really strange, Barney & Clyde, which is actually syndicated by the Post's own Writers Group, is squeezed into an area that would comfortably house a Bazooka Joe comic but nothing larger. This imbalance in space assignment is particularly annoying, because B&C normally uses more words in its balloons than Lincoln's Gettysburg Address -- per speaking character.

Now, I can understand why comics are squashed on the paper edition of newspapers. The cost of printing the pages is increasing, and the money coming in from advertisers and subscribers is decreasing, and it makes some business sense to conserve space and paper and ink. But what is the reasoning for putting small versions of comics on the Web? How much does a Web page cost the Post per square inch? Think of a number between zero and zero, and you would be close to the figure. And how much would it cost to make the page larger? Multiply that sum by however much you wish, and you have the answer. How much more does it cost to give Doonesbury a long page? Nothing. How much does it cost to give B&C thirty percent of the space that Doonesbury is given? Thirty percent of nothing. So, executives, explain the disparity. I dare you.

Oh, and there's a new character in the Sunday September 12 comic, and if we could read what was in the balloons, we would tell you his name. (All right, it's Frothstein.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


New character. They're appearing like boils on Job. This guy's a double for Sid Fernwilter over at the Piranha Club. We don't know his name, but we'll call him BBC, Billionaire Boys Clubber.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Katy, sign in, please.

Today we welcome a new and important character, Katy, Cynthia's BFF. We don't know Katy's last name, nor do we know if she has any tattoos or piercings. She does have spiky hair. And rather prominent eyes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cast Update.

The Crackpot has been added to the Cast List. Admission one gherkin.

Friday, August 20, 2010


When did palm-rubbing become the international theatrical gesture for Avarice? I say theatrical, because one never sees it in so-called real life, but only in movies and on the stage. You don't see Lebron or A-Rod doing it when they sign a new contract. You don't see the folks at the bank do it when they sign you up for a 30-year mortgage. Yet it is universal in drama and comedy. It's the Mr. Potter-Scrooge-Shylock-Montgomery Burns shorthand for greedy bastard. When and where and why did it originate? It seems as old as Plautus.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

B&C issues urgent recall.

Due to a lettering goof by the Chinese sweatshop that does all the lettering for the strip, a rare error made it into the August 17, 2010 strip. The strip was recalled, but a few examples were published. Those who received the erroneous strip are urged to either, 1) return it to your newspaper for a new and corrected version, 2) eat the paper immediately to make the remaining examples more valuable,(and add fiber to your diet), or 3), sue the syndicate for damages.

UPDATE: The chief letterer at the Chinese lettering factory has been arrested, executed and tried.

UPDATE: Due to the medical implications, the FDA is launching an investigation. The Weingartens and David Clark have been subpoenaed to testify before the House Committee on Cartooning and Funny Papering, where they will face tough questioning by Chairperson Henry Waxmustache.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's a Conspiracy!!!

The Knight Life and Barney & Clyde have been celebrating bullying this week. There can be no other conclusion but that Keef and the Weingartens and Clark are in this together. A government investigation should be launched.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald

Cynthia has a boyfriend. Cynthia has a boyfriend. Although Johann Strauss II is probably not her favorite composer. Cynthia also has something in common with Lucretia: They both like to bully their men. They're bonding!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We Apologize For The Inconvenience.

There's nothing new in the concept of the characters in a work of fiction directly addressing the readers (audience, viewers, spectators, etc.). It has been the implied conceit of the first person narrative since Antiquity. When Lucius Apuleius tells in The Golden Ass his personal story of religious enlightenment through his transformation into an ass and his sexual exploits in that form, he addresses the readers directly. It is, perhaps, the earliest surviving first person novel in Western Literature. Since then, authors have made use of the device in different ways, often bringing themselves forward as the central character, often bringing themselves forward to comment on the story or the character, often becoming both the central character and the commenter. Latterly, authors have been stepping forward as creators, minor deities, who reveal themselves as both the makers of and participants in the stories they are telling. The classic example is Kurt Vonnegut, who appears in his books as both a first person narrator in Slaughterhouse Five, and as an author, Kilgore Trout (e.g. Cat's Cradle), whose works bear a curious resemblance to the works of Vonnegut himself. It's become all too common in comics. Pastis is a recurring character in his own strip. Doonesbury and friends are always addressing the reader, acknowledging their comic nature. Now Barney and Clyde are aware of their own natures, too. The strip would have been more interesting had the above quotation from Douglas Adams been shown.
(The cited Vonnegut identity paradox led to the exchange in Supernatural between Dean and Chuck about which Vonnegut Chuck was in his series of Supernatural books. Chuck, of course, was revealed to be God in a controversial scene in the last episode of Season 5. Or possibly not.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Etruscan Urn Joke.

Q: What's an Etruscan urn?

A: These days, nothing. They're all dead!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fossilized hobo poop.

Fossilized hobo poop. Doing our best to spread it around the 'net for Google.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Book Review: Fiddling Away the Hours

Print journalism is dying, they say. The evidence is all around us. The shrunken corpses of once mighty newspapers lie crumpled and discarded, soon to vanish on the next puff of wind. Great buildings that once had throbbed with huge machinery, devouring paper forests and drinking ink rivers, are veritable whited sepulchers, empty and silent, empty even of echoes. The universe, too, is winding down, if we are to believe the reports. Nothing lasts forever. But there are yet bright spots in the darkness. That is one of the corollaries of entropy. Some papers are still turning out thoughtful work. The Washington Post is one of those bright spots. Yes, it has suffered along with the rest of the industry, but it has fought back. There are still reasons why print journalism matters. Gene Weingarten, more often than not, is one of those reasons. The articles collected in this book demonstrate why newspapers were and continue to be necessary. Nowhere else can you find writing this good about subjects that, however unlikely to warrant attention some may seem, should be noticed. Newspapers make this kind of writing possible.

The topics run the gamut from b to b, baseball to babies. Well, there are some other letters, too. There is great reporting in The First Father, an investigation that begins in the dark, literally, and ends up bringing to light the hidden story of Bill Clinton's biological father, W.J. Blythe. There is the search for the Armpit of America, in which our intrepid reporter has to stumble upon something nice to say about Battle Mountain, Nevada. And then there are the two pieces for which Pulitzer prizes in Feature Writing were awarded: the title story, The Fiddler in the Subway (originally titled Pearls Before Breakfast), the story of what happens when an audacious but simple stunt turns into a wildly successful feature, reprinted everywhere, and Fatal Distraction, an unflinching look into a grievous modern-day trend, the deaths of children through inattention.

Those are the topics, but the real subjects of all the included articles are lurking in the background. They are two, the more potent of whom is Time. For it is Time that stalks through each of these journalistic essays. Journalism is, after all, the record of what happened in the day. Time the patient, inexorable hunter, whose arrows fly but one way, straight into the heart, is the prime mover of all these works. The time since Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's single season home run record. The instant of time it takes to forget a child in the back seat of a locked car. Time to stop and listen to the falling of the rose petals of a violin concert, the notes almost drowned out by the tread of the mundane. And the second subject? Time has a companion, a bloodhound, who lopes along before his master. But the bloodhound likes to pause and circle and backtrack when it comes upon an interesting scent. It likes to dig in the most peculiar places, and often in the most disgusting messes. Its gait is loose, sloppy, leisurely. It is the reporter. You glimpse him now and then, but it is his voice that you hear downwind, seemingly far off at times, but insistent. Yes, it is the reporter and Time who are the real subjects. So, when the obituary for print journalism is finally written, there is one person who should be chosen to write it: Dave Barry. Gene Weingarten will be busy sniffing under some rock, trying to make sense of it all.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Clearly revolutionary.

I cannot decide which is worse. Is it the desecration of the homemade flag? Is it the deletion of 44 states? Evidently, it was a slow news day for Channel 5. It's like Easy Rider. Or Jasper Johns as an 11-year-old.

What Would Dan Do (WWDD)?

The question before the House, "What did Cynthia do to merit all the attention for her love of Freedom of Expression?" We note that Dan is the model for Cynthia at the same age, insofar as behavior is concerned. The question becomes, therefore, "What would Dan do?" Build a bomb? Out of modeling clay, of course. Being ignorant of Oliver Wendell Holmes' opinion in Schenk v. United States, shout fire in a crowded classroom? We'll find out tomorrow. Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What Color Means to You.

This is what you are missing if your newspaper does not run B&C in color. The July 7 strip's last panel, in B&W and in color.

It cannot be that bad.

It's only Channel 5 News. Nice touch that only Lucretia shows any color in the entire strip, which is otherwise black and white and shades of gray. Lucretia is just a little ray of sunshine.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GoComics Update.

UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! B&C can still be found on The strip has not properly updated since Sunday July 4, 2010 due to an internal error at Uclick. This error is being addressed, and the strip is expected to be current Real Soon Now.

It's back as of 1:00 P.M..

The Man with the Twisted Hare.

Clyde once again demonstrates that a gentle swindle is as good as a gun as he works his begging scam on another susceptible citizen. Clyde is revealing himself to be more and more like Barney in his entrepreneurial skill. Like Barney, Clyde is selling an illusion. And once again, Clyde shows the intuitive grasp of finding the "real" name. Next thing you know, Sherlock Holmes will find that Clyde's real name is Neville.

In a related scam, it appears that B&C has moved permanently from GoComics to The interface at GoComics was much cleaner, but the advertising potential for merchandise appears to be much greater at The credit line is better, anyway. Looks like Clyde marketing savvy is rubbing off on the B&C team.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Intermittently interesting.

Not every strip is a winner. After the multi-layered Sunday July 4, 2010 strip, the July 5 edition heads back into the zero-dimensional universe. On Sunday, we find that Barney is, in a manner of speaking, surrounded by his family -- transmuted into parrots who remind him of his shortcomings, a problem that might be relieved by one of his own remedies, which, inexplicably, he apparently does not use. On Monday, however, we are back into the flatter-land territory of non-dimensionality: INTERESTING is the last thing it might be called. Really, because Clyde flatters Barney by thinking about him as a hackneyed joke, Clyde is interesting to Barney? Yeah, we already got the point that Barney is starved for human contact, and Clyde has become the one person in his life who has shown any interest in him. We get it. Another anvil falls. More like the Sunday strip, please, sirs.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Which City Is It?

There's a rather distinctive clue to the location in which Barney & Clyde is set supplied in the July 3, 2010 strip. You would have to be a moron to miss it. Peruse the strip in toto.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

St. Petersburg Times, FL trial run.

Here's what the strip looks like in the St. Petersburg Times. Yes, B&C is B&W. Note that David Clark does not get his due in the credit line. But heed the invitation to fire off an e-mail to with "Comics" in the subject line to register your support for Barney & Clyde.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The First Surprise.

The first surprise was...inevitable. The soup kitchen (right after Clyde had taken Barney for twenty simoleons, Clyde had mentioned the dumpsters were restocked at 6:00 P.M.) is not the usual religious establishment, but something right out of a Depression Era socialist propagandist's imagination. The Pauper's Palace is evidently run by a deluded devotee (Jeremy, we are reliably informed) of Rousseau.. We also get a glimpse of Clyde's noble nature. He has the Jackson in his possession, but he asked Dabney if he had any money. Continuity or character flaw? It's ironical!

Monday, June 28, 2010

White Rabbits -- It runs in the family.

He's not six feet tall and invisible. He does not wear a waistcoat and carry a gold watch. But Adolf is a white rabbit all the same. What do we make of that? White rabbits are not all that common in nature, where the usual hues are brown and brownish. Is he an escaped pet? He seems domesticated, for sure. Wild rabbits do not hang with people, let alone follow them around. And he seems to understand the language of the grumbly tumbly. Has he looked into the maw of the stewpot before? One thing is for sure, all white rabbits have magical qualities. It runs in the family. They are often seen in the company of top hats. Sometimes they befriend philosophical drunkards. Occasionally they lead little girls down rabbit holes. Best to be cautious.

Get Out The Vote!

Get over to the Modesto Bee, register and vote for Barney & Clyde! The Modesto Bee is running Barney & Clyde and some inferior strips on a trial basis for four weeks. They are inviting comments from readers of the paper as well as participation in an online survey which rates the current and sample comics on a scale of 1 to 1o. Daily voting is encouraged as a means of judging the staying power of a comic. So stuff the ballot box for B&C. And for the moment, ignore the fact that Gene has decried reader polls on comics in the past.

The Secret To Understanding Barney & Clyde.

To all those who have been disappointed in the apparent lack of real laughs to be derived from the strip, to those who were expecting belly-laughs, to those who find themselves wondering why this strip is not funny, there is an explanation. It's your fault. You see, Barney & Clyde is not your grandfather's Oldsmobile. It is a completely new form of comic strip. It is a Post-Modern comic strip. That's right. You read it here first. This is the first comic strip of the Post-Modern Era of newspaper comic strippery.

In the Olde Days of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, when most of the current comic strips were created, the cartoonist did all the work, supplied all the gags, wrote all the jokes. In the Modern Era, cartoonists got away from that paradigm and started writing more naturalistically, but still they were supplying all the humor, doing all the work. Barney & Clyde's creators, seeing how tired and threadbare these forms were, and being naturally lazy, came up with a brilliant innovation in comic strip writing, Post-Modernism. Post-Modern comics require the readers to do the work of the writers. It's not simply a collaboration between the writer and the artist. No! It's a full partnership between the writers, the artist and the readers. The job of the writers and the artist is to provide the setup, the situation, the framework of the joke. You, YOU THE READERS, must provide the actual joke. When you understand that, then the strip becomes hilarious. It is the paragon of strips. But you don't get any of the constipated bunny. The joke's on you, after all.

A new phrase added to the language.

Similar to Cockney Rhyming Slang. hobos have their own jargon. New to the lexicon is this fine phrase, Constipated Bunny, n., money.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Last Panel Syndrome

This is in no way a negative criticism. No, it is simply an observation. In almost every case, the strip has a problem in the last panel that prevents any given strip from being truly funny. With the one notable exception of the exploding kitten eyeballs, the strip falls down or stumbles in the last panel. Hey, falling down can be funny, you say. True enough, but the pratfalls should be intentional. Anyway, usually the last panel can be easily fixed, so that the strip is really funny. Take the June 24 daily, for example. The moralizing is so heavy-handed, that the humor lands with a thud. How to fix it? As they say in screenwriting, hang a lantern on the defect to make it into an asset. In this particular case, one tiny change could have saved the strip.

The anvil drops! Problem solved.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What went wrong.

OK, not with the strip. We all know what's wrong there. No, this time with AT&T, the phone company that wants to know, what AT&T can do to make me and you satisfied customers? At the fundamental level, nothing. AT&T doesn't really want satisfied customers. It doesn't care whether its customers are satisfied or not. It just wants to keep milking them. Contented cows make better milk, but, really, AT&T just wants to line its customers up in darkened stalls and milk them. Barney could take lessons from AT&T on how to run a business. If someone complains, throw them a sop. But how about removing the sources of the complaint? Like, say, poor service and poor response to problems? How about doing that? No, of course not. It's just easier to clean up the mess afterwards, rather than have policies that mandate doing the job correctly. Sounds like BP, doesn't it? Yes, it's the universal business ethic nowadays. Scrape by with the least expense at the front end, and then make the least effort to correct the inevitable resulting messes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

First Second Sunday.

Yes, there really is a scientific study to back up the polka dot clown color scheme for Pillsbury's R&D Labs. The University of British Columbia found that red makes one more cautious and attentive to detail, while blue does, indeed, stimulate creative thinking. I would have gone with the red spiral on a blue background for panic-inducing vertigo, but that's just me.
Update: Note the subtle change in the by-line above the strip.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Potential Post Pulizter Pandering.

Father's Day article about how Dan & Gene were healed by the mirculous power of a comic strip. Father Damien should have been so lucky. Also, an obscure allusion to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Take my wife...

That will teach Barney to get married, not once, but twice. And even worse, to have a child!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Dread Dream/Fantasy Strip.

The sequence that can make or break any story. Ta-pocketa. The Dread Dream/Fantasy episode. If you invert the strip and squint, you can see Clyde on water-skis jumping over a whale shark that has Barney's face. Ta-pocketa. c.f. Dred Scott v. Sanford., and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Separated at birth?

Clyde and Queen Beatrix. The resemblance is uncanny. Clyde cannot be insane, because he is a living monarch, not a dead emperor.

Now Cut That Out!

Today's Jack Benny homage, brought to you by Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Jello, J-E-L-L-Oh!

Jack had many famous routines. He was an infamous miser. The trips to his vault, which had a series of man-traps, moats and other outlandish defenses, and which began as an extended sound-effects laden bit in radio, was a favorite skit on the TV show. Perhaps most famous of all the miserly bits, however, was based purely on Jack's impeccable timing. Jack was held up at gunpoint.

Thief: Your money or your life.

Long silence.

Thief: I said, your money or your life.

Jack: I'm thinking, I'm thinking.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Clyde Discovers Gene's Twitter Monetizing Scheme.

Like his Creator, Clyde has learned that Silence is Golden, if you can get people to pay for it. Perhaps, nay, certainly, the most important historical discovery since the unearthing of the Rosetta Stone.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The First Sunday.

My withering criticism of the first Sunday strip: Not that it's trite and predictable. Barney is funny because he is a stereotype. He might have said something funny, i.e., "I'm missing the pork bellies futures report." Pork bellies have been funny for generations. But that would have been too funny for the straight man. No, as written, the punchline is "To the office, Charles." But that is not the point. If they had wanted to have Barney say something funny, they would have gone with, "Charles, we need some compact fluorescent light bubs." That is the point. Barney doesn't have a Smart Phone! New Last Panel: Barney pulls out his iPhone or Blackberry, and says, "I'm missing the soybean futures price report." Even Luddite Gene has an iPhone. Epic Fail.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Some Blog Business.

Some of the long-time readers might have noticed recent changes to the layout of the Blog. Don't be alarmed! These changes are designed to add more utility to the Blog while retaining the traditional features that you have grown to love. You will see that a links section has been added to the left of the Posts. These are hyperlinks to sites and items deemed significant to Barney & Clyde. You will also note that a "Hidden Penis Count" has been added to the bottom of the Blog, that will keep track of the Hidden Penises in the strip. We hope these additional features will add to your enjoyment, as well as provide important information regarding the strip.

We turn now to the comments:
flysct4472 said... Maybe I should read more into the fact that the Miami Herald interview garnered no "recommends" or comments?

This is in reference to the video from the Miami Herald in which the decision to add Barney & Clyde (as well as Pickles)to the paper's lineup of cartoons is explained. The lack of ratings can be explained.

A scientifically conducted poll of Miami Herald readers, similar to the one cited in the video, found that 64 percent of Herald readers think that YouTube is a Urinary Catheter, while 29 percent think it is a tube used to conceal illegal drugs or other contraband inside the human body. We hope this explains the lack of ratings.

Keep those comments coming.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gene Assesses the First Reports from the Front.

Q: How many casualties were there among people fighting to get a copy of the June 7 paper?

A: Post authorities have assured me that the collateral damage, while significant, was well within acceptable levels.

Q: Have the testimonials from grateful newspaper publishers overwhelmed you, or merely inundated?

A: I understand that Anders Gyllenhall, the executive editor of the Miami Herald, is trying to get his niece and nephew, Maggie and Jake, to star in the film version.

Q: Based on the early returns, do you declare victory?

A: Yes, though as I noted, I think as of day two, it is clear to most readers that the strip's best days are behind it.

Q: Has David Clark threatened to strike unless he receives a bigger share of the syndication fees?

A: No, worse. He has threatened to sneak some penises into the strip.

Q: In a related question, so it really is true that poor people are happier and more fulfilled than rich people?

A: Yes.

Q: Is there any truth to rumor that you plan to kill off one of the major characters and replace him with a clone?

A: We already did that. You will notice that Barney in Day One has a small scar on one finger. In day three, it is gone. That is his clone.

Q: When will the 3-D version of the strip be debuting?

A: We are working on it. It will be x-rated. Lucretia is the key.

Q: Will Barney or Clyde make a guest appearance in Pearls Before Swine?

A: That's up to Pastis. I will reveal that in week 9 or so, a character from another strip makes a guest appearance in B&C. (ME: See also the above link to the Miami Herald video on YouTube.)

Q: To all those who doubted that you could write a comi">c strip, how do you respond? Neener neener or nyah nyah nyah nyah?

A: I do not yet respond. It would be foolhardy.

Q: This question was raised by alert reader Alexander Mitchell:

> I wonder if the Herald got it just because of their past connection with
> Weingarten and the fact that he retains a level of connection - he is
> involved in the annual Herald Hunt (formerly the Tropic Hunt) and is
> friends with Dave Barry (who I believe is still (at some level) on staff
> there even though he now longer does weekly columns (he does do
> occasional pieces)), Carl Hiaasen and probably other senior types, etc.
> ted

My personal theory is that he has something with which he can
blackmail the staff at said papers.

The other question: since Papa Weingarten has demonstrated, through
his writings and online chats, to be somewhere to the left of Obama &
Co. and Bill Maher and maybe a bit to the right of Stalin, given the
subject matter of this strip, will it actually focus on humor and
character development, or eventually drift towards being an
overbearing polemic screed?

Not sure which you want me to answer. Why the Herald took the strip is addressed forthrightly here.

As far as politics, yes, by week 7 or so, Clyde and his friends will have marched on Pillsbury Pharmaceuticals with pitchforks, and beheaded Barney.

Thanks, Gene.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We Analyze the First Strip

The first panel clearly establishes in spatial terms the Spiritual and Philosophical dichotomy that the strip will explore, with Barney placed on the left of the panel and Clyde on the right. Clyde is clearly shown to be at one with nature, as he and the tree are leaning in the same direction. Also, he has his hands in his pockets. Barney is dressed in black. Is he the modern devil, the Corporate Malefactor? Or is his view of life symbolized by his black-and-white costume? Clyde is dressed predominantly in brown with black vest. Obviously, based on his earthy color sense, Clyde has a more subtle view of life than Barney. The second panel is certain to be the most controversial ever printed in an American newspaper. Clyde has taken off his hat in deference to the great billionaire, showing that he recognizes the innate superiority of Barney. It's also a cheap trick to set the readers up for the last panel. The third panel is hilarious. The curled third finger is priceless. The last panel. of course, supplies the moral, and illustrates why it would have been actually funny if Clyde had been African-American.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Don't Look Now!

OK, you can look. Here are the Official Samples of the strip on the Post Writers Group site. As Gene would say, "There is sex."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Question that Gene Weingarten Did Not Want You to See!

Double Secret Unexpurgated Suppressed Addendum

Q: Did you (David Clark) start out wanting to be the next N.C. Wyeth, Frank C. Pape, or Arthur Rackham? Or were you more into Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak?

A: All the above (you forgot Eakins). Classically trained but only drew laughs...

ME: The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins, regarded by many art historians to be the most important (not to mention side-splitting -- Har!) 19th Century American painting. It is owned jointly by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
(We also forgot Howard Pyle.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

David Clark Talks, Garbo Listens.

We complete our series of interviews with the triumvirate behind the porcelain throne by questioning co-co-creator David Clark, the genius who gives the characters form.

Q: So, David, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, one of the seminal arts institutions of the United States, a great architectural treasure by Frank Furness, did your training there prepare you for working with Weingarten?

A: I think so, most of my teachers were '60s hippie/Trotskyites.

Q: You are sandwiched between Richard Thompson and Bob Staake in the Reuben award list. Are you ham or cheese? (Yes, bad pun on Reuben, I know. No ham there.)

A: Between those two? I'll say cheesy.

ME: The Reuben Award, not the sandwich, presented by the National Cartoonists Society, is named after Rube Goldberg, Founding Father of the NCS and inventor of hundreds of intricate and complicated devices that perform simple tasks. (All you whippernappers, think Wallace of Wallace and Gromit.) It is the Oscar of the cartooning industry.

Q: As an illustrator, you must have a continuous slideshow playing before your mind's eye in reaction to things you read and hear. Are you the kind of guy who goes to see Lord of the Rings and thinks, "No, no, Peter Jackson is an idiot. The Nazgûl don't look like THAT?"

A: Actually, the Hobbits were more disappointing.

Q: How much of a description did you have of the characters in Barney & Clyde when you sat down to draw them?

A: Gene & Dan gave me some very good character studies. I sent sketches, and we went back and forth. Gene spent an inordinate amount of time considering the female characters... (insert a throat growl ala Roy Orbison)

Q: Barney seems to bear a resemblance to C. Montgomery Burns. Is that intentional?

A: I'm thinking more like Elmer Fudd...but, I'm not responsible for my subconscious! Besides, don't you know all wealthy industrialist look alike?

Q: Weingarten is known as the King of the Underpants Jokes. Was your skill at drawing underwear key to you being chosen to illustrate the strip? Can we look forward to lots of underpants humor? And, since Amy Lago has imposed a no-nudity rule: Barney, boxers or briefs?

A: Long live the King! I don't think Gene or Dan have ever seen my and I'm pretty sure Amy's "no-nudity" rule only applies to Gene. Lucretia probably buys Barney's undies, soooo.......(cue Roy Orbison)...more to come, I'm sure.

Q: Which of the characters is your favorite to draw?

A: Clyde and Dabney have a lot of slapstick potential which makes them fun to draw. Can't wait for the "When I nod my head, hit it." routine.

Q: Weingarten has described you as putty in his hands. (Actually, he said "malleable" and "nitrogylcerin," so he could have been talking about Semtex). How do you let him know that a particular joke or idea isn't going to work visually?

A: Semtex, eh? That could be very persuasive... Gene and Dan write very visually and have a real grasp of comic art (Dan especially). I lean on them a far so good!

Q: Has your collaboration reached the point where you feel secure enough to secretly draw caricatures of Gene with daggers stuck into him?

A: You've been peeking! Dan's a little tougher, but I show no mercy!

Q: As a freelancer, what kind of adjustment have you had to make to accept this regular gig?

A: No huge adjustments, just a little less free time for now. A regular gig sounds good.

Q: Are you and Dan plotting to take over the strip?

A: Have you heard something...? Dan, call me!

Q: What religious groups have you decided to mortally offend -- other than the Quietists and the Society of Friends?

A: I'm afraid Gene & Dan won't be satisfied until the Shakers declare a Fatwa on us.

Q: Do you think the Flyers can take the Habs in the conference playoff and advance to the Stanley Cup finals? (As a native Philadelphian, I am obligated to ask.)

A: A dated question, love the goon squad. But I grew up with the Blackhawks. Cooler uniform!

ME: Blackhawks took Game One, 6-5.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dan Weingarten Denies All Knowledge...

In our continuing effort to keep the Barney & Clyde Juggernaut surging ahead (the latest victim is Little Orphan Annie, which has fallen beneath the relentless drubbing administered by B&C), we bring you another exclusive interview with one of the creative team members. Today, it's Dan Weingarten, who offhandedly came up with the idea for the strip.

Dan, a few questions about the strip, Barney & Clyde.

Q: How cool is it being personally acquainted with Dave Barry?


Q: Which of Dave Barry's books is your favorite?


Q: Don't you just love Dave Barry's latest book, "I'll Mature When I'm Dead?"

A: Results hazy.

Q: On a scale of one to ten, how much funnier is Dave Barry than Gene?

a) Ten.

b) Geometrically.

c) Exponentially.

A: b) Geometrically. Specifically a circle.

Q: What's with the ampersand? Plain old Latin "et" isn't good enough for you?

A: We let the two fight it out. Ampersand won. What can I say, he's got better reach.

Q: Do you see Barney & Clyde as:

1) A classic Hegelian dialectical struggle between the forces of Capital and the forces of the Proletariat to control the resources of Society and to form a State in which one or the other dominates, or,

2) A Gnostic struggle between the forces of Light and Dark, the dynamic tension between which opposites results in the creative energy of the World as we know it, or,

3.14159) A struggle to sneak a really good fart joke past the editors?

A: 22/7) I'd say a combo of manichæism and fart jokes. Actually, "Manichæism & Fart Jokes" was our working title for a while.

Q: How pathetic is it that Gene can only fulfill his lifelong dream of having a comic strip by stealing an idea from his son? Isn't that worse than Earl Woods living vicariously through his son's sports exploits?

A: He wanted a second girl, I gotta make up for it somehow.

Q: Are you basically OK with Gene using incidents from your childhood to get cheap laughs in the strip, or is this an issue that will resurface with ugly repercussions when it comes time for you and Molly to put Dad in a nursing home?

A: Intimate moments of my past have been used for cheap laughs since before I was able to walk thanks to Dave Barry. As a result I am practically impervious to embarrassment (my father's public dancing helped too).

Q: Where do you see the strip going in terms of the developing story? Will there be vampires and werewolves, metaphorical representations of teen angst and hormonal explosions? Or CGI robots battling to decide the fate of Humankind in the Universe, representing the inevitable obsolescence of humanity before its own technology? Poop jokes, representing desperation and a loss of bowel control with advancing age?

A: This I am afraid to say is a trade secret. Although I will be stealing all of those ideas.

Q: The picture we have of Gene from his own account is that he is essentially helpless with real life matters. Can you tell us an anecdote that will pointedly illustrate his complete ineptitude?

A: There are certainly many. The challenge is thinking of one that hasn't been written about. Ask again in a week.

Q: What's your opinion of this new paint that combines primer and finish coat in one?

A: It seems unnatural. It's like birth control meds that remove a woman's period. Bleeding once a month is what makes them know men are superior. I fear the coming age.

Q: According to Gene, you have recently returned to college. Does being in constant contact with the world's biggest Bob Dylan fan make you the coolest guy on campus, or what?

A: No, it's his knowledge of clock repair that does.

You're supremely welcome,

Tune in next episode for possibly another Q&A with artist David Clark. Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The T & A you have been waiting for.

Make that a Q&A with Gene Weingarten by Horace LaBadie, the "Barney & Clyde" official historian.

The fans have been incredibly patient, and we have had some goofing around time before the official debut of the strip, but here is some real news about Barney & Clyde, straight from one of the horse's arses that created it.

Little less than a month until the launch date. Time to speak to the Media.

Q: You've described the genesis of the strip from a remark by your son Dan, but who came up with the names of the title characters?

A: We did them together. Some practically wrote themselves: Duane had to be Duane because it is the stupidest name out there, and his last name had to be Butkus because he is a brown nose. Ms. Foxx became Ms. Foxx for obvious reasons. I thought of Lucretia both because of Barney's wealth -- "lucre" -- and because Lucretia has a Borgia-like edge to her. Dan came up with the rabbit's stage name, "Fluffykins McNeedsahug." It was so treacly we knew he needed another name, a less sweet name, to balance it. Now what could that be?

Q: Do you remember the first gag that made you think that there was a strip in the basic idea?

A: Absolutely. We knew it was going to be great when we came up with the first day, which was Barney on a chair, with a noose around his neck, about to hang himself, out of a general existential dissatisfaction with life. Then we got an editor, Amy Lago, who informed us: 1) No hangings. 2) no full-frontal nudity. So the strip had to change a bit.

Q: When did you know that you would need a real artist to do the cartooning for the strip?

A: From the get-go. Dan and I are arseholes, but we are not deluded arseholes.

Q: Did you know what the characters looked like before you found your cartoonist? How much did they evolve from the original concepts to their current looks?

A: We discovered what they looked like as soon as David Clark showed us. It was great to meet them, at last. Here's an interesting tidbit for your historiography: Clyde was originally black. We conceived of him as black. We knew we'd get some pushback, in making the millionaire white and the street guy black, but we felt that it was defensible inasmuch as Clyde is both the brains and the conscience of the strip. Amy the editor was reluctantly okay with that. The problem was that -- as our good friend and advisor Tom Scocca warned us -- Clyde was beginning to resemble the classic "Magic Negro" trope. It was disturbing. We abandoned it early.

Q: You've expressed your admiration for the almost Dickensian cast of characters that Garry Trudeau has created for Doonesbury. Was the opportunity to create a large cast of characters something that appealed to you?

A: I think it appealed to Dan more than to me. When I conceive of plays, they all contain two characters. I'm glad Dan is part of this, because if we had wound up with only two characters, "Barney & Clyde" would have been one step closer to "Prickly City," and I would have had to kill myself with an adz.

Q: How did the supporting characters develop? Who came along first?

A: We knew we were going to have a cynical, seditious kid. The reason we knew that is that Cynthia is, essentially, Dan at 11. There are at least two plot twists so far that are simple re-tellings of what Dan did as a kid. You'll see the first one in an early Sunday -- it involves an art class.

Q: What about this Mountbatten fellow? Does he have any real royal connections, or is he more like The Dauphin in Huckleberry Finn?

A: Dabney Mountbatten III is the illigitimate (sic) son of the common law wife of the grandson and bastard heir to the squandered fortunes of Louis Mountbatten, viceroy of India, first Earl of Burma and Admiral of the Fleet.

Q: How much arm-twisting did it take to get David to agree to draw the strip?

A: None. David is like 24-karat-gold: Wonderfully malleable.

Q: As your collaborator, do you allow David to suggest ideas for strips?

A: "Allow?" Yes. The three of us are equal creative partners. But David is like the element mercury: extremely reflective. He doesn't suggest ideas, but he reflects our ideas in a more positive light. What he does is no less creative than what we do, though: He takes our sometimes primitive efforts to tell a story through sequential art and improve the narrative enormously by his choice of angles, his blocking of the characters, etc.

Q: Is there a lot of back and forth during the production of a given strip, with you and Dan and David arguing over how a gag is written and drawn?

A: It is interminable. We will be nitpicking each other constantly. I just looked at the email trail for a single Sunday strip: David re-drew it, in some way, 11 times. There was input (in this order) from me, from Dan, from me, from David, suggesting a change to my suggestion, from Amy the editor, from Dan, from Dan, from me, from Amy, from Dan, from me. David is a saint. He's like potassium chloride -- he has no boiling point.

Q: What will be the strip's place in popular culture 50 years from now?

A: Most major universities will have a "Department of Barney & Clyde Studies."

Q: Is there any comparison between your artist and an element or compound that you have failed to make?

A: Yes. David's drawings really pop, like nitroglycerine.

Q: That's not very good.

A: Okay, they're crisp, like an alloy of Niobium and Titanium.

Q: Better.

A: Thanks.

No, thank you. Most of the answers were informative, and some were almost funny.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Clyde's Commencement Address.

Fellow unemployed,

You have just wasted four, or if you are particularly thoughtful, five, years and tens of thousands of dollars. Congratulations! You are now prepared to take your place at the end of the line of those looking for a way to pass the time before they die. After all, that's what life is all about -- finding something to do while you are waiting for the Grim Reaper to scythe you off the planet.

You no doubt have been told that you should set goals, work hard, achieve, breed, and make the world a better place. I suppose that there are future billionaires, inventors, surgeons, scholars and heroes listening to me today. It doesn't matter. You all have one foot in the grave. In a few years, relatively speaking, we will all be dead. And after you are dead what difference will it make to you personally what you have done in life? It won't make any difference. You'll still be dead! Soon Bill Gates will be as dead as Bill Sikes, who, for those of you who bought the Cliff's Notes, you will recall was never actually alive.

The most that any person can hope for in life is to do as little harm to others as possible while suffering as little pain as possible oneself. Everyone suffers. That is the most important thing to know about life. And then it ends. The trick is do as little as possible to increase suffering for oneself and others. That means do as little as possible. Every person who strives increases his own suffering and the suffering of others. Prolonging life by striving is only to increase suffering. Another word for striving is strife.

That's right, striving is conflict. And conflict never brings anything but suffering. I say, "Don't strive!" You and every other person will be happier for your lack of effort.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Clyde Panhandles in Britain.

On his annual vacation to Great Britain, Clyde visited Salford in time for the mass nudity.

"Next stop was a cobbled road under a railway bridge. As we stood blue-lipped a tramp staggered towards us. He grinned and toasted us with a can of lager. “Has anyone got any spare change?” he shouted. Tunick was not impressed at the ensuing giggles."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Freddie the Freeloader files Federal plagiarism suit.

It was disclosed today that Freddie the Freeloader has filed suit in Federal court charging Clyde of the comic strip team Barney & Clyde with plagiarism. Freddie the Freeloader alleges that Clyde has copied his look and feel, thereby infringing his copyright. In a statement to the media, Freddie the Freeloader said, "That effing Clyde has stolen my effing costume, my effing unshaven cheeks and chin, my whole G-D effing torn coat and trousers off my effing body. If he thinks that I'm going to sit effing still for it, then he's got another effing think coming." Messages left for Clyde and his representatives were unanswered.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Clyde Finster Evokes Unpaid Celebrity Endorsements

Everything I know about life I learned at the feet of Clyde Finster. It'’s surprising how hard a guy that size can kick. -- Eric Hoffer.

I never met a man I didn't like, until I met Clyde. He introduced me to Barney. -- Will Rogers.

Clyde taught me to relax. -- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

The lesson of living in peaceful obscurity taught me by Clyde's example inspired me to do something big with my own life. -- Richard Speck.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Roomers are flying.

Explosive news. Rumor has it that Barney & Clyde will be adding some recurring characters to the already bloated cast. Recurring will be Haysus H. Crust, who will have the catchphrase, "Bite me, " and Moe Hammard Proffitt, a purveyor of opiates for the masses, and thus a rival for Barnard. Rumor also has it that Barnard has claimed a star in the constellation Ophiuchus.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cynthia Pillsbury

Cynthia prima suis miserum me cepit ocellis,
contactum nullis ante cupidinibus.

Named for the mistress of the Roman poet Sextus Propertius, daddy's little girl imagines herself the daughter of Raoul Julia and Angelica Huston, who was kidnapped as an infant. Her best friend is Emily the Strange. Cynthia has a pet Spider Crab, Cancer, which she bred herself for the school Science Fair. Working in the Pillsbury lab, Cynthia combined the DNA of a tarantula and a Japanese spider crab. The embryo was nurtured in a medium saturated with HGH. She keeps Cancer in a 50 foot deep aquarium with foot-thick plexiglass walls. Yes, it's that big. Needless to say, she won the first prize at the Science Fair.

Cynthia and her pet designer spider crab, Cancer.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weird Coincidence.

Did you know that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway made a movie in 1967 called Bonnie and Clyde? Amazing but true!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lucretia Pillsbury

Of the supporting cast members, one of the more important and, for many readers, the most intriguing. The second wife of title character Barney, Lucretia is described as an unhappy trophy wife. Her name alone has generated thousands of comments. People are fascinated by the potential influence that her name has played in the development of her character. Did she poison Barney's first wife, honoring the exemplary Borgia? Or is she a post modern feminist, a new Mott? Is she a woman wronged like the Roman matron?

The truth is much stranger than any of the speculations and imaginings of the lunatic readers.

Take a look at her Facebook profile. "Barney’s better half. She knows she’s a trophy wife and isn’t at all happy about it. Lucretia is plenty smart, but has a hard time being taken seriously, particularly by her stepdaughter, Cynthia." Read that again, this time carefully. Need a hint? "She knows she's a trophy wife..." Study the picture carefully.

Still don't get it? OK, take a look at this detail from the picture, enlarged 400 percent.

Yes, that's right. Lucretia is literally a Trophy Wife. No wonder she's unhappy.

Lucretia Coffin was born prematurely, and has always been small. So small was she at birth, that she was given to a wallaby to be nursed. "The wallaby was very nice. Not as fashionable as the panda, of course, but much more responsible." Lucretia still speaks with a slight Australian accent. Despite her disadvantageous birth, Lucretia made the most of her petite figure. She began modeling as a teen, which led to small, uncredited movie roles. She doubled for Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell in Spielberg's Hook. "It was a thrill to work with Steven." Her big break came in 1998 when she was cast as Trophy Catherine in "The Witch" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. "They dipped me in this gold paint, and made a wire frame for me to rest against. It was hell, even so, holding that position and being able to move only my eyes." (How did you think they made the eyes move?) She went on to be the principal model for Barbie. It was at a Barbie launch party that she met Barney. Actually, she met Cynthia first, who tried to kidnap her. Luckily, Barney rescued her from Cynthia's backpack. The rest is comic history.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fluffykins McNeedsahug

Better known as Adolf, the cuddly rabbit of the strip. What can we expect of this critter? He is described as a fundraiser extraordinaire, but what else is he? Will he be the sarcastic observer whose comments reflect the cynicism of the authors? Will he in daydreams fly helicopters in the Vietnam War? Is he an escapee from the Pillsbury Labs, genetically altered into a genius whose single purpose in life is to take over the world? Does he have a gerbil propagandist named Joseph? Will he speak with an Austrian accent? I'm hoping that he became addicted to nicotine and eyeliner while in Pillsbury Labs, so that he scrounges cigarette butts and cigar stubs from the park or chews tobacco. He also might steal mascara and eyeliner from women's purses. So many questions, and so long to wait for answers!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sneak Peek!

Our exclusive sources have given us the very first strip that will run on June 7, 2010. As a special treat for the millions of fans who are pining to see the strip before the official launch, here is a sneak peak at the very first Barney & Clyde. It will knock your socks off, I can assure you. Mark this date on your calendar, April 1, 2010, as a red letter day. The Unofficial Debut of Barney & Clyde.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Letter to the Editor (Feel free to copy and customize for your newspaper)

Dear Editor

I am writing to recommend that you begin running the new comic strip Barney & Clyde in your newspaper. This is a sure way to boost circulation of your dying, recrudescent, putrid rag.

Test-marketing with focus groups composed of dimwitted, slack-jawed mouth-breathers like your readers have shown Barney & Clyde will increase newspaper circulation by at least 300 percent. In addition, scientific studies undertaken at Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical School have shown that reading Barney & Clyde for one week increases good cholesterol by 50 percent and cures cancer in laboratory rats.

In a period of high unemployment, this strip will provide high-paying jobs for thousands of Korean cartoonists. Chinese toy makers who will pirate the licensed products derived from the strip will hire tens of thousands of laborers at near-slave wages, and you will be able to sell ads for the stores that sell these cheap knock-offs that steal money from the creators.

Finally, if you do not run this strip, you will be demonstrating once and for all your rabid hatred of America, which IS WHAT I ALWAYS SUSPECTED.

Sincerely yours,

A Devoted Reader.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Don't Nail Him Yet.

Tinker, tailor, soldier sailor,
Rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief.

The contrast of rich and poor, to have and have not, is fraught with humor. Reaching back as far as the Bible, the opposition of wealth and poverty has provided a veritable mine of laughter for the writer. Who can forget that humorous parable of The Rich Man and the Beggar?

There was a rich man, traditionally called Dives. Dives is just Latin for rich, which leads some commentators to suspect that the story was a well-known moral fable and not absolutely true, unlike, for instance, the story of Adam and Eve and the talking serpent. Be that as it may, the story, minus the rich man's name, is in Luke, chapter 16, verse 19 ff.

The rich man dressed in purple and fine linen, and he had a rich man's diet, which is to say, he had clogged arteries. As this was about 2,000 years before statins, one can assume that he was not far from the "big one."

The poor man's name we do know for certain: Lazarus. Now nothing good ever happens to a man named Lazarus in the New Testament. You would think that parents would have caught on to that and named their son something else, like Melvin maybe, but that would take another 1900 years or so. The new calendar was probably to blame. People were still writing B.C. on their checks. "Are we in the Old Testament or New?"

Anyway, Lazarus was poor. How poor was he? He was so poor that he had to be carried to the rich man's door. He couldn't afford to walk. Lazarus was so poor that he would have been content just to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table, or even from his beard, if the rich man was anything like Dom DeLuise. Lazarus was so poor that the only health care that he could get was when a dog would lick his open sores. Luke doesn't say what kind of dog gave medical care in those days. We can imagine it was something like Odie in "Garfield." Lots of slobbering. Or it might just have been going after the same crumbs that Lazarus was trying to eat, and not giving health care at all. It likely didn't have a license, either to give health care or the regular kind for dogs.

According to Luke, Lazarus and the rich man happened to die at about the same time. Luke doesn't say that it was a murder-suicide, but he hints at it. For all we know, they might have died in a suicide-camel bombing by the People's Front of Judea (or the Judean People's Front). We do know that through some bureaucratic mix-up, the rich man ended up in Hell and Lazarus went to Heaven. At least, that's how the rich man saw it. (This is where the suicide-camel bombing is useful to explain the confusion. Bits and pieces of Lazarus and the rich man, the camel, possibly some innocent bystanders, were all thrown about by the blast, Some of the dogs could have run off with the choicer cuts. It can be understood if the morticians had trouble fitting the right head with the right torso and so on. I'm not saying that this is actually what happened, but it's a good working hypothesis.) The rich man looked up and saw Lazarus in Heaven, eating strawberry pie with whipped cream. (Thus the expression "pie in sky.") Being rich, this made him mad, seeing as how strawberries were out of season, and only a rich person should be eating them. The rich man complained to his congressman, who was conveniently nearby. But that didn't do any good, so he demanded to speak directly to the man at the top, Abraham.

"There must be some mistake. I paid for a first-class berth, and here I am in steerage," he complained. "Why is that fellow up there with you? I demand an upgrade."

Abraham put the rich man straight. "You had a good time when you were alive, while Lazarus could only get health care with dog spit. Now that you are both dead, Lazarus is getting his just desserts."

"That's not funny."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coming soon to a newspaper near you!

Hie thee over to Facebook for the latest info on the June 7 launch in The Washington Post. The new strip, written by Gene and his son Dan, drawn by Virginian David Clark (not to be confused with Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five), debuts on June 7. The strip is about the unlikely and accidental friendship between billionaire pharmaceutical magnate Barney and self-described bum Clyde. (Hobos send your angry comments to Gene.) It is presently scheduled to appear in The Post, but is being syndicated by the Post Writers Group. As yet there is NO iPhone app to send the strip directly to your phone so that you can avoid buying a newspaper.