Because it's HARD. Honestly I was more worried about figuring out how to erase the words in the talking balloons. (Julie has Photoshop on her computer, but I've never used it... turns out it was easy). In order to find the strips, I googled "comics," clicked on the first site that came up, then looked through their catalogue for familiar stuff. They only had five of any given strip, so I thought "Great! Not too many to review. I'll just pick the best one of the five."
In retrospect I don't really like the strips I picked, and I'm not even sure I picked the right one out of five in each case. I'm not even sure if the Superboy cover above is a good example, because it doesn't lend itself to too many alternatives (or does it? YOU decide...)
It's a weird batch of criteria that I just began to grasp when I ran my first contest. Let's take a look...
This was one of a series in which Dick tracks down crack dealers who use a flour company as their unwitting mule service. I chose it for the action, but in truth I'm not really sure what's going on. It looks the tiny person whose hand we see in panel two is throwing the objects, but for what purpose? It might be because they ate biscuits made with crack instead of flour. Bet those taste good.
Both JPX and Cat took a stab at this one, and I give it to JPX for incorporating the random throwing:
Earl: "Ouch! Damnit, woman, stop chuckin' things at me! I'm going to smack ya if you keep it up!"
Dick Tracy: "Calm down, Earl, she's going through a tough time, her husband was just murdered"
Dick Tracy: "Lucinda, I know you're fragile right now but you shouldn't be taking it out on old Earl"
Lucinda: "It just makes me feel better when I throw things!"
Of the ones I posted, this was my favorite. Not that joke up there, that's pretty dumb, but the image of the guys in the hole. Somewhere in my life I borrowed a bunch of B.C. books from a neighbor and so I know that's supposed to be a caveman dugout, but I looked forward to what my compatriots would come up with. And I was not disappointed, the entries were about sex, sex and sex.
I'm imagining a series of groans when I announce JPX the winner of this one, since JSP uses "buried treasure" beforehand and Cat even uses "Good Lord." But something about the repeated line just cracked me up (I recall from at least one winning haiku that JPX uses that gag well).
"I've been looking all over for you two. Good lord, what are you doing, why are you digging up the outfield?
"We're looking for buried treasure"
"Why are you both naked as a jay bird?"
"We're looking for buried treasure"
Honorable mention to JSP for the addition of "my mother's freshly dug up grave." Nice one.
Meh. This was my worst choice. Any of the other four Mommas I could've posted probably would have been more fun, but I liked the facial expressions in this one and I didn't think it would lead you guys too much. And it doesn't, because nothing freaking happens. In terms of dry, impersonal challenge, I though there was no way I could top ACs double whammy of Doonesbury and Life in Hell from last week, but I think maybe I did. The winner of this one is Catfreeek, for daring to make Momma slutty:
Francis: I've finally come to terms with it Momma.
Momma: What's that Francis?
Francis: The reason my relationships never work is because no woman can measure up to you.
Momma: How sweet, go on please.
Francis: So her's the deal, I think we should just put all morality aside and go tear up that bedroom like no tomorrow.
Momma: I thought you'd never ask.
I've never heard of this strip, but by this point I'd exhausted the known strips and I was just looking for a distinctive visual, and I'm a big fan of the whole monkeys/typewriters idea. Of the three entries, JPX knocked himself to the bottom of the heap when he pretty much divined the actual original joke, except with Sarah Palin instead of Justin Bieber. Weird!
Picking a winner from between JSP and Cat was difficult; I liked Cat's joke better when I was reading the comments:
"Isn't it amazing Smither's, we were able to replace all the hourly staff with chimps and they work for bananas!"
"That's fantastic sir but what's to stop them from replacing us too?"
"Well, I do own the company."
"I'll go clean out my desk."
But ultimately I laughed more when I returned to the picture and imagined Johnny's last panel of dialogue along with those facial expressions:
“The salesman promised me that eventually these monkeys would type a masterpiece every bit as profound as Shakespeare’s best work!”
“With all due respect sir, that’s merely a hypothetical theorum that requires an infinite amount of time.”
“Well they sure are adorable, aren’t they?”
“I suppose… except when they’re flinging their feces at each other.”
He also gets props for mentioning "a hypothetical theorum that requires an infinite amount of time," because smart is sexy.
I still think this is a good caption contest source, but I feel like I'd have to pour through many more to find one that didn't have some obvious lead-in from its illustrations. As it is both entries do a great job of knocking through the expectations: AC almost took it because, in addition to the funny, she remembered to end every Ripley's sentence with an exclamation point:
there's a caterpillar native to southern belgium that scares birds away by humming justin bieber tunes!
a man from elkhorn, nevada has such horrible breath that he can shatter a glass just by exhaling!
the world's tallest port-a-potty has its own dedicated truck and maintenance crew!
But I have to give this one to Johnny for identifying one of the players as himself, and furthermore portraying himself as a glass-eating lush.
“The rare Fartichordata worm from southern Missouri has the unique ability to scare its ornithological enemies away by means of musical farts.”
“Horrorthon icon and man-about-town Johnny Sweatpants has been known to get so panic stricken when he runs out of alcohol that he eats his wine glass to ensure that no drop goes to waste.”
“In 1954 a law was passed in Alabama making it illegal to anally rape trucks with giant pillars. It is still recognized today as the smartest piece of legislature to come from the state.”
With two wins apiece, I suppose either brother is worthy, but I'm giving this to JPX because his B.C. entry made me laugh the most. I expect the contest will be at least a day late this week, and I apologize for that. I did give JPX a warning phone call earlier in the day but that still isn't a whole lot of time. Memorial Day actually made me forget what day of the week it was.
Anyway, boy do I love this contest. Running one was sooo interesting, even if I was disappointed in some of my choices. I also found it impossible to think of new jokes when I already knew what originally filled the talking balloons, so that's something else to work on in the future. Or maybe the present, as I found the Superboy picture above just like it is, so I don't know what the cover actually says.