Limited quantities of the final Unshelved collection, OVERDUE, are now available in the store!
Unshelved comic strip for 12/2/2005

Perfect

Unshelved is an uneven strip. I know that. We both know that. We like that. Our punchlines ebb and flow. Sometimes - like this week - we focus on character development over obvious jokes. And sometimes it doesn't work. And I know better than anyone that the art sometimes doesn't meet the mark. Whatever. We mark it up to learning and move on.

Then there are comic strips that are always just right. The timing, the art, the characters, the jokes - they never fail. They are rare, these comics, but fortunately they exist. And right now I have three I read regularly. You should read them too.

  • Sheldon - The amazing thing about Dave's strip is that he succeeds in writing a corny strip about a kid, his friend, his talking duck, and his grandfather. It ought to fall flat on its face. A comic strip can't be that nice, that good any more, can it? Turns out it can.
  • PVP - Scott Kurtz is wonderfully attuned to the human condition. PVP flies not because it's about geeky stuff, but because it's about real people. And a genial troll. And giant Panda that keeps eating Brent. Okay, maybe I don't know why it works. But it always does, every time. It makes me jealous as hell, and I curse his name. But when the strips are late I curse it more.
  • Sinfest - And then there is this one. If Scott Kurtz is juggling a few balls, Tatsuya Ishida has got a whole major league team in the air at any one time. A single strip that moves effortlessly between onflicts between dogs and cats, men and women, and satan and god - it should be impossible. It's against all the laws of nature. And still it works.

Dont' get me wrong - there's a lot of brilliance out there. But it's uneven. Penny Arcade makes me laugh hard some days, and some days (like today) they're off in a weird corner of gamersville. Goats is often brilliant but it practically defines the term "uneven." And of course most every newspaper strip is even in a very dull and boring way. That's no fun. I want consistantly perfect. Is that so much to ask?

This Unshelved strip

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