CAMPAIGN 2012: ‘The Simpsons’ ‘endorses’ Romney; ‘Pearls’ goes for third-party candidate

WITH ELECTION DAY almost upon us, campaign cartoons aren’t just for editorial artists.

This time of year, even some non-political strips begin stumping for a candidate — while “The Simpsons” pivots from its usual Fox News swipes to offer an ”endorsement” of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Today, in a spot to promote Sunday’s episode, “The Simpsons” has released this video of Montgomery Burns laying out the case for “Meat Romney” over “Broccoli Obama”:

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Meanwhile, in the land of newspaper comics — where such strips as “Doonesbury” ”Mallard Fillmore” and “Prickly City” feast on politics decades after “Li’l Abner” showed political bite — some nonpartisan titles are nominating their own candidates.

As creator Stephan Pastis noted during his recent talk at Politics & Prose bookstore, Rat has a distinctive, utterly true-to-character candidacy in “Pearls Before Swine”:

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CLICK HERE to see larger version. (PEARLS BEFORE SWINE / Universal Uclick /.)

Elsewhere, “Blondie” has begun an arc — scripted by Dean Young — in which Dagwood Bumstead had his own visions of becoming the most powerful person in the free world this side o f Mr. Dithers.

Young says of Dagwood’s candidacy: “He’s not beholden to any group, outside of the pastrami lobbyists!”

From Pogo to Alfred E. Neuman to Ultimate Captain America, our great nation has been blessed with some inspired campaigns by cartoon presidential candidates. If you have a favorite, Comic Riffs is all ears.

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CLICK HERE to see larger version. (BLONDIE / Distributed by King Features )

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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