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Posted at 09:05 AM ET, 10/21/2009

'Riffs Picks: From the Washington Dreadskins cartoon to Comics Volunteerism week, today's top contenders

Do not adjust your set, your settings or your funnypages. As you've probably noticed by now, volunteerism is running rampant in the comics this week -- and by that, we don't just mean the meddlesome Keane kids "drawing" "Family Circus" for poor pooped Pops for a coupla days.

Last Friday marked the 20th anniversary of former president George H..W. Bush's call for community service in full "thousand points of light" fashion. To commemorate the occasion (as you may well have read), Bush and President Obama on Friday renewed the call for volunteerism via a Points of Light Institute event in Texas. Now, this week brings the entertainment field's stepping-up to answer the call: The Hollywood charity Entertainment Industry Foundation, working through the iParticipate initiative, is devoting major time to "giving back" all this week.

ALSO answering the call this week: National cartoonists who are filling their strips with themes of community service. The strips that touch on such volunteerism this week include "Baby Blues," "Big Nate," "Curtis," "Mutts" and "Red and Rover." So to recognize that spirit of giving, we honor all participating cartoonists with our Special 'Riffs Pick Of Community Service today. Comic Riffs appreciates and salutes your efforts.

Now, on to several other 'Riffs Picks from today, culled from across the mighty mighty Web...

1, CARTOONS FOR TYPHOONS: In the same spirit of charity, comic artist Greg LaRocque has organized a cartoon art auction "to benefit the victims of the recent typhoons and flooding in the Philippines." Word of this event comes from the blog of Tak Toyoshima, the "Secret Asian Man" cartoonist who says he's donated original art, so you can bid on this Sunday strip of his. All proceeds from the event reportedly go to the Philippines Red Cross.

2. CARTOONS FOR PLATOONS: And ALSO in the same spirit of charity, Comic Riffs salutes MAD artist Tom Richmond's illustrated reports from the ongoing USO/NSC tour (and we note that some other artists have, or will be, blogging this tour as time and USO restrictions allow -- we'll be citing other reports in the future). Today, Richmond shares images from the cartooning group's time in Germany, as well as from combat zones in the Persian Gulf. I also recommend this link to Star and Stripes, which includes a swell slide show of the group's visit to Germany.

3. ONE FORLORN ZORN: Now, on a much, much lighter note, my fave sports cartoon of the day goes to the Washington Examiner's NATE BEELER (second time this week; fella's on a roll) for his artfuly rendered take on the Great Emasculation of Washington Redskins "coach" (newly stripped of his play-calling duties) Jim Zorn. Beeler nails the twisting-in-the-wind nature of the front office's decision-making -- or rather, INdecision-making. Well-played, Mr. Beeler.


On Monday, The Washington Post's print Style section reran an old "Doonesbury" strip (from Sept. 5) due to a production error. The correct strip is running in Wednesday's Style, beneath the new "Doonesbury." And no, by the way, your eyes don't deceive you if you read the wood edition: Amid the paper's Big Redesign, The Post is now running "Doonesbury" somewhat smaller than as recenty as last week.

By  |  09:05 AM ET, 10/21/2009

Categories:  The Morning Line, The Morning Line, The Morning Line

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