The Comics Curmudgeon

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The Comics Curmudgeon
The Comics Curmudgeon 002.PNG
Type of site
Available inEnglish
OwnerJosh Fruhlinger
Created byJosh Fruhlinger
Alexa rankPositive decrease 156,992 (April 2014)[1]
LaunchedJuly 11, 2004 (2004-07-11)
Current statusActive

The Comics Curmudgeon is a blog devoted to humorous and critical analysis of newspaper comics. Its author, Josh Fruhlinger, is a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.[2] Fruhlinger, formerly based in Baltimore, also writes about editorial cartoons for the website Wonkette in a weekly feature called Cartoon Violence. He also contributes to a Wikipedia-themed humor blog called Citation Needed.


For each blog post, Fruhlinger selects two to eight comic strips for comment, usually focused on topics such as poor artwork, inappropriate coloring, nonsensical plots, and sexual subtext or innuendo. Long-running soap opera-style comic strips such as Apartment 3-G, Mark Trail, and Mary Worth bear the brunt of Fruhlinger's humor, an emphasis that he attributes to their being "[the] perfect targets for the sort of metatextual detached irony that is our generation’s terrible contribution to Western civilization."[3]

Fruhlinger's blog also features commentary on long-running legacy cartoons like Family Circus and B.C. Weekly "metaposts" update readers on notable events in Fruhlinger's life, such as his July 22, 2008, appearance[4] on the game show Jeopardy!,[5] offer critical commentary on the comic strip industry, and include a "Comment Of The Week" that highlights the best comments posted by the blog's readers.[6] The blog's original name was "Josh Reads the Comics so You Don't Have To", which is reflected in the site URL,


The Comics Curmudgeon was among the blogs criticizing what they deemed was the declining quality of the Canadian family strip For Better or For Worse, and who were noted for "harsh attacks"[7] on creator Lynn Johnston. Humorist John Hodgman, in a review of comic-strip reprint collections, said the website "regularly ridicules the creaky war horses like Hagar the Horrible [sic] and Mary Worth, the opaque woolgathering of Ziggy, the dull crypto-evangelism of B.C."[8] A blog contributor's July 21, 2008, post[9] broke the news that a recent Blondie strip had been recycled almost verbatim from one published in 1952.[10] This was followed in March 2009 with a similar report of strip recycling in Family Circus.[11]

Hägar the Horrible's cartoonist Chris Browne,[12] Liō artist/writer Mark Tatulli,[13] and Sally Forth scripter Francesco Marciuliano.[14] have commented on the blog. Bob Weber Jr., artist for Slylock Fox, created merchandise for the Curmudgeon CafePress store with original art of the character Cassandra Cat (from the Fox strip).[15]

On December 18, 2008, the comic strip Archie began occasionally referencing the blog's recurring "Archie Joke-Generating Laugh Unit 3000" joke.[16] On August 12, 2009, writer and illustrator Stephan Pastis mentioned The Comics Curmudgeon by name in his comic strip Pearls Before Swine, in the context of satirizing internet criticism.[17] On May 6, 2012, the comic strip Crock introduced a character named "Freerloiter" (an apparent parody of Fruhlinger's name) who lost all of his artistic talent after a lobotomy. However, Commander Crock "pulled the plug" on Freerloiter after he announced his intention to move to Baltimore and start a comics blog. Fruhlinger responded on his blog that he believed the joke would be incomprehensible to those outside the "fairly small slice of the comics-reading public who also reads my blog."[18]


The Comics Curmudgeon was ranked 13th on PC Magazine's 100 Favorite Blogs list for 2007,[19] and Elite Choice named it one of 2007's Top 125 Elite Blogs[20] (judged on traffic generation, Alexa ranking and other measures of visibility). Josh Fruhlinger was named 2007's Blogger of the Year by The Week based on his analysis of editorial cartoons.[21] The Comics Curmudgeon has also won the 2008 Weblog Award for Best Humor Blog.[22]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  2. ^ "City of angels » The Comics Curmudgeon". The Comics Curmudgeon. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  3. ^ Zachary Kanin. "An Interview with Josh Fruhlinger". The New Yorker. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  4. ^ "'Jeopardy!' Appearance for Comics Curmudgeon Blogger". 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-07-24. [DEAD LINK]
  5. ^ "J! Archive - Show #5512, aired 2008-07-22". Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  6. ^ Fruhlinger, Josh (2008-07-21). "The Comics Curmudgeon » Blog Archive » Metapost: Dagwood trickery! (And COTW)". Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  7. ^ Friess, Steve (2007-09-09). "Cartoon creator hopes reinventing 'For Better' is for the best". Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  8. ^ Hodgman, John (2005-12-04). "Comics Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  9. ^ Fruhlinger, Josh (2008-07-21). "The Comics Curmudgeon » Blog Archive » Metapost: Dagwood trickery! (And COTW)". Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  10. ^ "Blog Reveals That a Recent 'Blondie' Strip Is Nearly Identical to a 1952 One". Editor & Publisher. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  11. ^ "Metapost: More self-copying CsOTW!". 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
  12. ^ Chris Brown of Hägar the Horrible responds to CC
  13. ^ Fruhlinger, Josh (2007-03-25). "The Comics Curmudgeon » Blog Archive » Revelrous rivalry". Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  14. ^ Francesco Marciuliano of Sally Forth links to the CC in his blog, calling it "America's Finest Website"
  15. ^ "Fruhlinger reveals officially licensed Cassandra Cat (from the Slylock Fox cartoon) merchandise available at his CafePress store". The Comics Curmudgeon. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  16. ^ Fruhlinger, Josh (2008-12-18). "The Comics Curmudgeon » Blog Archive » AJGLU 3000: Rise of the machines". Retrieved 2008-12-24.
  17. ^, retrieved on 2009-08-12
  18. ^ Fruhlinger, Josh (2012-05-06). "Fight! Fight! Comics nerd fight!". Retrieved 2012-05-06.
  19. ^ Heater, Brian (2007-10-15). "Our Favorite 100 Blogs 2007 - Reviews by PC Magazine". Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  20. ^ "2007 Round Up: Top 125 Elite Blogs". Elite Choice. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  21. ^ Cavanaugh, Tim (2007-03-31). "Work them like a claw and call me Number One!". Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  22. ^ (2009-01-13). "2008 Weblog Award for Best Humor Blog". Retrieved 2009-01-16.

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