Links: The Comics Curmudgeon and Spamusement

I would like to call your attention to two very funny Web sites I’ve recently discovered.

First is The Comics Curmudgeon, a daily blog in which writer Josh Fruhlinger discusses a couple of that day’s comic strips, usually bashing them (quite humorously) for their ineptitude and/or unfunniness. Josh is particularly obsessed with “Mary Worth,” hates “B.C.” and “The Family Circus” (doesn’t everyone?), and is recently fascinated by the trainwreck that is “Pluggers.” His observations are astute and witty, and he posts copies of the strips he discusses in case you haven’t seen them.

It was actually a link on that site that led me to this one: Spamusement!, in which artist Steven Frank draws cartoons inspired by the actual subject lines from spam e-mails he’s gotten. Many of the subject lines are meant to be suggestive and/or dirty (“Give her more meat” says one), so Frank’s cartoons are always the opposite (a forlorn woman looking at a dinner plate with a tiny chicken leg on it).

The first cartoon is dated July 15, 2004, and the first several show that he was still finding his way. Once he got going, though, the cartoons were often laugh-out-loud hysterical, and the archives are a great way to kill an hour.

I’m particularly impressed with Frank’s imagination. Take the subject line “they like to take turns,” for example. The cartoon will surely involve two people or animals (Frank likes animals) taking turns at something, right? So what does he draw? Mayor McCheese, with two birds taking turns chomping bites out of his hamburger head. (What the?!) Or the subject line “I did it again,” which leads to a cartoon of a man cursing himself, having just stuffed a cooked turkey into a mailbox. (What the?!) The cartoons are almost all like that, surprising and delightful and absurd.