Motley and crew


I was thinking of all that we need to get done in the next week or so, and the phrase "miles to go before I sleep," from Robert Frost's poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. That took me down some mental pathways I haven't traveled in a while.

That phrase reminded me of a comic strip that ran in the early 1980s called Miles to Go, about a dog named Miles who worked in a used pet store. I remember clipping a Christmastime strip where Miles reviews the gifts he received from the other pets -- the payoff panel has him making a face over Mrs. Rabbit's raisin bread.

A Google search turns up the artist's name -- Phil Frank. Frank has another strip called Farley which has been running for 30 years; for the last 20 years exclusively in the San Francisco Chronicle. Somewhere in my Googling I read that Miles has made some appearances in Farley since the end of his own strip.

The Tulsa Tribune carried Miles to Go, and they also carried a strip called Wright Angles, which wasn't an animal strip, but the breakout character was a cat named Motley. Motley really captured the essence of finicky, self-centered cat-ness, and his attitude and appearance reminded me of our family's beloved cat, Flakey. The artist, Larry Wright, retired the strip sometime around 1990, but it's being serialized on United Media's website, retitled in honor of the cat.

Both strips ended before the advent of the World Wide Web, which would explain why neither has much of a presence on the 'net. (Yes, the old Wright Angles strips are on United Media's site under the name Motley, you won't find many references beyond that. And I haven't found anything that says that Motley is a repeat of Wright Angles, as obvious as that is.)

I am pleased to see classic comic strips running alongside new strips -- online at least. There are networks dedicated to classic TV shows, radio stations that play classic rock and classic country, so why not rerun the best cartoons?

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 23, 2005 11:11 PM.

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