Judge Parker, 7/21/16
INT. – MONSTER BEVERAGE CORP. – DAY
DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MARKETING AND BRAND AWARENESS: You wanted to see me, sir?
CEO: What the hell is this?
DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MARKETING AND BRAND AWARENESS: Uh, I think it’s a … newspaper? I don’t subscribe to one myself, but…
CEO: No, this comic strip. What in the name of God are we doing in this thing?
DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MARKETING AND BRAND AWARENESS: Oh, that! That’s part of our big spend on native content for the quarter, sir.
CEO: So we paid for this. To reach out to … teens?
DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MARKETING AND BRAND AWARENESS: Yes, sir! You can see from the characters that it’s a teen-oriented strip.
DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MARKETING AND BRAND AWARENESS: I mean, just look at the characters! A multi-ethnic group, engaging in drama. If there’s one thing our research shows that teens love, it’s drama.
DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MARKETING AND BRAND AWARENESS: Just a group of diverse teens, in a band, participating in drama, enjoying Monster Energy beverages. Well worth the $450,000 we spent for the placement!
CEO: [presses button on desk] Security, please come to my office.
Man, if I knew someone who sent out paper invitations to parties instead of just creating Facebook events for them, I probably wouldn’t visit their Facebook page either. If they don’t use Facebook even for one of its most popular and useful features, then their Facebook page is probably hella boring.
The punchline to today’s strip, in which Crankshaft responds to an church volunteer’s innocent attempt to play-act as a carnival barker by pointing out life’s essentially random cruelty, is par for the Funkyverse course, so instead I’d like to point out that our hero is just straight-up covered with filth here. This is actually some admirable continuity from earlier this week, where the jokes were about how Crankshaft is incapable of eating fair food without soiling himself, but it gives a nice touch to today’s strip, where it looks like he’s wandered out of a scene of unspeakable carnage. He gets to lay down this truth bomb on poor straw-hat-boater guy because he’s seen some shit, man.
The Lockhorns, 7/15/16
I guess Leroy’s supposed to have a black eye here, indicating that once again a potentially pleasant evening has ended with him getting punched in the face? But all I can see is the eye makeup that Alex wore in A Clockwork Orange, so I’m assuming that the argument was over whether it’s socially acceptable to cosplay as literary characters when you go over to someone else’s house for drinks.
Mary Worth, 6/19/16
So, to recap: there’s absolutely nothing untoward about sexually charged relationships between professors and students, and if you just hunker down and wait for bullying to pass, it probably will! It’s a good thing that the dialogue in this strip is incredibly stilted and unnatural, because otherwise some young person might actually perceive it as good advice.
The Lockhorns, 6/19/16
Maybe it’s the fact that the background of Lockhorns panels always seem to be strangely empty, like the set of Waiting For Godot, but there’s something profound and universal about the characters’ suffering. The strip is always ready to show us how their very specific grievances (being locked in loveless marriage) are just a hair’s breadth away from terrifyingly universal truths (we’re all locked in a meaningless existence in which nobody truly knows anybody else).