OK, here’s one of the difficulties in making jokes about aging in an extremely long-running and iconic legacy comic strip. Typically you’d assume that a mother of two teenagers would be somewhere around the 35-50 age range, born in the ’60s at the earliest, and so you can get away with jokes about how ha ha kids today think their parents are so ancient and the parents resent them for it. This extremely doesn’t work in Blondie, though, given that the strip began in 1930 with its title character already a young adult, right around the time the first experimental televisions were being demonstrated. So, like, does Blondie remember when the first TV was invented? “What did you study in French today?” she asks, desperately trying to deflect attention away from her terrifying unaging nature.
The Lockhorns, 11/19/15
As Apartment 3-G lurches towards its demise so blandly that I can’t even bring myself to cover it here, I gotta give kudos to the Lockhorns for shutting down with a shocking, unexpected twist. Loretta kicked Leroy out and will have his mail forwarded to his new address and now the strip is over! Fans everywhere can take heart that this long-suffering couple can finally move on with their lives, emotionally.
Momma, too, has unexpectedly decided to end its decades-long run today. This conclusion is a little derivative of the final episode of St. Elsewhere; but still, the revelation that Momma’s “children” are just tiny figurines that she manipulates at her whim explains a lot about the tone of the strip. Anyway, kudos for Momma and the Lockhorns for going out on top! Looking forward to whatever will be taking their place in newspapers nationwide tomorrow, probably a tire ad or something.
The Lockhorns, 11/3/15
INT. – UNDERGROUND HACKER HQ – NIGHT
Dozens of malicious HACKERS sit around a conference table in a murkily lit room. All have laptops in front of them; banks of computer servers with blinking lights line the walls.
Gentlemen, I’ve summoned you here today to present you with … some disturbing content.
Please. We’re the kings of the dark web. We’ve seen and heard things that would send normal people’s minds spinning into insanity.
That may be, but this is horror of a different kind. I want you to turn your attention to today’s Lockhorns.
You mean the comic? From the newspaper? I didn’t know they were still making those.
Please point your browsers to the “Comics Kingdom” website, where you’ll be able to find the most recent panel.
But it’s a paywalled site! How can we see it without paying?
All the HACKERS laugh uproariously as they effortlessly HACK the site with a few keystrokes. Their laughter ends abruptly as they see today’s Lockhorns panel.
They made a “dark web” joke.
In a newspaper comic strip.
Does this mean…
Yes. Hacking is over. Being a hacker, knowing about the dark web … it’s not cool anymore. None of it.
The hackers close their laptops and begin smashing them to bits with HAMMERS.
So, anyone else have any life skills?
I waited tables for a while.
I can do some bookeepping.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith and The Family Circus, 11/3/15
Here in the United States it’s Odd-Numbered Election Year, which is important to voters in a few states (enjoy, Louisiana!) but mostly pretty low-key. That hasn’t stopped a couple of longstanding legacy comic strips from getting political, though — specifically, from expressing outright contempt for the whole concept of electoral democracy. How did the dinosaurs come to rule the earth? Through some fair election process? Don’t be a chump. They seized control of the planet with their teeth and claws. Maybe the piddling political issues of the day can be resolved by voting, but when it comes to basic questions of species dominance, we still live in the constant war of all against all. Snuffy’s neighbors might feel smug about performing their so-called “civic duty”; but Snuffy knows he’s doing the real important work, which is preventing our planet from being overrun by fish-men.
Mary Worth and The Phantom, 11/3/15
Apartment 3-G, 8/22/15
I just want to emphasize, again, that the Tibetan storyline being spottily rehashed here ran six years ago, long enough that most non-obsessive readers have probably forgotten and/or died, and so you really have to wonder what someone who has no idea what’s going on would make of “The Tibetan nuns saved my life, Tim. Imagine Margo’s pain!” Though, honestly, who couldn’t imagine Margo’s pain as a bunch of non-Margo ladies try to muscle in on her man? Vows of chastity, shmows of chastity; only Margo gets to nurse Margo’s almost-fiance back to health, capisce?
The Lockhorns, 8/22/15
Loretta sure has been talking a lot about the end of human civilization lately, and really, who can blame her? Obviously she and Leroy haven’t been able to muster the strength to end their awful hell-marriage, but maybe, just maybe, an apocalyptic event will do the work for them. Today she imagines the Machines who will replace us: a cleaner, better race, not causing each other endless pain with twisted, malformed emotions. They have no ability to love, but no ability to twist love around into hate, either.
Wizard of Id, 8/22/15
This might seem awful petty on the King’s part, but remember, Jesus once smote a tree that annoyed him, so it’s not like there isn’t precedent. Sorry trees! It’s open season on trees!
Mary Worth, 8/22/15
The only thing dumber than sitting right up front at your boss’s endless lecture when you might have to sneak out before he’s done is sitting right up front at your boss’s endless lecture and staring at your watch with an expression of really theatrical irritation.