Momma usually wrings laughs from the wildly imbalanced nature of the relationship between Momma and her adult children: she wants them closer, despite the fact that they’re all kind of terrible, and she herself is terrible to them in various ways, and they pull away. If that doesn’t sound funny to you, then congrats on being a decent human being, but to the extent that the conceit works, it works because Momma is cartoonishly terrible and not at all self-reflective. That’s why today’s panel three, in which Momma watches her fleeing son and poignantly reflects on her own unbearableness, is definitely one of the more depressing things the newspaper comics have to offer today.
The Lockhorns, 2/25/15
The self-loathing both halves of the Lockhorns feel is an integral part of this feature’s shtick, of course. Leroy wants so badly to disappear into comforting nothingness that he can’t even bring himself to photograph his own face.
Mark Trail, 2/25/15
You know who doesn’t go through a bunch of agonized self-reflection, ever? Wolves! Wolves feel really quite good about themselves and their totally rad ability to form an awesome, bad-ass pack and just straight up eat a whole moose. Old Ripper becomes the first Mark Trail animal to get a name other than “Lucky” that I can remember, though like the old mother moose, Ripper is old, because you have to respect the strip’s animal-identification traditions.
Mark Trail, 2/20/15
“It made me think of my own wife! Her name is Hope, and I love her so much I never even mentioned her before now. Definitely I would never take her deep into the swamp where I keep my bog-palace! I mean, people’s wives get kidnapped all the time out here! What kind of monster are you, Mark, bringing your poor wife into this hellhole kidnapping-land?”
Dennis the Menace, 2/20/15
By refuting the basic premises behind harsh prison sentencing, Dennis menaces our modern prison-industrial complex and the culture of retribution that feeds it.
Funky Winkerbean, 2/20/15
Literally Funky Winkerbean is just spending days having representatives of Enormous Midwestern University be smirking dicks to the hapless teens of Westview High. I mean, I guess most people in this strip are smirking dicks to everyone else all the time, but somehow it jumps out more when non-recurring characters do it.
I know this is one of those things where just speaking the name summons the thing into existence, but at the moment I am very glad for the Google search results I just got:
Clearly any such stories would include a depth of emotional and sexual cruelty that would put Fifty Shades of Grey to shame.
Six Chix, 2/8/15
I prefer to think that this episode takes place in the Slylock Fox world in which sapient animals have risen up and taken over — maybe several generations later, when the few remaining human holdouts, the Slick Smitties and Count Weirdlies, have finally gone extinct. With no humans left and none even in living memory, it’s no surprise our talking mountain goat can’t answer any questions about the vast vaguely simian face carved into the side of this cliff. George Washington’s shocked, staring expression is particularly poignant here, as he contemplates his state as a baffling final reminder of a vanished race.
Panels from The Lockhorns, 2/8/15
I got not one but two genuine laughs out of today’s multipanel Sunday Lockhorns. I’m definitely curious about the backstory to Leroy’s grim online mission in the top panel — does he have his own blog, or popular Twitter feed, which attracts Internet haters? Or does he feel compelled to wade into the comment sections of local newspaper articles or, God forbid, Wikipedia talk pages and correct people who are being wrong on the Internet? The second panel is more self-explanatory: Like Dante, Leroy and Loretta journeyed into the bowels of Hell, where God punishes in eternal agony the souls of the wicked, and got married, in a ceremony presumably conducted by actual, literal demons.
Panel from Mark Trail, 2/8/15
Wow, Mark really cares about whelk purity. “Hey Mark, look what I found on the beach!” “That’s not a true whelk, Rusty!” [slaps it out of his hand and into the sea]