Funky Winkerbean, 4/22/14
Welp, at last, Jess has solved the mystery of why her father was murdered. It’s not just because he was a dick that nobody liked; it’s because one of the people to whom he was a dick disliked him so much that he decided he deserved to be killed. Shouldn’t she be filming this or something?
Judge Parker, 4/22/14
Hahaha, remember when Abbott gave April a bunch of diamonds of mysterious provenance? Well, apparently they were a wedding present for Randy (a dowry, maybe?), and also bait to lure the Gardia brothers into a firefight they can’t win, and, well, if Randy gets killed in the crossfire while April safely wanders around the jungle looking for Katherine, then I don’t think too many people are going to lose sleep over that, do you?
Apartment 3-G, 4/22/14
Oh, man, I love that Tommie is just holding the phone away from her head as Margo launches into her freakout. “Not coming home – I don’t undersand. What’s going on?! Who’s going to cook me dinner?!? I’m getting hungry! Tommie? Tommie?”
Gil Thorp, 4/22/14
In case you’re wondering what’s going on with wacky klutzy Lucky Haskins and Amy Lange: Lucky has convinced Amy that she can improve her luck by rubbing his head. That isn’t a euphemism for anything, though as you can see here their encounters are suffused with a certain queasy eroticism.
Good news, everyone! Spider-Man and “Iron Jonah” aren’t going to be killed by plummeting into the arch in Washington Square Park because they’ve been saved by Iron Man at the last minute. Since the whole point of this crisis was that Jonah was going too fast and any impact would leave him smeared all over the inside of that outdated Iron Man suit, I’m not sure how Iron Man SLAMMing into him at full speed is really much of a solution, but any denouement in which Spidey’s rescue attempt is upstaged by another, better superhero is OK with me.
Heathcliff and his ex-con dad have trained an army of bee henchmen! Nobody can touch them now.
The defining feature of Heathcliff’s universe is unrelenting low-grade surrealism. And the human residents of this world seem pretty inured to it all at this point: whether we’re talking about fish used as sporting equipment or word-helmets or balls of string with faces or the Garbage Ape, it’s just not anything to get worked up about. So I’m glad to see that the fishmongers, at least, are offended by this unicycle-based theft. “Oh come on this … this is absurd. Wouldn’t it have been actually faster and easier for him to grab it and run away on foot? Plus, that unicycle doesn’t even have any pedals! You’re just kicking your paws up and down in mid-air, on nothing! Damn you, Heathcliff, and your unstoppable reign of mild whimsy!”
This Archie strip is clearly a modern-day joke grafted unsuccessfully onto an old one: the corny Archie versions of an iPad and Netflix and Mad Men prove that someone involved is aware of cultural developments of the ’10s, and yet the core gag makes absolutely no sense, unless some people get a secret “Netflix remote” that doesn’t let you actually look up shows by name but does let you scroll through them endlessly at random until you find the one you want. Anyway, when do you think the art from this strip originally ran? I’m thinking Jughead’s inexplicable Yankees shirt places it around 9/11, when the awful attacks on New York meant that we all had to pretend to like their sports teams, for some reason.
Dennis the Menace, 4/21/14
Ever since those hippies Woodward and Bernstein managed to screw over Nixon, Henry Mitchell has managed to blame the Washington Post for just about everything, so don’t doubt that this little fender-bender is also going to turn out to be the liberal media’s fault.
Here is today’s B.C.! It’s about eating rabbit turds.
Funky Winkerbean, 4/10/14
If, like me, you’ve reached the Stockholm Syndrome stage of your Funky Winkerbean readership, you’ve no doubt come up with some little strategies to derive enjoyment from the unrelenting murk of gloom. What gets me through several panels a day is the knowledge that said gloom may be unrelenting, but is not without texture; we still have the opportunity to discover how exactly the characters will have their dreams crushed and their spirits broken. When it comes to Jessica, whose new motherhood is impelling her to complete her quest to document the father she never knew, her trajectory of sadness is now clear: she will slowly learn, over the course of her project, that her father was an asshole and nobody liked him.
(This is as good a context as any to note that the inimitable Chris Sims’ March Funkywatch is available for your enjoyment!)
I’m less concerned about the protection of Heathcliff’s secret identity (why did he even wear his superhero outfit to the vet in the first place?) than in his ongoing and rapid menace decay. Specifically, it bothers me that he’s wearing what’s obviously a Batman costume but the yellow disc on his chest conspicuously lacks the bat-symbol. Is Heathcliff worried about trademark violations? Is he suddenly all about respecting the intellectual property rights of DC Comics, Inc.? Is he afraid of Warner Bros. Entertainment’s lawyers? Pathetic.
“I tried to explain to her that ever since we stumbled onto that witch’s coven and our eyes were blinded and turned eerie, milky white by the burst of dark magical energy they cast at us, our other senses have become much more acute, plus we have the power to read minds! But she didn’t even listen to me, though I have a hard time distinguishing between thought-speech and voice-speech anymore, so perhaps I wasn’t actually speaking aloud to her.”
Reggie is somewhat oversexed and not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I find it unrealistic that he’d be so desperate for romantic attention as to be an easy mark for Jughead’s scam. Still, if this is the setup we need for him to disappear screaming into a swirling, furry vortex of hungry hungry cats, I’m willing to suspend my disbelief.