Mary Worth, 8/21/15
One of the complaints about the modern-day movie industry is that studios don’t seem to produce midrange movies anymore; everything is either a tiny indie film made on a shoestring or a huge blockbuster action movie or broad comedy. Mary Worth, as usual, steps up to fill the market that Hollywood is ignoring. Sure, the strip provides big hits like Aldomania or Wilbur’s Illegitimate Not-Son; but it also provides smaller, quieter, but still utterly engrossing plots like Ian Kisses Up To His Boss And Toby Remembers She’s An Artist And They Seethe At Each Other About It. I am hooked and I am not ashamed to admit it!
Anyway, today we learn that Toby’s art show, which features a range of greyscale blobs and quadragons, is downtown, and I’m really glad to see the local artist community is helping gentrify a neighborhood that used to be a dangerous hellhole. Maybe it’ll soon be safe enough for even Mary to go there! Meanwhile, Ian realizes that he’ll have to choose between sitting through a boring and presumably outdated lecture from Hilton Berkes about whatever subject he used to specialize in before he took a cushy administrative job and going to Toby’s show and hopefully seeing that warrior in the background of panel once coming to life and murdering everybody.
Heathcliff sure had been into surfing jokes lately, huh? Yes, what if a cat were a surfer. And some aliens saw him. And the aliens were also surfers. That would be truly radical, and also whimsical, would it not? God, this makes me exhausted just looking at it.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/1/15
Oh, boy, as noted by Uncle Lumpy, deranged industrialist/nanny-marrier Milton Avery is back in the strip! When we last saw Milton a few years back in a plot I seem to have not covered in particular depth, his heart was on the verge of exploding because of his tightly wound business asshole lifestyle. After being vaguely threatening towards Rex for no good reason, it turned out that his real worry wasn’t over his heart, but his brain, which he was convinced was failing him. “You don’t have Alzheimer’s Disease until Rex says you do,” Heather declared, and I don’t remember if Rex weighed in one way or the other but today it’s pretty clear that he has Alzheimer’s Disease, or at least some other flavor of dementia. Looks like we’ve already found the excitiment of this new plot: can a senile and extremely wealthy man’s legal team keep him out of jail after he stabs a household employee to death?
Ha ha, yes, phones certainly do have a soporific effect that can smooth out conflict but also the passion of a life truly lived in the moment and OH MY GOD WHY IS THERE A PHONE IN FRONT OF THAT WEDGE OF SWISS CHEESE? Is the cheese alive? Has the Heathcliff creative team decided that, since all animals, predator and prey, are fully sapient in the strip, why not extend this to inanimate objects? Is every Heathcliff panel full of individual consciousnesses embedded in everything, fully aware, unable to communicate, and screaming?
Apartment 3-G, 7/18/15
The “Stonewall” Margo is talking about here is not the legendary Greenwich Village bar where the modern gay rights movement began, but rather some sort of English country house that fake psychic Diane was pushing as a setting for Margo’s parents’ wedding in a plot point from five months ago that you probably already forgot. Like everything else that’s happening in the current “baffling dreamscape” iteration of Apartment 3-G, this plot twist makes sense so long as you don’t think about any of the details in any way. Like, the UK isn’t exactly one of the cheaper real estate markets in the world, so I’m pretty sure a manor fancy enough to be on “that British show about some Abbey” would go for a lot more for $50,000, or even £50,000. Also, would just the prospect of Martin and Gabriella renting this place for their wedding suddenly cause it to quintuple in value? I mean, I know Martin is supposed to be super-rich, but, uhhhhhh.
Sure, Crankshaft’s whole thing is that he’s a loathsome asshole and that’s why this strip is unbearable, but I admit I kind of like it when he’s a loathsome asshole during his son-in-law’s attempts to bond with him. “That’s for the theater. Jesus Christ, I can’t believe I let my daughter marry a guy who makes theater comments at sporting events. You’re repugnant and you sicken me.”
Ha ha, Heathcliff made an extremely transparent medical marijuana joke! You know, this could explain a lot about this comic’s specific brand of low-grade, vaguely surreal whimsy.
Hey y’all, I’m off on an east coast trip to see friends and family! Your Uncle Lumpy will be here for some non-fundraising fill-in action for a week and change. See you on Wednesday the 29th!