Mary Worth, 6/2/14
Haha, well, that Mary Worth storyline ended pretty abruptly, didn’t it? One minute Tommy’s finding love and good honest hard work, both of which will sustain him as he finally enters adulthood and maturity (assuming he doesn’t develop Meat Lung from breathing in those sandwich fumes all day); then, suddenly, it’s Pool Party time, with Wilbur and Iris being all lovey-dovey in the background. (Tommy is not in attendance, of course, because he’s busy trying to get mustard stains out of the upholstery in the VIP section. THEY NEVER COME OUT, TOMMY; THEY NEVER COME OUT.)
The main theme here is obviously that Mary Worth sees life as a never-ending series of passive-aggressive contests in which she must triumph in order to maintain her self-image; this isn’t news, exactly, but it’s interesting to see it made so explicit here. “My brownish chicken blobs were a big hit last month, but this month I plan to obliterate all these earth-toned food shapes! Only Mary’s delicious chicken things can be remembered! Nothing else!” Then she spots a little kid, and plays nice while trying to figure who she belongs to and what horrors that person will suffer for violating the condo rules that preclude any children from coming within 500 yards of, or looking directly at, the Charterstone compound.
Slylock Fox, 6/2/14
Wow, Slylock sure is smug about his plan to keep him and Max alive by building a rudimentary desalination plant! Yep, they’ll have fresh, potable water indefinitely, if by “indefinitely” you mean “a couple weeks, tops,” since the process involves boiling water and the only fuel available is a single smallish palm tree and a boat that Max has already begun to cannibalize. Sure, boiling that octopus alive, using a giant spoon to occasionally push its writhing tentacles back into the pot, seemed like a fun way to pass the time, back when Max thought they could just drink as much ocean water as they wanted. Hindsight is 20-20, you know?
Heathcliff’s vibe can best be described as “surreal whimsy”; the thing is, if you ratchet back how aggressive you are about it, that also describes the New Yorker cartoon sweet spot. This one hits pretty close to that mark, honestly.
You know, I spend a lot of time making fun of all the poop jokes in Marvin, but that’s not all the strip is about! For instance, there are also jokes about how Marvin doesn’t like his father very much.
Funky Winkerbean, 5/19/14
Oh, goodie, we’re back to the plot about how Les is struggling to write the script for the made-for-basic-cable version of the story of his dead wife dying of cancer! You might be forgiven for reading this and thinking that he’s just sent the script off to agents unsolicited or something. But no, he was already paid a great deal for it before he wrote it, and then he felt pretty good about writing some truly atrocious dialogue, and then he found Lisa’s diary so that he could write it even better. I guess he’s mostly mad because nobody is holding his hand and telling him how great he is? Anyway, I don’t know if I would have picked the imaginary talking cat that represents Les’s depression as the Funky Winkerbean character that would eventually start saying what we’re all thinking, but now that’s happened I’m 100% in favor.
I normally don’t find the art in Pluggers particularly expressive, but I’m quite enjoying the terrified looks on the faces of our plugger-couple in today’s panel. “Oh … oh God. Death is coming for us. It’s coming. There’s no escape.”
Haha, it’s funny because the parrot thinks that the institutions of the modern bureaucratic state have an interest in maintaining its health and well-being! (Spoiler alert: the institutions of the modern bureaucratic state have no such interests.)
So Crankshaft got a smartphone this week, by the way! I would have settled for some smartphone-themed puns, but I will very much accept Crankshaft being a snarling dick to his best friend, for no reason other than to cover up his own feelings of inadequacies and helplessness, and there’s not even a hint of a joke or wordplay or anything like that, just the main character of this strip salving his own emotional wounds by making everyone around him feel miserable and shitty. Crankshaft, everybody! The “fun” Funkyverse strip!
Why don’t the inhabitants of Heathcliff’s leafy suburb ever use garbage bags? They just empty all their waste directly into metal cans, where it putrefies into a more or less homogeneous brown goo. Now Heathcliff and Sonia are painting the town, if by “painting the town” you mean “smearing the streets of the town with the lumpy brown goo that is apparently the end product of rotting garbage.”
Apartment 3-G, 5/16/14
At last, thought Jack, my plan has come to fruition. He had known it wouldn’t be easy to find a suitable partner and then convince her to willingly join him inside his meticulously hand-crafted two-person horse costume for some good old-fashioned equine cosplay. But Jack Riley was nothing if not a patient man.