Slylock Fox, 1/14/15
I’ve spent literally years contemplating the strange, animal-dominated world of Slylock Fox, wondering about the terrible, transformative Event that separates it from ours. The lens I’ve seen things through has usually been scientific, but what if I should be thinking theologically instead? In the Genesis flood narrative, God famously promises Noah that He won’t destroy the world with a flood again, which is pretty specific and seems to leave some loopholes. The spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep” famously warns “God gave Noah the rainbow sign/ no more water/ the fire next time,” but God’s ways aren’t necessarily what we would expect. What if God chose to cleanse Earth of awful humanity by simply moving his favor down a rung to the animals, transforming them into beings capable of both moral reasoning and displacing us? If that was the goal — if Slylock Fox’s anthropomorphic beasts were an attempt at resetting the clock and creating a new Eden — then today’s strip reminds us that the fatal flaw, the indelible link between knowledge and sin, was baked into the design from the beginning.
Dick Tracy, 1/14/15
Aw, it’s funny because patriarchy dictates that detective prowess, like names, can only be transmitted down the male line! And also because none of these clowns are going to be the world’s greatest detective. Batman is the world’s greatest detective. Seriously, wouldn’t it be funny if they did a Batman movie where Batman was dressed up in a rubber bat suit but instead of punching bad guys and driving around in a tank-car he just looked for clues with a magnifying glass? It’d be a lot more entertaining than whatever they’ve got planned for Ben Affleck, that’s for sure.
Sure, you could look at this as Heathcliff just reusing the exact same joke twice in six days. But I choose to imagine that Heathcliff has been clawing viciously at the bars of the bird’s cage for nearly a week now, while his owner-family does nothing, leaving the bird to crazed with terror but still clinging to the household etiquette rules.
Apartment 3-G, 1/14/15
“Meanwhile, at two in the morning, after having been exiled from their home by Margo’s drug-powered mania, the girls wander the streets of Manhattan (?), talking to each other vaguely.”
Gil Thorp, 1/12/15
There’s been a definite and sad decline in the number of Marty Moon plotlines in Gil Thorp lately, which is really too bad because he’s an amazing character who’s engaged in lots of fun hijinks over the years. Like the time he got grifted at golf by a Ben Franklin lookalike and ended up passing out drunk in his car, or when he had a public access TV show dedicated entirely to talking smack about Gil but then his bosses got tired of his routine and replaced him with a pair of dumb teens. He even once pretended to be a kid’s dad, in order to trick Social Services into believing that kid had a stable home life! But lately he’s been reduced to asking Gil occasional pointed questions and doing his play-by-play from a inside a wooden packing crate. So I’m excited about Gil warning his naive young player about Marty’s unscrupulous journalistic practices, because hopefully that means we’re going to be treated to some actual unscrupulous journalistic practices, or at least Gil rousting himself from his usual ennui to yell at Marty Moon for perceived transgressions.
Mark Trail, 1/12/15
Just based on this strip you might think this alligator attacking Bald Ponytail False Flag Ecoterrorist is some kind of coincidence, but in fact Mark spent most of last week carefully luring this villain to an “alligator mound,” which I guess is a mound that … alligators … live … in or near, or something, and as someone who gets most of his nature info from Mark Trail, I’m going to go ahead and believe this is a Real Thing. Anyhoo, I’m a little disappointed that our baddie has turned into a stiff, expressionless Ken doll at the moment the beautiful and violent alligator lunges at him, but I am quite charmed by the evocative final panel, as his useless pistol falls to the earth while he’s presumably being devoured off-panel.
Apartment 3-G, 1/12/15
There was a point, early in this blog, where I used to do some jokes about how Margo loves cocaine. It never really became that much of a running bit, but, just for the record, she still really loves cocaine.
If being rolled up into a giant Wicker Man-style effigy made out of snow and worshipped like a god by mice is wrong, then Heathcliff doesn’t want to be right.
For a town where sanitation is so important to the local psyche that it has inspired a local simian trickster-god, Westfinster’s trash situation is actually kind of out of hand. Nobody ever seems to actually put their garbage inside bags like civilized people; instead, organic matter is just packed into metal cans and apparently left there long enough to become a more or less homogenous slurry. Today we see that this repulsive garbage-goo comes in brown and green varieties, possibly as a result of an ill-advised attempt to implement a composting system.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/9/15
Clovis’s main schtick in this strip is to be the third-string character who has a rocky relationship with his wife, but I find today’s strip particularly poignant. His marriage may be troubled, but at least his wife hasn’t strayed — and yet he actually looks distraught by this fact. Perhaps something as obvious as an affair would be what was needed to convince them to finally give up on their painful union; mere emotional incompatibility isn’t enough, as much as it’s destroying them emotionally.
Today’s Momma features the usual Momma-Francis infantilization routine amped up to truly uncomfortable levels and manages to slip a fart joke in as well, but at least we can give thanks for the fact that breast-feeding was out of vogue for middle class families when Francis was a baby.
OK, fine, it was probably a little harsh for me to say it was stupid for Spider-Man to go around fighting crime with his cell phone on his person, since smartphones are incredibly useful objects for communication, wayfinding, and tracking down info fast. But still, the practical question remained: where would he keep his phone in his skintight costume? Well, today we learn the answer! (He keeps it right next to his balls.)
Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/9/15
“Only good things have happened to me so only good things can happen to me! I’m on a nonstop rocketride to the moon, emotionally! For a little kid, I sure never have heard of what happens to characters in Greek tragedies who exhibit hubris!”
You’re a plugger if one of your Facebook friends died more than a year ago but nobody’s bothered to tell you.