There’s a lot of things I love about today’s Heathcliff. There is, for instance, the fact that Heathcliff’s owner-grandpa apparently has a blonde toupee that we’ve never seen before; the fact that Heathcliff holds this toupee in such low regard that he dug it out of whatever dark closet it’s been hidden away in for years in order to show everyone exactly what he thinks of it; and the fact that everyone seems to recognize that putting the toupee on a football and then spiking that is meant as a public display of contempt. But my favorite part is the little fist-pump Heathcliff’s owner-child is making as he watches this ritualistic act. “You spike that toupee-football, Heathcliff,” he seems to be thinking to himself. “You spike it. You show that thing. It sucks.”
Beetle Bailey, 11/11/14
Don’t be too quick to thank a soldier today, America: you could be talking to one of the really shitty ones! This is your Veteran’s Day message from Beetle Bailey, America’s foremost military-themed comic strip.
Family Circus, 11/11/14
A true sociopath, who is unable to feel any real empathy for another human being, is likely to view emotional interactions as purely transactional, and those transactions as an opportunity for power plays. Thus little Jeffy has become an emotional mafioso, darkly reminding his mother than she hasn’t paid up in full when it comes to affection and that he’ll be coming by to collect his due later.
Mary Worth, 11/11/14
Nice try, Mary! While you’re distracted and nattering on about how you’ll chauffer Hanna around for the next three years, she’s secretly moved the steering wheel over to her side of the car and is now driving you! You’ll never stop her from driving! Never!
Judge Parker, 11/10/14
Oh no! Could our super-rich heroes be encountering ill fortune? Actual mild inconvenience? This is insane! Why, they might have to stay in this RV park for literally hours until AAA can come out and fix the engine! After reading the first panel, I was hoping that the Spencer-Drivers were victims of class warfare — that the muttonchopped/combovered RV salesman who unloaded this thing on them knew that he was selling the rich swells a lemon and didn’t care because he was going bankrupt anyway and screw those guys, you know? But it turns out it’s squirrels, which is even funnier. Just a bunch of squirrels, frolicking around the vast Spencer-Driver estate and then chewing through important parts of their machinery with their razor-sharp ever-growing incisors. Even the adorable wildlife is revolting against these insufferable people.
Even for a comic that repeatedly dwells on the Oedipal relationship between the title character and her sons, this strip is pretty dark. “Well, Francis, I can’t change your diapers anymore, thanks to the court order, but I still demand satisfaction! What was the most shameful thing that’s happened to you since last we spoke? Spare no details, no matter how disgusting or humiliating!”
Hello Kitty is 40 this year! What better way to celebrate than by implying that Heathcliff is fucking Hello Kitty?
Hey all, remember when Crock creator Bill Rechin died in 2011, and then a year later his son Kevin, who had taken over the strip in accordance with the Legacy Comics Law, declared that working on his dad’s creation made him too sad and he declared that he’d be quitting and shutting the strip down? And there was a note in passing that King Features would make “classic” Crock strips available to “foreign” newspapers for three years, and yet Crock continued to appear in American newspapers, or at least on the King Features site? And the strips that appeared didn’t seem to be particularly “classic”, but looked pretty much exactly like the strips from the decade or so leading up to Rechin’s death? ANYWAY, if you’re like me, you were probably hoping to watch Crock fade away into semi-fond and very vague memories without ever having introduced a black character possibly named “Three” who cheerfully asks people if they “ever do the ‘hip-hop.’” Today’s strip reminds us all that hoping for things only leads to disappointment.
I guess as purveyors of cultural/musical stereotypes go, today’s Heathcliff is significantly less problematic than today’s Crock. “These rock and rollers today, they’re all tall skinny white fellas with that ‘mop-top’ haircut, right? Like those Beatles that the girls are all screaming at? Let’s have Heathcliff sit in one of their guitar cases while he begs for change on the subway, that’ll show them. Heh heh, Heathcliff, you truly are the comics pages’ bad boy.”
Apartment 3-G, 11/3/14
Fun fact: Martin did purchase a table! For his apartment. Which is where he and Margo quite obviously are now. Definitely not in a restaurant. Real easy to get a table in your dad’s apartment, Margo. Just saying.