Gil Thorp, 11/26/13
Uggggh guys, sorry I haven’t been keeping you in the loop on the Gil Thorp football season plot, but it’s been super boring. Here’s a quick summary: the big guy who never talks is making friends and has a girlfriend and is playing on the football team even though he continues not to talk, and the Coaches Thorp are doing some half-assed detective work to figure out his Past Life Trauma; and Tip the cheerleader has been dragooned into playing on the football team, because almost all the actual football players have been injured in some way. The injury spate has up until today been confined for the most part to incidents during games or in practice, but today the team’s running backs have just been straight-up killed in a car crash. Which leaves one to ask: what horrible sin against the Gods have the Mudlarks committed, to be suffering such a fate? Were their sacrifices at the annual bonfire not considered worthy? I was reminded of a line in this review of a book about Aztec culture and sacrificial religion:
I suspect that, given a geographical setting where the main instrumental aim of religious ritual was to avert natural dangers that came at irregular intervals, such practices were subject to an “intensification ratchet” — if your efforts did not succeed in preventing the earthquake, volcanic eruption, or hurricane despite the previous long period of peace and quiet, the best inference is that it’s probably because you did not try hard enough.
In other words, look for increasingly frequent and bloody pep rallies in the coming months, with the limping and injured players making the perfect sacrificial victims. “Why do you turn your backs on us, O Gods of Victory?” Coach Kaz will implore, blood-stained hands raised to the heavens over a steaming, gory altar at the front of the Milford High School auditorium.
Six Chix, 11/26/13
I’m intrigued by the truly radical proposal being broached in today’s Six Chix: that electricity-hungry humankind should bypass the oil companies and just deal directly with Satan, the Lord of Lies, himself, tapping the supernatural fires of Hell and the moans of damned souls as an energy source. What could possible go wrong? I mean, sure, eventually we’ll all be weird pinkish blobs tortured for eternity, but let’s be real: that was probably going to happen to most of us anyway, so why should we pay high utility bills in the meantime?
This is as good an opportunity as any to remind you that I have a Twitter account that you can follow if you like that sort of thing! It’s, uh, mostly petty complaints.
B.C. and Marvin, 11/24/13
If Thanksgiving’s coming, it must be time for one of my least favorite comics tropes: terrifyingly self-aware animals begging not be eaten. Today’s B.C. is a particularly gruesome example of the genre, made all the more vivid by the poor victim-turkey explaining in great detail the real-life unsavory conditions under which many factory farmed animals are raised. For sheer narrative power, though, you can’t beat panels two and three of Marvin: first, we see a panicked turkey, unable to speak English but still obviously aware of his coming fate; then we see Marvin’s family feasting on his corpse.
Panels from Mark Trail, 11/24/13
The whole Ben-Franklin-wanted-the-turkey-to-be-our-national-bird thing is a myth, pretty much. Franklin never made a serious political proposal to this effect or anything; he just wrote a letter to his daughter, in which he said that the eagle in the proposed design for the Great Seal of the United States looked like a turkey, and then, in typical witty Frankly fashion, wrote a couple of paragraphs about how turkeys are better and more noble than eagles anyway. I do like that Mark doesn’t bother correcting Rusty but also doesn’t go out of his way to really affirm his incorrect beliefs either. “Yeah, I remember hearing that when I was young and stupid like you, Rusty. Now sit back and shut up, because I’m gonna drop some turkey facts on you for the rest of this strip (not pictured).”
Apartment 3-G, 11/24/13
I know I haven’t been keeping you up to date on what’s happened in Apartment 3-G this week, so, uh, here’s what happened in Apartment 3-G this week, pretty much! Thanks, Sunday summary Apartment 3-G! The only new information we get in this strip is that Dr. Bentley likes to tickle teenage girls under their chins, which, grossssss.
Funky Winkerbean, 11/24/13
“Let’s just say your father was a terrible, hateful person and that we’re all glad he’s dead! We’re protecting you from this knowledge, but the strip sure isn’t doing the same for its readers!”
Herb and Jamaal, 11/23/13
Don’t you just wish you were a dog, sometimes? Don’t you wish that all your intellectual human knowledge about sanitation, and all that ingrained human near-instinctive revulsion at dirt and contamination would just vanish in an instant, so you’d be free? Free of shame, free of rules, just able to eat anything you want whenever you want, to roll around on your kitchen floor and come up with a faceful of ketchup dribblings, then lie there and lazily lick it off your chin? Nobody’s watching. Nobody’s here. You can do it. You can do it right now. You’re free. You’re free.
Speaking of things people wouldn’t normally eat, people will eat things they wouldn’t normally eat, when they’re poor and desperate and hungry! Don’t look so smug there, turtle, you too are for the most part edible and no cultural taboo is that strong.
Mark Trail, 10/30/13
Good news, everybody! The weird, svengali-like power Johnny Walker held over the poor innocent senator has at last been fully explained, now that he’s a smear of human hamburger at the bottom of a cliff. Fortunately, Johnny’s death will immediately remove this pall hanging over our heroes. Once the authorities learn that Johnny was responsible for all the wrongdoing, and that he died under bizarre circumstances with only the senator and his close friends and family as witnesses, the case will be closed and everything will go back to normal, just like it was before!
Normally I’d make fun of this strip for completely abdicating on actually drawing a Miley Cyrus costume and just leaning on “haha, it’s funny because they said ‘twerking’”, but then I thought: do I want to see Team B.C.’s idea of what a teen girl ant wearing a Sexy Miley Cyrus outfit would look like? Does anyone? Answers: No, and, I’m reasonably certain, no. Let’s just enjoy the bullet we dodged. Ha ha, those prehistoric ants just said “twerking,” everybody! They’re just like us!
Family Circus, 10/30/13
I love Dolly’s expression of vague disdain. God damn it, Jeffy, do you want to learn how to huff or not?
Funky Winkerbean, 10/30/13
Ha ha, those army guys sure have a sense of gallows humor and/or complete lack of historical knowledge! Anyway, Cory and his whole platoon are going to die.
Ha ha! It’s funny because the camel has been shot repeatedly. He’s in shock, of course, somehow unaware of his no doubt fatal wounds. The best we can hope for is that he’ll soon pass out from fluid loss without even realizing what’s happening; the alternative is a drawn-out, agonizing death in the middle of the desert.
Ha ha! It’s funny because, can you imagine a surgeon who can’t tie things right? Can you imagine that surgeon sewing up the slices he made in your flesh after he cut open your abdomen? Can imagine seeing your freshly stitched surgical wounds suddenly unraveling? Would you stay alive long enough to watch your viscera sluice out in a great, gory rush?
Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/22/13
Speaking of medical professionals to avoid, maybe don’t see a nurse who’s all smiles talking about how one of her practice’s patients got shot in the head with a nail gun, probably on purpose!
B.C. and Herb and Jamaal, 9/20/13
Well, congratulations, B.C., you have done the impossible! You have created a strip that made a technology joke in Herb and Jamaal look hip and with-it by comparison. Sure, Jamaal, still adds a weird, awkward “and tons of other means” to his list of social media services in panel one; but at least that list consists entirely of real, actual websites that exist and are popular right now, on the day the strip was published. And the punchline to the joke actually reflects a reasonable observation about how social media affects our day-to-day relationships with other humans! Another way that social media affects us is of course that sometimes we find it so overwhelming that we fly into a panic and then write a cartoon in which a bunch of ants spout gibberish at one another.
The entire plot of Crankshaft for the past two weeks has been that there is a new bus driver who is a lady, and who is nice, and who actually cares about being good at her job and nice to her co-workers and to the children who ride her bus. Naturally, she’s viewed with suspicion and loathing by the monstrous assholes who are the ostensible protagonists of this strip. Today their long national nightmare is about to come to end, though, because Crankshaft is clearly relishing the thought of murdering her by running her over with his bus.