Beetle Bailey, 11/4/14
You know, the Military-Themed Laffs division of Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC is pretty fortunate in that they have a lot of ancillary characters to mine for jokes. Most were added in fumbling attempts to remain socially relevant (e.g., when it became impossible to ignore the existence of computers or various ethnic groups), but some date back to the early days of the strip, and all are available to step in when the prospect of another joke about how Sarge likes beating Beetle into a gelatinous ovoid becomes unbearable. Which is a roundabout way of saying that, sure, let’s hear more from Chaplain Staneglass! Ha ha, his name is funny because many churches have so-called “stained-glass” windows, you see. Anyhoo, the good Chaplain was recently seen offering a dubious lack of theological certainty to a questioning soul, and today’s he just straight-up dozing off in the mess hall. I kind of wish this was a Sunday strip so we could see him slowly tip over forward, panel after panel, until eventually he’s face down in the peas, snoring out bits of semi-conscious prayer.
Apartment 3-G, 11/4/14
The most hilarious Apartment 3-G art/writing mismatch in recent memory continues! The Myriad Restaurant Group, the current owners of the Tribeca Grill, recognized that exposed brick is played out as an aesthetic, and have moved in an innovative new direction, in which patrons will dine amongst motel-quality art and dingy refrigerators that look like they’ve been in your shabby apartment since the late 1970s. All drinks will be brought to your table in exquisitely hand-crafted replica milk cartons!
OK, B.C., this may be a genuinely funny joke, but that doesn’t mean that you can just repeat it every nine years. I AM ALWAYS WATCHING YOU, B.C.
Dennis the Menace, 10/4/14
Sure, I make fun of Dennis the Menace, particularly when it comes to Dennis’s lack of menacing, but if there’s one thing I really respect about it, it’s that Mr. Wilson has never stopped being angry, has never softened into a likable character. His trademark single bead of anger-sweat is here, but his hands are also clenching into fists — not because he plans to hit anybody, because Mr. Wilson is not at heart a violent man, but because his whole body is just clenching up involuntarily at the thought of so many naps ruined. So is he going to die of a massive coronary event, and soon? Yes, probably! But he will have never compromised his truest self.
Remember the innocent bygone days of this strip, when the main thing you could say about clams was that clams got legs? Well, now clams got a terrible addiction to prescription medication.
Beetle Bailey, 10/4/14
I’m guessing that panel two here is a result of someone saying “Hey, let’s maybe mix up our simplistic art a little and actually show the back of someone’s head for once” but in actually it looks like someone’s saying “Guys guys guys how many tabs was I supposed to take how many tabs OH MY GOD EVERYONE’S FACE IS A CLOUD HOW DO I UNCLOUD YOUR FACES”
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 9/28/14
Say what you will about the grotesquely stylized hillbilly characters in Snuffy Smith, but their mostly fabricated dialect certain does include some striking turns of phrase! Take, for instance, “’xpectin’ a li’l stranger.” Have you ever heard a pregnancy described in more philosophically melancholy terms. “Sure, th’ li’l tater will be flesh an’ blood to hub and me. But in th’ end, ain’t we all strangers t’each other? Can we ever see into th’ heart of another?”
The throwaway panels, meanwhile, are a bit more straightforwardly depressing. “Th’ good news: No more dietin’ fer you! Th’ bad news: infant moratality in Hootin’ Holler is seven times th’ national average!”
The throwaway panels here — “Oh, can’t find one of your beloved possessions, son? Your father may have hocked it, because we’re constantly teetering on the edge of financial ruin!” — may be one of the grimmest things I’ve seen in the comics pages in a while. The rest of the strip fills in the details of the story, though: dad is suffering from a traumatic brain injury, so obviously he can’t be expected to hold down a steady job.
Hi and Lois, 9/28/14
Running through a checklist and then concluding with an eerily contraction-less “I think we are ready”? Spending time during the game quantifying all aspects of the current seasons? Haha, the Flagstons aren’t aliens wearing meatsack disguises and trying to blend into human society at all!