It is of course impossible to tell exactly how many thousands of centuries before our own era the denizens of the B.C. universe lived. We do know, because their world is generally dominated by primitive but still clever hominids, that it was long after the age of the great and terrible Elder Gods, as the flesh and souls of any puny creature such as Man would have long ago vanished into their awful maws if they still held their rightful place. Yet as we see in today’s strip, the Reign of the Old Ones was recent enough that a degenerate few of their awful number still lurk, waiting to be set loose so they can rise on leathery wings and feed. Why is B.C.-character-whose-name-I-probably-never-knew looking so dazed? Why is he drilling hole after hole in the ice, apparently not even noticing the nightmarish tentacles and mouth-polyps arising from the frozen mire? Presumably he’s no longer in control of his own faculties, and that all of his normal thoughts and feelings have been replaced by the thrumming mindwaves resonating up from below the ice. FREE ME. FREE ME. FREE. ME. We can only pray that, in repayment for his service, his end will be swift and relatively painless.
On the subject of unspeakable horrors, did you know that Jughead has a tiny little cousin, who looks exactly like him except smaller, who’s named “Souphead Jones,” for some reason? I thought this might be the most boring opium dream ever, but he’s a real thing that exists, apparently, to the extent that anything in the Archie mythos is “real” (and don’t try to tell me that things I’ve spent hours of my life thinking about, like, say, Archie’s Betty-Veronica dilemma, aren’t real, thanks very much). Anyway, Soupy has been good literally all year, in order to get presents, but apparently is done with that jive as of Christmas day. 2014 isn’t going to be about being good. 2014 is going to be terrifying.
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!”