Slylock Fox, 6/10/15
Slylock and Count Weirdly have a pretty adversarial relationship, which mostly consists of Slylock humiliating the Count and undermining his schemes, no matter how victimless they are. But oh, as soon as Weirdly has a time machine and Slylock decides he wants to go freak out some dinosaurs, all of the sudden they’re best pals. I’m not sure what’s sadder: that Weirdly is so lonely and hungry for Slylock’s approval that he’s willing to overlook years of abuse just to spend some quality time chrono-journeying with him, or that Slylock’s ethical code, always more focused on strict enforcement of the law than on kindness, allows him to exploit the sad Count like this.
Mark Trail, 6/10/15
As the Trail’s extralegally adopted ward, Rusty generally refers to his guardians by their first names. Thus, panel two, in which he blurts out “Dad!” at the unconscious Mark, should be emotionally affecting. Unfortunately, he’s blurting “Dad” out of that … face, with the dead black eyes, and the flesh and the tears and the lips and the gums all the same off-peach color, and NOPE NOPE NO THANK YOU NO THANK YOU AT ALL SIR
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY UNSPEAKABLE FILTH
Mark Trail, 6/9/15
Rusty isn’t just a hideous boy-thing that the Trails took in because nobody else would let him live inside; he’s also a constant danger magnet who needs to be rescued on the regular! You’ll remember, of course, the time he got stuck under a car, which led to Mark sacrificing his moral code and punching a cop in the face. Today’s drama plays out much more quickly: not only is Rusty endangered not by some human-made machine but by Mark’s beloved nature, but it’s Mark who ends up unconscious and concussed at the end of it. Will Rusty have to find hitherto unseen reserves of strength and drag Mark to safety? Will he allow Mark to die and just forlornly stare at Mark’s corpse until he gets hungry, and then start eating it? Either way, I think the real lesson here is that this lake is surrounded by rotting trees that just fall over when you barely look at them, so maybe there needs to be a local beaver population to clear out the literal dead wood.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 6/9/15
“I mean, my daughter is an actual apprentice art forger for the mob, so what’s a little light counterfeiting between friends? Anyway, take care of it, but don’t feel a need to let me in on the details. Remember, I can’t testify about anything I don’t know about!”
Dennis the Menace, 6/9/15
Dennis embraces the dystopian future where human offspring are grown in vats and, once weaned from their wire mothers, delivered by flying robots to their assigned workstations, A+ menacing.
The newspaper comics as a rule are neither created by nor designed to cater to young people, or people particularly up on pop culture ephemera. This is a medium that still thinks that an iPod is a cutting-edge piece of technology, and that jokes about black people hiding things in their afros is funny. Thus I’m pretty impressed by today’s “dad bod” reference in Heathcliff. This is a concept that I’m mostly aware of as a running joke on Twitter; the phrase appears to originate from a blog post by a Clemson college student from March 30, which went viral when linked to and gif-listicle-fied by Buzzfeed on April 30. Thus the idea has been in the public consciousness for barely a month, and when you factor in the lead time newspapers require, you realize that in comics time this joke was adapted into Heathcliff form in the equivalent of those incredibly tiny fractions of a second that can only be detected by incredibly precise atomic clocks. I was so taken aback by this cutting-edge joke, in fact, that I almost didn’t notice that … Heathcliff is drinking beer in this panel? Can cartoon cats do that? Drink beer? On the funny pages?
Judge Parker, 6/8/15
On a normal day in the comics, when a guy in a hardhat superciliously challenges a Spencer-Driver with a “unless, of course, you too have a master’s in structural engineering,” that would be the best thing that happened in Judge Parker that day. But not today. Not today, when the first-panel narration box dares to follow up the sentence “Rocky consents to investigating the viability of using cargo containers for interior offices” with an exclamation point. I like to imagine that there’s a real voiceover actor reading this, and they made him record this line again and again. “More emotion,” bellows the director, “more dynamism. Rocky’s investigating viability, for God’s sake.”
Apartment 3-G, 6/8/15
Hey so remember when Lu Ann was “at the hotel” then there was “suddenly a knock” and then Tommie appeared? Well, it seems … pretty clear that they’re back at the apartment today? And also Tommie has a different haircut. I’m real worried about Apartment 3-G, guys.
Mark Trail, 6/8/15
NO RUSTY DON’T TELL CHERRY WHERE BABIES COME FROM
she’s gonna have some questions for mark
questions he does not want to answer