Dick Tracy and Funky Winkerbean, 1/19/15
Welp, I had heard about this before, but had sort of blocked it out because I didn’t want to believe it was true, but here it is, something that’s really happening, in the real world and not one of my terrible fever dreams: a Dick Tracy-Funky Winkerbean crossover. You wouldn’t think these two strips would have much in common, what with Funky Winkerbean being mostly focused on a thin crust of puns and smirking atop an infinitely deep well of misery, and Dick Tracy being dedicated to a rigid and violent code of implacable justice along with, since the strip’s reboot a few years ago, endless and baffling nostalgia for the strip’s past and comics/pop culture history in general. But today the overlap in the Venn diagram becomes apparent, and it’s historic comic books. (This particular set was recovered at the end of another crossover plot involving The Jumbler, a puzzle-focused villain who taunted Dick with vaguely sexual vlogs and was eventually defeated with the help of actual Jumble artist/faithful Comics Curmudgeon reader Jeff Knurek.)
Anyway, I like panel one of Dick Tracy, where Les and Funky’s smug, punchable faces are displayed on retro-futuristic screens, because for a brief moment I though their heads had been impaled on a giant pike. Dick and Sam are clearly heading to Westview hoping to meet its two most nefarious characters, so they’re probably going to be pretty depressed at being stuck with Crazy Harry and Comic Book John.
Gil Thorp, 1/19/15
Despite teasing us with promises of Marty Moon, the Gil Thorp basketball season storyline has mostly been about the poindexter at left here, the basketball manager who years to someday be a coach and also seems to be vaguely on the autistic spectrum somewhere. Anyway, I was totally on board when his shtick was all about improving players’ skills and irritating Coaches Gil and Kaz, but now he’s branching out to blathering at innocent teens about their #brand, so he must be stopped at all costs.
The setup for this joke is clunky and terrible — would any human ever make the abrupt shift in pronoun references necessary to make it work? — but I sincerely appreciate Francis’s exaggerated reaction, as he appears to not just be doing a spit-take but actually bobbling his beverage to comic effect. Also, do you think that’s supposed to be beer? Do you think that Francis is just hanging around his mother’s house while she chats with her friend, getting slightly buzzed and not talking to them even though he’s only sitting about 18 inches away? I hope so!
Meanwhile, in Bangalla, the amnesiac Phantom continues to send all ladies who lay eyes on him into an involuntary lust-frenzy. Is sexual arousal truly nature’s anesthetic? Guess our climber gal is going to find out!
For a town where sanitation is so important to the local psyche that it has inspired a local simian trickster-god, Westfinster’s trash situation is actually kind of out of hand. Nobody ever seems to actually put their garbage inside bags like civilized people; instead, organic matter is just packed into metal cans and apparently left there long enough to become a more or less homogenous slurry. Today we see that this repulsive garbage-goo comes in brown and green varieties, possibly as a result of an ill-advised attempt to implement a composting system.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/9/15
Clovis’s main schtick in this strip is to be the third-string character who has a rocky relationship with his wife, but I find today’s strip particularly poignant. His marriage may be troubled, but at least his wife hasn’t strayed — and yet he actually looks distraught by this fact. Perhaps something as obvious as an affair would be what was needed to convince them to finally give up on their painful union; mere emotional incompatibility isn’t enough, as much as it’s destroying them emotionally.
Today’s Momma features the usual Momma-Francis infantilization routine amped up to truly uncomfortable levels and manages to slip a fart joke in as well, but at least we can give thanks for the fact that breast-feeding was out of vogue for middle class families when Francis was a baby.
OK, fine, it was probably a little harsh for me to say it was stupid for Spider-Man to go around fighting crime with his cell phone on his person, since smartphones are incredibly useful objects for communication, wayfinding, and tracking down info fast. But still, the practical question remained: where would he keep his phone in his skintight costume? Well, today we learn the answer! (He keeps it right next to his balls.)
Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/9/15
“Only good things have happened to me so only good things can happen to me! I’m on a nonstop rocketride to the moon, emotionally! For a little kid, I sure never have heard of what happens to characters in Greek tragedies who exhibit hubris!”
You’re a plugger if one of your Facebook friends died more than a year ago but nobody’s bothered to tell you.
MaryLou’s love life has always been depicted as sort of dull and hapless, which is why today’s strip comes as kind of a shock. Who knew that she was out there having hot affairs in which she’s being emotionally manipulated by married men? I’m also reasonably sure that we’ve never seen her depicted with high heels before today; I assume they’re a half-assed attempt to make her suddenly convincing as a character with a sex life.
Rhymes With Orange, 1/7/15
Speaking of sex lives, did you know that pastries want to fuck each other, constantly? It’s true!
Six Chix, 1/7/15
Today’s Six Chix isn’t so much about sex lives as it is about mapping romantic love and its associated jealousy onto other kinds of relationships, but mostly I’m interested in the liquid drops beneath the cat’s chin. Are those supposed to be tears? Within context, you’d think they’re tears, but cats don’t cry (or get jealous when you look at pictures of other cats, I realize), but they do sometimes drool. Have you ever encountered a drooly cat? They are equal parts adorable and disgusting. Anyway, if you think your cat is crying because it loves you too much, probably it’s just drooling. Don’t flatter yourself.