Mark Trail, 11/13/15
This game of cat-and-mouse has gone on long enough. Mark and Ken lurked in the bushes and let the bad guys empty the clips of their machine guns harmlessly into other bushes; now, the punching can begin. Mark graciously allows Ken first punch, and it’s a doozy: a flying leap that catches two bad guys at once, sending their sunglasses and now-useless firearms flying. Kudos to the anonymous colorist for accurately recognizing that arc of liquid coming from the left-hand bad guy’s mouth and making it blood red! Anyway, if this is what Ken has to offer, surely Mark’s punchery is going to be even more impressive.
When Curtis launched in 1988, it totally made cultural sense for Curtis to be a huge fan of rap music and for his dad to hate it. Now, nearly 30 years later, thanks to comics time this is not so much the case: it seems unlikely that Greg, the father of two young children, is much older than 45 or so, which would have made him a teenager himself during the age of old-school hip-hop. Anyway, the matter of Greg’s age has been left more or less untouched for most of the strip, which is why it’s all the more shocking to learn that one of his first-ever crushes co-existed with the age of web browsing, which would certainly make him younger … than … me? Oh my God I’m older than Curtis’s dad
I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of our post-9/11 surveillance state, but if Crankshaft just accidentally watched an al-Qaeda video and is now on some government watchlist that will get him extremely thoroughly searched every time he flies anywhere, I’m not gonna complain.
JULIUS C. DITHERS: BRONY
Oh look, it’s a Curtis plotline that’s probably of interest to me and … nobody else? Curtis’s family has always been portrayed as being of modest means, and they live in a high-rise apartment building in a dense city with a subway that Curtis’s dad takes to work, and I’ve always just assumed that they just didn’t own a car for financial reasons or by choice. I’m pretty sure it’s never come up in the strip that Curtis’s dad couldn’t drive or that he claimed to not have a license. But, you know, if you were Curtis, and you knew driving was a pretty universal thing in American society but that your dad never did it, maybe you would assume he didn’t have a license! Maybe if I had a hypothetical tweenage son, he would assume that about me, so let me tell you, child who does not exist: I do, in fact, have a driver’s license that I got in my teenage years in the usual way, but then I had a bunch of accidents and near accidents and lived in cities with decent public transportation and eventually decided, you know, maybe driving isn’t for me. But even though I haven’t driven a car since 1998, I take the written tests and get a new license every time I move to a new state, because who knows what the future holds! Is this Curtis’s dad’s deal too? Guess we’ll find out! Hopefully at least the fact that he works at the DMV will be mined for ironic material somehow.
Mary Worth, 9/23/15
Toby’s pantomiming here just reinforces my belief that this storyline is, in its low-key way, one of the greatest Mary Worth has seen in years. “No, Mary! I’m not here! Lie for me! Lie for … aw. Poop.”
Beetle Bailey, 8/6/15
I’m not sure what I like more about this strip: the fact that Killer believes that pretending to be a semi-divine being from a higher plane of existence is a potentially productive seduction technique in the year 2015, or the fact that, based on the angle of the ropes in panels one and two, Beetle can’t be standing more than five feet away, meaning the conversation he and Killer had in panel one was completely audible to these poor young women.
Um, is Curtis about to embark on a storyline where where its title character is regularly eating “mystery meat” from a food truck, “mystery meat” that turns out to be … human flesh???? Once the fiendish butcher is caught and set to death row, will all the adults in Curtis’s life assure him that he couldn’t have known, that he committed no crime — and yet the guilt and shame will still haunt him for the rest of his life? If so, I will 100% forgive this strip for skipping the traditional Kwanzaa madness last year.
Man, Archie Comics sure have their finger on the pulse of modern teen life, am I right? I mean, yard sales! God, there’s nothing a teen loves more than a yard sale.