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Comics archive! Curtis

Weekend of terrible children

Curtis, 9/3/16

If, like me, you have read Curtis for years and thought, every time Curtis and Barry fight over space in their shared bed, “Why don’t they get bunk beds?”, then good news: this week, they finally got bunk beds! This set off a predictable dispute over who should get to sleep in which bunk, which concludes today with Curtis’s chilling vision of his brother grimly planning to wet the bed and soak Curtis with urine. Normally the fact that the daily colorists seem to do their work without even bothering to figure out what exactly is going on in the strip bums me out, but I’m glad that today they failed to render the spreading piss-pool in panel three in lifelike yellow, and I don’t care if this is due to neglect or disgust.

Dennis the Menace, 9/3/16

Who is this red-headed child? Why has Dennis lured him over for conversation? Is it to fill his head with the most tired and banal gender-relations stereotypes? If so, that’s solid menacing. If this kid is the child of the couple getting married, that takes it to the next level.

Jokes, how do they work?

Funky Winkerbean, 8/8/16

Aw jeez, where to start? First thing, you can’t take your wacky bandmaster character, recast him as a tragic victim of advancing deafness, recast him again as a Wise Elder, and then expect him to sell your wacky “midnight practice” punchline in panel three there.

Second, that “punchline”? It’s what comedy folk call a “setup.” It goes in the first panel, not the last. That way you can actually show the midnight practice, maybe in sepia with those cute little photo corners the way you like so much. Then Becky can say, “Well, we don’t have midnight practice anymore — (ominously) but we’re still dealing with hazing!” — and maybe in the third panel we could actually see some hazing? A wedgie, “kick me” sign, towel snap or something? There’s a list! Sure, it’s still not funny, like fog still isn’t haze, but at least it would meet the formal requirements of a joke.

What a mess. None of it matters, though – somebody decided this is hazing sermon week, and jokes be damned. Don’t bully, kids. Adopt a damn animal or something. Stay off drugs.

Curtis, 8/8/16

Back in the 1980’s pranksters would order pizzas for delivery to their mark’s house. Hawaiian, with the ham and pineapple, was the canonical “funny” menu selection. The practice ended quickly when pizzerias started confirming orders by phone, and of course won’t work with prepaid online orders.

So Greg’s not out any cash – what’s his beef here? He seems pretty steamed! That somebody bought him pizzas? Interrupted his dinner? He doesn’t like pineapple? His son is a wretched little jerk? Ooh, I think we have a winner.

Mary Worth, 8/8/16

Tommy “the Tweaker” Beedie first appeared on this blog almost twelve years ago, in a post lovingly titled “Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, what in the name of God is THAT?”. But say what you will about his unfortunate grooming and fashion choices, our Tommy is a go-getter: whether selling tainted meth, proselytizing his mom in prison, or just mopping up the joint, he puts heart and soul into everything he does.

Here, he throws himself into doc-shopping for Schedule III narcotics, blissfully unaware of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that will soon set him up for his third strike. So long, Tommy! We’ll be looking for you in 2028, if you’re lucky and if newspaper comics are still even a thing anymore by then!

Spider-Man, 8/8/16

Peter? What if somebody saw you coming in here? They might think we’re a couple, and my reputation would be ruined.”

Pity poor Mary Jane Parker — she tries to be a loyal wife but honestly just can’t hold it in anymore about this ridiculous insect-based superhero crap. And if Peter gives her that “Spiders aren’t insects” B.S. again she’s gonna smack him with a rolled-up newspaper. Probably the Bugle, just to make it extra hurty.


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–Uncle Lumpy

Demonic comics

Mary Worth, 7/13/16

The Sad Story Of Tommy’s Back Problems could’ve gotten into some interesting socioeconomic territory, examining how someone who works as a janitor at a small business, almost certainly without employer-provided health insurance or sick days, deals with an injury that, while not permanently debilitating, would keep him from working for a period of time. Instead, we’re real concerned about how this will affect Tommy’s relationship with his coworker/girlfriend, who apparently only sees him at work, and who will quickly forget he even exists if he doesn’t show up, so I guess we’re going to get some comical scenes of Tommy trying to operate a mop while doped to the gills on Vicodin. “I don’t want my girl to forget what I look like!” he says, while staring into the mirror, determined that he won’t forget what he looks like either. Poor Tommy seems to think he has a very forgettable face.

Marvin, 7/13/16

One of Prague’s biggest tourist attractions is the New Synagogue, so called because when it was built in the 1270s it took over the position as the city’s main synagogue from other, even older houses of worship. Now I’ve encountered (and even perpetrated) some ugly-American-abroad-isms in my time, but I’m willing to bet that exactly zero American visitors see the place and say “Whoa whoa whoa, this place is super old. I want to see something new, like the name implies. Gimme some poured concrete, an injection-molded facade over over plywood frame, the whole nine yards. I didn’t come all the way to Europe to see something historic.” And yet we are meant to believe that Marvin’s family is reacting exactly thus! Each strip seems intent on making sure we understand that Marvin isn’t uniquely terrible, but instead comes from a deep and ancient lineage of badness.

Spider-Man, 7/13/16

Despite the fact that he’s being played by known Briton Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming film, good ol’ Steve Strange is in fact 100% American, as he seems to be going out of his way to make clear here. “Yep, those Yankees, they sure play in the World Series a lot! The World Series is the championship of Major League Baseball, a sport that I, like most ordinary Americans, enjoy following. Please do not hunt me down and burn me at the stake due to my practice of sinister witchcraft, the techniques of which I mastered in the mysterious Orient.”

Curtis, 7/13/16

At first I assumed “demon” was just another cute pet name Greg uses for his eldest son, but no, check out the devil horns Curtis is flashing in that last panel. I think we need to make our peace with the fact that Curtis created a flash mob using the demonic powers granted to him thanks to his allegiance to the Lord of Lies, the King of Hell, whose affection for millennials is well known.