Mary Worth, 2/9/16
“Well, the surface of the ice represents our ability to move quickly or slowly, according to our needs and our abilities. The boundaries of the rink represent the restrictions placed on our behavior imposed by society or the nature of the universe, restrictions we need to respect and learn to live with. And the razor-sharp ice skates that swish and slice so quickly, that carry us to and fro with ease but can also, in the briefest of seconds, slice us open and end our lives in a terrifying moment of screaming and blood, so much blood — well, they represent the danger that is omnipresent, the danger that makes life so precious. Join me, Olive! Join me in this world of lightning-fast skating and sudden, violent death!”
Slylock Fox, 2/9/16
In panel one, this nice lady is going to use the scissors to cut this poor man’s shirt so that this vicious dog will finally let go of him. In panel, she’s going to use them to stab him to death.
Hagar the Horrible, 2/9/16
Ha ha, it’s funny because they’re about to be horribly killed and Eddie’s real broken up about it!
Hagar the Horrible and Wizard of Id, 12/15/15
Most comic strips begin their existence as the singular creation of an artist or artist-writer pair; but once it runs for long enough, it becomes an institution, and often hired hands are brought in to do the actual day-to-day work on the strip. The personnel decisions that happen behind the scenes — at Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC, say, or the lesser known Parker Hart & Associated Anachronistic Whimsy Professionals responsible for the unholy B.C.-Wizard of Id-Crock trinity — are opaque to us, and all we’re left with, if we’re regular comics readers, is the occasional disquieting realization that “the strip looks different.” Which is a long way of saying that Hagar the Horrible and Wizard of Id look different to me this week. Is this true for anyone else? Anyone? At least we can take solace in the evidence that the writing of the strips is staying true to their original vision: to put references to contemporary issues in imagined versions of our brutish past, in order to show that our present remains just as violent beneath its thin veneer of civilization.
Dennis the Menace, 12/15/15
Dennis is self-aware enough to know that he’s constitutionally incapable of pleasing a monotheistic God who judges humans against some absolute morality, or even of currying favor with a watered-down version like Santa. He’ll be happy to make a deal with a much older form of folk spirit, one with an agenda at once more opaque and easier to accommodate. The tooth fairy doesn’t care if you’ve been bad or good; the tooth fairy operates on a plane entirely removed from whatever ethical system you use to define those terms. The tooth fairy just wants your teeth.
Beetle Bailey, 12/13/15
Welp, looks like Beetle Bailey is going to start spending its Sundays focusing on the ways in which its characters’ lives are exactly as awful as they’d always feared! This one isn’t quite as grim as last week, when General Halftrack declared that his marriage was a prison and his hobby a punishment, but still: Lt. Fuzz worries for six panels that nobody likes him, and then in the seventh his worries are confirmed.
Hagar the Horrible, 12/13/15
Christianity is still a relatively recent import to Scandinavia, and Hagar is having a hard time remembering the schedule of its festivals. Don’t worry, Hagar: the medieval church is pretty accommodating of local traditions. That’s basically Thor’s Oak outside your house, and I’m sure there’s a yule log burning in your fireplace.