Hagar the Horrible
Mark Trail, 4/14/11
Ha ha, the extent to which Cherry continues to not get Mark will never cease to be funny to me. “Was she pretty?” she asks, and at this point in their long, sexless life together one assumes that she actually wants a “yes” answer, if only because it would indicate that Mark knows what “pretty” means — which he doesn’t, as this exchange makes clear. Notice that Mark doesn’t even try to answer the question. If we could read the thought balloons in panel one as seen from Mark’s perspective they would go like this: “Who is this woman named Lonnie who you said may have saved your life? [loud white noise, like static from a television]”
Hagar the Horrible, 4/14/11
Meanwhile, Hagar appears to have killed his dog! That … that’s not cool.
Beetle Bailey, 4/10/11
Good lord, can you believe that Beetle Bailey of all strips deployed the hip, cutting-edge slang phrase “bust a move”? Note that the creators put this bit of street lingo into the mouth of the strip’s sole black character, as they obviously felt it would be unrealistic otherwise.
Hagar the Horrible, 4/10/11
Hooray for continuity! This strip references the fact that Hagar, as established by occasional references over the years, is illiterate. It also references the fact that he’s a drunkard who hates and fears his wife.
Beetle Bailey, 1/23/11
This is, without doubt, the saddest Beetle Bailey I’ve ever seen, sadder than all the “Beetle and Sarge have a forbidden love for one another” strips combined. Never mind the fact that Beetle’s family lives in some kind of bygone day when hand-written letters constitute the only means of communication at a distance; Beetle’s brother’s speculation that the soldier no longer loves his family is all the more heartbreaking for being so matter-of-fact. But the real emotional gut punch comes in the final panel. Little Chigger is young or stupid enough to think that the mere receipt of a letter is enough to maintain the emotional ties within the Bailey family; but the expressions on the faces of his parents show how devastated they are by Beetle’s affectless, demanding letter. They’ll send the money — if that’s the only way they can keep the thin thread between themselves and their son in place, they’ll do it — but something inside them has been snuffed out.
As a side note: Beetle’s brother is named “Chigger”? Really? As you may or may not know, Hi and Lois‘s Lois is Beetle’s sister, so we have to wonder what her real name was — Ladybug? — before she got married and fled this sad, creepy family for good.
Oh, look, it’s another cheery day in the Funkyverse. Today, we learn that you can either be driven mad by the horrible scratching of the vermin that live in your walls, or you can turn up the TV and be deafened with awful news about our nation’s economic crisis. Those are your choices!
Panel from Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/23/11
Here’s the question I want to ask, doctor: why are you having Loweezy lower Li’l Tater into that enormous pie shell? How many more infants will you need to complete your monstrous baby pie, and who will be eating it?
Panels from Dennis the Menace, 1/23/11
Ah, the narcotic of television sedates unruly children and elders alike, putting them into a trance-like state so that they won’t bother you with their irritating opinions or desires. I preserve the first panel here mainly to note that Dennis the Menace has finally caught up to 1999, with unsettling results.
Hagar the Horrible, 1/23/11
Ha ha, it’s funny because spending time doing things with your wife that she enjoys is worse than the most heinous physical torture!
Hi and Lois, 1/23/11
Ha ha, it’s funny because an open and honest relationship with your wife will be seen by your male friends as a betrayal!
Hagar the Horrible, 1/16/11
At least one of you out there has, liked me, wondered about the relationship between Hagar and Helga and Lucky Eddie. Is he just Hagar’s shipmate and bosom companion? If so, why does he spend so much time with Hagar and Helga, even attending dinner with them? The answer might be implied in the degrading task he’s been assigned by Helga today: no doubt he’s their slave, presumably captured by Hagar during one of his raids on some peaceful, unsuspecting village somewhere along the shore of the Baltic or North Sea. Since only Hagar’s whim will ever be able to free him, and even then he won’t be a full-status member of the community, his “Lucky” nickname seems particularly cruel.
Panels from Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/16/11
Ha ha, it’s funny because these poor hillbillies have poor insulation, no central heating, and few garments to keep them warm!
You’re a plugger if you’re old enough to use archaic dialectical terms for everyday concepts, and also if you had to get married because you knocked your girlfriend up on the chesterfield in the den.
Hagar the Horrible, 12/17/10
There’s something sincerely baffling to me about this strip: the scene itself, with the falling snow and the bureaucrat flanked by axe-wielding thugs, is quite evocative, and yet does not appear to contain a joke or joke-like material of any kind. Is supposed to be “funny” that the tax department has denied Hagar’s request with a mildly jocular retort, and that the taxman is reading this off a sheet of paper? Is the fact that the response contains the phrase “cold day in July” rather than the obviously intended “cold day in hell” part of the joke, or was it imposed by the strip’s editor? Does the frigid winter scene somehow relate to the gag, or does the conceptual overlap merely serve to distract us from the point? What is the point? I sit here staring much like Hagar himself, wide-eyed and baffled.
Mary Worth, 12/17/10
Blah blah blah Jill’s tragic past blah blah blah fiance looks like skinny Wilbur with a bad wig blah blah blah she lashes out because of her emotional wounds blah blah HOLY SMOKES LOOK AT THEM PIES! It seems that Mary has taken Jill to some kind of wonderland where pies just sit out on shelves, ready for the taking. How can she even focus on Jill’s completely predictable tale of woe when there are delicious pies just inches from her head? The smell must be overpowering!
Beetle Bailey and Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/17/10
Ha ha, that stock market! It’s sure going up! Or perhaps down? These two strips appear immediately adjacent to one another on my digital comics page, which is kind of unfair to the Snuffy characters. We ought to be impressed that the residents of Hootin’ Holler have finally moved beyond barter to the money economy and are even dimly aware of higher finance; but this achievement is eclipsed by the fact that even Sarge’s dog is well acquainted with modern capitalism.
Family Circus, 12/17/10
Yes, there’s nothing more adorable than a little tyke singing happily about being set ablaze! This one is getting cut out of the paper and put up on pyromaniacs’ refrigerators everywhere.
Reading Momma is always a harrowing experience, but rarely does the strip get into Funky Winkerbean territory and actively discuss, say, suicide. Not content to have Momma simply make awkward conversation with the widow of a man who just killed himself, today’s strip takes us on journey ever deeper into sorrow. At first we are lead to believe that Sadie’s husband killed himself because his failing body left him in constant agony; but then, as Sadie gives Momma an icy glare, we realize the truth: that he took his life because of the failure of her marriage, and that she frankly believes that this was the only reasonably reaction on his part. Fun!
Hagar the Horrible, 5/28/10
Of course, it’s leagues more sophisticated than Hagar the Horrible, which features a dog who really, really has to go to the bathroom. Don’t “relax” your bowels, Snert!
A question for northeast Ohioans: in your local dialect, does “wuss” rhyme with “bus”? Follow-up question: Do you smile cheerfully in the wake of repeated assaults on your property, believing them to be the inevitable punishment of a sadistic creator?