Website technical thingie note: Hey all, I’ve tweaked the formatting for the site again, so if things look really wonky, you may need to reload the page while holding down the shift key, and if that doesn’t work, you might need to clear your browser cache.
Dennis the Menace, 4/7/14
OK, so I get that if you came up with a joke about “what if the Venus de Milo wanted to do some texting, but she couldn’t? eh? eh? because she hasn’t got any arms? eh?” and you had a nationally syndicated comic panel where your jokes could go, this would be hard to resist. That said, there’s a lot of setup to this joke that has to be glossed over, with the most important aspect being that the Venus de Milo is in the Louvre, which means that the Mitchells, who have never been seen before doing anything more exotic than driving to tourist traps in their station wagon, have packed up Dennis and taken him to France. I feel like we were deprived a number of potential gags of various menacing levels here — Dennis sullenly resists Margaret’s attempt to teach him even a rudimentary amount of French, Dennis announces at the TSA checkpoint that he’s packed something dangerous and/or alive in his suitcase, Dennis loudly says “But dad, he doesn’t look like a frog at all!” in front of a Frenchman Henry is trying to impress, etc. Honestly, the fact that they’re standing in front of a topless statue means that a Dennis-makes-reference-to-human-sexuality-and-everyone-is-uncomfortable is a much more likely and entertaining scenario here than some dumb texting joke.
Hagar the Horrible, 4/7/14
So it appears that, while concubinage was common in early Norse society, Vikings didn’t really practice polygamy except at the very top of the social pyramid, and certainly Hagar, the leader of a smallish and incompetent war band, doesn’t qualify. Nevertheless, this strip is an interesting look at how attitudes might differ in a culture where marriages are thought of not primarily as a romantic attachment between two people but as a basic unit of economic production.
Funky Winkerbean, 4/7/14
Oh, it looks like Jess is going to take another stab at making a movie about her dad, John Darling! She has to refer to him as “my dad, John Darling” whenever she brings him up, because she only brings him up every year or so. Anyway, today she acknowledges that all human endeavor is basically a race against the final destruction of our planet, a race that can seem easy to lose when you’re smothered under a heavy blanket of depressive torpor.
Better Half, 4/7/14
At last, Stanley has found a phone sex line that caters to his fairly specific needs.
Hagar the Horrible, 4/4/14
In benighted, backwards 10th century Scandinavia, where even the rudimentary medical knowledge of the Greeks and Romans either had never been learned or was long forgotten, doctors worked on some combination of superstition, ignorance, and fraud, and so patients may as well have offered their own suggestions and advice on treatment. Still, Helga seems more pleased than you’d think imagining her husband being gorily dismembered in a scene that sounds less like surgery and more like a bloody sacrifice to the violent Norse pantheon.
It’s true: working in retail may be low-paying and low-status, but it sure beats dying in a far-off colonial war when your tiny, isolated fortlet is overrun by a bloodthirsty enemy.
Remember when Heathcliff panels about using marine life as sporting equipment seemed to be written so as to include jokes of some kind, even if they weren’t obviously funny in any way? Well, now they’re just naming fish species. Sad, really.
Apartment 3-G, 4/4/14
I was going to make a joke that panel one here featured Tommie’s post-coital request for oral servicing from this rough-hewn large animal vet, or that Lily in panel two had become so crazed with hunger that she learned how to open a car door, but then I got a good look at Tommie’s huge, terrifying claw-flipper in the first panel, so now I’m just going to sit here and gibber wordlessly for a while.
Better Half, 4/4/14
Speaking of horrifying nightmare-things, it looks like Cthulhu has finally awoken from his dreamless billion-year slumber! HAVE PITY ON US, CRUEL OLD ONE, AND CONSUME OUR SOULS WITH A MINIMUM OF AGONY
Mary Worth, 3/25/14
Oh, hey, what’s going on with Tommy the ex-con’s failing attempts to reintegrate himself into society? Well, today what’s up is that Tommy was sitting on his mom’s bed looking at Internet pornography all day instead of trying to find a job. As hilarious as Tommy’s facial expression in panel two is, I’m mostly fascinated by his feet in panel one. I know in my heart of hearts that he’s just supposed to be wearing white tube socks and there’s a little bit of a shadow falling from his feet onto the sheet, but it really looks to me like he owns white patent leather shoes with dark heels à la Pee-wee Herman and has chosen to wear them while sitting on his mom’s bed and looking at Internet pornography.
One of the things that amuses me about my relationship with B.C. is that I’ve read it daily for more than a decade and yet there are multiple named characters that I literally have never been able to tell apart in any way. I mean, I know that these two here are “Clumsy” and “Curls,” because they actually have distinct character designs, but there are also “Peter” and “B.C.” and (I think?) “Thor” and I cannot tell you anything specific about any of them. This may explain why one of those guys died in fiery agony almost a year ago and I never even noticed he was missing.
Hagar the Horrible, 3/25/14
The thing I like about today’s Hagar the Horrible is that invites you to imagine the hours of inept rowing leading up to this exchange. “Okay, they … they still haven’t figured it out,” Hagar thinks. “Should I say something? No, they need to learn for themselves. If they ask, I’ll say something. God, they’re still doing it. Is this the dumbest Viking band in all the North? Was it even worth it to brutally kill my father’s cousin in single combat to win their loyalty? Don’t say anything, don’t say anything, don’t say anything, let them ask, let them ask, let them ask…”