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When you create a character who is as unlikeable as oh, say, Ed Crankshaft, from time to time you have to fake up some appealing qualities or history so the audience doesn’t come to its senses and give up on the strip entirely. So here comes “Backstabbin’ Bedwetter” Barry Wilkins — who can singlehandedly make you feel sorry for his brother Curtis — totin’ Teddy and talkin’ tough, ready for redemption.
There’s no precedent at all for Barry’s altruism — he was just as bored/disgusted by his brother’s romantic aspirations in Tuesday’s strip as he ever was, and nothing changed on Wednesday. There won’t be any consequences, either — Barry will be just as hateful as ever the next time we check in on him. It’s just time for a quick karma rinse-and-run.
I’ll take it all back if Michelle falls hopelessly in love with him.
Mary Worth, 4/23/15
NO NO NO TERRY DON’T DO IT YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK. Aw crud – gave it up, and for nothing.
A small irony here is that Terry Bryson was introduced to the strip as a privacy consultant who helped Toby Cameron understand how to defend herself against intrusions into her confidential personal and financial information, and that people shouldn’t be dopes. Well, Terry, you can kiss your own precious privacy goodbye. Dope.
Oh boy — the long-awaited B.C./Crankshaft crossover.
I know Shoe is sort of the go-to strip for avian reproductive humor, but eww.
This is your occasional reminder that the owners of the intellectual property rights to the Blondie comic strip attempted to make a Dagwood Sandwiches restaurant chain happen, and it all ended in lawsuits and acrimony.
Gasoline Alley and Mark Trail, 5/17/15
This is your occasional reminder that there are thousands — millions — of insects, and they’re coming — they’re coming for you and your livelihood. They’re crawling everywhere. And who’s going to stop them? The government? You believe their promises? Fools, you’re all fools!
Hey, guys, I’m going on vacation! Uncle Lumpy will be here slingin’ jokes while I gallivant about. So be nice! I’ll be back on the 29th, assuming the insects haven’t devoured us all by then! (The insects will definitely have devoured us all.)
Judge Parker, 4/12/15
As hero commenter Calvin’s Cardboard Box has meticulously documented, there are some discrepancies in this week’s story about how the evil Honey Ballenger is going to steal away Sophie’s boyfriend Derek using her sexual wiles while Sophie is stuck in this trailer park, the most obvious being that Derek is actually Honey’s boyfriend, not Sophie’s, despite Sophie’s brazen boast that she was going to steal Derek away from her. Anyway, Sam is just glad this little drama is about his daughter’s emotional life and not something important, like a high-quality laser printer that works on the go.
The best thing about the “Perfesser watches TV” installments of Shoe isn’t the jokes (obviously); it’s the overwhelming sense of despair that permeates the whole thing, as he slouches down into the chair and stares with heavy-lidded disdain at the screen that’s lighting up the otherwise darkened room. The way he’s just resting his hand in the bag of chips is a really nice touch today. How long do you think it’s been there? Hours?
Rex Morgan, M.D., 4/12/15
At last! It’s the meeting of the “Kelly is bullied at school” and “Kelly has sworn allegiance to a violent criminal organization” plots that we never knew we wanted until this moment.