Mary Worth, 10/8/14
Congrats to Mary Worth for deploying an actually interesting narrative technique this week! After yesterday’s head-on collision, we smash cut to Ian, sweaty and wild-eyed, barging into his own home and gibbering wrathfully at his terrified trophy wife. We’re left to imagine the trail of verbal carnage he left in his wake. The sneers! The condescension! He’s clearly been driven into a frenzy of fender-bender-based superciliousness, and everyone is going to hear about it! Poor Toby: you get the feeling this isn’t the first time she got a finger wagged in her face because of something unforgiveable that somebody else did.
Ha ha, it sure does look like you live alone, Perfesser! Because generally most people don’t like living in unsafe hoarding-zones filled with literal trash. Say, remember how you used to live with someone else? Your nephew, Skyler? Ring a bell? It’s not clear if he’s finally decided that life as a homeless runaway would be better than the unsanitary lifestyle you keep, or if he was just crushed to death under a pile of newspapers.
It’s true: far too much garbage ends up in the ocean, disrupting ecosystems vital to life’s long-term survival on earth. Heathcliff is right to look so sad.
I don’t mean to intensely overanalyze a few stray sentences in an ephemeral work of art … no, wait, it turns out that’s exactly what this blog is for, so I think I’ll do exactly that with today’s Momma! Anyway, I find Momma’s pronoun use somewhat unsettling in this strip. Perhaps MaryLou’s line was originally “I’d like to eat dinner out for a change,” with dinner cut for space reasons, but as it stands Momma is resolutely refusing to explain to her daughter what, exactly, she will be required to eat, and it’s freaking me out. There is only the mysterious, terrifying it. “Too late! It’s ready to eat. You’ll hate it … but you’ll EAT it. Don’t you understand? IT must be C O N S U M E D”
I have to say that I appreciate the fact that there’s a banner halitosis headline on the front page of today’s Treetop Tribune health section, as the Perfesser’s question thus actually sort of makes sense in context now, rather than just being an off-the-cuff joke setup. Maybe Tribune staffers are being tasked with starting real-life “viral” conversations about the paper’s content, in order to compete with these newfangled internet sites and their social media reach? Anyway, Biz the cantankerous old bird-man is chiefly concerned with not dying, so maybe, considering audience demographics for print newspapers, the Tribune health editor ought to be assigning more stories on that topic.
Funky Winkerbean, 9/15/14
Way back in the mists of time, Bull Bushka was not the amiable if slightly dim fellow who appears in the current iteration of the strip, but rather a vicious bully whose narrative purpose was to make Les’s life miserable. Anyway, it’s good to see that, despite his change of heart, he still likes to pull elaborate little pranks to make teenagers feel terrible about themselves.
Oh, Shoe, you know that given my druthers I’d prefer not to contemplate the twisted chimeric anatomy of your bird-person characters, right? Especially when it comes to the naughty parts. I try not to think about those at all. I only contemplated the concept of bird-breasts obliquely, once, which didn’t stop TV Tropes from quoting me in the epigraph of the article on the subject. Anyway, the secondary sexual characteristics of these abhorrent beings are unpleasant enough to grapple with, but today’s strip demands that we give serious thought to the downstairs situation of these monsters. Specifically: do the bird-people of Shoe have a single cloaca that serves as the end point for their intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts, like birds, or do they have separate orifices for these different jobs, like humans? Related: do they bear live young, or lay eggs? I mean, any joke about some poor woman going into labor in the midst of a natural disaster and having her child forced back up inside her so she has to give birth again and again is awful enough even if it doesn’t raise disturbing questions about the the plumbing involved, you know?
Mary Worth, 9/12/14
Welp, as predicted, Mary is already starting to justify to herself the slow fade she’s going to pull on her beloved little friend Olive. “If only there were some way to communicate over a long physical distance! If these new-fangled computers could carry a message, that would be convenient, or perhaps if some government agency or private business existed that would, for a small fee, transport written correspondence. Ah well, no point in having regrets over the impossible, I suppose!”
Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/12/14
You heard it here first: Mrs. Pierpont, recognizing Sarah’s prodigy-level artistic talent, is going to groom her as a master art forger, having her current aging employee train her in this lucrative craft before his eyesight goes. Hope you enjoy spending your childhood churning out fake Miros in a windowless warehouse basement “studio,” Sarah!
Crankshaft is of course an insufferable asshole, but his name is the title of the strip, which means that he is literally the reason his entire spacetime continuum exists, and everything and everyone else there has been called into being merely to further his story. When you think about it, it’s actually surprising that more characters in the strip haven’t angrily turned their back on God.