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Comics archive! Sally Forth

Ralph has probably just heard about “this grunge nonsense”

Sally Forth, 10/3/14

True Story: Sally Forth is the comic strip that first got me thinking seriously about comics time, the phenomenon by which characters in a long-running comic stay basically the same age, but the cultural signifiers surrounding them also stay current which implies that not only their present but their past is slowly moving forward through the space-time continuum. Because it’s hard to notice that strip-time present is changing to match real-life present, you tend to notice this most during flashback sequences, as I did when an early ’00s Sally Forth storyline about Ted and Sally meeting in college featured Ted wearing a Sonic Youth t-shirt. I’d been reading the strip since I was a child, and so obviously Ted and Sally were my parents’ age, and this blew up everything I thought I knew.

Anyway, something about this particular storyline, about Sally and Alice meeting for the first time twenty years ago, has been nagging at me all week, and I finally put my finger on it: Alice is in fact sporting 1994′s hottest haircut, the Rachel, which works great for the milieu but makes the fact that her current-day character model still has the same Mid-’80s Business Lady Hair that she’s always had seem even stranger.

Spider-Man, 10/3/14

SUPERHERO: “I’m trapped! I’ve got to use my superpowers to escape!”

[SUPERHERO tries for, like, thirty seconds]

SUPERHERO: “Well, that didn’t work. Time to resign myself to death!”

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!!!!!!!!!!!

Beetle Bailey, 10/3/14

It’s funny because you can tell the chili is too hot because it’s on fire and also Beetle is literally cringing in pain and his face-flesh is covered with horrible burns

Nature is also red in tooth and claw, so that’s two strikes right there

Six Chix, 8/24/14

Pluggers II — Ascension

The Change came faster than anyone could have imagined. Proto-pluggers, still in animal form, quickly learned to operate the machines left for them as the humans devolved. Seduced by simple sense-pleasures, their former masters abandoned the responsibilities of economic life, cleaning up after themselves, and caring for their — what did they call them in the Before Times? Oh, yes — pets.

Mark Trail, 8/24/14

It’s good to see that despite the change at the helm, Sunday Mark Trail is sticking to its time-honored themes. Take it from NOAA: whether by tidal wave, lightning, flash flood, or this tornado here, Nature is an implacable monster and will stone cold kill you — probably by blowing up your barn or throwing a tractor at you or some shit. We oughta global-warm the hell outa that bitch.

Sally Forth, 8/24/14

Faithful readers, summer is on the wane. Think of the pops. You know Ted has. The pops! Soon they will be but a memory.

Crankshaft, 8/24/14

If you’re looking for humor, try “the food is terrible — and the portions are so small!” But if you’re in the mood for mean, pinch-lipped, incoherent spite, you can’t go wrong with Crankshaft.


Ohmigod, Josh — just two days until you hit the road! HURRY HURRY HURRY!

–Uncle Lumpy

Faces come out of the rain

Sally Forth, 7/26/14

It’s lonely being strange. Boyfriend Jon showed Hilary a way to escape the refuge and isolation of her family, leaving Sally to consider whether a life of surrealist Monopoly games, chocolate bunny ears, thwarted Paris vacations, and the Star Wars Holiday Special would be enough to sustain her, even if they did come with the love of a good — well, let’s go with “man.”

So she coaxed Ted to the neighborhood barbeque, even though parties are minefields for them — over the years, they have managed to offend the few neighbors whose names they know, share none of their interests or experiences, and always wind up in a corner numbly wisecracking to one another, trying not to drink too much and sneaking looks at the time.

Neighbor Tom Racine, a sensitive host and a decent man, sees, understands, and deftly relieves their discomfort, leaving Sally in stunned gratitude for the three seconds it takes Ted to fuck it all up.

Herb and Jamaal, 7/26/14

Herb congratulates himself for a jerk tactic that hasn’t worked in all of history.

Shoe, 7/26/14

The Perfessor’s butt is so big OSHA makes him wear a vehicle motion alarm.


Has anybody else seen A Thousand Clowns? What I mean is, I think Sally Forth is A Thousand Clowns, which means Sally herself is Barbara Harris and I need to rethink my life.

– Uncle Lumpy