The Phantom, 7/30/16
In the non-monastery-based Phantom Kids Go Off To School plot, the Phantom’s daughter Heloise is at her fancy boarding school in New York with her new roommate, who is, unbeknownst to anyone, the daughter of her father’s mysterious arch-nemesis, Eric Sahara, the Nomad! The girls are anxiously feeling each other about their fathers and the nebulous sources of vast wealth that allow them to attend an expensive private school. Don’t feel awkward or out of place, girls: you’re mingling with the children of New York City’s elite! Plenty of your classmates’ parents have killed people. Mostly they’ve killed them by firing them so they don’t have health insurance anymore, but still.
Mary Worth, 7/30/16
Vicodin®: It Can Help You Clean Up An Explosive Diarrhea Situation™! Ask your doctor if Vicodin is right for you, your family, and your sandwich eatery that maybe has a little more E. coli in the meat than is strictly ideal.
Family Circus, 7/8/16
One of my favorite things about the way the Family Circus constantly reuses art that’s decades old is that somewhere along the line some editor realized, “Oh, crap, everyone is supposed to wear seat belts now! The Family Circus, as an incredibly influential part of today’s media, can’t afford to send the dangerous message that not wearing your seatbelt is ‘cool!’ Looks like we’re going to have to add seat belts into all the old art, when we inevitably reuse it!” This has produced laughable results like today’s panel, in which, if I know my classic American station wagons, Dolly is supposed to be sitting in the “back back” or “way back,” i.e., the storage area where there’s no seat of any kind, where all of us kids born before 1980 or so were free to just roll around without any restraints or safety equipment and died in droves. Anyway, please join me in enjoying that seat belt, coming out of nowhere, hooking over Dolly’s back, and connecting to nothing. It almost makes me sad that once we got to the era when all children under the age of 10 had to be in car seats everyone involved in the production of this strip was just like “Enh, screw it.”
Mark Trail, 7/8/16
Hey, remember when Mark’s face accidentally fell on Carina’s face, back in the cave, and she tried to get him to do sex things with her, and the first thing he thought of to make her stop trying was to say “Yes, Carina, I am happily married”? Well, that definitely counts as being “made” to decide take some time off and invest in his relationship with his wife. Presumably they’ll voyage to the mysterious South Pacific, to frolic on a beach where they’ll discover these lovebirds’ mouldering corpses.
The Phantom, 7/8/16
I’ve sort of assumed that Kit Jr. was going to Tibet but I think they’ve only been saying “the Himalayas” so I guess it’s possible he’s headed for a Buddhist monastery in the northern fringes of India, or Bhutan or Nepal, which would qualify, barely, as “the subcontinent.” Still, has he considered that the monastery probably doesn’t have Internet? Also, you know where there’s Internet? The Skull Cave! He could learn a lot about the subcontinent back at the Skull Cave, is what I’m saying.
Mary Worth, 6/22/16
I don’t want to engage in any stereotyping, but my understanding is that Japan is a more reserved and stoic culture than the United States. Thus, I would have to assume that those in Japan who survived the terrible tragedies of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident would like few things less than to have some American lunge at them in sympathy, Wilbur style, and try to get them to emote for “I Shouldn’t Be Alive!”, his terrible and widely syndicated newspaper column. Anyway, pretty much all you need to know about Mary Worth is that our upcoming storyline is much less likely to be “Wilbur rambles around Japan re-traumatizing earthquake victims” and more likely to be “Mary replies to someone who wrote into a newspaper advice column.”
Family Circus, 6/22/16
The “Billy subs for his dad on Fathers Day” bit has a long and storied history in the Family Circus, but does it usually last an entire week? Anyway, the layers of metafiction in these exercises are always exhausting — like, grown-up Jeff Keane is pretending to be the 7-year-old version of his real-life brother subbing for their father, who died in 2011 — and this strip just adds some messed up family dynamics to the mix. “No, it was Billy who made a crude fat joke about your child-self, Dolly! Billy, age 7!”
Looks like Kit Jr. (or Kit XXIII, I guess) will be spending the next four years in Tibet, cut off from his home and family. So at his goodbye party, he’s enjoying the sort of Bangallan treat he’ll be missing: a raw unpeeled potato, fresh from the bowl!