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Comics archive! Beetle Bailey

So wait, did Sven get … nagged into heaven, or what

Hagar the Horrible, 10/14/16

You know I’m fascinated by Hagar strips about the transition from Norse paganism to Christianity, but today’s strip is a particularly unsettling entry it that canon. Traditionally, Scandinavians believed in a sort of vaguely defined afterlife that resembled Greek and Roman versions of the underworld; the idea that there was a distinction between Hel and Valhalla, with only the latter allotted to brave warriors, comes from a late, post-pagan source, and is now widely discredited. So the idea that death might be followed by some kind of divinely ordained reward for virtue — or, in this case, awful, eternal punishment for inadequacy — is a new one, and one that some are apparently embracing with more gusto than others.

Gil Thorp, 10/14/16

Speaking of things that displease the gods: I had been holding out that we hadn’t yet seen the ritualistic season-kickoff bonfire in Gil Thorp because it precedes our heroes’ home opener. But here we are, with Milford playing its first game at Mudlark Field (note: may not be actual name of stadium) without having received the ordained benediction by fire. Already we can see the divine punishment beginning: that pouring rain will not cease until Coaches Gil and Kaz, the entire Mudlark team, and the heretical Milford school board that nixed the bonfire as a cost-cutting and public safety measure are wiped from existence in an awful cleansing flood.

Beetle Bailey, 10/14/16

One of the running bits I did in the early years of this blog was that the secret subtext of Beetle Bailey was that Sarge and Beetle were lovers, which I eventually dropped because, with changing mainstream mores and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the idea got a lot less transgressive. It’s good to see that the strip agrees with me and is upping its game when it comes to these two. I’m not sure what exactly is happening here today, but it’s definitely unspeakably perverse.

A paper bag with baguette and celery: You gotta respect the classics

Dick Tracy, 10/10/16

Thank goodness Dick Tracy is brave enough to blow the lid off the real shape of political corruption in modern-day America: members of Congress misusing their Capitol office phones to illegally solicit cash donations from little old ladies who are eager to see human-alien hybrids put into internment camps.

Funky Winkerbean, 10/10/16

Welp, Funky Winkerbean is in color again, which no doubt heralds a big shift in the storyline we’re following and … wait, what’s that? It’s literally the exact same thing from last week, where Frankie is going to use the power of his gossip site to ruin his son’s life, for some reason, alienating his readership in the process? I see.

Mary Worth, 10/10/16

“A meeting? That sounds like a fascinating thing that you were deliberately vague about for me to pry into. I just got back from a stay at a cosmetic surgery facility myself. They tightened my face another two notches! My nose is approaching Full Voldemort but my skin hasn’t been this firm and unlined since the Nixon Administration!

Beetle Bailey, 10/10/16

Welp, looks like Sarge finally just straight-up murdered Beetle! I guess this strip is over now. Looking forward to seeing what new comic they replace it with, or maybe just enjoying the soothing blank space left over when they don’t bother!

I honestly hope these characters refer to each other by name in every line of dialogue in this movie

Funky Winkerbean, 10/3/16

I make fun of the Funkyverse visual convention whereby flashback panels are depicted as sepia-toned photographs that look like they’re supposed to be in a photo album, but really, that’s perfectly fine as a quick signal of what we’re looking at, even if, since most of the time periods being flashed back to are well into the era digital photography, it doesn’t really make literal sense. It’s like Microsoft Word using a 3.5 inch floppy disk as a symbol for “save to disk,” or your smartphone using an outline of a classic bakelite phone handset for the app you actually use to make phone calls: sure, it’s kind of goofy, but everyone pretty much knows what it means, and it’s not like I have any ideas for how to do it better.

But unless today’s strip is the result of a complete brain fart over at Ol’ Daily Comics Coloring Central, I’m really at a loss to understand what’s supposed to be going on here. My first thought was that maybe the Starbuck Jones movie is being shot in black and white, for nostalgic purposes, or maybe because it seemed to work for Schindler’s List. But then I realized that of course we’re not looking at the movie itself but the process of filming said movie, so, like, I dunno. Maybe they think this is how you make a black and white movie: by putting all the actors in grey makeup and shooting them against a grey background and grey props. Everyone on set needs to be made up, too. Not a single speck of color can be even accidentally visible!

Pluggers, 10/3/16

Things pluggers don’t have access to, as near as I can tell from today’s Pluggers:

  • Computers or Internet-capable cellphones of the sort that could give a complete list of football scores at a moment’s notice.
  • A television that might recap those scores (I guess we already knew this)
  • Friends who might be up on what happened in this week’s games
  • Any sense of community or connection to society at large
  • Even extremely small amounts of money

Beetle Bailey, 10/3/16

Guys, have … have we considered that Beetle might be dead?