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Comics archive! Beetle Bailey

Something borrowed, something sharp

Rex Morgan, M.D., 4/20/14

We’re four and half months into the Terry Beatty era on Rex Morgan, M.D., people! One of the interesting challenges in taking over a long-running continuity strip like this is integrating your predecessors’ character designs into your own style, which can have awkward results — see, for instance, Niki’s starfish hair, which was always pretty bizarre but at least sort of worked with Graham Nolan’s aesthetic, but poor Beatty is kind of stuck with it here. I am glad to see that the new artist is adhering to another tradition involving Niki — namely, that whenever frank discussions of his sexuality are on the table, he’s suddenly drawn to look like he’s about thirty years old.

Judge Parker, 4/20/14

Don’t worry about April out in the jungle, Randy … she’s in her element out there! Plus she has a nice, sharp knife. When you make April leave her own wedding reception to go look for your stepmom because she wandered off into the mercenary-lousy jungle, somebody’s going to get stabbed.

Beetle Bailey, 4/20/14

I’ll admit it: I got to panel five and I thought, “Well, I never expected that Beetle Bailey’s decades-long run would end with all of Camp Swampy dead in some sort of mass cult suicide, but I’m willing to run with this.”

“To a certain extent,” hahaha

Mary Worth, 4/17/14

WHAT A TWIST! It turns out that it’s not just Tommy who’s too darn lazy to get off his duff and get a job; his mom is a shiftless bum too! “I don’t want a lot of talk about putting in the effort of learning how to bake, Mary,” she thinks to herself. “Just hand over the goddamn muffins! mmm, just gonna visualize Tommy lounging around back at the apartment while I go to town on this. He sure isn’t learning how to bake! Stay strong, Iris!”

Better Half, 4/17/14

It’s true, Stanley, a cool way to lose weight would be if you were just a smooth spheroid with no openings or internal structure, just a blob of living matter with no mouth or way to digest nourishment, yep yep yep not horrifying at all no sir

Funky Winkerbean, 4/17/14

Wait, but … but … Les already solved this, in his book about John Darling? OH MY GOD NOT EVEN JESSICA READ LES’S BOOK

At least Wilbur’s sandwiches will always love him

Mary Worth, 4/15/14

Last week Wilbur urged Iris to apply tough love to her layabout drug dealing son who may or may not be working hard to find a job (a task which, for the record, is often quite difficult for ex-cons), and she blew up at him about it, putting Wilbur’s sad love life in jeopardy. But ever since then, Iris has been musing about whether maybe she should be harder on Tommy. And who’s there to swoop in and catch her at the moment she’s ready to speak these uncomfortable truths aloud? Wilbur? Don’t be ridiculous. It’s Mary. Mary’s been watching her from afar all this time, patiently waiting for the moment when Iris is ready to split at the seams, when she can turn Iris to her way of thinking with just an innocent, nonspecific question. This right here is a meddling master class. Run along and write your little advice column, Wilbur; the pros are working here.

Dick Tracy, 4/15/14

So God bless the new Dick Tracy creative team for the great art and reverence for comics history and all, but sometimes the plot gets so reverent of comics history that it’s literally impossible for anyone but comics obsessives to follow. At the moment, for instance, the strip is switching back and forth between what appears to be a search for Little Orphan Annie, a followup to an earlier plotline that references characters and scenarios from the strip’s loopy sci-fi era of the 1960s and 1970s, and a fictionalized take on intra-comics industry feuding that started in 1942. Anyway, I’m just glad today’s strip sticks to the core Dick Tracy brand of Dick being a remorseless killer. “Soooo … these guys went out into deep space and … probably suffocated in terror?” “It looks that way, Diet,” Dick nods, satisfied.

Six Chix, 4/15/14

Six Chix appears to be using the week leading up to Easter to feature a a series cartoons about the birth and death of bunnies, with each strip guaranteed to disturb and unsettle! Anyway, all I’m going to do with this one is give you the phrase “rabbit cloaca” and rest easy in the knowledge that you won’t be able to extract it from your mind for days.

Beetle Bailey, 4/15/14

I spent a long time staring at this Beetle Bailey cartoon and trying to figure out what it meant. Then I realized I should follow Plato’s lead, which is to say: recognize it as inane nonsense, and wander off to find something better to do.