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Comics archive! Beetle Bailey

Largely soapy Monday

Apartment 3-G, 10/20/14

Well, this is certainly the most shocking development in Apartment 3-G in some time: during Tommie’s multi-month absence, Margo hasn’t gotten bored and come up some new vaguely aspirational business plan, but has instead continued to be a publicist when the plot demands it! You might remember Skyler as the young starlet who Margo’s employee/sex slave/secret enemy Evan flirted with so that Margo would refuse to take her on as a client. Skyler used to be a brunette and then had black hair and now is a blonde, which is par for the course for actresses, I suppose. Less realistic is that she’s wearing a shapeless pink sweatshirt, or that she now looks more or less exactly like Lu Ann, or that Margo is a good enough publicist that anyone would try to hire her after she cruelly rejected them for no good reason.

Mark Trail, 10/20/14

Since this is Mark Trail, it’s a safe bet that the folks on TV here are aggrieved over some kind of nature or environmental issue, which makes me even angrier that, in an age of rapidly shrinking journalism budgets, Woods And Wildlife Magazine can still afford a high-rise office for its wholly out of touch top editor. Still, Bill Ellis’s uncanny resemblance to LBJ has never been more appropriate than it is here, as he smirks with hooded eyes at some damn hippies protesting on his television set.

Judge Parker, 10/20/14

Just in time for Halloween, and then for the seven to fourteen months after halloween: as darkness falls, the Parker-Driver clan is going to drive the Road Queen into a spooky, abandoned RV park! How many chainsaw-weilding murderers will be lurking there, and how much money will our heroes get as a reward when they arrange for those maniacs to be captured by the local police, with very little effort on their part?

Family Circus, 10/20/14

Remember the innocent days when the Keane Kids would cheerfully blame their transgressions on adorable ghost-things “Not Me” and “Ida Know”? Well, that’s all over now. Reality has set in. The kids know that nobody buys that crap anymore. One of them is going to have to take the fall. The question is: who? This will only be settled by an ugly outbreak of violence.

Beetle Bailey, 10/20/14

Ha ha, it’s funny because Beetle is injured and writhing in agony and begging Sarge to drive more carefully, which Sarge callously refuses to do! But the real joke is that all those injuries were almost certainly inflicted by Sarge in the first place.

Drug-addled Saturday

Dennis the Menace, 10/4/14

Sure, I make fun of Dennis the Menace, particularly when it comes to Dennis’s lack of menacing, but if there’s one thing I really respect about it, it’s that Mr. Wilson has never stopped being angry, has never softened into a likable character. His trademark single bead of anger-sweat is here, but his hands are also clenching into fists — not because he plans to hit anybody, because Mr. Wilson is not at heart a violent man, but because his whole body is just clenching up involuntarily at the thought of so many naps ruined. So is he going to die of a massive coronary event, and soon? Yes, probably! But he will have never compromised his truest self.

B.C., 10/4/14

Remember the innocent bygone days of this strip, when the main thing you could say about clams was that clams got legs? Well, now clams got a terrible addiction to prescription medication.

Beetle Bailey, 10/4/14

I’m guessing that panel two here is a result of someone saying “Hey, let’s maybe mix up our simplistic art a little and actually show the back of someone’s head for once” but in actually it looks like someone’s saying “Guys guys guys how many tabs was I supposed to take how many tabs OH MY GOD EVERYONE’S FACE IS A CLOUD HOW DO I UNCLOUD YOUR FACES”

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