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Comics archive! Beetle Bailey

Anthropomorphic monsters

Funky Winkerbean, 9/4/14

Most unwelcome guests just make you feel old.

But when Les Moore’s wife Lisa died in 2007 and once before, Funky Winkerbean jumped forward in time and its spinoff Crankshaft didn’t. The charming though confusing result is that whenever a Crankshaft character encounters somebody from the Funky continuity, they age about fifteen years.

So here we have Old Pam, daughter of Really Old Ed, and her husband Old Jeff, son of Probably Dead Rose. I say Probably Dead because that appears to be a genuine smile on Jeff’s face in panels two and three, and Rose strictly enforced her rules against that sort of thing.

As for the third panel hey, doesn’t anybody say “you’re welcome” anymore? Old Jeff is grateful for Holly’s gift — why does Holly imagine that’s worrisome for him? Not long ago, Old Jeff’s daughter Grown Up Mindy gave Holly a comic, to her joy and satisfaction — why does she think Old Jeff would react differently? Maybe she’s releasing him from an obligation to reciprocate, to break the cycle of comics-transfer before it escalates into some insane suburban potlatch with skidloads of mouldering comics trucked endlessly between Westview and Centerville to lie rotting on porches? Or is it out of simple mercy to Funky Winkerbean readers who just can’t imagine grownups making such a godawful fuss about comic books?

Comic strips, on the other hand ….

Beetle Bailey, 9/4/14

I’ve been reading Beetle Bailey a long, long time, and I can’t remember Otto ever appearing, being treated, as or acting like a real dog — to the extent that at first glance I thought he was ogling the woman in the first panel. Even the artist has a hard time accepting Otto’s dog-nature: sure, the front limbs end pawishly, but the backs end in feet, making it look like he’s running on his toes.

Maybe its just a subtle send-up of socially-constructed gender roles, such as we are used to finding in the pages of Beetle Bailey: all poodles are girls, of course, as are all ballet dancers who perform en pointe. So what appears to be gender-normative attraction is in fact ambiguous or transgressive! Who’s on the leash here?! The patriarchy!

Mary Worth, 9/4/14

Mary surrenders to control by her abdominal ganglia, much like a dinosaur or cockroach.


– Uncle Lumpy

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Mark Trail, 8/29/14

Listen up, narration box: it’s not an “open field” if there’s A HERD OF ELEPHANTS IN IT.

Apartment 3-G, 8/29/14

It may be that this inventory of obsolete boyfriends is essential for Tommie to process her oft-mentioned though seldom-seen grief for her dead fiancé, but it sure feels like the strip is wrapping things up before shipping her off to Crock or somewhere before bringing in a new girl (Beth? Is Beth coming back?). Or maybe letting Margo and Lu Ann (remember them?) duke it out one floor down in Apartment 2-G.

Anyway, here’s Tommie with her colleague and suitor, Dr. Joe Kelly:

Apartment 3-G, 4/28/09 (panel)

It didn’t end well.

Beetle Bailey, 8/29/14

Amos Halftrack is alarmed at the prospect of having sex with his wife, and terrified at her determination to carry out the act. There is an ancient and nameless horror at the core of their marriage.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/29/14

Wow, Funky Winkerbean is outsourcing its lame wordplay to a one-shot walk-on. Sets some kind of baseline, right there.


Westward Bound! Day Four


Josh has his hands full as he racks up the miles across the bosom of this great land, but still manages to keep abreast of developments in popular culture. Here, he stops in at Chi-Chis — or is it Hooters? — and bumps into Dolly Parton, titular Queen of Country Music. Then back to the car, flick on the highbeams, and damn the torpedos, it’s full speed ahead: California or bust!

OK I’m a nine-year-old, but Josh started it!

– Uncle Lumpy

Queasy-making quickies

Beetle Bailey, 8/14/14

It’s kind of amazing that Otto is perfectly capable of understanding symbolic language — for instance, he knows that fire hydrants are a longstanding visual shorthand for dog urination in our culture, even though no dog urinates exclusively on fire hydrants — and yet he somehow can’t figure out how to go to the bathroom in a toilet.

Dick Tracy, 8/14/14

These movie assignations are actually a cover for Dick and Annie to discuss their escape from Weird Maybe Time-Travel Island, but still, the idea that an adult police officer would help break a tween girl’s crush on him by literally taking her on dates is pretty gross! Haha, but everyone in ThePastBurg wants to get into Officer Tracy’s pants, so it’s totally OK.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/14/14

Hey, remember a couple days ago when I said Les’s fantasy sequence would be mildly more interesting than the whole Lisa’s Story movie plotline? Well, that was before I knew it would involve sexy ladies trying to get Les to have sex with them! Now it’s grosser, and not just mildly grosser.

Mark Trail, 8/14/14

Mark trail is such a dedicated naturalist that he’s going to make sure you know what kind of python this is, before, under duress and with great respect and sadness, he’s forced to slice off its head.

Wizard of Id, 8/14/14

In a cross-promotion of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week that I’m sadly certain is entirely unpaid, the Wiz in Wizard of Id has turned himself into a shark! A shark that yearns for shark-sex with lady sharks. The intersection of monogamy and animagery is in fact deeply complex.

Pluggers, 8/14/14

The most common use a plugger has for computers is figuring out how to poop more easily.