Mary Worth, 2/1/13
OK, you knew and I knew that John Dill was going to get weird about Mary at some point in this storyline. The only questions were when and how. We now know the answer to when — it’s right now, right here, in front of a national TV audience (or maybe just the seven people currently watching Santa Royale’s public access cable station, I forget), but we’re still not sure of the how and frankly I’m on tenterhooks. Is the incredibly lifelike figurine of Mary he just carved out of marzipan with a butter knife meant to be an idol of pagan worship, and John will demand, wild-eyed, that the studio audience acknowledge Mary’s divine and terrible beauty? Or will he calmly wait until Mary notices the figure, and then, without breaking eye contact with her, pick it up and bite the head off before tossing it to the ground? Either way, next week is going to be amazing.
“Finally, I managed to work that Google bit into my quippery! I really feel like my repartee is going to be more up to date now.”
Garfield will do anything to feed his voracious appetites, Jon. Anything.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think Crock is being portrayed as too cartoonishly evil here. I mean, obviously it’s well established that he’s a villainous, petty dictator, but surely he’s enough of a realist to know that the local religious authorities aren’t going to be actively preaching sin and filth like they’re the Church of Satan or something. Shouldn’t he be pleased that the local priest is going old school and promising to use his money to punish and degrade the church’s enemies, instead of going in for some kind of touchy-feely love-thy-neighbor crap like feeding the poor or something?
Plans for a lucrative B.C. Babies franchise where abruptly scuttled when the terrifying character designs were revealed. “So, if we make their arms and legs even stubbier, and glom them onto impossibly squat torsos, and remove their necks, that’s cute, right? Kids will want those dolls?”
You know, Garfield gets a bad rap among comics snobs, but anything that teaches kids that Santa is really a terrifying demon-thing waiting to grab you from behind and drag you down into a terrifying hell-dimension is all right in my book.
Left to their own devices, Brad and TJ have turned their backs on God and started worshipping Mammon full-time.
Beetle Bailey, 8/4/12
I was going to go into this whole thing about how “Halftrack Dysfunctional Marriage Saturdays” are always the most depressing day in the comics all week, and that Mrs. Halftrack is doing a great job of gleefully pushing her husband further down his little shame spiral rather than trying to free him from it, but then I noticed that the General’s trademark neck-wattle is visible from the side and I got distracted.
Sorry, everybody, we’re going to have to start speaking some other language now! English hit its pinnacle with “Never suspected I booby-trapped my clown nose!” and it’s all going to be pretty much downhill from here, so let’s get out while the getting’s good.
AHH AHHH AHHH GARFIELD TURNED JON INTO A HEAD OF CABBAGE WITH FELINE DEMON MAGIC AHHHHHH
Slylock Fox, 5/16/12
Here is a sad story from Josh’s past: When I was in seventh grade I had a big crush on this girl in my class, but being a terrifically shy nerd I never actually tried talking to her or interacting with her in any way; I just looked at her all moon-eyed for most of the daily duration of our Social Studies class, during which she sat just a row ahead of me and one seat to the right. One day after about five months of this, instead of rushing off as usual she hung back after class, came up to me, and looked at me intently. With my heart pounding, I could barely believe it when she finally said the words I had been waiting for: “I want you to stop staring at me.”
It turns out that, according to the scientifically unimpeachable facts presented in Slylock Fox, staring intently at someone is not considered an appropriate mating habit among primates! In fact, it makes you a creepy weirdo. I can only hope that this cartoon equips the awkward seventh graders of today with information they can use.
Call me dumb, or slow to pick up on insulting canine metaphors, or something, but it took me a minute to parse the “Ha ha, Blondie is talking about Dagwood like he’s a dog” joke here, primarily because I don’t believe that a “great sense of humor” is considered a dog stereotype? I mean, I understand that the rule of comedy threes requires Blondie to wedge something in after “loyal and well-groomed” that isn’t the punchline “terrific hearing” but might still be said to apply to both potential husbands and potential pets. I admit that coming up with one is tricky. Could it be something about ball-licking, maybe?
Anyway, kudos to the artist for realizing that the off-panel ARF! wouldn’t work if it weren’t clear that the Bumstead family pet weren’t the one ARFing. Daisy looks as if she were actually intended to be in the background from the strip’s conception, or at least has been composited in later with a reasonable amount of skill.
Yes, he exists in the service of a (blessedly subtle) poop joke, but I have to admit that I’m really charmed by this fly-prophet, crazed in messianic ecstasy and willing to invite anyone of any species to the promised land.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 5/16/12
Good Lord, Smifs, you didn’t think these insatiable chew-rodents would really obey your so-called “laws,” did you? In retrospect, mankind wished a more effectively organized community had been on the front line in the first phase of the bloody Human-Beaver Wars.
So, here’s an absolutely true thing: for years now, every time my wife manages to one-up me on something, I say “It’s not a contest” and she dramatically replies “Says the loser!” The first time we did it was spontaneous, and now it’s just one of the catchphrases in the long-running sitcom that our marriage (like, I assume, most long-term relationships) has become. So you can understand why we found this strip both hilarious and unsettling. Still, it’s extremely unnerving to see someone you love say “Obviously Jim Davis is spying on us” with a completely straight face.
Hi and Lois, 2/7/12
Let’s ignore for the moment the whole “who-moved-my-cookie” office-hijinks har-har. For me, the thing that really captures the banality of white-collar life is the poster hanging up in the second panel. I’m assuming that “FF” stands for “Foofram,” the name of Hi and Thirsty’s employer, which I’ve kind of come to love. Remember, nothing boosts workplace morale like printing your corporate logo and “QUALITY” onto an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper and scotch-taping it to the wall of the break room.
Mary Worth, 2/7/12
Not to brag or anything, but it turns out I was 100% correct about Nola’s techniques for turning aside Mary’s meddling. Having volunteered with no prying whatsoever her penchant for nonconsensual nonmonogamy, she can now lean back and simply watch Mary’s head explode.
Mark Trail, 2/7/12
Hey, remember when Tommy told us like six times that he would just leave his jacket lying around in the middle of the woods and Butch the blind dog would stay near it, when for no readily apparent reason Tommy would leave Butch the blind dog out in the woods by himself, and you were all like, “Well, that doesn’t make any sense.” Jokes on you, suckers! This particular Chekhovian gun has fired nicely! I mean, you have to admit that Jeff the bank robber seems like the kind of dude who would just put on some gross old jacket he found lying around in the forest without really thinking about it that much.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man has decided to try out this whole “super-heroics” thing, with predictable results.
Gil Thorp, 1/7/12
Oh, man, this tattoo guy is something else. Not only is he evilly providing tattooing services to people who come and ask for them and pay him money; not only is he performing other forms of body modification that were shocking in 1995; but he’s also causing tingling sensations in the lady parts of innocent teenage girls, with his sexiness. Add in the fact that he’s apparently a filthy foreigner from Australia (or, worse, that he’s adopted the Aussies’ un-American slang) and we can all really get behind the inevitable threats of violence, and perhaps even actual implementations of violence, that Kaz will dish out to him sometime in March.
Speaking of threats of violence, once Jon accidentally stepped on Garfield’s tail, and Garfield responded by breaking Jon’s leg so savagely that it still causes him pain, years later! So, yeah, Garfield is a widely-syndicated comic that a lot of people enjoy.