Beetle Bailey, 12/8/13
Well I for one am relieved to read Cpl. Yo’s line in the final panel of today’s Beetle Bailey. Turns out Sarge isn’t an omnipotent weather-deity after all! That would’ve really thrown everything I believe about the universe into chaos and confusion. No, he’s just a guy with access to an unusually precise weather report.
Family Circus, 12/8/13
Speaking of omnipotence, Billy seems to think of God not so much as the all-knowing, all-powerful spirit being who created time and space, but rather as some guy who gets forgetful or distracted and has to write things down. He also appears to be on the verge of presenting God with a list of demands. Maybe he’s mixing up Our Heavenly Father with Santa Claus? Ma Keane perhaps should look a little less smug, considering the quality of religious education her son seems to have received thus far.
Better Half, 12/8/13
Today in the Better Half: Stanley’s body is crapping out on him, which he appropriate brings up with a joke about a song that’s more than 40 years old; Stanley hates his own mind so much that he’s willing to try anything to numb the pain, including an amateur self-inflicted lobotomy; Harriet’s friend has acquired a sex-robot; and Harriet and Stanley appear to have a daughter who’s never appeared in the strip before. The last of these episodes is by far the most unsettling to me.
Well, congratulations, Heathcliff: you did a panel where the whole joke is that Heathcliff is about to cannonball into a fishbowl barely bigger than he is, and the fish in the bowl can see him and know they’re about to die gasping on the carpet after their whole world is obliterated in a flurry of yowls and shattered glass, and so one of them, as presumably his last act on this earth, just says “Fuck.” Oh, I mean, “fudge,” obviously, except in my experience “fudge” as a minced oath only ever means “I almost said ‘fuck’ but then realized I was in a context where that was inadvisable, like, say, a nationally syndicated newspaper comic.” It seems appropriate, anyway, given the gravity of the situation from the fish’s perspective, although there’s a pretty good chance that Heathcliff might miss the bowl entirely from this distance.
Mark Trail, 12/3/13
The great thing about being a villain in Mark Trail is that when you’re a villain in Mark Trail you’re a villain, by God. None of this “likable antihero” or “moral ambiguity” nonsense, which is for college professors and other sissies. It can take a little while for the humans to figure it out, but Andy has these guys’ number and is already trying to attack. Even Mr. Dunlap’s delicious homemade syrup (or, as I like to call it, “flapjack juice”) physically leaps out of Jared’s hand, refusing to grant its power of deliciousness to such a ne’er-do-well.
In all honesty, I don’t really care that much about whatever harebrained artifact-napping schemes Jeff and Jared have cooked up. All I want is for Mr. Dunlap to wander around spouting off declarative sentences for as long as possible. “He’s staying at the museum! Homemade syrup is great on flapjacks! Suspenders hold my pants up! I like saying things!”
Ha ha, it’s the Funkyverse so even the puns are horribly depressing. “There’s no therapy dog? But … I’ve been waiting all week for this! It’s the only thing I’ve had to look forward to! I love dogs, I had dogs my whole life, but I can’t keep one in here. My family never visits me. I just want something warm and friendly and good that will touch me and love me unconditionally. What am I supposed to do with a bunch of fucking flowers?”
Family Circus, 12/3/13
Years later, when Billy was on trial for the various crimes he had committed as leader of the notorious Real Presence of the Manifest Messiah cult, and he took the stand in his own defense, ranting and raving that he was the son of God and no Earthly court could judge or punish him, this moment at the table came rushing back to his mother with terrible clarity.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 11/22/13
Jughaid has been spending a lot of time reading the “evil temptress” portions of the bible, which, to be fair, there are several to choose from!
Family Circus, 11/22/13
“I’m smilin’ right now, real smug-like, ’cause I’m super-convinced that hearin’ my voice will make you happy, and not, say, close your eyes and hold the bridge of your nose between your thumb and forefinger and sit very still for a few minutes.”
Dennis the Menace, 11/22/13
“You must be part fish, because my dad says you’re a real catch, and his browser history is full of hardcore mermaid porn!“
Mary Worth, 11/21/13
Mary Worth is being mugged in broad daylight in the middle of Central Park (THANKS A LOT DE BLASIO) and things probably aren’t going to end well … for the mugger. Mary starts off by shouting for help, to be polite, but by panel two her face suddenly bears a striking resemblance to movie tough guy Claude Akins, or perhaps to a majestic lowland gorilla; this transformation, combined with her outfit’s similarity to a karate gi, implies an imminent savage beatdown that our petty criminal won’t soon forget.
If you ever need proof that Francis isn’t just a loathsome layabout, but a loathsome hipster layabout, look no further than his sports fandom. Following Ivy League football when you don’t actually attend an Ivy League school makes all those European soccer nerds who smugly tell you about how they illegally stream Bundesliga games online in the wee hours of the morning look like amateurs. And the Ivies are actually among the more normal pennants on display here! “Oh, your favorite team is Ohio State, huh?” he says. “Mine is NYU. They played their last collegiate football game in 1953. You’ve probably never heard of them.”
Family Circus, 11/21/13
This is also what Jeffy will someday tell the cops when they finally arrest him for that string of brutal stab-murders.
Funky Winkerbean, 11/5/13
One of the downsides of the thick, suffocating blanket of omnipresent gloom that covers the characters in Funky Winkerbean at all times is that it’s often difficult to know how exactly how we’re supposed to be reading their facial expressions. I think “Maybe we should’ve known!” is supposed to be a light-hearted “Maybe we should’ve known that Cory would love old comic books, just like his dad, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, ha ha!” But with everyone looking so glum in that final panel, it comes across much more like “Maybe we should’ve known, oh God, we never knew our son at all, we wasted the sort time we had with him, and now he’s almost certainly going to die in some God-forsaken desert cursing our names, we’re monsters, we’re all sad, broken monsters.”
Family Circus, 11/5/13
The expression on the face of the checkout clerk here is a bit easier to parse. “Listen to how excited that little kid is about grocery bags! What a terrible bleak home life he must have, devoid of the ability to choose anything for himself, or have fun of any kind!”
Mary Worth, 10/31/13
OH MY GOD EVERYBODY MARY WORTH WAS A DICKENSIAN STREET URCHIN! There was an ultimately quite disappointing Mary Worth flashback storyline in 2008, in which we learn that Mary’s parents got divorced and there was no food in the house but then a neighbor’s family invited her to dinner and taught her about Jesus and later her mom remarried and everything was fine. Except it seems some important backstory was left out in that tale, presumably because Mary couldn’t bring herself to admit her past homelessness to Toby, but since Shelly is perfectly happy to make sexytimes with an ex-hobo, she won’t judge too harshly.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/31/13
Meanwhile, in Rex Morgan, we’re finally getting to meet the sinister wife who somehow managed to not kill her husband despite shooting him in the head at point-blank range with a nailgun. And she appears to be … an Episcopal priest? Or one of the other denominations that wears a clerical collar and has female clergy? Anyway, bet none of you ever saw that coming, eh? I’m sure the tabloids will have quite a field day with the Tale of the Murderous Ministrix.
Wizard of Id, 10/31/13
I admit to being totally charmed seeing Bung the Jester chatting up a comely (I guess? it’s always tough to tell who’s supposed to be sexy in a strip as crudely drawn as Wizard of Id) rabbit furry in the background of this panel. Partly because they seem to be getting on quite well despite the fact that she’s twice as tall as he is, and partly because, unlike everyone else at this party, Bung has apparently decided that his faux medieval garb is costume enough, thanks.
Family Circus, 10/31/13
We all know that Billy is an insufferable dick and so his smile can’t represent anything noble or good. The question is: How long a game is he playing here? Is he smug because he’s about to rat Jeffy out to their parents for sullying of the Lord’s Prayer with references to a holiday that celebrates demons and ghouls? Or is he smiling because Jeffy has just accidentally pledged his soul to the Dark Lord Satan, and now Billy won’t have to spend time with him in heaven?
Meanwhile, in Crankshaft, a bunch of drunk little kids are stumbling down the street. Happy Halloween, everybody!