Mary Worth, 5/23/13
Uh oh! Looks like our Worthian lovebirds, who were going to get around to telling Elinor about their hot sexing any day now, are about to find out that the coverup is always worse than the crime, now that Elinor has been clued in by Random Charterstone Nosey Old Lady #4. I am 100% in love with the shouty orthography in Marie’s word balloon in panel one, as she throws elder solidarity to the wind and assumes Elinor must be deaf, not betrayed.
Gil Thorp, 5/23/13
Oh, wow, I take back what I said about Gil Thorp not being nuts anymore, since Gil has apparently decided to convene a kangaroo court right here on the bleachers and impose Coach Law on his charges. Even if Jimmy’s dad loses everything in the lawsuit in the so-called courts of the so-called United States and Jimmy becomes poor and homeless, Coach doesn’t want to hear any jawing about it, because we already settled this in the gym, guys.
Family Circus, 5/23/13
Ha ha, for once I find Billy’s smug, sullen little slouch is perfect. “Hey, sis, they’re called shoes, you might want to look into ’em.”
Gil Thorp, 5/22/13
Guys, remember when Gil Thorp plots used to be bonkers crazy insane? Well, those days seem to be long past, which is why I have been studiously ignoring the spring plotline for months. Here it is, in a nutshell: baseball player Foley Knox is the son of a lawyer and an aspiring lawyer himself, and his lawyer dad is suing the gas station owner father of another player because some guy fell down while pumping gas there, and Foley is being a dick to the other kid about it, the end. The other kid and his dad are Chaldean Christians from Iraq, and it briefly looked like that was going to be a plot point somehow, but it was dropped in favor of a B plot involving Foley’s delusional romantic pursuit of Darby, the softball team’s star pitcher who has a toddler because she was previously teen pregnant, which was briefly controversial last spring. Anyway, today at last these plots collide when Foley decides to win the heart of his fair beloved by defeating her tortfeasor in judicial combat! This will also fail.
Wizard of Id, 5/22/13
So Wizard of Id, which is usually not funny on any level, actually made me laugh in two distinct ways today? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? I appreciate the fact that the joke hinges on grammatical ambiguity — haha, you think “[a]re protesting” is a verb in the progressive aspect, but in fact “protesting” is a deverbal adjective modifying “drones”! But what really made me laugh was the sign that just says “NOT COOL”. It’s a sign that you can use at any protest and one that lets everyone know that, yeah, you’re politically engaged, but you’re also pretty chill.
Mark Trail, 5/22/13
Meanwhile, the AMAZING FOREST BEAR INFERNO is still going on in Mark Trail! I’m a little confused by the positions of everybody/thing in this comic, but, comparing the perspective in the two panels, if Cherry and Shelly are looking at the water and the tree is directly behind them, won’t they have to run sort of towards the bears in order to get to the tree? I mean, I get that they’re right on the shore and their options are limited. This is like the time my wife and I were in Stanley Park in Vancouver, and these raccoons emerged from the trees and wanted to go drink from the pond we were standing at the edge of, and they were heading right for us and didn’t seem scared of us at all, and we were in their way but there was no way for us to go that didn’t involve getting closer to them at least to start. Sure, they were raccoons, not bears, and nothing was on fire, but I don’t believe I ever pretended to be a brave man.
One of the things I didn’t expect when I recently worked Heathcliff into my comics rotation was the feature’s not infrequent expeditions into the inscrutable. I like this one, even if I don’t really understand it. Ha ha, Heathcliff is voyaging home via hot air balloon! It’s whimsical!
Yes, I’m sure the automated recording that delivered this platitude really feels bad after this sick burn! Basically, pluggers have very little control over their own lives and will sullenly lash out at anybody about it, whether they can hear them lashing out or not.
Family Circus, 5/22/13
“Billy and Dolly and Daddy and PJ are in the basement, right, Mommy? With all the sand? And time’s up for them? They won’t bother us ever again? Oh, also, this hourglass ran out, I guess.”
Spider-Man’s high school science teacher always hoped he’d kill or terribly injure himself in a lab accident.
Mark Trail, 5/18/13
Girl fight Girl fight GIRL FIGHT!!!
Mark Trail is a pretty punchy guy, as you can tell from this collection of a few of his greatest hits. But Cherry, despite her reputation as a coffee-and-pancake-bearing hausfrau, is actually quite the little badass herself. Our gal can cinch up a pack mule, nail a beer can dead center in mid-air with a rifle no sissy shotgun for her no sir — and look damn fine doing it. As we see here, she can also slap the clear light of reason right back into an effete city-dwelling hysteric overcome by panic over some teensy forest-consuming sea of fire.
Or maybe not? Maybe Cherry isn’t trying to focus Shelley’s attention so much as rebuke her for disrespecting Wes? “Don’t you dare speak that way about your husband, Mrs. Wesley Thompson — what part of ‘Love, Honor, and Obey’ don’t you understand? And my own husband Mark loves these backwoods, ablaze or not: I will not stand for you to call them ‘stupid.’” Maybe behind all her woodsy competence, Cherry really is that traditional hausfrau, impatient for this annoying inferno to end so she can get back to her man’s side where she belongs?
Nah, I’m going with “badass.”
Curtis struck a pose for his class picture so outrageous that even Chutney, despite her lifelong crush on him, doesn’t want a copy. But this strip works another way, too: on the very day Chutney finally decides to put Curtis behind her, he shows up with a photo of himself as a gift. She savors the moment and the memory of what felt like love for so long, then, true to her decision, sends him on his way — a loser in every important sense of the word.
Unfortunately, that would make Barry the strip’s principal character, and I’m pretty sure nobody wants that.
Mary Worth, 5/18/13
Oh man you guys Mary Worth has been such a garden of visual delights lately I can’t get enough of it. Check out the disembodied hand watering Elinor’s windowsill — maybe that’s Beth’s leftover hand from panel two? Speaking of which, our monopod young lovers may as well wrap up their tryst — those bushes have already engulfed Tom’s private parts.
Wizard of Id, 5/18/13
Opening for Bung at the Laugh Zone tonight will be Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart singing The Whisky Ain’t Workin’.” Frankly, it’s not doing much for The Wizard of Id, either.
Family Circus, 5/18/13
“It’s a nice day.”
“I like ice cream.”
“It is pleasant to be outdoors this time of year.”
“Punchlines are overrated.”
– Uncle Lumpy
Family Circus, 5/10/13
It’s generally a good bet that any given Family Circus cartoon features lightly repurposed art and/or jokes from times gone by. That’s why I’m fascinated by the TV floating in Daddy’s groggy dream-bubble, the dream-bubble about to be so cruelly burst by Jeffy’s hoe. (Side note: who on Earth thought it was a good idea to give Jeffy a blade at the end of the long stick? If it can break up clods of dirt it can cut through flesh!) What clip-art library did it emerge from? The television is all black and 2-D depthless, like a modern flatscreens, but seems to have a DVD player or cable box perched impossible atop it. Maybe in his half-awake state he’s conflating all the TV technology he’s encountered in his lifetime, much as the strip itself does. We could do a better job of placing the timeframe of this reverie if we could just see how long the basketball players’ shorts are.
Mark Trail, 5/10/13
In different kind of comic strip, when two people stumble through a lonely forest away from their crashed plane and find an abandoned cabin, inspiring a “bad feeling” in an experienced woodsman, it would herald some truly terrifying adventures to come! In Mark Trail, it just means that Mark and Wes are going to do some canoeing, whee.
Mary Worth, 5/10/13
Aw, isn’t that cute, Beth is holding onto Tom’s left hand! In other Tom hand news, in panel one we can see that on his right hand he’s wearing a glove made out of human skin.
Hi and Lois, 5/7/13
Sadly, one the many businesses that the Internet has changed beyond recognition is the adult film industry. Probably this shaggy-haired 19-year-old pizza dude has consumed all of his pornography in short, plotless smut-bursts, delivered in a tiny browser window, and has never seen the archetypical porn storyline in which a startled delivery guy is seduced by a sexually voracious customer. The smile on his face in panel two implies that at he’s at least read about such plots, though, or maybe heard them referenced in older literature, because he seems to realize that “Hey attractive lady, your husband can’t spend time with you but spent $12 to have shitty food delivered without bothering to even tell you he did it” is pretty much the gold standard for that particular scenario.
Family Circus, 5/7/13
Speaking of things that would be foreign to modern folk, I’ve always appreciated the fact that the Keane Kids seem to just form ad hoc play groups with whichever other kids are outside, rather than requiring their parents to set up appointments weeks in advance on the subdivision’s shared Outlook calendar. But still, I’m concerned about the seething mass of dozens of children that seems to have spontaneously assembled on the Keane’s lawn. What “game” could this tightly packed mob possibly be playing, other than “Let’s see how quickly we can fall upon and devour passers-by”? Ma Keane should shut that door as quickly as she can, then start boarding up the windows.
Funky Winkerbean, 5/7/13
Oh look, a Westview citizen has responded to a simple question with unfunny, confusing wordplay! Darrin’s bio-dad reacts not by co-smirking but with normal human irritation. I think I’m starting to like this guy.
Haha, it’s funny because Ziggy wants to have sex with a lizard, and he feels terrible about it!
Rex Morgan, M.D., 4/9/13
NEW REX MORGAN ADVENTURE, the second in a row with actual medical overtones! Milton is the filthy rich hard-charging British capitalist who married the Morgans’ nanny some years back, and he’s walked into Rex’s office this morning declaring that he was soon going to die. Rex seems suspicious, and I think the key words that are arousing his suspicions are “if I don’t slow down.” “Rex, it’s literally impossible for me to cease being a tightly wound business executive, even though I’m already fabulously wealthy! DEATH IS THE ONLY ANSWER.” On the other hand, if I were looking at the terrifying inky black eye sockets in panel two, my main concern about Milton’s heart would be how many centuries ago it stopped beating, since he’s clearly some kind of horrifying undead ghoul.
Wizard of Id, 4/9/13
Does this checkout counter’s old-fashioned mechanical cash register bother anybody else? I mean, I guess a 21st century electronic checkout station wouldn’t fit into Id’s pseudo-medieval milieu, but neither does its 20th century equivalent, so now I can’t tell if the artist is being deliberately anachronistic or is just afraid that the Wizard of Id readership will panic if confronted with terrifying high technology on the comics page. Anyway, we shouldn’t let this question distract us from the main point, which is that the Wiz is using his incredible powers to bend matter and energy to his whim to be a dick to underpaid service workers.
“…and we pray that you will bless this food. And God bless the cook, too! Seeing how the cook is a chicken and I’m a dog and I might want to use her as food someday. Just trying to keep all my bases covered here.”
Family Circus, 4/9/13
“Also, aren’t these ladies your best friends? How come we’ve never met them? How come they never come around here? Is it our fault?”
Funky Winkerbean, 4/9/13
please please please let “cable movie entertainment” be a softcore porn channel