I don’t expect any of you to understand what’s happening in this strip, seeing as I read the Phantom daily and can barely tell you what’s going on. But I am super charmed by the fact that pilot Ted West (who is flying jet airplanes for drug dealers, I think?) has a card in his wallet with a picture of an old-timey balloon on it where he refers to himself as an “aviation professional.” I guess sinister African drug lords really appreciate whimsy!
Judge Parker, 5/3/13
Say, remember when Sophie was a lilac pantsuit wearing spookily adult-like child-nerd, but then cheerleaders were mean to her and so she decided to become a cheerleader, as revenge? Well, as Uncle Lumpy once demonstrated, strip time flows extremely slowly in the Parkerverse, but that all happened like four or five years ago in real time, so we’re pretty much right on schedule for her to have flowered into a designer sunglasses-wearing, road-raging mean girl. I love Sam’s “OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I CREATED” look in panel three.
Aww, isn’t that cute! These kids think that if they find a little toddler and sacrifice him to Marmaduke, he won’t devour them too! (He is totally going to devour them.)
This would just be another “Ha ha, Ziggy is foolish” panel if not for dark bags under Ziggy’s eyes. As it is, it’s pretty harrowing. What botanical horror has been going on at this house, leaving Ziggy unable to flee and yet still fearful of the ever-proliferating zucchini? Is it an Invasion of the Body Snatchers-type situation, where each of those pods contains a gestating duplicate of one of Ziggy’s innumerable pets? Ziggy has been awake for days, knowing that he’ll be replaced by a soulless pod person the moment he dozes off. This exterminator was his last hope. Nobody can help you, Ziggy. Nobody can help you.
Luther’s wife’s look of face-melting terror in the fourth panel is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in this strip in years. Still, her reaction at the end of the strip just goes to show how numb she and her husband have become to presence of the caniform hell-demon in their midst. Better the devil you know than whatever she was imagining, am I right? I mean “devil you know” literally, of course. Marmaduke is the Prince of Lies, and everyone in the neighborhood knows him quite well, having been close enough to him to smell the damned souls on his hot, awful breath.
Speaking of monstrous dogs: would I endorse this monstrous dog eating every single one of the recurring Marvin characters one by one, each of them screaming as they slide down his gullet? Yes, yes I would.
Luann used to be one of those strips whose archives I would read when I got back from vacation, because maybe I had missed exciting developments! But slowly I realized that, enh, Luann, and I stopped doing it. So I have literally no idea how concerned the DeGroots should actually be about their teenage daughter spending so much time online, but I do find it pretty amusing how vague they’re being about it. As if they’re not really sure what this whole “online” thing is about — they’ve heard about computers, obviously, but wouldn’t actually use one, because they’re for young people — and so can only go by what they read about in articles when it comes to imagining what their daughter might be doing in so-called “cyberspace.” What did this article, which presumably ran in a print publication, say? Did it reveal that sometimes people on the Internet take on personas different from their real-life lives? Was Mr. DeGroot shocked to learn that, with some cunning “search engine” work, a cyber-naut can find images and videos of people in various states of undress, or even engaged in sexual acts? We can’t know. He doesn’t dare speak it aloud, even to his wife. It’s too awful.
Apartment 3-G, 2/25/13
Once upon a time, Margo’s dad was a wealthy two-timing cad who knocked up the family’s ethnic-of-some-sort maid and forced her to give up the baby (our Margo!) to his wife to raise, but then years later Margo found out about everything and then later still her bio-parents started hanging out together and then his wife became a pill-crazed maniac. I bring this all up because, even if Margo’s parents have suddenly been retconned into bland, kindly old WASPs, we can at least take solace in the fact that her dad is still rich! Rich enough to pay for luxury suites for Margo’s friends, anyway. (Hope you’re enjoying your stay at a single-room occupancy hotel paid for by Red Cross vouchers, everyone else in the building!) Anyway, it’s nice to see that this “luxury suite” has the same fussy 1950s interior design as the girls’ apartment, since we wouldn’t want them feeling aesthetically unmoored during this trying time.
The few seconds a day it takes to read Newspaper Spider-Man is literally the longest I’ve ever spent with Daredevil as a character, so I was somewhat chagrined to learn upon doing a bit of research this morning that his “radar sense” is indeed a thing, though more recent interpretations just sort of have it as a super-intense version of the whole “blind people’s other senses are heightened” thing and thus not something that can be detected by, say, a missile. Spider-Man’s “spider-aura”, in contrast, seems not to be a thing, since three of the first four Google hits for the phrase are to a non-Spider-Man themed discussion from 2011 on an Ultimate Fighting Championship message board. I guess they’re talking about his spider-sense and just didn’t want to say “sense” twice in the same panel? Haha, Spider-Man is forced to resort to clumsy circumlocutions in his own comic strip! Anyway, this strip is notable because it features two superheroes deciding to go with the classic “let’s split up and hope it goes after you” technique.
Gil Thorp, 2/25/13
“Birseed” in the final panel is almost certainly a typo, but if you want a realistic in-universe explanation for it, you can go ahead and imagine that Gil is just kind of drunk.
Haha, it’s funny because Marmaduke’s owner is terrified of Marmaduke and is laboring mightily to obey his woofed commands! SHOVEL, PUNY HUMAN, SHOVEL OR THE SNOW WILL BE STAINED RED BY YOUR SCATTERED VISCERA
Since the dawn of time, mankind has wondered: is there any creature more powerful than Marmaduke, our awful tormentor, who rules over this plane of existence with gore-drenched fangs? Today’s strip suggests intriguing possibilities. Who is this mysterious creature, this “intruder” that we never get a clear look at, who is rummaging through Marmaduke’s exterior death-temple? How does it command the powers of lightning to repel Marmaduke’s attack without the two beings ever coming into contact? Does this entity represent a possible ally for terrified humanity in its struggle against its awful Marmadukean overlord, or will we puny mortals merely suffer as collateral damage in the struggle between the two infinitely powerful hell-beasts?
Judge Parker, 1/6/13
The ultimate Judge Parker strip: The Parker family stands around their well-appointed kitchen, marveling at an enormous check.
This sick burn on Mannequin 2: On The Move and/or soulless corporate control of all media was probably more pointed back when the strip first ran in the early ’90s, when Mannequin 2: On The Move was a recent memory and we hadn’t yet resigned ourselves to soulless corporate control of all media.
The sad, love-starved souls in the Funkyverse think that gently resting your back against somebody else’s back qualifies as “cuddling.”
Heathcliff’s owner has lost a bet to his cat, and because they’re not allowed to bet for money, he’s now subject to humiliation and physical abuse on his own front lawn.
Biz’s old buddy Zeke is going to die soon.
Ziggy is sick and tired of working so hard to prevent his animal friends from killing each other.
Translation: WWHOORRRR WHOOORRRRORRR HORROR HORROR KILL KILL I WORSHIP THE DEMON BLOOD GOD BELOW
Ha, what’s this? Something has gone terribly wrong with the Heathcliff coloring process — and by “terribly wrong” I mean “delightfully right,” obviously. Someone who knows more about this than me should chime in, but I’m guessing what we’re looking at is an image file that only contains some of the Photoshop layers that went into the strip. It’s totally incomprehensible and actually amazingly beautiful, as far as I’m concerned, with the pastel-y vibe and the large, unsettling white spaces on the cat’s faces. This should be hanging up in some little avant garde artspace downtown, but instead it will have probably been “corrected” online to the usual Heathcliff banality by the time you read this.
Mary Worth, 12/2/12
Gosh, whaddya know! Jim’s down at the pier and he’s not panicking or freaking out at all! I guess he managed to cure himself of being a trauma-haunted, semi-delusional control freak
with years of therapy with a trained professional by just sucking it up and going down to the pier and realizing it’s not so bad. Problem solved! Now he’s going to point at a bunch of people, just to prove that, despite his missing arm, he can point with the best of them, just like any two-armed man would.
Marmaduke didn’t like playing cowboy so much. His task was to send humans down the infinitely deep pit to the hell-dimension that was his awful kingdom, not other dogs. Why did the dogs provoke him? Never again, he thought, as he watched the hat fall downward, ever downward, to the chamber of eternal agony. Never again.
Yes, Mr. DeGroot! Burn it. Burn it all! Burn everything down.