Funky Winkerbean, 11/13/13
I’ve settled into a sort of Stockholm Syndrome thing with Funky Winkerbean, where I’ve decided that, since I’m apparently going to keep reading it indefinitely, and it’s going to keep being an endless pit of misery and death indefinitely, I’ve got to figure out how to enjoy it. My current strategy is to enjoy it when the misery and death happen to characters I particularly dislike, so this week’s plot, which has been focused on Les’s inability to write a maudlin direct-to-cable movie about his wife’s death, has been pretty pleasing to me. You might recall that this story began months ago with Les getting a fat check and then getting smug about some of the clunkiest dialogue ever written. But now he’s realized that he can never write a script about his beloved dead wife, because he can’t really imagine what her thoughts were, probably because when she was alive he was too busy thinking about how her various life tragedies were affecting him emotionally to really get to know her. Somehow this didn’t prevent him from writing a best-selling memoir about her, of course, but to write a screenplay he needs to know her every thought, since obviously movies focus much more closely on characters’ internal emotional lives than books do.
Anyway, the Les-suffering is unfortunately about to end, because now he’s going to read Lisa’s diary! The diary he swore never to read, for some reason! This will solve all his problems and probably he’ll just take big chunks of prose out of the diary and use them in his screenplay and he won’t even have to pay Lisa for it, because she’s dead.
Apartment 3-G, 11/13/13
Speaking of death, I’m dying with laughter at Governor Sexy having his extremely public marriage proposal interrupted in one of the most humiliating ways possible. The YouTube video of this delightful moment will of course go viral, with the autotuned version “I Have To Take This Call (It’s Marty)” becoming a surprise novelty hit on iTunes.
Dennis the Menace, 11/13/13
Everyone in the Mitchell family takes on whatever chores need doing, dividing them up equitably without regards to outdated gender norms, and Dennis doesn’t care who knows it! He truly is a menace — to the patriarchy.
Frankly, the whole “Momma was very cold outside” angle of this strip seems overly complex, don’t you think? I mean, Momma is haunted by the grim spectre of death at all times and would presumably be quick with a depressing quip in response to a “Isn’t it great to be alive” no matter what the circumstances, though she might lean less towards “Let me check to see if I’m still alive” and more towards “I am alive and it isn’t great at all; it’s actually quite awful.” Still, the way MaryLou is leaning on the question, combined with Francis’s sly look, makes me think that something more is up here, like maybe they dumped her a snowdrift a mile away and made her walk back home, and are now trying to subtly ask her if she’s dead or not.
Ha ha, it sure is hard to keep up with the slang that the kids today use! In unrelated news, Alexander suffered some kind of traumatic brain injury at football practice.
Apartment 3-G, 11/12/13
Handsome Governor Peter has been plotting to make Lu Ann his First Lady for some time, but clearly he’s been waiting for the perfect moment: at an extremely public event, in front of New York’s social and political elite, so that saying no will be incredibly humiliating and awkward for everyone involved. I thought Paul Linksy won the Using Social Pressure To Force An Ambivalent Lu Ann To Marry You Lifetime Award for all time when he surprise-proposed to her in front of his chanting extended family on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but the governor is on the verge of really taking things to the next level here, what with all the reporters from major media outlets in attendance.
The best part of this comic is that there doesn’t actually seem to be any party going on here! Just Leroy lighting up a crapload of candles on Loretta’s birthday cake, so he can insult her. Probably he gave her the hat, too. Probably she was excited for maybe as much as 30 seconds, because she thought Leroy actually arranged a nice little moment for her on her birthday. Probably we’re seeing her face settle into an epic Locknornean frown just at the moment when she realizes, again, that her life is nothing but a series of bitter emotional disappointments.
Do you enjoy people vaguely flirting by naming different American regional dishes? Then today’s Blondie is for you, my friend!
Mark Trail, 10/26/13
Well! We’ve had exciting Mark Trail denouements before, but I’m pretty sure none of them are more exciting than a villain being driven over a cliff to his death by a wounded, suicidal elk. I guess the Mark Trail storytelling machine caught wind of the outpouring of recognition Mary Worth got when that strip sent a plotline’s antagonist over a cliff and lurched into action, coming up with its own death-plummet climax a mere seven years later.
The one you feel really bad for in this scenario is of course Anne Marie, who just saw her fiance die horribly. It’s worth pointing out that Anne Marie is also completely in the dark about her fiance’s evil nature, because women in Mark Trail are (a) not very observant and (b) not told unpleasant facts by men, because a lady shouldn’t worry her pretty little head about such matters. Maybe they still won’t tell her, to protect her! “I’m sorry, Anne Marie, but your fiance is in Man Heaven now. Probably you’ll find a new fiance soon, with your long, pretty hair! Welp, I’m off to Lost Forest.”
Mary Worth, 10/26/13
This week, we’ve heard the story of a teenage boy, homeless after being kicked out of his abusive home, who Shelly helped in her early years at the shelter. That teen hobo eventually grew up to be the upstanding suit-wearing doctor you see before you, thanks to Shelly’s help and guidance. In the shocking conclusion to the tale, we learn that Shelly and Dr. Smith are involved in a sexual relationship so electric that they can’t keep from pawing all over each other, right here in front of the guest that they barely notice anymore. Mary’s eyes are wide with voyeuristic lust in anticipation of the red-hot May-December chocolate-vanilla action she’s about to see.
Gil Thorp, 10/26/13
You may not care for sports, or Gil Thorp, or sports in Gil Thorp, but you really have to appreciate today’s strip, in which Gil and Kaz come up with a coaching plan and grin smugly at each other about it, and then that plan flops spectacularly over two confusingly drawn panels. I’m pretty sure Jimmy Jarbo is pounding himself in the head in frustration over his failure in panel two? Silly, Jimmy, you can’t hurt yourself that way, you’re wearing a helmet! You need to take it off and find a good barky stick.
Herb’s expression in the last panel really sells this strip to me. He’s trying, ever so gently, to steer his best friend away from the massive coronary that’s awaiting him, only to see all his work undone in an instant. “Yes,” says Dagwood, “I do want to eat all my favorite foods at once! Can you blend them up into a viscous slurry and then pour down my gullet through a funnel?”
Once upon a time, there was a teenage chicken who was smart enough to learn how to drive a car, but then these guys killed it and ate it, the end.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/19/13
Look at your plate Rex just look at the plate she can’t know no one must ever know.
Psst: Kitchen — eat.
Six Chix, 10/19/13
In a stunning development, Aaron Hill returns to Luann.
Judge Parker, 10/19/13
Narcissist boor Alan Parker interrogates his tablemates before introducing himself or his family, and burns with the knowledge that not only is Audrey the nemesis-critic who panned his terrible novel but this is not lemon in his martini God DAMN the world and everything in it!
Katherine slurps her cough syrup, transfixed: April was right — murder up close looks nothing like in the movies!
Ha ha ok what the hell:
Facebook and Zynga turn to Blondie for promotion, in what Wall Streeters call a “sell signal.”
News item: Longtime faithful reader Ned Ryerson, proprietor of the excellent and hilarious Gil Thorp blog This Week in Milford
, announced Thursday that he’s throwing in the towel, hanging up his spurs, and other metaphors for not going to do it any more. Despite its highly selective focus, TWIM
had lots of innovative features, and if you haven’t ever checked out the “Milford Pantheon of Hair” or “What the Hell is Going On Here?”, you should give it a look.
TWIM remains my go-to reference for Gil Thorp character names, team positions, and incidental nonsense, and I remember the day I beat Ned to a stupid golf joke in the wee hours of the morning as one of the high points of my life. Thanks for the laughs, Ned, and hope we’ll continue to see you ’round these parts!
– Uncle Lumpy
“You’re the governor. And the governor belongs in the governor’s house. Or, as most people call it, the governor’s ‘mansion.’ I mean, it’s a pretty big place. Why undersell it? It’s also in Albany, which, I can’t emphasize enough, is hundreds of miles and several hours of driving away from New York City, which is where this strip ostensibly takes place. So probably you couldn’t get there tonight anyway. So why not stay here, sure, whatever, fine, I guess. Don’t you have a girlfriend? No, never mind, I don’t want to know.”
“And by ‘all of the sudden’ I mean ‘for the entire time this strip’s been around, even though I’m really only noticing it now.’ Jesus, are those antenna? Are you even human?”
Pop’s outdoor cafe strategy includes some serious fire safety code violations
In order to put today’s Rex Morgan, M.D., into its full delightful context, we need to backtrack to yesterday’s strip. Heather, the Morgans’ long-ago former nanny who they decided to fire because they wanted to raise their daughter themselves but then she quit before they could fire her so she could start a day school where they’d send Sarah anyway, has now decided to sell that day school so she can monitor her lunatic husband full-time instead:
Panel from Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/13/13
Aw, Happy Otter Schools! That sounds nice!
Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/14/13
…nice for other children, that is. Lesser children. Sarah is different and shouldn’t have her mind contaminated by some garbage Canadian McPrivateschool chain. Only the very best and most elite schools are good enough for Sarah. Sarah’s non-Morgan classmates, who have also been Heather’s beloved pupils, will not be hearing anything about this “really good” school. The name is probably in some language that poor people don’t even speak!
Hagar the Horrible, 9/14/13
Oh, look, it’s apparently complaining about double negatives week in the comics! I’ll say this for Hagar: it’s at least true that negative concord was not a feature of Old Norse. (In fact, that may be why it’s absent from Northern English dialects!) So, props for historically accurate linguistic peevery, I suppose.
In other news, Hagar the Horrible is doing the “Hagar tries and fails to cheat on his wife” thing it does every few years or so.
Mark Trail, 9/14/13
Now we know why Senator Mason is so eager to drill for oil in Lost Forest: his daughter’s boyfriend desperately needs petroleum byproducts to maintain his magnificent pompadour. Our nation’s current strategic reserves simply aren’t adequate for the task.
Welcome to today’s Blondie, where the punchline only offers that element of surprise necessary for humor to those readers who are so senile that they have no idea what month it is. Do these guys know their audience or what?