Whenever I see a face in the comics that looks more face-like than the usual stylized conventions of whatever strip it’s in, I immediately assume it’s supposed to be a real person. Because I am vaguely attuned to pop culture but mostly an increasingly out-of-touch middle-aged man, my first thought about today’s Blondie was, “Wait, is what’s-her-name getting married? From The Hills?” Turns out no, she’s having a baby, and it’s spelled with an “i” anyway. So who’s this lady supposed to be, do you think? Someone who won a contest, or lost a bet?
Mary Worth, 11/21/15
“Serendipity” is a real restaurant in Manhattan that exists, and does indeed seem to have a hardcore tchotchke clutter aesthetic, so, kudos to Mary Worth for accuracy, I guess? Also, I honestly can’t stop thinking about my new theory that what we see in Mary Worth is in fact Mary’s own version of events, as told to someone else later. What I’m trying to say is that the dialogue here sounds like Mary’s rationale for kidnapping Olive away from people who “don’t make her feel good” because they “don’t understand her” (i.e., her parents).
Apartment 3-G, 11/21/15
“SO SMILE MARGO, AND MOVE ON”: THE LAST WORDS SPOKEN IN APARTMENT 3-G
EXCUSE ME, I HAVE SOMETHING IN MY EYE
OK, here’s one of the difficulties in making jokes about aging in an extremely long-running and iconic legacy comic strip. Typically you’d assume that a mother of two teenagers would be somewhere around the 35-50 age range, born in the ’60s at the earliest, and so you can get away with jokes about how ha ha kids today think their parents are so ancient and the parents resent them for it. This extremely doesn’t work in Blondie, though, given that the strip began in 1930 with its title character already a young adult, right around the time the first experimental televisions were being demonstrated. So, like, does Blondie remember when the first TV was invented? “What did you study in French today?” she asks, desperately trying to deflect attention away from her terrifying unaging nature.
The Lockhorns, 11/19/15
As Apartment 3-G lurches towards its demise so blandly that I can’t even bring myself to cover it here, I gotta give kudos to the Lockhorns for shutting down with a shocking, unexpected twist. Loretta kicked Leroy out and will have his mail forwarded to his new address and now the strip is over! Fans everywhere can take heart that this long-suffering couple can finally move on with their lives, emotionally.
Momma, too, has unexpectedly decided to end its decades-long run today. This conclusion is a little derivative of the final episode of St. Elsewhere; but still, the revelation that Momma’s “children” are just tiny figurines that she manipulates at her whim explains a lot about the tone of the strip. Anyway, kudos for Momma and the Lockhorns for going out on top! Looking forward to whatever will be taking their place in newspapers nationwide tomorrow, probably a tire ad or something.
Mark Trail, 11/13/15
This game of cat-and-mouse has gone on long enough. Mark and Ken lurked in the bushes and let the bad guys empty the clips of their machine guns harmlessly into other bushes; now, the punching can begin. Mark graciously allows Ken first punch, and it’s a doozy: a flying leap that catches two bad guys at once, sending their sunglasses and now-useless firearms flying. Kudos to the anonymous colorist for accurately recognizing that arc of liquid coming from the left-hand bad guy’s mouth and making it blood red! Anyway, if this is what Ken has to offer, surely Mark’s punchery is going to be even more impressive.
When Curtis launched in 1988, it totally made cultural sense for Curtis to be a huge fan of rap music and for his dad to hate it. Now, nearly 30 years later, thanks to comics time this is not so much the case: it seems unlikely that Greg, the father of two young children, is much older than 45 or so, which would have made him a teenager himself during the age of old-school hip-hop. Anyway, the matter of Greg’s age has been left more or less untouched for most of the strip, which is why it’s all the more shocking to learn that one of his first-ever crushes co-existed with the age of web browsing, which would certainly make him younger … than … me? Oh my God I’m older than Curtis’s dad
I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of our post-9/11 surveillance state, but if Crankshaft just accidentally watched an al-Qaeda video and is now on some government watchlist that will get him extremely thoroughly searched every time he flies anywhere, I’m not gonna complain.
JULIUS C. DITHERS: BRONY