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Comics archive! Barney Google & Snuffy Smith

If all these teens were detained by the Secret Service, I certainly wouldn’t complain

Funky Winkerbean, 5/21/16

When I was in DC for my book tour last month, at one point I found myself downtown-ish with time to kill, so I looked up the nearest Starbucks with the intention of parking myself there and soaking up the free wi-fi. It quickly became clear that I had in fact selected the Starbucks closest to the White House, and had to walk right in front of the White House to get there! Anyway, here’s some news if, like me, you haven’t been in that part of town since the mid-’00s: they’ve totally rebuilt Pennsylvania Avenue in that section as a very pleasant pedestrian mall, and you can actually get quite close to the White House now, at least as close as you could get in the ’80s when I was a kid, if not closer. Far be it for me to imply that Funky Winkerbean didn’t do the research here, so I’m instead going to assume that Toque Boy is just being extremely sarcastic, and Les’s look of crushing self-loathing at having just been publicly owned by one of his students is the real punchline.

Gil Thorp, 5/21/16

Hey, so, it looks like the girls softball team has been forced to play their games wearing their basketball uniforms! Clearly better funding is in order, by which I mean both better funding for high school athletic departments so that athletes can wear sport-appropriate uniforms and also better funding for comics so artists don’t just say “Enh fuck it” and drop in some clip art from three months earlier into their strips.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 5/21/16

Ha ha, it’s funny because the Smiths are so poor that not having the kids at home means they won’t go hungry for once!

Neddy could try to convince the local prison to privatize their garment factory, I suppose

Judge Parker, 5/20/16

We joke about the fact that the intricate details of Judge Parker’s plotlines tend to shift in the narrative wind, with the only constant being that the protagonists are going to get paid in the end, but I am very sad that the strip seems to be abandoning the #1 best and most hilarious thing about Neddy’s garment factory: that she was planning to exclusively hire old people, so that she didn’t have to pay for their health insurance or pensions. The whole idea was almost certainly illegal on a number of levels, but at least it acknowledged that clothes manufacturing almost never happens in the U.S. anymore for a variety of structural economic reasons. It also gave the venture a “hook” to get positive press coverage, though that’s mainly what Godiva is for, I suppose. Anyway, now that they’re just hiring ex-cons and other people of any age, most of whom are going to expect “salaries above minimum wage” and “safe working conditions,” look for Godiva’s business manager to move the whole operation to Bangladesh within a month, while Godiva is distracted by Rocky and his sex steaks. Don’t worry, our protagonists will get paid in the end.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 5/20/16

If you want to learn about how subcultures and isolated communities can become so alienated from the values of the state that rejection of that state’s laws and their enforcement apparatus becomes approved behavior, you could do worse than read Barney Google and Snuffy Smith.

“Yes, I am especially infertile that morning, that’ll work out great”

Pluggers, 5/18/16

I have very mixed feelings about this caption/cartoon combination. In general, I sneer at shortcuts that allow the artist to pair up an extremely generic cartoon that can be endlessly reused, such as “Chicken Lady dyspeptically looks at a calendar while talking on a landline,” with an extremely specific caption, such as “Chicken Lady has gone past whatever the equivalent of menopause is for monstrous human-avian hybrids.” In this case, though, I’m pretty glad that we haven’t been presented with a visual depiction of, say, Chicken Lady about to get it on with her spouse and gleefully announcing that contraception won’t be necessary, or, conversely, Chicken Lady weeping sadly to herself because she can never have children.

Dennis the Menace, 5/18/16

“Get it, wreck-creation? Like they’re creating wrecks? Wuh-recks. It’s a silent w. I realize now I should’ve thought this through better.”

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 5/18/16

I’m so excited to casually drop the phrase “Mistopher Drama” into everyday conversation that I’m almost willing to overlook the fact that the plot of this strip is basically “The Boy Who Cried Child Abuse.”