Gil Thorp, 12/15/14
Guys, the Mudlarks have won its first state championship in years, so I guess it’s OK if we let the strip revel in it for another week or so instead of moving along to basketball season or whatever’s next. We may not have actually gotten to see Gil and Kaz triumphantly driving their banged up late-’90s Nissans behind the Milford Fire Departments most expendable vehicles, but at least we’re being treated to a long, hard look at the incredibly phallic state championship trophy. Go ahead, nameless Milford students! Stroke the trophy’s golden shaft, from its bulbous football-head down to its helmet-balls! You know you want to!
(If you’d like to celebrate the Mudlark’s championship season in style, the cool kids at the This Week In Milford blog have a t-shirt you might be interested in!)
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/15/14
I think it’s a pretty safe bet that nobody involved in the current iteration of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith (or, for that matter, any of the previous iterations) actually lives in an isolated, impoverished hamlet in the Appalachians and/or Ozarks. So strips like today are interesting because I guess they’re supposed to represent what a flatlander would think a hillbilly’s idea of a flatlander would look like? Backpacks are the key, apparently. Anyway, these effete poverty tourists are looking pretty smug for people who are about to get murdered.
Family Circus, 12/15/14
Oh, man, there are so many great things about this Family Circus. There’s Billy’s look of shame and fear as he realizes that his usual goof-off attitude towards life and school assignments has finally resulted in something unpleasant happening to him, and his teacher’s similarly stricken appearance as she realizes the magnitude of her mistake in giving her most sullen student stage time. Then there’s the way Big Daddy Keane stares blankly at his failing son, while his wife glares at him, thinking “I’m going to go ahead and blame you for this.” But the best, the absolute best, is little Jeffy pointing and grinning, as if to say “Look! I’m not the one fucking up, for once!”
Crankshaft isn’t what you’d call sentimental, but he knows one thing for sure: if you don’t lure a white-bearded drifter to your home with the promise of a hot meal and then force him to wear a dirty old Santa suit and stand on your lawn for the entire month of December, it’s not really Christmas.
Gasoline Alley, 12/9/14
YES YES YES THE BELOVED “MILDLY RUDE SALESMAN WITH A PENCIL MUSTACHE” GUY FROM THE SKEEZIX RETURNS A DVD PLAYER STORYLINE IS BACK, BABY! That’s how you know we’re in for some high-quality verbal jousts over the next three to seven weeks. Today we get some important background on this character’s motivation: his “Marx brothers” reference is a veiled description of his political orientation. He’s not a dick to his customers just for fun, but rather as part of the long political struggle of class against class that Marx described so presciently. I see big things for this guy when the revolution comes.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/9/14
After an absence from the strip that bears his name that lasted literally decades, Barney Google has made a number of trips to Hootin’ Holler over the past few years, bringing news of strange big-city mores to the isolated inhabitants there. For instance, today we learn that the horse modeling industry is, perhaps unsurprisingly, rife with horsefuckers! Look at these two creeps laughing it up at poor Spark Plug’s distress. “You don’t understand! Being a horse-model was my lifelong dream … and in one brief moment it became a nightmare.”
Wow, that’s a pretty rude way to talk to your film’s high-profile leading lady, Rory! You might wonder how he gets away with that kind of sass. Well, it’s simple: he’s got the only combo flattop/mullet/rat-tail in the business. You don’t fire that haircut. You just don’t.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/9/14
Having successfully convinced Rex that Sarah is the one foretold in prophecy, Rene is now talking Rex into allowing Kelly to continue on as her lackey, as long as she submits to the stringent conditions that any acolyte must accept. Rex is clearly intrigued. “Hmm, a teenage girl consecrating her body and mind to purity and swearing to lie down her own worthless life in order to protect my daughter? Tell me more!”
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/5/14
I guess it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the eschatological beliefs of the residents of Hootin’ Holler trend towards Christian futurism. Loweezy isn’t sure whether the Great Tribulation will happen before the Rapture, or after, or if one will happen in the midst of the other, but one thing’s for certain: it’s best to stock up on detergent now.
Apartment 3-G, 12/5/14
The first three times I read this strip, I thought Baldy McPresumptious said “Ah, yes — you’re with Ms. Magee,” presumably because my brain is desperately trying to make things interesting. Anyway, the strip is still noteworthy for the narration box in panel one, which seems like a grudging workaround for the fact that no A3G character is going to have anything other than an expressionless rubber mask for a face anytime soon.
Gasoline Alley, 12/5/14
As you know, I routinely ignore Gasoline Alley for months at a time. But clearly I need to tune back in for the thrills and twists of our latest plotline, “Skeezix buys a phone charger,” which promises to reach the heights of “Skeezix returns a DVD player.” Elderly characters grappling with mundane tasks involving modern technology are the core of this strip’s brand!
Mary Worth, 12/5/14
“It’ll be a good way for you to see them interact,” said one completely normal human to another! If you had “alien anthropologist studying Earthling behavior” in the “What exactly is the deal with Mary Worth” pool, you’ve gotta be pretty psyched today.