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Comics archive! Barney Google & Snuffy Smith

Second-tier soap Saturday

Gil Thorp, 9/13/14

The tale of True Standish from the summer is now clearly also the tale of True Standish for the fall, and that tale will entail: quarterback controversy! Yes, the next several months will involve high school QB phenom with painfully overbearing dad True being preternaturally nice about the fact that he just loved Milford and really wants to win and if that means that high school QB phenom with painfully overbearing dad True Standish ends up taking the starting quarterback job away from “Jarrod,” a guy who’s probably been on the team for a while and who’s maybe even been in the strip before but about whom I could tell you exactly nothing, then that’s just how the ball bounces, you know? Anyway, today’s episode involves “Jarrod” dishing out a sick burn about not knowing the name of the local newspaper. All of today’s teens are very clued into their area’s print media outlets; the daily paper is a core aspect of teen identity in modern culture. Point: “Jarrod.”

Gasoline Alley, 9/13/14

Gasoline Alley has spent the past few months on an extremely mawkish story about a dying little boy with a wacky parrot sidekick who just wants to operate a real life steam locomotive before he kicks it. I’m a guy who loves train and isn’t in favor of little children dying of mysterious diseases, and yet am wholly unmoved by all this, mostly because the lad has been introduced to us already pre-dying, a transparent spectacle for our emotional catharsis. “I’ll remember this the…” [SIGNIFICANT PAUSE TO REMIND YOU THAT THE NEXT PHRASE IS POIGNANT AND SIGNIFICANT] “…rest of my life! Come here, parrot, give me a big hug! WEEP FOR ME, ENGINEER-MAN!”

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 9/13/14

By the way, if you’re wondering how long it takes Uriah the mailman to “give Miz Prunelly a special delivery” (i.e., have sex with Miz Prunelly): it takes about half an hour.


Mary Worth, 9/10/14

While I was busy voyaging across America, Uncle Lumpy kept you appraised of important developments in the story of Mary Worth and Olive The Special Sensitive Child: specifically, that Mary told Olive she should believe hard in her most powerful delusions, and then provided some weird pseudo-biological justification for this insane advice. Now Olive is laughing it up about the supposed “second brain” in her “tummy,” but I feel it’s important to make clear that Olive doesn’t have some bundle of nerves sending her crude flashes of insight from her torso; she receives literal divine messages from actual angels. Is Mary committing blasphemy against the Almighty by tricking His prophet into believing in a mundane explanation for His messengers? Or is the strip endorsing the bicameral theory of mind, with Olive slipping slowly out of the mental state of our distant ancestors and reconceptualizing her “visions” as part of her own consciousness and not from a separate being? Either way, it’s terribly sad.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 9/10/14

I mean, I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise, given the extremely low levels of educational attainment in Hootin’ Holler, but this school scene is extremely sad. Note that only two of the students have writing implements — not that that matters, as there’s nothing available to write on, and they’re presumably just serving as a talismanic reminder of the bygone era, several generations back, when they lived in a literate society. The Holler’s parents should be angry at the guv’mint, what with its complete abandonment of its mission to educate everyone, even those in the nation’s poorest communities.

Dennis the Menace, 9/10/14

Wait, does Joey have a … little sister? I can’t remember seeing anything about his home life, ever. I choose to believe that instead Dennis and Joey have, in a vaguely menacing fashion, just shown up on a neighbor’s doorstep and demanded to hang out with their toddler. “C’mon lady, let us in, we have a truly hilarious bit of wordplay planned but we need your kid as a springboard for it.”

Sexually depressing Tuesday

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 8/19/14

Man, check out how depressed Lureen looks in this strip. An expression of lack of romantic interest in a particular gentleman shouldn’t be producing such distress, but her odd statement in panel two perhaps gives us a clue as to what’s going on here: she’s required to date every living Earth-dwelling human, no matter how objectionable, possibly as the result of some backwoods curse or hex.

Hagar the Horrible, 8/19/14

Sorry, Hagar! You chose to court a sea-creature based on her semi-human appearance, only to discover that she finds you distasteful! Meanwhile, Lucky Eddie is about to have enthusiastically consensual sexual relations with that lusty octopus. Eat your heart out indeed!