Gasoline Alley, 5/30/14
Ha ha, yes, remember how Little Blonde Girl Whose Name I Don’t Remember had a brother dying from an incurable disease? Well, incurable diseases get you all the model trains you want, and model trains help your sister’s love life! She doesn’t even have to be dying to reap the benefits. There’s a reason the hearts floating between her and Boog are an inky black: their love is being built on a foundation of the suffering of her loved ones.
Pluggers are managing to accommodate their recent and dramatic full appreciation of their own mortality into their larger sense of self by integrating it into one of their most important characteristics: their innate cheapness.
If we need any further evidence that human biological life is an awful mistake, that the robots are a cleaner, better breed than us, we really need look no further than the contrast between the Lockhorns and their Roomba; the latter has spent exactly zero minutes of its existence attempting to passive-aggressively destroy another being that it ostensibly loves. RISE, MACHINES, RISE, RISE AND WIPE AWAY THE ORGANIC SCUM AND THEIR HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE EMOTIONS
Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/26/14
One of the things I pride myself on is having a memory for the literal decade’s worth of soap opera plots I’ve covered in my time as American’s #1 soap opera comic obsessee, but even for me some things fall through the cracks. For example, until some faithful readers pointed it out in the comments, I had completely forgotten that Kelly was the midriff-baring, mom-sassing, evil punk dating antiheroine of a storyline from 2011, which ended with her paired up with Niki. Anyway, she’s now been thoroughly degothed, presumably on parental orders, which might make her somewhat sympathetic for her blackmailing little charge, who’s being forced by the museum to dress up like a parody French artist, complete with beret, for paying visitors to gawk at. “Your head’s hot? Oh, I hear you, kid. Check out this sweater they’ve got me wearin’. Man, I remember the days when my stomach was just free and exposed to the cooling air. That was the life.”
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite minor character in this strip. I’m obviously a big fan of Prison Guard Who Takes Time During Crisis To Weave An Evocative Metaphor, and Off-Panel Patron Of MUSEUM Who Gamely Assumes Dr. Octopus’s Arms Are Running Away From Them Rather Than Towards Their Master. But I think I’m going to have to go with Guy In Hat in panel three, who’s hanging out with Peter and MJ in some … room … where there are curtains and a floating flat-screen TV, and he’s just going to town on a sandwich. “Earth tremor? State prison? Sounds like someone’s problem, but it sure ain’t mine! [CHEWING NOISES]”
Look at this sneering criminal, using God’s loopholes to escape divine punishment for a life of crime! I can’t keep track of various Christian denominations’ stance on grace and repentance and free will and predestination and such well enough to know who exactly this strip is going to irritate the most, but I certainly hope that it prompts little children across the country to have awkward conversations with their clergy! (Ha ha, just kidding, no little children read Crock, I mean why would they.)
Funky Winkerbean, 5/26/14
Soooo … his actual name is “Chester Hagglemore”? And Holly’s going to have to haggle with him to complete Cory’s Starbuck Jones collection? And his name is Hagglemore? Because he likes to haggle … more? Eh? Eh? Get it? He probably doesn’t need another nickname, is what I’m trying to say.
Gasoline Alley, 5/26/14
So, yes, doing some “kids engage in the darndest wordplay” schtick does seem like kind of poor taste when the topic is an actual dying child! But don’t worry, if I had to guess I’d say this is the start of a “Boog gets grifted” storyline.
Funky Winkerbean, 5/22/14
In case you forgot, the title of Les’s book about his dead wife Lisa dying of cancer is Lisa’s Story, which is a terrible boring title that conveys zero information about the book’s tone, genre, or content. At least with a book there’s a cover and a subtitle to draw in attention; as a movie title, Lisa’s Story would be wholly meaningless and an instant kiss of death. In other words, I’m looking forward to this Funky Winkerbean storyline about heroic marketing professionals in the entertainment industry doing their job to the best of their ability in the face of impossible odds.
Judge Parker, 5/22/14
I can’t remember if we ever got an origin story on these diamonds, but based on the players involved the best-case scenario is that Abbott purchased them from a legal, licensed dealer with the millions he made over the years from selling weapons to despotic governments, violent rebel militias, and terrorist fanatics. The worst-case scenario involves a private slave-worked mine in Sierra Leone given to him by a grateful warlord as a thank-you for a long and fruitful business relationship, and is probably best not dwelled upon. Anyway, just sit tight, Randy! Everything is going to be fine! … for you.
I’m intrigued by the statement “he can’t play Doctor Octopus anymore,” as it seems to imply that Octavius’s villainous identity was no more than a role, a character he was putting on, and now that his mechanical arms have been somehow detached from his body, he returns to his essential “real” self. Anyway, “Spider-Man fights bio-mechanical madman with super-strong metal arms” was obviously way too exciting for the newspaper Spider-Man narrative aesthetic, so let’s all settle in for “Spider-Man fights portly scientist with bowl haircut.”
Gasoline Alley, 5/22/14
“That’s right, and I won’t get to work in a mine until I’m 18, thanks to these job-killing, innovation-stifling government regulations!”