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Comics archive! Hi and Lois

What’s past is prologue

Apartment 3-G, 3/23/14 (panels)

“Listen, you idiot! I have found a need to fill: as a nurse, at this hospital! In fact, I think I’ll take your job, since it’s so obviously vacant! Sheesh, who do you think I am — Lu Ann?”

Dick Tracy, 3/23/14

When Chester Gould launched Dick Tracy in the 1930′s, newspaper comic strips were a big deal. Like reality TV today, comics had prima-donnas, feuds, alliances, bitter contract disputes, knockoffs, parodies, the whole megillah. One of the best parodies was Al Capp’s Fearless Fosdick comic inside his own L’il Abner. Fosdick “ran” from 1942 through 1977 and spun off comic books, TV shows, endorsements (Wildroot Cream-Oil), jazz compositions, and toys. And here it is again, reparodied in its own source as “J. Straightedge Trustworthy” by in-strip cartoonist Vera Alldid. Wheels within wheels.

Anyway, I hope that Dick Tracy tries to recreate the entire 1930′s comic-strip ecosystem, especially if it makes good on the hint in panel 2 there.

Hi and Lois, 3/23/14

Hi and Lois entertains the Boomer fantasy that their nostalgia represents the apex of culture, but has the wisdom not to push it.

Mary Worth, 3/23/14 (panel)

“Gee whiz, weed and booze are already taken …. I guess it’s meth for me, then!”

Time for me to toddle off into that good night: Josh will be back Monday with your Comments of the Week and brand-new comics snark. Thank you for the wonderful response to the fundraiser, and for a fun week!

– Uncle Lumpy

All the Gil Thorp you need

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Gil Thorp, 3/18/14

Wow, here’s some serious narrative compression, nicely mirrored by matching enormous facepalms in the outside panels. Baseball season begins, and the highlight of the Ritual Roster Reading is the need to cover third base using accident-prone “Lucky” Haskins, whom we met yesterday losing an encounter with a kitchen cabinet door. Fast-forward to “Sure, Milford lost the playdowns, but Haskins wasn’t to blame, because baseball takes more than luck! It takes skill, and practice, and dedication, and we have none of those things! Oh yeah, and coaching – how did I even forget that?”

Kaz is going to kill himself if he keeps lifting like that.

Hi and Lois, 3/18/14

Made over, made up, and drowsy with happiness in her new home in the Valley, Irma Thurston tells Lois how she dumped Thirsty for a career in porn, as one of her co-stars wanders through with a prop.

Mark Trail, 3/18/14

Whenever one of his stories gets complicated, Mark calls a real journalist like this guy.

– Uncle Lumpy

Ha ha, it’s funny because they don’t love each other

Beetle Bailey, 3/8/14

Saturdays in Beetle Bailey are for the grandiosely dysfunctional Halftrack marriage; today’s installment at least has something resembling mean-spirited cheer compared to some of the more frankly traumatizing examples we’ve seen. Anyway, I’m not sure what interpretation here is more unsettling: that Mrs. Halftrack is desperate for sexual validation and doesn’t know what “person of interest” means and, as revenge for everything, the general refuses to tell her, or that Mrs. Halftrack and the local constabulary have some weird erotic roleplay going on and she’s rubbing it in her husband’s face.

Hi and Lois, 3/8/14

Still, today’s Hi and Lois wins the coveted award for Most Chilling Marital Misanthropy In A Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC Strip. I’m genuinely impressed by the attention to detail shown in panel one, in which Irma has the key to her husband’s basement prison casually dangling from her wrist. “She’ll let us out in a few hours!” Thirsty proclaims cheerfully, not realizing the he will never see the sun again.

Judge Parker, 3/8/14

Yes, the invention of armed, remote-controlled unmanned drones raises troubling questions about the future of armed conflict and the ability of hegemonic states to prosecute low-intensity warfare against non-state actors largely in secret, without expending much by way of blood or treasure. But if this technological advance leads to the insufferable Parkers being blown to bits by a remotely launched Predator missile, couldn’t we say that it was all, in the end, worthwhile?