Mary Worth, 11/27/13
I know you’re all wondering what happened to Mary after she got viciously shoved right in the middle of Central Park. Turns out that she was rescued by the timely intervention of hunky silver-haired Broadway legend Ken Kensington, one of Mary’s top celebrity crushes! Usually I’m in a favor of anything that would put a definitive end to the sad, sexless non-relationship between Mary and Dr. Jeff, but this whole meet-cute scenario is a little too neat for my liking. My guess is that Ken used his theater world contacts to find out-of-work non-equity actors willing to play any role at any price … even if that role is Dastardly Central Park Mugger Who Fightens Attractive Women Of A Certain Age And Allows Ken Kensington To Swoop In And Play The Hero, and the price is far below scale. It certainly would go a long way towards explaining this facial expression:
Obviously this is much less “So, it’s come to this, I’m trying to grab purses from old ladies so I can afford my next meal/fix” and much more “OK, Devin, remember your Method classes: Place yourself in the mindset of a criminal. Not just any criminal, but the most nefarious criminal madman alive! Yes, I can feel the power and insanity flowing through me! Ken says that there’s an understudy part opening in Jersey Boys soon and that he knows the director — success is so close I can almost taste it!”
Dennis the Menace, 11/27/13
The span of time between when you realize that other beings can die and when you realize that you will someday, inevitably, die is definitely the most menacing age. Sometimes it lasts years!
“Ha ha, don’t worry! We’re enjoying a nice dinner now, but later I’m going to kill most of them and kick the rest of them out of the house.”
Brad and Toni will have no time to paint their future bedroom or even decorate it in any way, because every single moment they spend in it they’ll just be straight-up fucking. They probably won’t even bother to get furniture or anything; they’ll just go at it constantly on top of a pile of blankets or something in a corner. Anyway, I’m going back to ignoring Luann forever, right after I get finished with the vomiting.
Good news, everybody! The Tarantula and Spider-Man defeated El Condor, and the Tarantula was all about restoring democracy to Costa Verde and holding free and fair elections, but then like forty guys who showed up in the capital to watch El Condor’s arrest shouted that Tarantula should lead them, so now he’s going by “Mr. Presidente” and striking a Jesus Christ pose in front of his fanatical followers. ¡Viva la revolución! Anyway, Spidey, having encouraged Tarantula’s coup, is now enjoying some of its sweet, sweet material benefits. “Whoa whoa whoa, I get to fly on a plane while lying on a couch? This is amaaazing!”
Speaking of violent revolution, years of privation and failed leadership have finally broken down military discipline in the Lost Patrol. The angry men plan to lynch their leader, only to be killed themselves by a stratagem of the brutal commander they hate so much. It’s OK, though, because this bloody conflict has been given the cute name “grumble time!” Ha ha, those kooky grumbling starving murderous legionnaires!
Panels from Hi and Lois, 11/3/13
I’m not sure what I love more about today’s Hi and Lois throwaway panels: that Chip (estimated birth date: 1997) is waxing nostalgic to his little sister about the cocaine-fueled glory days of the ’70s New York disco scene, or that Dot, sullen and angry at having been confronted by an unfamiliar cultural reference, calls him “chip dip” in her head. I for one will be responding to things I don’t understand with “Whatever that means, chip dip” from now on.
“So I’m available? Over here? Eh? Eh? Available for sex? Eh?”
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Judge Parker, 10/17/13
Why it’s the Harrisons! Hello … Audrey! DUN DUN DUN DUN!!!!
Judge Parker, 6/21/13
Well, Audrey, the Parkers actually consider it their table, and you’ll be pretty *&^% lucky if they let you sit down at it, placecards or no.
But as the solitary drop of rain to have fallen on the Parkers’ parade in recent memory, dear Professor Harrison, won’t you please sit over here with us, and your husband too? May we freshen up those drinks for you? Now tell us, in careful, patient detail, leaving nothing out, all the ways that Alan Parker’s The Chambers Affair is a derivative, puerile, monotonous, steaming mass of gelatinous offal. We’ve got all night.
Back at the Parkers’ table, that is the purplest “California chablis” I’ve seen in my life. I’m beginning to think Sam and Abby aren’t very capable vintners.
Mark Trail, 10/17/13
Ah, the lunatic majesty of a Mark Trail plan. All he has to do is confront two heavily armed co-conspirators in the middle of a wilderness. What could possibly go wrong?
I do love the action pose in panel two — if that phone weren’t already dead, it would be in for one heck of a beating right now.
The joke is that Crankshaft thinks this is a joke. The shame is that he steps completely out of character to backstop a stupid golf gag. The tragedy is he’s even less appealing this way. The irony is that those charming panel-one leaves demonstrate a level of craft and imagination far beyond anything the text deserves.
These little flickers of self-awareness never amount to anything.
– Uncle Lumpy
Congratulations, Luann: for the first time in years, you have caused me to feel actual empathy for your title character! I worked in libraries for much of my high school and college career, and I always enjoyed those gigs and saw them as a haven from the stressful food service jobs taken by many of my peers. I sure would’ve been upset if I had lost that job because of budget cuts, and particularly upset if I had lost that job because the library decided to spend money hiring H.R. Giger to design ever more elaborately phallic Billy the Bookworm costumes.
Usually when you see liver on a menu you’re being offered some kind of bird liver, right? What I’m saying is that this is another instance where Shoe’s goggle eyes of horror are wholly justified. “What am I, chopped liver? No, seriously! Am I to be this lunchtime’s sacrifice, my gut slit open and my organs chopped to bits and cooked for the culinary delight of my fellow bird-men? Has the day when I become chopped liver finally arrived?”
Hi and Lois, 9/23/13
I’ve seen few things in the comics more harrowing than Trixie’s expression in panel two. Her hands folded in her lap are a nice touch. Pretty sure she’s been sitting there, staring at that leaf, rolling the concept of mortality around in her mind, for several hours now.
Mary Worth, 9/23/13
“Hi Mary … it’s Wilbur! How are you? Are you making a sandwich? Are you making one right now? MY SANDWICH SENSE IS TINGLING”
Slylock Fox, 9/2/13
Despite his unnatural skin tone, I’ve more or less accepted Count Weirdly as one of Planet Slylock’s few remaining humans. But his “cousin” Creepy seems significantly genetically divergent, and not just in superficial areas like coloring. Was Weirdly performing illegal genetic experiments not just on the animals that ended up rising up to seize control of the planet, but on his own kin? Or does he grow mutated clones of himself in rows of ghastly tanks, deep beneath his castle-lair? Creepy might suffer from physical abnormalities, but his unnaturally large head and today’s little drama implies that he may actually benefit from enhanced intelligence: he’s already packed and ready to get out of town before yet another classically pointless Weirdly caper ends in failure. “High five, cuz, we did it! I, uh, gotta go.”
The huge majority of comic strips exist in “comic strip time,” in which their characters all remain the same age relative to each other for years or decades and unmoored in absolute time, which gives rise to unsettling results like Ted Forth being the same age as my dad when I was a kid but then wearing a Sonic Youth t-shirt several decades later. You also have strips like Doonesbury and pre-time-freeze For Better Or For Worse in which characters would age a year for every calendar year of real time.
Then you have the strips that go through a sort of comics punctuated equilibrium, with long periods of stasis and then sudden leaps forwards. The most famous example of this is of course Funky Winkerbean and its various time jumps, but Luann seems to be in this boat as well. Luann was in junior high for the first 14 years or so of the strip’s existence, then was suddenly aged into high school in 1999. Now, another 14 years later, we learn that she’s actually starting her senior year. The question is: are we ready for a world where Luann is in college? Am I? Are you? Is she? I’m not sure any of us are.
Meanwhile, one strip that has zero continuity or aging or narrative advancement for its characters is Momma, which is why today’s installment is especially bizarre, seeing as it contains a major life change for one of its characters and nothing that could be even vaguely construed as a “joke.” Will Momma suddenly be transformed into MaryLou, That Dizzy Dame Of The Skies, now that strip management has finally looked at the results of the 1973 focus group showing that flight attendants are more appealing to audiences than controlling, passive-aggressive mothers and their unlikeable children?
So it’s June 15 and I think it’s safe to say that the spring Gil Thorp lawsuit storyline isn’t ever going to get interesting, but I do think that an ending in which the Jarbo family wins its case because the sue-y guy who fell down got his gas stations mixed up is at least suitably farcical. Wouldn’t … wouldn’t this have come to light during the discovery process? I mean, I’m neither a lawyer nor someone foolish enough to expect Gil Thorp plots to mirror reality in any way, but … DAMN IT I THINK THIS WOULD HAVE GOTTEN SORTED OUT AT SOME POINT PRIOR TO THE ACTUAL TRIAL.
This is just your reminder that Dagwood is so dedicated to not being a normal husband who showers that he literally does not have a shower in his house. Also, he is a crazy person.
DAD RELAX IT’S CALLED A SUICIDE PACT OK IF YOU DON’T SEE THE ROMANCE IN DYING TOGETHER IN A TWISTED HEAP OF METAL AND AGONY THEN IT’S NO WONDER YOU’VE NEVER UNDERSTOOD ME