Wizard of Id
Gil Thorp, 5/22/13
Guys, remember when Gil Thorp plots used to be bonkers crazy insane? Well, those days seem to be long past, which is why I have been studiously ignoring the spring plotline for months. Here it is, in a nutshell: baseball player Foley Knox is the son of a lawyer and an aspiring lawyer himself, and his lawyer dad is suing the gas station owner father of another player because some guy fell down while pumping gas there, and Foley is being a dick to the other kid about it, the end. The other kid and his dad are Chaldean Christians from Iraq, and it briefly looked like that was going to be a plot point somehow, but it was dropped in favor of a B plot involving Foley’s delusional romantic pursuit of Darby, the softball team’s star pitcher who has a toddler because she was previously teen pregnant, which was briefly controversial last spring. Anyway, today at last these plots collide when Foley decides to win the heart of his fair beloved by defeating her tortfeasor in judicial combat! This will also fail.
Wizard of Id, 5/22/13
So Wizard of Id, which is usually not funny on any level, actually made me laugh in two distinct ways today? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? I appreciate the fact that the joke hinges on grammatical ambiguity — haha, you think “[a]re protesting” is a verb in the progressive aspect, but in fact “protesting” is a deverbal adjective modifying “drones”! But what really made me laugh was the sign that just says “NOT COOL”. It’s a sign that you can use at any protest and one that lets everyone know that, yeah, you’re politically engaged, but you’re also pretty chill.
Mark Trail, 5/22/13
Meanwhile, the AMAZING FOREST BEAR INFERNO is still going on in Mark Trail! I’m a little confused by the positions of everybody/thing in this comic, but, comparing the perspective in the two panels, if Cherry and Shelly are looking at the water and the tree is directly behind them, won’t they have to run sort of towards the bears in order to get to the tree? I mean, I get that they’re right on the shore and their options are limited. This is like the time my wife and I were in Stanley Park in Vancouver, and these raccoons emerged from the trees and wanted to go drink from the pond we were standing at the edge of, and they were heading right for us and didn’t seem scared of us at all, and we were in their way but there was no way for us to go that didn’t involve getting closer to them at least to start. Sure, they were raccoons, not bears, and nothing was on fire, but I don’t believe I ever pretended to be a brave man.
One of the things I didn’t expect when I recently worked Heathcliff into my comics rotation was the feature’s not infrequent expeditions into the inscrutable. I like this one, even if I don’t really understand it. Ha ha, Heathcliff is voyaging home via hot air balloon! It’s whimsical!
Yes, I’m sure the automated recording that delivered this platitude really feels bad after this sick burn! Basically, pluggers have very little control over their own lives and will sullenly lash out at anybody about it, whether they can hear them lashing out or not.
Family Circus, 5/22/13
“Billy and Dolly and Daddy and PJ are in the basement, right, Mommy? With all the sand? And time’s up for them? They won’t bother us ever again? Oh, also, this hourglass ran out, I guess.”
Spider-Man’s high school science teacher always hoped he’d kill or terribly injure himself in a lab accident.
Mark Trail, 5/18/13
Girl fight Girl fight GIRL FIGHT!!!
Mark Trail is a pretty punchy guy, as you can tell from this collection of a few of his greatest hits. But Cherry, despite her reputation as a coffee-and-pancake-bearing hausfrau, is actually quite the little badass herself. Our gal can cinch up a pack mule, nail a beer can dead center in mid-air with a rifle no sissy shotgun for her no sir — and look damn fine doing it. As we see here, she can also slap the clear light of reason right back into an effete city-dwelling hysteric overcome by panic over some teensy forest-consuming sea of fire.
Or maybe not? Maybe Cherry isn’t trying to focus Shelley’s attention so much as rebuke her for disrespecting Wes? “Don’t you dare speak that way about your husband, Mrs. Wesley Thompson — what part of ‘Love, Honor, and Obey’ don’t you understand? And my own husband Mark loves these backwoods, ablaze or not: I will not stand for you to call them ‘stupid.’” Maybe behind all her woodsy competence, Cherry really is that traditional hausfrau, impatient for this annoying inferno to end so she can get back to her man’s side where she belongs?
Nah, I’m going with “badass.”
Curtis struck a pose for his class picture so outrageous that even Chutney, despite her lifelong crush on him, doesn’t want a copy. But this strip works another way, too: on the very day Chutney finally decides to put Curtis behind her, he shows up with a photo of himself as a gift. She savors the moment and the memory of what felt like love for so long, then, true to her decision, sends him on his way — a loser in every important sense of the word.
Unfortunately, that would make Barry the strip’s principal character, and I’m pretty sure nobody wants that.
Mary Worth, 5/18/13
Oh man you guys Mary Worth has been such a garden of visual delights lately I can’t get enough of it. Check out the disembodied hand watering Elinor’s windowsill — maybe that’s Beth’s leftover hand from panel two? Speaking of which, our monopod young lovers may as well wrap up their tryst — those bushes have already engulfed Tom’s private parts.
Wizard of Id, 5/18/13
Opening for Bung at the Laugh Zone tonight will be Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart singing The Whisky Ain’t Workin’.” Frankly, it’s not doing much for The Wizard of Id, either.
Family Circus, 5/18/13
“It’s a nice day.”
“I like ice cream.”
“It is pleasant to be outdoors this time of year.”
“Punchlines are overrated.”
– Uncle Lumpy
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Update — Well, we ran out of JP and RMMD magnets mid-afternoon EDT on Tuesday, May 14. Thank you generous (and fast!) readers! Contributors at the $15 level will now receive a favorite Josh panel from the last few months, matted for framing and signed by Josh, or at their option a Margo bracelet. Thanks again!
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Apartment 3-G, 5/14/13
“You don’t understand, Margo: I don’t want to be transported to the frontiers of ecstasy in the masterful hands of some handsome Italian Lothario — I want to have FUN. With my MOM.”
Meanwhile, Lu Ann sees herself in a mirror!
Ah, but some daughters know what fun is, and a mother’s role in it. As Sonya speaks, Marylou Hobbs imagines herself tanned and radiant in half of her revealing new swimsuit, striding confidently toward her lover across the deck of his yacht lying at anchor in azure waters gleaming under a benevolent Mediterranean sun — her mother nowhere aboard, in mind, or accessible even in the deepest reaches of her memory.
Sonya’s bullying logic shocks her from her reverie, and she struggles to respond:
||“Evaluate the truth-value of the postulate!”
||“Conditional! False for at least one value of X! Specify range of X!”
||“For all values of X, dammit — evaluate for all X!”
||“True, true for all X, oh God yes it’s true I will totally bang any dude with the money to rent a canoe it’s true please let it be true for me just once and free me from this hell … (sob).”
Heathcliff’s campaign to bend mice to his will is well documented, but only now does its purpose become clear. The mice are but pawns in his scheme to scare the neighborhood elephant into wreaking Heathcliff’s terrible vengeance upon the hated dogs. Who will be next? Are we humans safe? I don’t think we’re safe.
Gil Thorp, 5/14/13
Gil Thorp spices up its spring baseball story with a little constitutional law. You know, to make it interesting.
Wizard of Id, 5/14/13
Id spearchuckers have terrifying asses.
– Uncle Lumpy
Wizard of Id, 4/20/13
Apologies to any all Garys who currently live in Utah and are I’m sure perfectly nice people, but isn’t it likely that a reference to “Gary in Utah” by the people of a certain age who run the longstanding Wizard of Id comic strip is in fact a reference to the most famous Utah-associated Gary? In other words, the creators of Wizard of Id would like to see fans of any other pop cultural phenomenon that threatens their dominance of the “wizard” brand lined up against a wall and shot! When you look at the strip through this lens, the misspelling of Gandalf’s name isn’t so much a matter of “nobody involved in this process could bother to spend 15 fucking seconds double-checking on the Internet” and more a deliberate snub.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 4/20/13
Oh, thank goodness, we’re back to the really important Rex Morgan plotline: June’s insatiable hunger. When will she finally get to eat waffles? How many will die, for getting in between her and some waffles? How horrible will their deaths be? Next week’s going to be awesome!
Rex Morgan, M.D., 4/9/13
NEW REX MORGAN ADVENTURE, the second in a row with actual medical overtones! Milton is the filthy rich hard-charging British capitalist who married the Morgans’ nanny some years back, and he’s walked into Rex’s office this morning declaring that he was soon going to die. Rex seems suspicious, and I think the key words that are arousing his suspicions are “if I don’t slow down.” “Rex, it’s literally impossible for me to cease being a tightly wound business executive, even though I’m already fabulously wealthy! DEATH IS THE ONLY ANSWER.” On the other hand, if I were looking at the terrifying inky black eye sockets in panel two, my main concern about Milton’s heart would be how many centuries ago it stopped beating, since he’s clearly some kind of horrifying undead ghoul.
Wizard of Id, 4/9/13
Does this checkout counter’s old-fashioned mechanical cash register bother anybody else? I mean, I guess a 21st century electronic checkout station wouldn’t fit into Id’s pseudo-medieval milieu, but neither does its 20th century equivalent, so now I can’t tell if the artist is being deliberately anachronistic or is just afraid that the Wizard of Id readership will panic if confronted with terrifying high technology on the comics page. Anyway, we shouldn’t let this question distract us from the main point, which is that the Wiz is using his incredible powers to bend matter and energy to his whim to be a dick to underpaid service workers.
“…and we pray that you will bless this food. And God bless the cook, too! Seeing how the cook is a chicken and I’m a dog and I might want to use her as food someday. Just trying to keep all my bases covered here.”
Family Circus, 4/9/13
“Also, aren’t these ladies your best friends? How come we’ve never met them? How come they never come around here? Is it our fault?”
Funky Winkerbean, 4/9/13
please please please let “cable movie entertainment” be a softcore porn channel
Gil Thorp, 4/4/13
So the Gil Thorp baseball season plot so far has been “Foley is annoying and also wants to be a lawyer like his dad,” which, booorrr-ing. But it’s always good to see Marty Moon back in the wooden packing crate that he huddles inside to call Milford games with his trademark thermos full of hooch. Did he have a laptop in there with him before? Does he have a laptop in there with him now? Is that “laptop” just one of those fake cardboard laptops they have to take up space on desks in furniture stores?
Judge Parker, 4/4/13
Haha, now we see why April didn’t want to invite Randy’s parents to their wedding: because the ceremony will take place behind the barbed wire surrounding the compound of her father’s apocalyptic death cult, deep in the Yucatan rain forest. And it won’t be so much a “wedding ceremony” as an “invocation to the Lords of the Dead, inviting them to drink the steaming blood of the mewling human sacrifice once known as ‘Randy.’”
Meanwhile, Heathcliff is single-handedly battling one of the tentacled Dread Elder Gods on behalf of those of us residing on this plane of existence, and, in unrelated news, some guy just wants pepperoni on his pizza.
Apartment 3-G, 4/4/13
“Yeah, it helps familiarize the public with businesses and nonprofits they might be interested in … ‘publicizes’ them, you might say. If only we knew someone who was up on that sort of thing!”
Wizard of Id, 4/4/13
Ha ha, yes, “The Hobbit,” that sure was a pop cultural phenomenon that saw a spike in interest several months ago! Anyway, not gonna lie to you guys, it took me a while to figure out that the Wiz was pointing at this dude’s feet.