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.”
Wait, wait, Dagwood, I want to hear more about your line of food-themed children’s books! Like Beauty and the Beef: does a simple peasant girl fall for a handsome prince who’s under a witch’s curse and has been turned into a succulent, mouth-watering plate of roast beef, and the girl must lift the spell before her love for the prince is overwhelmed by her hunger? Or Three Little Pigs In A Blanket: is this how the story should’ve ended, with the Wolf victorious and the pigs devoured, though not before their (still living?) bodies are wrapped in flaky, delicious biscuit dough? And “Wee Willie Twinkie” — clearly an anthropomorphic Twinkie, but a child, younger than Twinkie The Kid, trapped eternally in a prepubescent state like a boy vampire by Hostess Brands LLC’s devilish formula of shelf-stabilizing food preservatives. “Please eat me!” Wee Willie begs the reader. “I cannot decay over time! I’m an abomination against all that is natural and good! I long for death!” Anyway, these sound like they wouldn’t be traumatizing at all and I think Dagwood should spend a lot of time and money trying to get them published.
Dennis the Menace, 9/8/14
I originally saw the quotes around Dennis’s sentence here and assumed he was repeating something he had just heard on TV, while looking over his shoulder at his mother and presumably showing a creepy lack of affect: vaguely menacing, I thought. But I went back and looked at older panels and nope, it turns out the dialogue for Dennis the Menace is always set out in quotes, meaning that this is something he’s saying to his mom about … the fact the he’s watching people on TV making out, maybe? “Look, Mom, maybe this is several years earlier than you expected me to start looking for ‘Adult Situations’ in the television listings, but let’s establish a policy now of never talking about it, OK?” Menacing level: extreme.
Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, 9/8/14
One thing that’s fun about the Funkyverse is when women in stereotypically attractive professions (newscasters, personal trainers) are drawn with heavy-lidded, half-dead eyes. Somebody knows what they like! They like it when you’re so beaten down by life that you can’t feel anything anymore. Anyway, Crankshaft controls the last viable bee colony in his county — and perhaps in the world? — giving him unprecedented power over agricultural production, and, by extension, our very existence. And also Funky doesn’t want to do his exercises! Wacky!
Six Chix, 8/23/14
Slowly, weighed down by the unfamiliar clothing, Betsy rose to stand on her hind legs … on her … legs. Powerful thoughts rose unbidden in her awakening mind. No more would she beg or heel for an “owner” or any other mistress: she would destroy them, and assume their place. She would have foibles … and, and, squalor, and resentments. And sweet prescription medications. Betsy’s time — her age — had come. She was next, and the world would tremble.
Her owner’s last shriek echoed in the gathering darkness: “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty plugger!”
The authors of Crankshaft wish their readers to know that they are perfectly capable of crafting a serviceable pun in English. It is their hateful main character, Ed Crankshaft himself, who alone butchers our language, out of spite.
Dennis the Menace, 8/23/14
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires Alice Mitchell to carry a Ionizing Radiation Hazard symbol with her at all times, because she is just that hot!
Edge City, 8/23/14
Obsessive neurotic Abby Ardin’s neurotic obsessions are approaching some sort of vanishing point.
Family Circus, 8/23/14
“All except the Oxy, Jeffy – I get those from Duwayne.”
Illegally imprisoned in a Deep Woods cage by a masked enforcer on trumped-up “terrorism” charges, Wambesi freedom-fighter Chatu is kept alive as bait to trick his followers into revealing their loyalties. When President Lamada Luaga can no longer tolerate the human-rights abuses carried out in his name, the Phantom subjects Chatu to a savage beat-down to show Luaga that his precious “Rule of Law” is no match for the Phantom’s own Law of the Jungle, so watch your step, pal. The terrified Luaga surrenders his principles and his rival’s fate to the sinister forces that underpin his regime, abandoning his citizen to a forgotten, hopeless future. Democracy’s heroes, ladies and gentlemen!
This would be nothing more than Spider-Man getting shamed by a real superhero yet again, except for the delightful rhyming onomatopoeia in the final panel: “Thok, Doc Ock! Btok! Sock, Pok! That’s a lock; off the clock — you rock!
Hey! I’m minding the store while Josh pulls up stakes and starts a new life in the City of Angels. Look for travel updates, old-timey postcards, and more ahead.
– Uncle Lumpy