Mark Trail, 8/20/16
Haha, remember all those boats that Mark rented using the Woods & Wildlife Magazine corporate credit card, which later got blown up? (The boats, not the credit card.) Mark would like to let you know, by wagging his finger somewhat condescendingly at you, that those massive boat explosions weren’t necessarily his fault, per se. Anyway, the boat he’s about to rent is going to blow up so hard, I think we can all agree.
Dennis the Menace, 8/20/16
I don’t really have anything to say about this panel on my usual menacing/non-menacing axis; I mainly want to know about the secret backstory of Dennis the Menace, where George and Henry go to parties at night and get super blotto.
Hey, remember back in 2011, when Marvin’s parents were trying to potty train him? Well now it’s 2016, and Marvin’s parents are trying to potty train him! To paraphrase Jorge Luis Borges, in the timeless universe of Marvin, potty-training Marvin is the only thing that has happened in the world, and it will go on happening endlessly.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 8/19/16
You know, what with Hootin’ Holler being a largely lawless place, with a rugged landscape and local knowledge about property holdings more likely to be passed down through generations by word of mouth than delineated on any map, bringing in surveyors isn’t the worst idea in the world! It could be a real growth industry, and could probably help cut down on the endless, violent clan feuds whose flareups can often be blamed on property line disputes, even if control of moonshine smuggling turf is ultimately the root cause. And, let’s be real, it’d be pretty useful for someone in the Smif family to have a job.
Dennis the Menace, 8/19/16
If you want to create a portrait of a child as a low-key but effective menace to everything you think about yourself as a person who heads a civilized family, this is a good start: he stares at your guest with dead eyes and shows unfamiliarity with basic concepts, all while drooling freely onto his own dinner.
Beetle Bailey and Crock, 8/19/16
Hey kids, did you know that some of America’s longest-running comic strips take place in the military during actual violent conflicts? Beetle Bailey is stateside, for the most part, but its soldiers must know that they could be deployed at any time; in today’s strip, their nighttime anxieties escalate, from right to left, climaxing with Beetle, who, panicked but clear-eyed, can only think of massive, world-obliterating explosions. Meanwhile, today’s Crock reminds us that most of the main characters are occupation troops in a grinding, brutal colonial war. Happy Friday!
Judge Parker, 8/5/16
Ooh, we’ve arrived at the pivotal moment in any Judge Parker storyline: when a large sum of money appears! Usually the large sum of money resolves all the conflicts, but in this case, unusually, it’s the cause of more drama. Why won’t Hank give up his offer of a solid job in a field he loves for the vague promise of partnership Neddy’s crackpot elder-sweatshop scheme? Actually, Hank is almost certainly right to get out while the getting’s good: longtime strip writer Woody Wilson, having handed over the reigns of Rex Morgan, M.D., to Terry Beatty a few months ago, is now getting completely out of the soap opera game, so the endless gravy train might be grinding to a halt! In all seriousness, I obviously have great affection for the work Wilson’s done with both strips and they were a big part of why I started this blog, so I want to thank him and wish him a happy retirement.
Meanwhile, the new Judge Parker writer will be … Sally Forth writer and friend-of-the-blog Ces Marciuliano! This is a secret I’ve known for a few weeks and have been eagerly waiting for you all to find out! Ces’s strips start August 22nd, and I’m excited to see them, and to see how much free money gets handed out in the meantime.
Ha, yes, it’s Marvin talking about pooping, but when it comes right down to it, isn’t this really all of our lives, stripped down to their essence? Makes you think, doesn’t it? It’s no surprise that the colorist changed Marvin’s hair from orange to deep red in that last panel; after all, you don’t expect the protagonist of this strip to be that self-reflective, so they probably assumed it was a different baby.
Beetle Bailey, 8/5/16
The best thing about this strip is how completely devastated the buffet employee in the background looks. “But … we allow ‘all you can eat’ based on certain realistic assumptions about the human appetite! The whole economics of this business relies on nobody doing what he just did! We’ll be ruined! Ruined!”
Dennis the Menace, 8/5/16
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Food Service Worker Emotional Spectrum, that guy overhearing Dennis extolling the virtues of eating processed meat tubes at the beach looks like he just saw his daughter take her first steps. Dial it back, dude.