Mary Worth, 4/29/16
Pop quiz, y’all! Who are the saddest people in the comics todays? Are they Dawn and Harlan, psyching each other up to make out by staring at a statue and assuring each other that their greatness is the reason nobody else wants to hang out with them?
Funky Winkerbean, 4/29/16
Is it the next-gen teen characters of Funky Winkerbean, whose names I have never bothered to learn, and who are already so convinced of life’s eternal, oppressive gloom that they look forward to their future dementia wiping their minds clean?
Gil Thorp, 4/29/16
Nope! It’s the guy in panel two of today’s Gil Thorp, who’s so desperately lonely that he leaves the radio on all the time just to hear other human voices, even those humans are Gil Thorp and Marty Moon, and they’re talking about high school baseball.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/28/16
“Maw” is a typical Snuffy Smithism meant to signal the characters’ nonstandard, uneducated speech patterns without actually trying to capture any specific dialect. Nevertheless, I am going to interpret it literally. “Aunt Lo says maws are s’posed to, Mary Beth! She says it’s strange to have a hole in the middle of your face, to realize your body is just meat wrapped around a tube, to need to constantly push dead animals and plants into yourself just to keep alive! It’s only when you know that your body is a disgusting prison in which the cruel demiurge has imprisoned your immortal soul that you realize you must shed it order to transcend to the highest heaven!” I’m, uh, not sure how this joke ended up with the Hootin’ Holler folk becoming gnostic dualists? Whatever, let’s just run with it, that’s canon now.
Gil Thorp, 4/28/16
Ah, we have come to the sacred beginning of any Milford sports season: the ritualistic Reciting of the Names! Honestly, Gil does not appear to be treating this occasion with the reverence it deserves. Pretty sure he’s rattling them off into Marty’s phone so quickly that he doesn’t have time to inhale, which is why he’s going a little cross-eyed in that last panel.
Beetle Bailey, 4/14/16
You might not believe it based on the nonstop stream of cruel vitriol I heap upon comics creators daily, but writing this blog over the years has actually given me a lot of sympathy for the people who write these things. Coming up with a joke a day within the same little world, every day, for years and years is hard, man, even for the team of people they have down at ol’ Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC. I mean, I get it. Some days you’re just staring at a blank panel and are trying to figure out how you can wring a few laughs out of it, and clearly, as the deadline loomed, today’s jokesmith could think of nothing except for falling off a cliff into the sweet embrace of death, which might be something they should talk to a trained therapist about. But anyway, I’d argue that the second panel here is wholly unnecessary. Beetle and Killer dully contemplating the fact that their fellow soldiers just can’t stop falling off cliffs, while staring at a handwritten note on a bulletin board that, in a plea for sanity that will surely go unheeded, urges everyone to “AVOID CLIFF”, is the funniest thing in the comics today, and probably the funniest thing to happen in Beetle Bailey ever.
Gil Thorp, 4/14/16
Boy, the softball action in Gil Thorp sure is a lot more exciting when it’s drawn like an German expressionist film, right? Pitcher and catcher stand at opposite ends of some long corridor, then suddenly are practically on top of one another, representing the way the emotional space between us can sometimes collapse into sudden moments of terrifying intimacy.
The look of profound shame on those he-pluggers’ faces makes me think that the caption to this panel should actually be “plugger moms seem to be the only ones in the house who actually use toilet paper.”