Slylock Fox, 1/26/15
One of my favorite things about Slylock Fox is the fact that the planet isn’t entirely populated by anthropomorphic animals; although the vast majority of the human race was apparently exterminated as the beasts took control, a few representatives of our species remain, presumably enough to preserve a breeding stock, and need to deal with the unimaginable trauma the best they can. It’s impossible to tell whether these men were professional clowns in the Before Time, or if dressing as such is the only way they can deal with the madness of the world they inhabit. As clowns number two and three demonstrate, traditional clown makeup long ago ceased being manufactured, leaving them to do the best they could with material that actually matched their skintone. Basically if you can visualize a faux-hobo clown wearing flesh-colored makeup stealing candy from a bipedal, dress-wearing pig’s porch, desperately holding up his pants as he runs away, and not break down weeping, you have a heart of stone.
Apartment 3-G, 1/26/16
OK, this thing where the art in Apartment 3-G has little or nothing to do with the writing is just getting sad and alarming, guys. Like, when Margo and her dad were having lunch at a “Tribeca Grill” that looked suspiciously like the inside of somebody’s dowdy apartment, there was at least one word in that description that worked, and that word was “inside.” But now Margo is just straight-up ordering breakfast at a “cafe” that is literally just her and some other woman standing out on the sidewalk. “Now that’s what I call a healthy appetite!” her interlocutor says, as she stares directly into the face of madness.
Gil Thorp, 1/26/15
Speaking of the face of madness, how about panel two of Gil Thorp, eh? Against Gil’s advice, Maxwell has decided to forge an alliance with Marty Moon and establish a memorable #brand! And that brand is MAX BACON™. Because when it comes to bacon … who doesn’t want the max? Other than people keen on not dying of heart disease, that is!
Herb and Jamaal, 1/26/15
Let me tell you lucky kids today: if you grew up before the Internet provided an on-demand stream of smut into every household, you spent a not-insignificant part of your junior high years parsing movie descriptions in the paper for exactly terms like this, just in case there was a chance you could see these so-called “adult situations” on HBO after your parents were likely to be in bed. Jamaal, a jaded inhabitant of our modern porn-world, just sips his iced tea and regards the on-screen simulated humping with disinterest and vague distaste.
Mark Trail, 1/26/15
Do you think Mark is quickly changing the subject in panel two because he’s thinking “Hmm, this swamp-king is awful blase about having seen a mangled corpse and left it behind to be devoured by bog-creatures, better tread lightly,” or because he’s thinking “Well, that problem is solved! I’ll never have to deal with that ponytail man again!” It’s so hard to tell with him.
Sometimes readers send me things in the mail! These things are always AMAZING, but often impractical. But! Last week I got what was definitely the most practical and still amazing thing from a reader yet! The crazed Gil Thorp obsessives over at the This Week In Milford blog made a t-shirt commemorating the Mudlark championship season, and one arrived in my mailbox without a note of any kind!
On the back they even have scores for all the games we saw this season. It’s quite impressive, and it arrived to me in the form of a workout shirt, and I literally need more workout shirts, and while my brain never formulated the exact sentence “I wish someone would send me a workout shirt in the mail without me paying for it or even asking for it and also it should have a funny Gil Thorp in-joke,” but this was exactly what I wanted! It’s not clear to me if you can still buy these shirts, but if so, you should buy one! And thank you, mysterious stranger who sent one to me!
Dick Tracy and Funky Winkerbean, 1/19/15
Welp, I had heard about this before, but had sort of blocked it out because I didn’t want to believe it was true, but here it is, something that’s really happening, in the real world and not one of my terrible fever dreams: a Dick Tracy-Funky Winkerbean crossover. You wouldn’t think these two strips would have much in common, what with Funky Winkerbean being mostly focused on a thin crust of puns and smirking atop an infinitely deep well of misery, and Dick Tracy being dedicated to a rigid and violent code of implacable justice along with, since the strip’s reboot a few years ago, endless and baffling nostalgia for the strip’s past and comics/pop culture history in general. But today the overlap in the Venn diagram becomes apparent, and it’s historic comic books. (This particular set was recovered at the end of another crossover plot involving The Jumbler, a puzzle-focused villain who taunted Dick with vaguely sexual vlogs and was eventually defeated with the help of actual Jumble artist/faithful Comics Curmudgeon reader Jeff Knurek.)
Anyway, I like panel one of Dick Tracy, where Les and Funky’s smug, punchable faces are displayed on retro-futuristic screens, because for a brief moment I though their heads had been impaled on a giant pike. Dick and Sam are clearly heading to Westview hoping to meet its two most nefarious characters, so they’re probably going to be pretty depressed at being stuck with Crazy Harry and Comic Book John.
Gil Thorp, 1/19/15
Despite teasing us with promises of Marty Moon, the Gil Thorp basketball season storyline has mostly been about the poindexter at left here, the basketball manager who years to someday be a coach and also seems to be vaguely on the autistic spectrum somewhere. Anyway, I was totally on board when his shtick was all about improving players’ skills and irritating Coaches Gil and Kaz, but now he’s branching out to blathering at innocent teens about their #brand, so he must be stopped at all costs.
The setup for this joke is clunky and terrible — would any human ever make the abrupt shift in pronoun references necessary to make it work? — but I sincerely appreciate Francis’s exaggerated reaction, as he appears to not just be doing a spit-take but actually bobbling his beverage to comic effect. Also, do you think that’s supposed to be beer? Do you think that Francis is just hanging around his mother’s house while she chats with her friend, getting slightly buzzed and not talking to them even though he’s only sitting about 18 inches away? I hope so!
Meanwhile, in Bangalla, the amnesiac Phantom continues to send all ladies who lay eyes on him into an involuntary lust-frenzy. Is sexual arousal truly nature’s anesthetic? Guess our climber gal is going to find out!