Mary Worth and The Phantom, 11/9/15
Oh, dear, it looks like Mary Worth and Heloise, far from embarking on a grand adventure together, are just going to briefly chat in a cab and then go their separate ways. The Phantom strip can’t even bother to spend a whole strip on its own version of Mary and Heloise’s bland pleasantries, cutting away to two panels of the Ghost Who Walks’s elaborate and sadistic gamesmanship. Anyway, it’s good to know that the Phantom, who has a whole room full of priceless treasure and runs an actual diamond monopoly, encourages his daughter to benefit from the kindess of old ladies on fixed incomes.
Meanwhile, also in Manhattan, Spider-Man and Namor got into a fistfight and fell into the ocean, and MJ has decided that she’s going to save poor li’l Pharus? Somehow? Without his consent, or the consent of his guardians? I look forward to her bringing him to a doctor, who will say “Young woman, I’m not qualified to cure some kind of pointy-eared … fish … boy!” Or maybe he’ll just bust out the free samples of the new anti-pollution pills that the Pfizer rep brought over and the kid will be fine, and then Namor will feel sheepish and the conflict will be over.
You know who’s not going to be fine, though? The poor Atlantean who’s just had his life-preserving water-helmet shattered by White Lab Coat Lady over there! Sorry dude, I know you were just protecting this poor youth from the surface-monsters, but now you’re going to air-drown after being dispatched with a truly inscrutable witticism.
Dennis the Menace, 11/9/15
The year is 2047. Adult Dennis strips out of his Amazon-issued jumpsuit after completing his 19-hour shift in the vast Amazon Fulfillment Warehouse that occupies most of what was once known as “Ohio.” He nestles into his sleeping-shelf within the 100-square foot Dorm Pod that is his home; as he dims the lights, the last things he sees are the vast, mandatory portraits of Jeff Bezos that dominate each windowless wall. He thinks back to that day long ago, when he made that flippant remark to his mother about shopping — his mother had been reassigned to the Box Assembly Division somewhere in the Dakotas when he was a teenager, he hadn’t heard from her since. He began to think that maybe he had been the true menace, that day.
Gil Thorp, 11/9/15
Yeah, sure, OK, Gil wears a Milford sweatshirt to work pretty much every day, and you might think they all look the same, but he can tell them apart, OK? Mostly by the stains.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/9/15
[48 hours earlier, at the Morgans]
“Look, Rex, I’ve already signed mine. Will you just sign yours?”
“Ugh, will you stop talking if I do?”
“Fine. What is this about again?”
“Do you really care?”
“I suppose not.”
OK, I admit it: I will genuinely enjoy it if Ralph’s near-impossible dream is derailed by Crankshaft’s incompetence. It would bring things to a level of sad-sackery reminiscent of Peanuts, and I genuinely mean that as a compliment. Perhaps Crankshaft will actually engage in some self-reflection and self-recrimination, which I can only endorse; plus, let’s face it, Ralph would in fact be a terrible mayor.
Gil Thorp, 11/5/15
Welp, Holly has finally figured out what it’s gonna take to get Welcome Back, Carter ratings up to Survivor levels: some red-hot awkward English-teacher-making-a-failed-pass-at-football-coach action! I honestly can’t tell if she’s underestimating or overestimating the American viewing public here.
Pluggers remember when they were kids, when all they wanted to do was run and jump and play and move their bodies in all sorts of ways. Now, things are different. Now they’d rather move as little as possible, and even when they aren’t moving, they can’t quite seem to find a way to arrange their body so that some part of it doesn’t hurt. Sometimes pluggers think about how when they’re in the grave, they won’t have to move at all, and they won’t be able to feel anything. Pluggers have been thinking about that more and more lately.
Oh, hey, Spider-Man vs. Namor, remember that whole business? It’s been 11 days since I last updated you and these two guys are still just jawin’ down by the docks, getting ready to maybe someday go over to the U.N. to talk about pollution or whatever. I assumed this was just the strip’s usual go-nowhere pace, but apparently Namor was stalling as he brought out his secret weapon: a poor, sick undersea child who will tug at the world’s heartstrings and cause the surface-dweller leadership to rethink our ocean-polluting ways and hahahahaha I can’t even finish that sentence. Yo, Namor, there are plenty of human children who get sick due to water pollution; do you think we’re gonna care about some little fish-boy? Anyway, undersea life seems like it’s pretty harsh, with no concept of “focusing the positive,” since Namor responds to Pharus’s plea for hope by letting everyone know that, nope, this kid’s gonna die, and the best-case scenario now is that he does it adorably enough to get some kind of toothless UN Security Council resolution passed.
Gil Thorp, 10/26/15
“It didn’t happen to Survivor or American Idol, two shows that launched early in the era of reality television and were very different from anything else on American TV at the time. What do we need? A time machine? A time machine, to go back and launch our show in a less reality-saturated programming environment?”
Family Circus, 10/26/15
Man, I for one really wish we had gotten to see what Jeffy and Dolly did to get themselves expelled from the Keane Kompound, with only their paternal grandmother and God willing to take them in. Was it redhead-related? Did Big Daddy Keane get a revelation that gingers were spiritually unclean?