Mary Worth, 7/25/16
Oh man, it looks like the “June Brigman and Roy Richardson do Mary Worth art on Sundays but Joe Giella still does the dailies” era was shorter than we thought! Farewell, Joe, who got an excellent sendoff from Uncle Lumpy back when the new team made their first appearance, and here’s a lovely blog post from strip writer Karen Moy. I actually missed the tiny “bye” in Giella’s signature box in Friday’s strip. It heartens me that his last Mary Worth panel was Tommy’s sweaty Vicodin bliss-out, which I’m reproducing here in larger format, for posterity:
Anyway, I think we should all remember Giella the way he’d want to be remembered: as the man who drew Mary Worth as Wonder Woman. Enjoy retirement, Joe!
Meanwhile, the important thing about today’s strip is that it takes a village to create a pill addict. “Gee, I hope Tommy doesn’t bother me while I try to study for my big tests! I figure the more Vicodin he takes, the quieter he’ll be.”
Oh, hey, remember this guy, who we all sort of thought might be Crankshaft’s future vegetative husk? Well, last week we learned that he was actually “Beanball” Bushka, Crankshaft’s arch-rival back when they played on the Toledo Mud Hens literally before World War II (don’t try to make the chronology work, you’ll hurt yourself), and who exploited Crankshaft’s illiteracy to bump him from a game where scouts were in attendance, thus ruining his big league dreams forever, but then he wrote a letter to the Mud Hens confessing and now they’re … going to retire his number? This is not just happening in the funny pages, but in actual real life on July 29th, and thanks to faithful reader Aphthakid for pointing this out to me and no thanks to faithful reader Bill Peschel for linking to the picture of the officially licensed Crankshaft bobblehead that will be handed out to thousands of baffled minor league baseball attendees. Seriously, literally nobody there is going to have a clue what’s going on. Crankshaft’s own granddaughter does her best to forget who he is.
Ahhhh, it looks like the new Bugle owner is Jonah’s cousin-in-law, Egghead! As someone who writes about newspaper comics for a living but consistently refuses to read or learn about superhero comics, I immediately jumped to Wikipedia for a quick primer on who this guy is. Here are some sentences taken at random from his extensive bio:
- “Ant-Man tricked him into thinking the ants had betrayed him before revealing that the ants were his friends and would never turn against him.”
- “Arnim Zola later created a proto-husk of Egghead as part of his Corpse Corp.”
- “Although his original programming was ‘to respect all human life,’ a female neo-Nazi named Big Zero (who seems to have a relationship with this Egghead) has reprogrammed him to hate several minorities.”
Guys, I know they’re basically the foundation of all modern cultural production now, but … I think superhero comics are kind of silly?
Funky Winkerbean, 7/25/16
It’s been long established that Montoni’s is Westview’s only viable business, so this labor-saving innovation is going to double the local unemployment rate. But Montoni doesn’t care! He’s lived in Florida for years. See ya, sad sacks!
Oh, thank goodness all that super-powered combat is over and done with so we can move on to … drama in the contracting media business! You know, when I started writing that sentence I was being sarcastic, but by the time I got to the end of it I was 100% sincere. Please, please show me J. Jonah Jameson arguing with angry BugleCo shareholders, and eventually changing the company to “buonc” and making Peter Parker run the Snapchat channel for no extra pay. This would be roughly a million times better than a couple of dumb wizards fighting over the Wand of fucking Watoomb.
Mark Trail, 7/17/16
Hey, kids! Are you interested in visiting mass graves full of the herpes-ridden corpses of enormous, grotesque fish? Visit the Murray-Darling river basin in 2018! (This message brought to you by Tourism Australia. Australia! The Island-Continent of Waking Nightmares™!)
Hmm, let me tell you about another guy who had one of those “best of times, worst of times” days, Dagwood. His name was Sydney Carton and he got beheaded, so maybe you shouldn’t be so concerned about a little cash, OK?
Mary Worth, 7/13/16
The Sad Story Of Tommy’s Back Problems could’ve gotten into some interesting socioeconomic territory, examining how someone who works as a janitor at a small business, almost certainly without employer-provided health insurance or sick days, deals with an injury that, while not permanently debilitating, would keep him from working for a period of time. Instead, we’re real concerned about how this will affect Tommy’s relationship with his coworker/girlfriend, who apparently only sees him at work, and who will quickly forget he even exists if he doesn’t show up, so I guess we’re going to get some comical scenes of Tommy trying to operate a mop while doped to the gills on Vicodin. “I don’t want my girl to forget what I look like!” he says, while staring into the mirror, determined that he won’t forget what he looks like either. Poor Tommy seems to think he has a very forgettable face.
One of Prague’s biggest tourist attractions is the New Synagogue, so called because when it was built in the 1270s it took over the position as the city’s main synagogue from other, even older houses of worship. Now I’ve encountered (and even perpetrated) some ugly-American-abroad-isms in my time, but I’m willing to bet that exactly zero American visitors see the place and say “Whoa whoa whoa, this place is super old. I want to see something new, like the name implies. Gimme some poured concrete, an injection-molded facade over over plywood frame, the whole nine yards. I didn’t come all the way to Europe to see something historic.” And yet we are meant to believe that Marvin’s family is reacting exactly thus! Each strip seems intent on making sure we understand that Marvin isn’t uniquely terrible, but instead comes from a deep and ancient lineage of badness.
Despite the fact that he’s being played by known Briton Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming film, good ol’ Steve Strange is in fact 100% American, as he seems to be going out of his way to make clear here. “Yep, those Yankees, they sure play in the World Series a lot! The World Series is the championship of Major League Baseball, a sport that I, like most ordinary Americans, enjoy following. Please do not hunt me down and burn me at the stake due to my practice of sinister witchcraft, the techniques of which I mastered in the mysterious Orient.”
At first I assumed “demon” was just another cute pet name Greg uses for his eldest son, but no, check out the devil horns Curtis is flashing in that last panel. I think we need to make our peace with the fact that Curtis created a flash mob using the demonic powers granted to him thanks to his allegiance to the Lord of Lies, the King of Hell, whose affection for millennials is well known.