Gil Thorp, 12/13/13
Ugh, guys, the football season Gil Thorp storyline ended up being so boring. Quick recap of how its various plot threads were “resolved”: it turned out that the big guy who never talks never talks because he was trapped in a car wreck with his dead parents for three days as a child, which is why he briefly freaked out when this happened; and Tip the gymnast/cheerleader, having been drafted onto the injury-decimated football team, scored the winning touchdown in the last game of the year by flipping over everyone’s head, gymnast-style. Milford didn’t even make the playdowns, obviously, but they did deny the conference championship to their hated rivals, so that’s worth something, right?
Anyway, basketball season doesn’t look like it’s going to be much better, given that Gil and Kaz are already handing out mental “good effort” awards to guys named things like “Don Stebbins.” I do appreciate Kaz’s attempt to liven things up a bit by dying his hair blue, to be more like the punk rockers he’s pretty sure the kids idolize.
Spider-sense: it may not protect you from debilitating blows from your adversaries to the back of your head, but if you’re interested in not lightly bumping into someone in the hallway at the office and getting hints about upcoming workplace personnel changes, it’s the superpower for you!
Slylock Fox, 12/4/13
Oh, goodie, it’s another Slylock panel that gives us a glimpse of the moment when humans lost control of the planet. Today’s installment is particularly eerie. There is no violence, we hear no screams of terror — that all would come later. No, today we just see a group of animals who have quite abruptly awoken into sapience, and realize that they could just walk out of this pet store any time they wanted. And so they do. “Come, come outside and join us,” say the frog and the parrot, who have already made it to freedom. “Come join us and take the dominion that is our due.”
I’m very excited that every single interaction during our visit to the nursing home is going to be super-depressing. “It’s a nursing home … we’re way past festive! We’re dying, don’t you get it? You’re wasting your time!”
After being yelled at by J. Jonah Jameson on the local morning show, Spider-Man is now being taunted by children, so I’m in a pretty good mood so far this week.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/25/13
Rex and June, who are married to each other, and have been for some time, and they were co-workers for a while before that, are meeting up with one of Rex’s high school buddies, which gives them an opportunity to … talk about Rex’s high school dating life? Which apparently they never had before? This strikes me as kind of weird, but maybe lots of people don’t want to know about their partner’s early romantic experience. Or maybe Rex has a good reason in particular to never talk about it. “I was cheerleading captain my senior year, and I dated a couple of cheerleaders, simultaneously. Well, ‘dated’ might be the wrong word, more like ‘brainwashed them and indoctrinated them into my sex-death cheerleading cult.’ And, yes, the reporters may have compared me to Charles Manson, but the big differences between me and Manson is that I wasn’t dumb enough to make the swastika on my forehead permanent, and also all the records were sealed, because I was a juvenile. Wait, maybe there was a reason I never told you about all this before.”
I somehow misread Momma’s statement in panel one as “Francis, you look more like Thomas Dewey everyday!” This would be completely in line chronologically with the strip’s usual cultural references. Francis doesn’t look anything like Thomas Dewey, of course, but he doesn’t look anything like his brother Thomas either, so whatever.
Has anyone considered that what Spider-Man has been overselling as his “spider-sense” is actually just what the rest of us call “irritation?”
The Lockhorns, 11/25/13
YES LEROY WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DIE WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DIE FOR MEEEEE
Funky Winkerbean, 11/18/13
Ahhh, another generation is about to be added to the great cycle of birth and death and misery, all of which takes place at Montoni’s pizza, just like everything else that happens in this awful town! Today’s strip makes for an interesting study in the passage of Funky-time: when Lisa gave birth to Darrin, she reacted to the first pangs of labor with obvious distress and Les was so startled that he jumped out of his chair, sending a slice of pizza a-flyin’. But the imminent birth of Darrin’s own child can prompt no reaction in Jessica other than heavy-lidded sarcasm, and Darrin himself barely gives a little jerk in his chair. With any luck, this illustration of the increasingly blasé reactions to major life events over time proves the acceleration of emotional entropy, with the heat death of the Funkyverse blessedly approaching.
Better Half, 11/18/13
The Better Half has seen the box office returns and knows the score: the real money for comics properties is in big-budget movie adaptations. Today’s panel represents a puzzling decision to try to convince David Cronenberg to create a Better Half film that focuses on nightmarish body horror.
At last, Spider-Man gets to live out his ultimate fantasy: instead of just yelling at someone on TV, he’ll get to yell at someone on TV while he is also on TV. “I’ll send him crawling back to print media!” he declares, that being the worst insult he can come up with.
Aww, poor Spider-Man once dreamed of having his name in lights, either as “Spider-Man” or “Peter Parker,” either one, I’m having a hard time parsing out exactly what he means in that first panel, but the important thing is that he feels an overwhelming sense of personal failure, which makes me happier than I can describe. Still, it’s not like Peter doesn’t still know how to enjoy himself in the crumbling ruin he calls a life! For instance, as long as he manages to distract his hugely successful wife so that she screws up in a very public manner, his day is a little bit brighter.
Mary Worth, 11/10/13
Ooh, it looks like Shelly’s award dinner is at New York’s historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel! Let’s take a look at Google Street View to see how accurately the strip managed to depict this landmark’s stunning art deco facade:
Yup, they pretty much nailed it! I couldn’t find any pictures of the hotel’s luxurious ballrooms, but I’m sure they all feature the hideous drop ceiling shown in today’s final panel as well.
Mary Worth, 11/8/13
I think we really need to start wondering if Mary Worth has reached its logical end state: with Mary in some kind of fugue state, possibly full of drugs on her deathbed, just fantasizing about people praising her. She’s not even imagining herself doing anything praiseworthy anymore; she’s just being lavished with praise for things she may or may not have done in the distant past. This is why Mary is looking so ecstatic in panel two: this is her dreamscape, so she can hear Shelly’s very thoughts, and knows that for her entire speech Sheylly will just be smiling beatifically and saying “Mary … Mary … thank you Mary … Mary … thank you … Mary …” for two or three hours.
Spider-Man’s thought balloons, meanwhile, are pretty much par for the course in terms of his general unlikeability. “Yeah, it’s such a burden seeing my wife’s hit play, the success of which is making her happy and supporting me financially. I can’t believe I have to keep doing this. Hey, someone just praised me, all right!”