Apartment 3-G, 11/4/13
Oddball misfit Marty sure is learning some stuff about how to be a bad girl from her bad girl friend Tori! For instance, she’s learning how to make the jerk-off gesture when talking (or, in this case, thinking) about jerk-offs like her dad. She hasn’t quite gotten all the nuances down yet — for instance, you should do it sort off to the side while sneering, rather than right in front of your face while you look like you’re about to cry — but it’s nice to see her trying new things!
Slylock Fox, 11/4/13
I originally thought the solution to this puzzle was going to involve the boxer shorts that Count Weirdly hadn’t taken off yet, thanks to his last shred of human decency. But no, it’s based on the fact that your hair and nails are already dead! I’m not sure what’s more unsettling, the image of a man invisible except for his hair and nails, or the thought that we’re all covered with corpse-bits that spout out of our very flesh.
You’d think that Peter Parker’s own extremely non-lucrative journalism career would give him a little more sympathy for the sad souls who pissed their editors off enough to be exiled to the Spider-Man beat for their various publications. But nope, being Spider-Man means you can just be a stone-cold dick to whoever you want!
I love how unimpressed and aggravated Heathcliff’s owner is here. What good is it even to have a cat that uses his terrifying control over the forces of darkness to manipulate matter and cancel out gravity if you still have mice?
Good news, everybody! The Tarantula and Spider-Man defeated El Condor, and the Tarantula was all about restoring democracy to Costa Verde and holding free and fair elections, but then like forty guys who showed up in the capital to watch El Condor’s arrest shouted that Tarantula should lead them, so now he’s going by “Mr. Presidente” and striking a Jesus Christ pose in front of his fanatical followers. ¡Viva la revolución! Anyway, Spidey, having encouraged Tarantula’s coup, is now enjoying some of its sweet, sweet material benefits. “Whoa whoa whoa, I get to fly on a plane while lying on a couch? This is amaaazing!”
Speaking of violent revolution, years of privation and failed leadership have finally broken down military discipline in the Lost Patrol. The angry men plan to lynch their leader, only to be killed themselves by a stratagem of the brutal commander they hate so much. It’s OK, though, because this bloody conflict has been given the cute name “grumble time!” Ha ha, those kooky grumbling starving murderous legionnaires!
Panels from Hi and Lois, 11/3/13
I’m not sure what I love more about today’s Hi and Lois throwaway panels: that Chip (estimated birth date: 1997) is waxing nostalgic to his little sister about the cocaine-fueled glory days of the ’70s New York disco scene, or that Dot, sullen and angry at having been confronted by an unfamiliar cultural reference, calls him “chip dip” in her head. I for one will be responding to things I don’t understand with “Whatever that means, chip dip” from now on.
“So I’m available? Over here? Eh? Eh? Available for sex? Eh?”
Mark Trail, 10/24/13
So I hadn’t mentioned this earlier but Johnny Walker shot an elk and wounded it but then didn’t bother to follow it and put it out of its misery, and though I’m a city slicker who is terrified of things you encounter while hunting (guns, animals, direct sunlight, “outside,” etc.) it was pretty clear to me from context that this made him evil. And now, as he flees with Mark Trail’s enormous, battery-drained cell phone, he’s about to meet that elk, and its huge, razor-sharp antlers! Pretty sure this is the first example of “Chekov’s elk” in the history of narrative.
Yeah, so, Spidey and the Tarantula have pretty much won their fight against El Condor and his regime, but they still seem to be awful cocky about their current scenario? Remember, this is a brutal dictator for whom the best case near-term scenario probably involves a brief show trial before a Revolutionary Tribunal resulting in a sentence of execution by firing squad; more likely outcomes involve a rope, a lamppost in the plaza in front of the presidential palace, and nobody who knows how to do a hanging properly so it’s swift and painless. So, you know, why not shoot at one or more of the spider-themed superheroes who helped the leftist running dogs overthrow you? Especially when they’re both being so smug and irritating?
Speaking of revolutions: Crankshaft knew that his own reign of terror couldn’t last forever, that eventually the children on his bus route and their parents and his co-workers and his own family would realize they had had enough of him, and would organize to send him into the dustbin of history. But unlike El Condor, Crankshaft was prepared. You could still just barely hear the angry mob in the distance, baying for blood, but already the CIA helicopter was landing inside Crankshaft’s compound. The citizenry could take their rage out on his fence and his yard, could tear his house to bits, but they would never find Crankshaft. It was like he was never there at all.
So ends the Fall 2013 Comics Curmudgeon fundraiser. Don’t forget the “Donate” button over there on the left, for late contributions or whenever the spirit moves you. Sincere thanks to everyone!
“Astella! She — is dead!”
“Yes, and tastefully off-panel, with wisps of smoke wafting from the charred remains of her once-lovely face. Beautiful she was, Astella, and cunning! But in the end, neither quality could save her, because she lacked the experience and common sense to realize that her gun had become …. Hey waitaminute, T — why are we here, again?”
“Free Rosa and capture El Cóndor.”
“Oops. Sorry, my bad.”
Dick Tracy, 10/18/13
And it’s starting to rain!
Hey doofus, in what sense do you “know how to pilot” the Space Coupe if you can’t make it go where you want, or at the very minimum make it not go where you don’t want? Mmmmm?
Gil Thorp, 10/18/13
But that won’t stop Milford running back Chip Visci and linebackers Omari Troy and Troy Costello — touchdown!
I sincerely and unironically admire this strip’s fidelity to its team rosters. Players come in as freshmen, move up the ranks, sometimes transfer in and out, graduate, and sometimes come back. Some but not all play multiple sports. Seasons start in approximately real time, and the first weeks of each arc [football, basketball, baseball] present the roster so readers can follow along at home. That is some serious attention to craft, right there. We saw something similar in Funky Winkerbean a while back, when a character showed up to correct a minor continuity lapse revealed by publication of a 1970′s compilation.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/18/13
June is intrigued by this talk of mariticide: “Say, why don’t I stop by and ask the wife to tell me exactly how she did it? More moss, dear?”
Apartment 3-G, 10/18/13
Bad Girl Tori doesn’t just defy authority – she defies gravity. And mocks fashion with her signature reverse combover.
Program note: just a reminder that Comments of the Week are delayed until Josh’s return on Sunday, or maybe Monday, whatevs.
– Uncle Lumpy
Six Chix, 10/8/13
Oh, you really expect us to believe this is only “one day” at the Louvre, Six Chix? If you posit that inanimate statues are capable of thought but not movement or communication, then the Venus de Milo has been has been silently screaming about her missing arms for centuries. If only her head had fallen off during all those years underground! Then at least the thinking, the useless, awful, endless thinking, would be over and done with! Or maybe statues don’t think with their heads. Maybe being headless would only render her unable to see or hear, an unmoored mind whirling forever within cold, lifeless stone. Anyway, I know my next trip to the museum just got a lot more depressing!
Speaking of museums, Six Chix seems to have taken advantage Rex Morgan’s discovery that you can put naked butts in the comics as long as it’s fancy art, and has gone one step further and shown us some full-on boobs. If only certain other strips had the nerve to push the envelope!
Mary Worth, 10/8/13
Haha, remember when Mary was determined to spend more time with Jeff? Well, that plan is off if it involves going with him to gross third world countries, apparently! “I too am going on a trip … to … somewhere not infested with giant insects, and where I can get a nice dinner that won’t confuse and terrify me? Yes, let’s say that.”
Sure, El Condor’s regime is a brutal dictatorship, but he doesn’t only use his iron fist to crush all political dissent! He also uses it to enforce sensible modern building safety codes.
Of the 24 blackbirds that had been captured, stunned, and laid atop a disc of pizza dough just before it was shoved into an unbearable hot oven, 23 somehow survived the hellish inferno and emerged with enough strength to fly off when Heathcliff opened the box. They were horribly burned and forever traumatized, to be sure, but at least they had avoided the grisly fate awaiting blackbird number 24. Perhaps it had mercifully succumbed during the baking process; but perhaps it was still conscious, covered in cheese and sauce, too weak to move, but still terribly aware of Heathcliff looking down at it, not even with hunger, just with cool, heavy-lidded detachment. He would be eating that last blackbird, oh yes. In his own time. In his own time.
You can’t even imagine how happy I am to see Spider-Man smugly announce he’s going to use one of his bona fide superpowers, and then fail really ostentatiously, while producing a hilarious “NHHHNN” noise. It’s like they wrote this strip just for me! “I loosened it for you” is what you say as a joke when you try and fail to open a pickle jar and then someone else opens it easily, by the way. Anyway, I hope that our poor sad-eyed webbed-up guard was able to derive at least a little bit of satisfaction from this whole scene.