Mary Worth, 12/2/13
As Mary Worth whines to Broadway has-been Ken Kensington about how she misses New York’s “former charm,” let’s do a little age-math, shall we? I have a strong memory (though I can’t find it now) of some official or semi-official King Features source describing Mary as “perpetually 60.” Maybe she’s a little older, but surely not past her mid-60s. Mary has said earlier in this storyline that she used to live in New York when she was a young woman; again the dates are fuzzy, but we can say with relatively certainty that this period in her life was somewhere between 30 and 40 years years ago. The years from 1973 to 1983 were, of course, the Taxi Driver/Bernie Goetz era in New York City, so you probably need to rethink whatever you were imagining when Mary wistfully recalled the city’s “former charm.” Presumably she’s one of those people who can’t go through Times Square without muttering about how it looks like a God-damn mall now that that asshole Giuliani shut down all the porn theaters. “After your experience with that mugger, it may be hard for you to agree!” “I’ll be okay, Ken. I’m shaken … shaken by how half-assed that mugging was. What self-respecting New York City thug would just give up when confronted by a portly actor? Why aren’t I lying dead in a puddle of my own blood right now?”
How exactly are those lids staying on the trash cans as the Garbage Ape swings them to and fro? Don’t those owls look like they were just cut and pasted from another drawing and plopped onto a picture of a pine tree without regards for what exactly might be holding them up? I hate to say it, but rampant Garbage Ape mania has upped the demand for this lovable/mysterious character so much that the strip is churning out some slapdash art to keep up.
Beetle Bailey, 12/2/13
Article 115 of the U.S. Military Code of Justice, “Malingering,” says that “Any person subject to this chapter who for the purpose of avoiding work, duty, or service feigns illness, physical disablement, mental lapse or derangement … shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” So, good news for everyone who ever wanted to see Beetle Bailey locked up in a military prison. Camp Swampy is clearly not a “hostile fire pay zone” but I’m guessing that the military still considers us to be living “in time of war” for legal purposes, so he’s looking at three years of hard time!
Ha ha, look at how terrified that little blonde child is! “He’s heavy! So heavy! Heavier than anything alive from our space-time continuum has any right to be! You’ll die in agony, your bones crushed to powder under a pile of impossibly dense meat, all while he sleeps his ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep!”
Judge Parker, 12/2/13
“I don’t think it matters that we live in a world where mysterious, incredibly skilled black ops troops with no obvious allegiance to any nation-state can swoop into anywhere in the world, with tactical data gained from omnipresent and near-omniscient surveillance tech, and snatch up anyone they want, killing dozens of insurgents, criminals, and terrified bystanders in the process! Just don’t worry your pretty little head over the fact that unimaginable military power will protect you, so long as some member of the ultra-rich mega-elite takes a shine to you and orders your rescue on a whim! The important thing is that Ross is safe! You know, for now.”
Judge Parker, 12/1/13
Congratulations, Judge Parker! You’ve offered us many tantalizing hints that the story of Neddy’s Kidnapped Do-Gooder Friend And His Sad Wife might end in some interesting way: that they might be scam artists, that the husband might be a scam artist without his wife’s knowledge, that Neddy might have to part with enough of her trust fund to make a dent in her lifestyle to pay the ransom, that there might be some moral dilemma involved in sending heavily armed U.S. special forces into a densely populated city, etc. But instead, you stuck to your core competency: none of that happened, and the plot was wrapped up as boringly as possible, even considering said wrapping up involved the phrase “extraction team”! Obviously we don’t actually get to see all this derring-do; if this strip isn’t going to even bother showing us a main character’s triumphant cheerleading routine, it certainly isn’t going to let us see a bunch of people we barely even know shooting guns and/or getting shot. I guess there could be more to this, but the final panel sure seems to promise more boring times to come, unless you find the idea of obscenely privileged twentysomething heiresses dropping out of art school and moving back in with their easily irritated parents exciting. (Having typed that out, I think I might actually find that exciting, so hooray for Neddy’s return, I guess?)
This is a good example of a cartoon where the throwaway panels at the top entirely change the complexion of the strip. Notice that Archie says that he was stung by a bee as he was walking in to the bowling alley. Either those throwaway panels take place in the moment just before he made the fateful decision to stick his rapidly swelling thumb into the bowling ball, or, more likely, he’s just in a foul mood because once again he’s gone on a date with Veronica that’s amply demonstrated that they’re totally different people and he actually finds her quite irritating and he’s really only attracted to the idea of her, but he can’t admit that to anybody, not even himself, so instead he’s come up with some completely cockamamie story so he doesn’t have to talk about what’s in his heart.
Panel from Mark Trail, 12/1/13
“Deer are native to every continent worldwide! Except for, you know, two of them. Out of seven! But still, that’s solid 71% continent coverage. Good job, deer!”
Judge Parker, 10/27/13
Look at April’s cool, carefully controlled expression in panel two. That’s the look of a woman used to the shadowy world of international espionage, where wheels spin within wheels and suspicion is a must. Unbelievable coincidence? You’d better believe April finds it unbelievable, because April doesn’t believe in coincidences. She’s not exactly sure what’s going on here yet, but rest assured that it will end with someone quietly and efficiently killed and their body thrown off the boat. Will it be Audrey? Her seasick husband? Judge Parker Senior himself? Why choose! Can’t be too careful!
The paw-on-wing high-fiving going on in the background of the final panel ought to chill you to your very core. We can’t assume that this bird-mouse cabal will dissolve now that the allies have overcome their common feline enemy. With a mastery of disguise and control of both land and air, they are capable of anything.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/19/13
Look at your plate Rex just look at the plate she can’t know no one must ever know.
Psst: Kitchen — eat.
Six Chix, 10/19/13
In a stunning development, Aaron Hill returns to Luann.
Judge Parker, 10/19/13
Narcissist boor Alan Parker interrogates his tablemates before introducing himself or his family, and burns with the knowledge that not only is Audrey the nemesis-critic who panned his terrible novel but this is not lemon in his martini God DAMN the world and everything in it!
Katherine slurps her cough syrup, transfixed: April was right — murder up close looks nothing like in the movies!
Ha ha ok what the hell:
Facebook and Zynga turn to Blondie for promotion, in what Wall Streeters call a “sell signal.”
News item: Longtime faithful reader Ned Ryerson, proprietor of the excellent and hilarious Gil Thorp blog This Week in Milford
, announced Thursday that he’s throwing in the towel, hanging up his spurs, and other metaphors for not going to do it any more. Despite its highly selective focus, TWIM
had lots of innovative features, and if you haven’t ever checked out the “Milford Pantheon of Hair” or “What the Hell is Going On Here?”, you should give it a look.
TWIM remains my go-to reference for Gil Thorp character names, team positions, and incidental nonsense, and I remember the day I beat Ned to a stupid golf joke in the wee hours of the morning as one of the high points of my life. Thanks for the laughs, Ned, and hope we’ll continue to see you ’round these parts!
– Uncle Lumpy
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Judge Parker, 10/17/13
Why it’s the Harrisons! Hello … Audrey! DUN DUN DUN DUN!!!!
Judge Parker, 6/21/13
Well, Audrey, the Parkers actually consider it their table, and you’ll be pretty *&^% lucky if they let you sit down at it, placecards or no.
But as the solitary drop of rain to have fallen on the Parkers’ parade in recent memory, dear Professor Harrison, won’t you please sit over here with us, and your husband too? May we freshen up those drinks for you? Now tell us, in careful, patient detail, leaving nothing out, all the ways that Alan Parker’s The Chambers Affair is a derivative, puerile, monotonous, steaming mass of gelatinous offal. We’ve got all night.
Back at the Parkers’ table, that is the purplest “California chablis” I’ve seen in my life. I’m beginning to think Sam and Abby aren’t very capable vintners.
Mark Trail, 10/17/13
Ah, the lunatic majesty of a Mark Trail plan. All he has to do is confront two heavily armed co-conspirators in the middle of a wilderness. What could possibly go wrong?
I do love the action pose in panel two — if that phone weren’t already dead, it would be in for one heck of a beating right now.
The joke is that Crankshaft thinks this is a joke. The shame is that he steps completely out of character to backstop a stupid golf gag. The tragedy is he’s even less appealing this way. The irony is that those charming panel-one leaves demonstrate a level of craft and imagination far beyond anything the text deserves.
These little flickers of self-awareness never amount to anything.
– Uncle Lumpy
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/13/13 (panels)
What is the relationship between art and reality — among the dreamer, the dream, and the dreamed? Magritte gives us one viewpoint, Snuffy Smith another.
Snuffy reveals how the artist not only creates a work but selects its audience, source of his reputation and claims to authenticity. He is his own best example: once a mere usurper in Barney Google’s strip, he now asserts his own membership in the very elites who read his Sunday “throwaway panels” in their expansive flatlander newspapers or on high-falutin’ electronic devices. With a delicate hanky-dab at his nose, he rises — refined and redefined, “Snuffy” no more!
Judge Parker, 10/13/13 (panel)
Boy, this lady sure hates hats, doesn’t she?
Beetle Bailey, 10/13/13
You know, there are plenty of attractive and willing human partners around, like Sarge’s Sgt. Louise Lugg, Beetle’s Miss Buxley, and Killer’s groupies, but it’s all surrogates with these guys: robots, trees, and again with Beetle’s beloved pillow here. I’m just saying that’s kind of messed up.
Mary Worth, 10/13/13 (panel)
We had to wait a long time to see Mary’s head impaled on a fish, but I think we can all agree it was worth it.
Mooch ignores the comics’ prohibition of “FLICK” to imply that Earl has sex with his own parasites.
– Uncle Lumpy