Mary Worth, 1/20/15
Uh oh, looks like there’s trouble in flute-playing paradise for Hanna and Sean! Why doesn’t Sean want Hanna to tag along with him to the nearby medical center? Does he want to keep the details about the medical ailment for which he’s seeking treatment secret from his new beau, because they’re embarrassing (incurable VD) or emotionally traumatizing (incurable impending death)? Is “nearby medical center” actually a euphemism for “the retirement home where one of my other girlfriends lives”? Is Hanna just starting to cramp his style? Is he going to blurt out “STOP SMOTHERING ME,” shattering this fragile happiness forever?
Judge Parker, 1/20/15
Every decade or so the soap opera strips need to offer up their backstories to new readers (haha, the soap opera strips think they have “new” readers) so I guess we’re going to hear the true tale of Neddy and Sophie, Tragic Orphans! I like the phrase “while Sam and Abbey were figuring out what to do with us,” because it conjures up the image of the destitute hobo family, rounded up by Spencer Farms security and locked in the holding cell deep beneath the stables, while Sam and Abbey watch the panicked trio on a hidden camera. “What should we do with them?” asks Sam. “We can’t let them go. They’ve already seen too much.” Then the grandfather dies. As the terrified children wail, Abbey rubs her chin. “I think … I’m pretty sure they’re going to grow up sexy, Sam. I think we can keep them.”
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/20/15
Jughaid is beginning to realize that his socio-economic class is so widely despised that contempt for it is engrained in the English language itself.
Dick Tracy, 1/20/15
Good news! The Dick Tracy-Funky Winkerbean crossover is going great. In today’s strip, our cop heroes use the implied power they have to imprison and punish to make Funky feel awkward and scared over a harmless joke.
Mark Trail, 1/20/15
I admit that I don’t fully grasp all the nuances of the villains’ scheme in the current Mark Trail plot, though I think it’s a safe bet that they’re all extremely stupid. So I don’t know why exactly this boat blew up, but when a Mark Trail installment consists entirely of a single-panel boat explosion, you’d better believe I’m going to report that to you.
Herb and Jamaal, 1/20/15
This punchline would’ve been a lot more obvious if Herb were looking at a smartphone or one of the other “modern technological advancements” Jamaal name-checks (a fax machine, maybe?). But frankly I like it how it stands. Herb doesn’t need your fancy high-tech geegaws to be a dick.
Let us contemplate, just for a moment, the financial aspects of Crankshaft’s existence. I’m pretty sure that he’s lived with his daughter and son-in-law over the whole course of the strip. Because he has a job operating a large vehicle full of school children, I have to assume that this isn’t because of any decline in his physical or mental capacities due to age, but rather because he can’t afford to live on his own. (It could, I suppose, be because of the warm, close, loving relationship he has with his familhahahaha I can’t even finish that sentence.) There was a whole plotline years ago revolving around some bad kids on his bus known as the “rough riders”; Crankshaft, presumably in a fit of pique, promised to pay for their college education if they actually shaped up and graduated from high school, and then when they did it turned out he had forgotten to save any money to back up this boast, so he tapped into his retirement savings. But even before that incident he was living crabbily with his descendents, so he’s probably always been kind of hard up. Anyway, this is a long way of me wondering if Crankshaft is following these kids around and offering to outbid them just to be a dick, or if he’s genuinely so desperate for cash that he’s literally willing to undercut child labor. He’s ripe for recruitment for one of Neddy Spencer’s old-person labor camps!
Judge Parker, 1/6/15
Speaking of the beloved Spencer-Driver clan, they’re discovering they only have twelve bottles of wine to last two adults for three or four days, so things could get dicey! Seriously, Sophie is getting way worked up about this baby squirrel business. Nobody should be sober for that.
Meanwhile, the cavemen of B.C. are suggesting novel sexual activities to one another. It’s sad to see that even so early in the development of our species, some of us were very set in our ways.
Happy New Year, faithful readers! I have returned from my year’s end journey and am ready to amuse you once more with my comic-mocking wit, which I’ve been inflicting on you all for ten years now and which I’ll never stop ever, probably. As usual, I intended to take a break from the (electronic simulacrum of the) funny pages over vacation, but upon return felt compelled to catch up with my beloved soaps and some of the other strips, and have curated the best and dumbest here for you!
Dick Tracy, 12/25/14
In one of several plots I haven’t been keeping you updated on in Dick Tracy, Dick’s son Junior and his wife Sparkle Plenty are having a baby! Which was apparently delivered on Christmas Day, accompanied by a biblical quotation implying heavily that Dick’s new grandchild is the new Messiah, the Anointed One who will usher in God’s Kingdom on Earth. Will Dick resist the new divine order with all the violence at his disposal, or will he serve as the agent of his holy Descendent, mostly by shooting His or Her enemies?
Gil Thorp, 12/25/14
In a treasured Gil Thorp holiday tradition, Gil and Mimi pose for a Christmas picture that does not include the hideously ugly children they used to have.
Judge Parker, 12/25/14
Judge Parker wished us a Merry Christmas from the eerily empty Sonoron Desert, which, with any luck, our heroes’ RV will soon wander into, only to break down again, leaving them exposed to the elements.
Apartment 3-G, 12/25/14
On Christmas Day, Margo showed the true holiday spirit: she knows there’s no greater gift a boss can give her harried and almost certainly underpaid employee than to allow him to buy her dinner.
Funky Winkerbean, 12/26/14
“Either way, it’s definitely going to be your fault when I relapse! Aren’t you glad you came back?”
Mary Worth, 12/26/14
Mary Worth’s promotion of a healthy and active sexual lifestyle for seniors has now dovetailed with its firm belief in filial piety. Remember, it’s acceptable for a mother to cockblock her daughter, but not vice-versa.
(Also, psst, speaking of Mary Worth, faithful reader Wanders’s Mary Worth And Me blog is hosting the Annual Worthy Awards! Go over and vote!)
Mark Trail, 12/26/14
Wait, Mitchum, didn’t you hire local thugs in order to keep your fingerprints (both metaphorical and literal) off of this brutal crime you have planned? And here you are showing your face to your victims! Whatever you do, don’t explain to everyone who you are and why you’re doing this!
Mark Trail, 12/27/14
God damn it, Mitchum.
Traditionally, this time of year Curtis graces us with a nutty Kwanzaa storyline, featuring things like bat-winged bears and giant telepathic otters and adorable tiny primates stabbing witches in the neck. Unfortunately, this year in lieu of such delightful madness, we are instead getting days and days of Curtis’s dad sitting on the couch and kvetching about how Kwanzaa is getting so commercialized these days, which, in addition to being super boring, is, I’m reasonably sure, not even remotely true.
Mark Trail, 12/30/14
I guess Mitchum and his thugs are wearing matching shirts as a sort of Eco-Terrorism False Flag Uniform, but for a brief moment I had hoped that, upon deciding to punch Mark, Mitchum’s hair peeled off the top of his head to form the bald-ponytail combo in panel three — that his decision to assault our hero had in other words caused him to literally flip his lid.
Apartment 3-G, 1/1/15
Margo Magee’s management secrets … revealed!!!
Mary Worth, 1/2/15
Welp, it looks like Hanna and Amy aren’t so apocalyptically angry at each other anymore, and Hanna is using her powers of witchcraft to summon up an image of her new boyfriend for her daughter to admire. Meanwhile, though, Gordon has been reunited with his true love, the television set.
And I have returned to my true love: entertaining all of you! Normal-style comics blogging resumes tomorrow! Happy 2015, and may God have mercy on our souls!