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Gil Thorp, 8/30/14
Oh ha ha, a nationally-ranked star quarterback just fell into Gil’s lap because Valley Tech “didn’t feel right” or some such B.S. Panel-2 Gil can barely suppress his glee (that’s Gil glee – trust me on this). With True on board, he’ll be able to bluff his way through the entire season and still win a game or two; maybe even make the playdowns. Of course rivalries will tear his team apart and his betrayal will scar his young charges for life, but let’s keep our eye on the bigger picture here, shall we?
Dick Tracy, 8/30/14
In their vulnerable moments, even law-abiding citizens of peaceful countries can be overcome by dark paranoid fantasies in which armed officers chuckle as they blithely ignore law and principle in service to their wealthy masters. For more than 80 years, it has been the role of Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie to present this paranoid hellscape as a kind of utopia.
Citizens! Don’t let the face of Sam Catchem be the last face you see! Comply!
Apartment 3-G, 8/30/14
I bow to no one — not even the Comics Curmudgeon himself — in my devotion to Apartment 3-G, which I have been following since the Kennedy administration, and daily for the last eight years. But when I saw today’s strip, I realized I had absolutely no memory of this “Rick” (Tommie’s recently deceased fiancé was named Jim). That implies that Rick is unmemorable even by the standards of Apartment 3-G men — a sort of black hole of interest from which nothing can escape. A long grind through the archives yielded this image from the March 2012 “Tommie is going to be a singer or some damn thing” story, so yup:
Apartment 3-G, 3/9/12
The steady degeneration of Tommie’s boyfriends brings a chilling thought. What if all this didn’t begin in May, 1961, but further back — say, at the Dawn of Time? Imagine Tommie as not a woman but as Woman Herself: Eve, Helen of Troy, Mary Magdalene, Cleopatra, Wu Hou, Jeanne d’Arc, Nzinga Mbande, Pocahontas, Florence Nightingale, Colette, Lucille Ball, Eva Perón — all hanging around with the likes of Gary from IT, ol’ Doc Buckethead, and this “Rick” here. It’s disgusting.
Mary Worth, 8/30/14
Predictably, Dr. Drew has been secretly replaced by some kind of insane judgmental robot, condemning his fellow doctors as much for their humanity as for their errors. He seems quite certain about Kaphut’s fate, probably because he plans to carry it out himself.
Mary’s point, of course, is that Kaphut should suffer worse than merely being torn apart by a crazed homicidal machine, even though such a thing is not possible. That way both Drew and Kaphut come up short, so it’s win-win in her book.
Westward Bound! Day Five
Splashdown — in Austin! Midway through their 3,000-mile trip, with a well-earned day of loafing ahead. Then off again, into the searing West Texas heat.
– Uncle Lumpy
Family Circus, 8/22/14
Sure, we’ve always joked about the way the Keane Kids are drawn in this strip, with their hugely spherical noggins. Called ’em “melonheads.” It’s always been in good fun. We just figured it was a quirk of the artists’ style. But what if we’ve been wrong? What if these children are an intermediary stage in a selective breeding program with the goal of producing a monstrous post-human superbeing with the largest, roundest head possible? “No, PJ,” Dolly admonishes. “That chair is not for you. It is not for any of us. We are mere forerunners of He who is to come. That chair is a throne for the megacraniumed God who will eventually arrive to rule humankind. He will place it atop a pyramid of his enemies’ skulls. Their puny, puny skulls.”
Never forget that the central “joke” of Crankshaft, the “fun” Funkyverse strip, is that Ed Crankshaft is so terrible at his job that all the parents in town actively seek out information on school district transportation staffing decisions that in most jurisdictions would be of interest to nobody, because they fear for their children’s lives. Today we see that his reign of awful bus driving terror has concrete and negative economic impacts on this poor city’s real estate market.
Dick Tracy, 8/22/14
SORRY PROFESSIONAL CRIME-SOLVERS BUT I THINK YOU FIND THAT IF YOU TAKE AWAY SOME OF THESE LETTERS AND RE-ARRANGE THE REST YOU GET THE NAME OF SOMEONE WE ALREADY DISLIKE WELP GUESS WE’RE DONE HERE
I like to make fun of the Goggle Eyes of Horror that often accompany Shoe punchlines, but I don’t mean to neglect their complement, the Heavy Lids of Despair, which the Perfesser is sporting in both panels here to excellent effect. Never mind why Roz is asking Cosmo the kind of question normally posed in a job interview — she probably sees him every day and he’s the only one in the restaurant, so lord knows it’s not surprising they long ago ran out of things to talk about. The facial expression accompanying his response is pricelessly appropriate: he’s in late middle age, working in a dying industry, and living in filth with a nephew he barely tolerates. What does she think he’s going to be doing in five years? The same stuff, obviously, only with more heart blockage and worrying letters about the state of the Bird Newspaper Guild pension fund he’d been counting on for his meager retirement. He’s asking Siri, which is notoriously terrible at understanding anything but the most basic and restricted questions, what the future holds, but his face tells you he’s only doing it because he knows the answer all too well.
Mark Trail, 8/20/14
New Mark Trail scribe James Allen may be shaking things up in the storied strip, but he knows how to give readers what they tune in for: namely, colossally moronic villains who just leave evidence of their misdeeds lying around in publicly accessible unlocked crates, and Mark saying “What th’!” And we can also see a new tradition forming: the shocking moment of revelation in each poaching-related storyline will include Mark sadly verbalizing exactly which animal part or byproduct is being poached. Anyway, Chris “Dirty” Whathisname is gonna get punched real soon. Note that even before finding evidence of his guilt, Mark refused to use the man’s ludicrous self-appointed nickname in his internal monologue.
Gil Thorp, 8/20/14
Welp, this summer’s high-stakes storyline about star football prospect/retro architecture aficionado True Standish considering going to Milford has ended with … True Standish going to one of Milford’s conference arch-rivals! And all because Coaches Thorp and Kaz refused to ratchet up the pressure and try to force the Mudlarks to become a high school football powerhouse that could really highlight True’s skills, an admirable attitude that also nicely dovetails with their desire to do as little work as possible. I’m guessing this isn’t the last we’ll seen of True, but even if it is, we’ll always have panel three’s ludicrously awkward handshake to remember him by.
Dick Tracy, 8/20/14
Hey, remember when Dick Tracy’s wife couldn’t get an email for days and days because her ISP had a virus? You might think that represents a terrible technical failure on their part, but now that we know that Dick sends all his emails as large video files of him talking rather than just text like a normal person, I’m beginning to have some sympathy for the pressure this particular customer puts on their infrastructure.
Dennis the Menace, 8/20/14
This would be an extremely non-menacing installment of Dennis Misunderstands Very Common English-Language Turns Of Phrase In the Darndest Way were it not for the look of genuine terror on his face. “But — Mr. Wilson! Mrs. Wilson reported that you’d already chronovoyaged to 1935 and were living undercover backwhen to prevent General Murchinson’s grandparents from ever meeting one another! Our upstream agents report that the timeline is still polluted and there’s a 95% possibility likelihood that the coup will have occurred in the next six to nine weeks! Unless — have you been ricocheted back to nowtime by a paradox-eddy? Have-will President-for-Life Murchinson’s own time-scientists perfect(ed) the technology to set up a Time Travel Exclusion Zone around certain dates? We thought we will have taken every precaution!”
Marvin has taken a break from its usual array of poop jokes this week to focus on one of the more recent and unpleasant additions to its cast: Marvin’s grandparents’ unpleasant little dog. Today we learn that Marvin’s grandparents’ unpleasant little dog is openly obsessed with racial purity.