Mark Trail, 8/27/13
Welp, Rusty’s dino-dream only lasted a week and he avoided being eaten, so we’re spared any Inception-inspired musings about how if you die in a dream you die in real life or enter some weird limbo state or whatever. Still, I’m a little miffed that Mark is giving credence to his ward’s assertion here. The fevered images that Rusty’s REM sleep recycled from whatever outdated dinosaur books were available at the local library do not provide any kind of scientifically rigorous evidence about what human-dinosaur interaction would have been like! It’d be more accurate for him to say that “it probably is a good thing that humans and the burgeoning proto-sexual anxieties that my subconscious represents as terrifying beasts of yore don’t coexist.” OH WAIT WE HUMANS DO HAVE TO COEXIST WITH THOSE, RUSTY, THANKS A LOT.
Later, Rusty returns to Lost Forest and expresses his pathetic delight at whatever terrible room-temperature pizza Cherry drove an hour to get from an off-brand convenience store at the nearest highway exit. I’m kind of surprised that the pizza isn’t being depicted on panel, though? Just add some pepperoni to a pre-existing pancake drawing and boom, there you go!
OK, Spidey, look, we get it, you’ve voyaged to a foreign land where you don’t speak the language, it’s not ideal but lord knows many of us have done it, I certainly have. Also, you’re hanging out with a friend who, in addition to being a native speaker of the local language, is also fluent in your language. You know what bilingual people aren’t really impressed by? Monolingual people picking out occasional words in languages they don’t speak and being super self-satisfied about understanding them! I mean, if your spider-sense can’t protect you from being banged in the back of the head, why should we expect it to protect you from social embarrassment, I guess.
Today, Pluggers takes a break from blurring the line between dog-men and actual dogs and blurs the line between bird-ladies and actual birds instead.
“What, you’d rather have our fall gradually slowed by air pressure against a large parachute, when we could just have our arms violently wrenched out of their sockets when I latch onto a building with a single strand of webbing? You’ve been reading too many physics books, old buddy!”
Apartment 3-G, 8/22/13
Hey, remember Marty, Lu Ann’s socially awkward art student whose dad has PTSD and a brain tumor and is also destined to be Lu Ann’s doomed love interest? Well, she has a bad girl friend! You can tell she’s bad because she has a bizarre, asymmetrical haircut. What can you expect from a girl who asymmetrical hair? Tobacco cigarette use, that’s what you can expect!
Pluggers’ bodies are so full of cholesterol and preservatives that sexual arousal is completely out of the question, really.
Judge Parker, 8/21/13
Hey, there’s this whole other plot going in Judge Parker that I had completely forgotten about, involving Neddy’s new friend’s husband maybe being kidnapped and held for ransom in Niger, or maybe it’s an elaborate grift to get money out of the Spencer-Driver coffers, who knows! I am very enamored with Abbey’s look of vague disgust in the final panel. “20,000 euro? That’s really all you can come up with? I’m pretty sure we’ve got more than that in our couch cushions. Ugh, dealing with poor people is so distasteful, I don’t know how you people live.”
SERIOUSLY PLUGGERS YOU HAVE A LOT OF NON-DOG-MAN CHARACTERS YOU COULD’VE USED FOR THIS JOKE IT’S LIKE YOU’RE TRYING TO CONFUSE US
Heathcliff’s neighbor is racist against hippos.
Mark Trail, 8/19/13
Oh my goodness you guys, Rusty dreams of dinosaurs! (I sneer at your pedantic “pterosaurs aren’t technically dinosaurs” gripe, Rusty and Mark were talking about dinosaurs all week and you know we’re going to get some.) While this will provide lots of opportunities for awesome dinosaur drawings, it also provides Mark with an opportunity to abandon his hideous ward in the woods, as you’ll note that Rusty has just dozed off on the ground without Mark being anywhere nearby. Looks like that fishing trip was just a last hurrah, or, more likely, an excuse to take Rusty so far away from home that he’ll never find his way back!
Funky Winkerbean, 8/19/13
This is a pretty textbook example of how things go down in a Funky Winkerbean 3.0 strip. The dialogue could be construed as a little light-hearted joking, but the grim facial expressions show that in fact everything is meant to be taken in deadly earnest. “No, really, the football team is terrible, and there’s literally no chance of it getting any better. Certainly not with me in charge of it. I’m the worst!”
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 8/19/13
Dang, Snuffy’s reputation precedes him … his reputation as a man who steals chickens so he can dismember and eat them. Ha ha, it’s funny that the chickens are afraid of Snuffy, because they don’t want to die!
Pluggers just have to poop all the time.
Whew, the Amazing Spider-Man has escaped from another tight situation, everybody! I sincerely hope that our sassy pilot/flight attendant/epaulette enthusiast was carefully watching Spidey make his getaway over the Costa Verdan’s shoulder, drawing out his sentence with an unnatural pause between “you” and “that,” making sure that he didn’t say Spider-Man was off the plane until his body was completely out the door. That way he won’t get in trouble when he’s dragged off to one of this thuggish dictatorship’s torture chambers! Technically, he wasn’t lying.
Hi and Lois, 7/27/13
Hi’s dead-eyed stare really takes this from “gentle suburban family antics” to “man in the grip of a debilitating addiction.” “I promise, I promise I won’t get out of the car,” he mumbles. “I just want to see the prices. Look, if we pull up to the curb, we can see the prices. Just let me look. Just let me look.”
Herb and Jamaal, 7/27/13
The absolute best thing about this extremely sad/hilarious (sadlarious?) Herb and Jamaal is that I think what we’re supposed to take from Herb’s wistful gaze at the phone is that his mortgage company hasn’t called him back either. Look, Herb, we may be out of the worst of the housing collapse, but there’s still a huge backlog of mortgages in arrears and foreclosure, so your lender doesn’t have time to attend to your emotional needs, especially if we’re only talking about one missed payment here.
Wow, is this the most depressing Pluggers ever, more depressing than “Rhino-Man Hocks His TV?” “Pluggers will achieve the upper-middle-class status they wistfully yearn for only after they die.” Or maybe I’m misreading it. Maybe the panel is about plugger contempt for modern striving values. “Pluggers think your sad walled-off suburban development is a vast cemetery, your McMansion a 4,000-square-foot tombstone.”
Mark Trail, 7/23/13
Guys, our sinister fake big game hunters have finally noticed that famous nature writer Mark Trail has literally gone “undercover” at their fake hunting lodge without wearing a disguise or even using a fake name. I guess they finally got that free trial issue of of Woods and Wildlife Magazine they signed up for, which they planned to leave lying around their fake hunting lodge to make it look more like a real hunting lodge? I like that Mark’s picture is prominently displayed at the top of the page; I assume this means that his editor Bill Ellis has given him a monthly column, where he offers his wooden, awkward thoughts on issues of importance to the outdoorsmanship community. Or maybe this is actually a copy of Outdoors Reporter, a trade magazine for nature journalists, and this a wooden, awkward interview with Mark instead.
I’m going to mostly ignore the fairly baffling joke in today’s Pluggers (“ha ha, all you ELITIST LIBERALS are going to get LUNG CANCER from the SCIENCE CHEMICALS in your FANCY CARS, your so-called GREEN HYBRID is less ECO-FRIENDLY than you think”) and instead point out this plugger’s license plate appears to read “PLUGGRZ”. Which is problematic, because the s-for-z orthography is well known to derive from the rap music, which is anathema to pluggerdom. Perhaps it actually reads “PLUGGR2″? Just imagine our poor bear-man at the DMV, all excited as he waits in line by the idea of getting a plugger-themed license plate, then sighing heavily when he finds out that someone has beaten him to the punch and trying to decide if it’s still worth it or if he should just give up on it all together. I’m just a plugger, he thinks to himself. I guess I don’t deserve any little joys in this life, because I’m not quick enough. Then he goes back to his car and breathes in the plugger equivalent of those toxic fumes from a non-plugger’s new car interior. (The plugger equivalent is plugger farts.)