“Our media choices are better than your media choices.”
You know, I had assumed that the Bear-Roos and the Houndstooth-Beaks, pluggers all, would just naturally know one another and sit in the same row at the movies — to chat, take too many bathroom breaks, let their phones ring over to voicemail, chew their food with their mouths open, and generally annoy the hell out of me. But in an archive dive of the last three years, I can’t find a single panel that shows Andy and/or Henrietta with Earl and/or Shiela. That’s some pretty admirable consistency, Mr. Chief Plugger! But now my discredited assumption makes me feel like one of those people who says “But you must know him – you’re in the same Army.” You know the people I mean: pluggers.
There’s no way she’s not trolling him right now: “Does he show up uninvited at picnics? Can he sit quietly without fidgeting? Does he work in venture capital? Have Mommy Issues?”
Beetle Bailey, 8/12/16
Killer’s appetite for sexual risk only grew until the day they found him in the woods, naked and blue, with a taut chain from his neck to the axle of a stalled Jeep.
Gil Thorp, 8/12/16
“Hmm, there’s a rift between Barry Bader and the rest of the team. Can I get True to take care of it for me? Nope. Can I fob it off on Kaz? Nope. Oh, well — guess I just gotta make the kid figure it out himself. Hope Mimi put that wine in the fridge — this is shaping up to be one tough day!”
There’s a reason his cup says “GIL” and his nameplate says “THORP.” The word “COACH” belongs nowhere near this guy.
Just a reminder that there’s no Comments of the Week this week — BigTed’s contribution gets an extended ride!
9 Chickweed Lane, 8/10/16
Sooner or later, courtship plots need to resolve. That’s no problem if you’re writing a book or play – just get your couple to their Big Moment before the final chapter or curtain. But when your TV serial or comic strip is built on romantic or sexual tension and lasts more than a couple years, you’ve got a problem. Recap Dick and Jane playing footsie for the fortieth time and your audience will start to get restless. But resolve the issue in the customary way and your good thing could end faster than you can say “Season 5 of Northern Exposure.”
After fifteen years of footsie, 9 Chickweed Lane finally got protagonists Edda and Amos in bed – technically “on piano” – during an interminable cello competition in 2008. Since then, the strip has dithered around with minor characters, flashbacks, and fantasy sequences, trying to get what it apparently thinks is its groove back.
The solution on offer is to clone the main characters and do the whole damn thing over. So now we’ve got Piano Amos (shaving in the john there) and Chinese Edda, with exactly the same personalities and hang-ups as the originals, going through the same tired will-they-or-won’t-they scenarios. Genius, really – how many instruments are there to rotate through? How many ethnicities to pair them with? How long before Gamelan Amos melts at the sight of Paiute Edda? Tam-tam Amos grovels before Igbo Edda? Bassoon Amos babbles incoherently when a wisp of Pole Edda’s hair brushes his face? It could go on forever!
And every so often they can sneak in a beaver joke.
Luann’s solution to their Brad and Toni problem is to re-create beloved ’80’s sitcom Three’s Company, with TJ in the Suzanne Somers role and Frank DeGroot as the nosy neighbor. Hijinx ahead!
The Crush — Brad and TJ angrily blame Toni for sending them to a nonexistent party, never dreaming that it is the DeGroots’ teenage houseguest who wants them out of the way so he can have Toni all to himself!
The Love Diary — TJ is hired to type up the diary of a mystery person, which contains several steamy entries. Mr. DeGroot sees the diary and becomes convinced that TJ is enamored of him!
The Bake-Off — Brad accidentally eats the pie that TJ was entering in a statewide baking competition, then tries to substitute a ringer from the bakery!
Since Three’s Company did in fact go on forever – the shame of my generation – there are lots of premium plots like these to choose from. And Brad and Toni can freeze their relationship right where it is, to the relief of everybody.
Pluggers and Family Circus, 8/10/16
Coincidence? I think not!
I’ll say this for today’s Pluggers: it’s managed, without having heard of any of the bands, to put together an actually realistic summer concert series lineup, in the sense that it runs the gamut from relatively popular, relatively current acts (Animal Collective) through jam bands that had a minor mainstream breakthrough years ago but have been touring the festival circuit more or less nonstop both before and since (Rusted Root) to bands that were popular in the early ’90s and subsequently broke up but then a subset of the original members gained legal control of the band’s name and now are cashing in with a bunch of new people (Color Me Badd). We’ve rounded out the list with two separate bands who were apparently mistaken for one (Slightly Stoopid and SOJA, who are touring together this summer) and, apparently, just to stick it to know-it-alls like me, the truly obscure “Kongas,” which as near as I can tell was the name under which Marc Cerrone, an “Italofrench disco drummer, composer, record producer and creator of major concert shows,” released a couple of albums in the late ’70s. I guess it’s probably more likely that this is a mistake for Kongos, a band that’s in that first category with Animal Collective, but I want to believe that we’re talking Italofrench disco drummer here.
Mary Worth, 7/14/16
Oh man, it looks like Tommy’s upcoming opioid addiction’s going to arise from a bad interaction between a lower back injury … and broken heart. I guess this is why you shouldn’t start dating someone before you start growing your hair back out. The relationship begins under false pretenses. They won’t know the real you.
Family Circus, 7/14/16
Mommy’s grim facial expression tells us exactly what she thinks of the MPAA’s censorious reign of prudery and its effect on film as an art form. “More like a Profoundly Grotesque stifling of cinema’s ability to shock us out of our comfort zones,” she thinks, glowering at her hopelessly middlebrow children.