Mark Trail, 9/16/14
When you think of Mark Trail besting his enemies, you obviously think about punching. There is however a lesser known but still very effective Mark Trail Power Move, and that’s when he rescues his enemies from mortal danger, thus humiliating them. This mortal danger generally takes the form of fiery car destruction caused by the very sort of animal the villain wronged. In this case, Ol’ “Dirty”’s truck was forced off a cliff by a herd of rhinos, no doubt in revenge for all the vicious horn-poaching he dished out on their kin. Mark’s melodramatic pleas for Chris to not die are frankly just metaphorical salt in his metaphorical wounds (as opposed to his actual wounds, which are no doubt plentiful but probably more rubbed with burning motor oil and dirt than salt).
Gil Thorp, 9/16/14
Meanwhile, over in Gil Thorp it’s time for the annual bonfire! God, if there’s one thing we can count on in this crazy mixed-up world, it’s the annual Mudlark bonfire, where players are presented to the screaming multitude, where the masses bay incoherently in their lust for blood, where fists are raised in ritualistic threats of violence, where players stake their very souls on promises of victory, where Coach Thorp basks in the otherworldly glow, where foreigners become citizens of Mudlark Nation, where young women are hurtled into the air to resemble the wrathful Valkyries of old. Anyway, this year someone who I’m pretty sure is “Jarrod,” still tenuously holding onto the starting quarterback job, is trying to cement his leadership role with a crazy-eyed rant in which he promises to crush Milford’s traditional rival. True Standish is more mellow. “Probably some EPA regulation,” he says, explaining why his previous school didn’t burn a massive pile of perfectly good timber in order to propitiate the worship-hungry Gods of Victory. Of course, the EPA is a federal agency and its regulations apply to the entire country, but it’s likely that the U.S. government long ago declared Milford a “purge zone” where laws don’t apply, in hopes that its inhabitants would finish each other off with violence and/or pollution and not trouble the rest of us.
Meanwhile, today’s Pluggers shows us what happens when a population voluntarily cuts itself off from the recreational habits and cultural output of society at large without having the numbers or creative capacity to come up with an alternative entertainment industry. Once you’ve rejected recreational drugs as scary and bad, books as fit only for snobs, and all television and movies produced since 1975 as devilment, how else are you supposed to keep yourself entertained?
Mary Worth, 9/16/14
The Mary Worth creative team knows you need a breather between the excitement of “Mary and Toby talk about Olive” and whatever thrill ride is coming up next, so they’ve provided today’s strip, in which you can read the dullest conversation ever included in an ostensible entertainment product and just relax a bit. Mary is so bored that she looks like she’s trying out a little plugger-style eyeball fun in panel one.
Hey, remember when vuvuzelas were a thing people made jokes about, four years ago?
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Wizard of Id, 9/2/14
Do you think the Wizard makes his own coffee? I don’t think the Wizard makes his own coffee.
So here’s how mornings go down in the Ofid household: when the rooster goes off Wiz casually throws a frogspell into Blanche there and hits snooze for a couple more Zs. Blanche hops wetly to the kitchen and struggles to get the coffee started. Nothing works: she slides around on the linoleum, her webbed fingers don’t grip the matches, eyes aren’t wired to see anything that isn’t moving, and she reflexively splots every fly – and these are the Middle Ages so FLIES, yo. Finally she gets the job done and sits down to have a cup and wash out the fly taste. She’s way past expecting thanks or even courtesy but could she at least have her goddamn window back you asshole?
Mark Trail, 9/2/14
Dirty, Dirty, Dirty, you just can’t catch a break with these stampedes, can you? It’s like recurring psoriasis, only with charismatic megafauna.
And c’mon, Mark – those elephants are already headed away from you in the first panel. Admit it, you’re doing this for fun.
Pluggers can’t understand why looters don’t get free delivery.
Funky Winkerbean, 9/2/14
It’s not Les Moore it’s not Les Moore it’s not Les Moore it’s not Les Moore it’s not Les Moore ….
Westward Bound! Day Seven
So hey. Yeah, Josh and Amber arrive in LA late tomorrow God willing but that doesn’t mean you get your precious Josh back QUITE so fast no siree. There are households to unload; laid-back California ISPs to bribe, cajole, and threaten; and sleep debts to pay off.
The fundraiser ends when they arrive in LA (Hurry! Thanks!), but I’ll stay on a bit. The plan is for me to post through Friday and Josh to return with COTW sometime that afternoon. But you know what happens to plans, right? — they gang aft agley, that’s what. I’ll keep you posted.
– Uncle Lumpy
Blondie has always been cheerfully hostile towards contemporary pop culture and/or modernity, so it’s pretty impressive that the strip has actually managed to find a musical reference here that isn’t dated or just completely wrong-headed. If it’s being deployed in the context of Elmo aggressively demanding that Dagwood forge an affectionate note from a wildly popular 24-year-old songstress for his own inscrutable and no doubt sinister purposes, so much the better.
Funky Winkerbean, 8/18/14
So the whole point last week’s noir-ish reverie, at the end of which someone got killed, was to remind Les of the existence of his “kill fee.” In the normal world that humans inhabit, a kill fee is what a writer gets from a publication when they fulfill the obligations of their contract but then the publication decides, for whatever reason, not to publish what they’ve written; it’s less (usually substantially yet) than what they were originally promised for the article, but the writer keeps all rights to their work and can try to sell it to someone else. But in the cutthroat world of Hollywood screenwriting in the Funkyverse, it apparently refers to a fee a writer gets when he decides he hates working on movies and just up and quits, even though he’s already gotten a big check for his script, which sounds pretty neat. Looks like I made the right choice to go west and try to make my own way in the entertainment industry!
A physically active plugger expressing unbridled and even manic joy rather than down-home smugness or vague unease with modern life? A plugger’s all-wheel-drive that doesn’t refer to a proudly retrograde smoke-belching motor vehicle of some kind? What the hell is this even? Was someone just really, really eager to draw a bear wearing roller skates and a helmet? Not that I can blame them, it’s a pretty rad thing to draw.
Six Chix, 8/18/14
While I’m not familiar with the specifics, I’m sure there are any number of belief systems in which the sea is regarded as a single, feminine entity. Over the millennia, she’s drawn tens of thousands of sailors to their doom in her watery bosom, so the idea that she might be constantly murmuring their final terrified blasphemies seems reasonable as well.
I swear I’m not just saying this over bitterness over my own botched attempt to get an academic PhD, honest: I find it really pretentious when people who have non-medical doctorates go around calling themselves “doctor.” Maybe Doc Ock wanted to call himself “Professor Octopus” but then he got an angry letter from the provost reminding him that he was only an adjunct lecturer.
Hello, ladies! Have you ever left the house or had interactions or experiences of any kind? Well, Momma is sorry to hear you’re such a whore.