Have you guys ever seen the Disney channel TV show Dog With A Blog? It’s about a dog who can speak, read, and write English, which is a pretty amazing set of skills for a dog to have! Really, the fact that he choses to use his language abilities to create and maintain a website consisting of posts in reverse chronological order is one of the less interesting things about him, ygou’d think, and yet that’s still what made it into the title of the show. I’ve seen exactly one episode of Dog With A Blog; in it, Stan, the titular dog, learns that dogs only live to be around 15 or so, and becomes obsessed with creating a video of himself so everyone will remember him and his amazing abilities after he dies. The kids in the family who own him, who are the only people who know about his talents, then have to find and destroy this tape, so his secrets aren’t revealed. This is a television show marketed to children, and it’s amazingly grim.
Dog With A Blog premiered in 2012, and I’m … reasonably sure that the “Bitsy’s Blog” bit in Marvin predates this? Somehow I’ve managed to have never covered Bitsy blogging on my site before, as near as I can tell, though it’s definitely been a thing. Anyway, if Marvin needs cash, maybe it should consider suing Disney, a company with deep pockets. Just imagine! The strip wouldn’t have to maintain even the tiniest shred of decorum necessary to still be getting syndication revenue from newspapers. It can just go ahead and become a full-on scat porn webcomic.
Funky Winkerbean, 6/20/16
Way back when Mason Jarr was first introduced as a character, he was the guy playing Les in the abortive TV movie based on Lisa’s Story, and was portrayed as a comical moron, in keeping with the storyline’s overall theme, which was that Hollywood is bad and everyone except for Les is a soulless hack. Now that he’s become a regular cast member, he’s been given some sympathetic gravitas, by which I mean he thinks and talks about death constantly, but it’s nice to see the character getting back to his roots and contemplating whether “Mason Jarre” would be a more dignified spelling of his extremely silly name.
Beetle Bailey, 6/20/16
Not that I’m an expert or anything, but wouldn’t soldiers on a hike in training be carrying … equipment of some kind? Like a backpack, or a rifle, or something? I guess what we’re seeing here is that our heroes have finally been assigned into combat, but have been defeated due to incompetence. Having abandoned their weapons, they’re retreating in disarray, and Sarge, desperately trying to keep their unit from disintegrating entirely, is about to resort to extreme measures.
Mary Worth, 6/20/16
Oh look, it’s a new (maybe?) Mary Worth plot, and here on day one we have the battle of the waistlines! Mary and Wilbur appear to be the same height, but Mary’s got her trusty grey sansabelts hiked all the way up over her navel, while Wilbur lets his shirt cascade down past his waist like a mighty waterfall. I look forward to the dramatic visual interplay between these very different approaches over the course of the week!
Marvin is obviously the most loathsome character in the comic strip Marvin by a long ways. But let’s not forget that his smug terrible father is no prize either! Jeff appears to be the primary breadwinner for his household of four adults and an infant; Marvin’s mother apparently used to be a romance novelist but now is incapable of feeling anything but a sort of dull numbness, and now has to resort to churning out short-form humor content for cash, which, believe me, isn’t all that lucrative. Plus I think Marvin’s grandfather is a Wal-Mart greeter or something? At any rate, Jeff’s generic white-collar office job presumably provides the bulk of the family’s income plus its health insurance coverage, which is why he maybe should’ve thought twice before embezzling from the company! I was about to express glee about the Miller family’s downward spiral into poverty and shame, but then I realized that this will give the strip opportunities for jokes about desperately trying to save money by somehow washing Marvin’s foul diapers, so never mind.
Judge Parker, 6/16/16
Remember, whether it’s Sophie spying on Neddy making out with some boy who I don’t remember and cheerfully asking about “that tongue thing,” or Sam and Abbey watching from the shadows with mounting excitement as Neddy says a lingering goodnight to some boy who I don’t remember, or Sam and Abbey trying to analyze Neddy’s degree of sexual satisfaction as she comes home after sunup from a night with a boy who I someday won’t remember, one thing is clear: living vicariously through Neddy’s erotic life is one of the Spencer-Driver family’s top pastimes, just behind being given money for no reason.
Dennis the Menace, 6/16/16
Say what you will about Dennis, but this is a pretty darn menacing way to let a woman know that her husband of many years just died in front of the TV.
You know, if you’d asked me a few years ago if I’d eventually get bored pointing out the scatological horrors of Marvin, I would’ve said yes, so shoutout to the creative team for “keeping it fresh,” as it were, and producing strips so disgusting that I feel compelled to discuss them! Today’s a real treasure trove of shittiness. The ostensible joke is that Marvin “breaks in” his new baby sitter by taking massive dumps, which in ordinary circumstances would be horrifying enough, but the strip’s visuals really take it to the next level! Specifically, take a look at how her hands wrap around Marvin’s butt. They look way too big, don’t they? And the fingers aren’t clearly delineated? It almost looks as if the colorists mistook Marvin’s diaper for her hands and gave it a caucasian flesh tone fill, but it seems pretty clear that those are thumbs wrapping around his waist, so I guess we have no choice but to see this strip for what it is: a depiction of a baby sitter with weird, diaper-esque hands wrapped around the butt of a grinning baby who’s cheerfully thought-ballooning about the volume and/or quality of feces he’s expelling while she grimaces in what appears to be physical pain.
This is one in a long line of vaguely dirty jokes made about Missouri’s genuinely funny state motto, but I’m having a good time thinking about it literally. There are about six million people who live in Missouri. Imagine them all lined up along the Mississippi River, hundreds and hundreds of miles of them, all dropping their pants and waggling their butts at their disgusted neighbors in Illinois. It would be soothing. Hypnotic, even.
Judge Parker, 6/6/16
Hey, remember that article I wrote about the Silicon Valley billionaire who secretly orchestrated Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker as part of a long-running revenge plot? Well that’s going to look like a gentle hug compared to what the Spencer-Drivers have in store for this no-good reporter. They’ll probably have the special ops team they have on call disappear her to some black site, forever. Coverage of Spencer-Driver business interests are gonna get a lot more fawning, in a hurry.