Mary Worth, 2/26/13
Welp, now that Mary’s not-so-secret-admirer/cake decorating partner has been dispatched off to
the outer darkness New York City, we’re ready for a new adventure! And it involves … Mary forcing a neighbor to open up and be friends with everyone against his will, when he’s sick and too weak to resist her? Sounds about right. Anyway, I’m mostly mesmerized by the soup Mary is pouring endlessly from a tiny pan into a tiny bowl. It’s flowing at waterfall strength for at least the time it takes her to say two sentences. I imagine it moves in slow motion, like the blood pouring from the elevator in The Shining. Is this magic soup? Will it magically make Tom Harpman acceptably neighborly, or maybe kill him so that someone more fun can move into 3B?
Funky Winkerbean, 2/26/13
Oh, man, the stroke larfs are continuing over at Funky Winkerbean! Now that Ann has to give up the job that gave her such joy to care for her broken shell of a husband, the gang discusses who will be the next to suffer. Hey, Linda, usually when people are making “jokes” about their husbands being so excitable that they’ll inevitably stroke out, they at least pretend to smile.
Apartment 3-G, 2/26/13
I don’t know why it makes me so sad that I’m better at keeping track of Ruby’s hair color than the people who are literally paid by the owners of Apartment 3-G’s intellectual property rights to keep track of Ruby’s hair color, but it does genuinely make me sad! So, here it is: Ruby is a redhead! You can tell because her name is Ruby, which is a red gemstone. I’m willing to accept Manic Panic and even black with Manic Panic highlights, but not just straight-up goth-style inky blackness.
Herb and Jamaal, 2/26/13
Ha ha, yes, Herb still is animalistically gobbling down his food in a socially problematic manner! Jamaal, on the other hand, is standing silently and watching his friend eat from the next room, which is totally normal behavior.
Huh, it seems that Marvin is capable of recognizing that other people feel shame when they poop in their pants. He just can’t feel it himself. Marvin never feels shame about anything. But especially not about pooping in his pants.
Hey, gang, remember Margo’s vaguely ethnic comical-but-lovable fortune-tellin’ birth mother Gabriella? “Vaya, el espiritu malo!” Gabriella? “Gracias, Santa Maria!” Gabriella? I mean this Gabriella:
Well if you do, I’ve got sad news:
Apartment 3-G, 2/20/13
Yes, the passage of time and renewed romantic attentions of Martin Magee have bleached, rectified, and WASPicated our favorite Roma/Filipina/Chicana firecracker, to the point where things like “Bless you, Mr. Cooper” actually come out of her mouth.
Now I understand that as we approach the End Times, there needs to be a certain amount of convergence among God’s creatures in preparation for our ultimate unification with the One. Heck, the guys in Apartment 3-G have been interchangeable for years! So it’s not that I’m against the End of the World as a concept, or even as a near-term possibility. I’m just not ready for the Omega Point to look quite so much like Mary Worth.
In the fifth month of the daily Phantom game Who’s Got the Lioness?, Evil Miner Logician rudely dismisses his colleague’s naïve “argument from absence of evidence” without considering alternatives:
- Surely 500 years of the “Man-Who-Cannot-Die” legend provides some evidence of absence, no?
- Alternative hypothesis: the Phantom may be a vampire or zombie, and therefore dead already. Vampires and zombies are very popular right now — he should at least consider it!
- All right, a single null result is inconclusive. So why not add more trials and widen the scope a bit: try hanging, burning, shooting, drowning, poisoning, or simply boring him to death. God knows it’s working on us.
For the past several days Marvin’s been having a late-night chat with “his worst nightmare” on the right here. Today we learn that “Marvin nightmare” = “Marvin bowel movement”, i.e., the visitor is in fact Marvin’s own poo come to terrifying life. This being Marvin, such a development was of course inevitable. But we should still be grateful that Disney’s ironclad trademark control over the name “Poo” keeps the newcomer from having his own spinoff strip.
And speaking of poo:
Mary Worth, 2/20/13
John Dill has finally digested his prizewinning cake.
– Uncle Lumpy
Wizard of Id, 2/15/13
I think when you’re correcting the depiction of a Scrabble game played in a faux-medieval magic world in a daily newspaper comic, you’re officially that guy, and lord knows I don’t want to be that guy, so let me just very briefly point out that if you’re going to say the word you just played in Scrabble aloud, you’re probably going to say the point total rather than the number of letters, that you can only play seven letters at a time, and that the Wiz could conceivably be building off of “ex” or “on” or “ion” but even if he is there doesn’t appear to be a a nine-letter word on the board. Also, I know significantly less about the rules of magic in the Wizard of Id than I do about Scrabble, but I do know a little bit about the rules of comics narrative, and I think that if you have a character complaining about the proximity of a magic wand in panel two, said magic wand should at least be visible in panel one.
Most of the time when people ask for crossword puzzle help they do give a letter count for what they’re looking for, but the rules of Crankshaft narrative involve everyone talking at cross-purposes and getting irritated at each other, so I’m willing to let this pass.
Mary Worth, 2/15/13
Obviously the coming drama here will revolve around Mary not wanting to leave her comfy Santa Royale home to go to New York and learn how to be a pastry chef, because why would she, but I would certainly enjoy a retooled Mary Worth that focuses on Mary and John trying to make it in the big city. The first episode would revolve around their discovery that $10,000 doesn’t come close to covering eight months of rent in a two-bedroom New York apartment.
Marvin: not just a comic about a baby who soils himself constantly! It’s also about racist dogs.
Herb and Jamaal, 2/3/13
Boy, this Herb and Jamaal sure was an emotional roller coaster! See, we’re expected to believe that Jamaal is a desperate drug addict who keeps going back to his filthy hippie drug dealer to buy dope. But, haha, don’t worry, it appears that he just enjoys video entertainment and would prefer to go to one of America’s few remaining video stores rather than figuring out how to set up one of these new-fangled internet streaming services! Anyway, since the strip spent seven panels setting up this commercial transaction as surreptitious and shameful, obviously the first thing the reader thinks of in terms of “video titles” is pornography, which makes a reference to the “kiddie section” all the more traumatizing.
The thing about the Funkyverse’s endless cavalcade of sadness porn is that the strip is at least self-aware about how grim it is. Momma, by contrast, completely fails to notice the air of desperation that surrounds its characters at all times. Which is to say that the use of “betrays” here creeps me out. Momma is betrayed by her children routinely, of course … but now her own failing body joins the party.
Marvin does this thing where it teases you with the prospect of the title character wandering off in the snow and freezing to death, but, sadly, never really follows through with it.
Mark Trail, 1/24/13
Here we can see the wild Rod Bassy in his usual habitat. Panel two offers a good look at one of his natural defenses: when threatened by a predator or a nosey reporter, he can puff out his plumage so that he appears twice as large as his actual size! Watch how the aggressor backs off as a result of this aggressive display.
Funky Winkerbean, 1/24/13
“So now that my husband’s died of a massive stroke, I’m at last free! Free to live the life I’ve always wanted! Free to … wait, he’s recovering? Fuck.”
Apartment 3-G, 1/24/13
Ari seems suspiciously blasé about the disaster unfolding over in 3-G, suspiciously reluctant to get the authorities involved. I’m not implying that he had anything to do with it, of course, but I do think he’s anxious because he decided in the middle of the night to go clean shaven and Greg’s caught him after he’s taken off his mustache but before he got to his beard. “I can’t let anyone think I’m deliberately cultivating this dumb little chinbeard! Especially not the fire department!”
Showing, not telling: Not satisfied with just informing us that Marvin constantly stews in a miasma of his own filth-stink, Marvin is trying to show us, via the artfully rendered reaction of others, just how awful it is being within smelling distance of him.
Marvin is still going all-out with the poop jokes in 2013, in case you’re wondering! Though I think that this might be a first (or at least rare) instance of the strip actually using a variation of the word “poop” in the strip itself. (I was going to go back through my archives looking for varyingly explicit words for feces in the nationally syndicated comic strip Marvin, but then I remembered that I had this last shred of dignity that I was planning on hanging on to for at least another few weeks.)
Anyway, this week’s Marvin has involved Marvin and Bitsy getting stuck outside in a snowstorm, presumably while Marvin’s family celebrates his absence at a fancy restaurant. I’ve been rooting all along for this plot to reach its seemingly obvious dog-eats-baby conclusion, but the crafty Marvin has bought himself some time by making the prospect as disgusting as possible.
Herb and Jamaal and Shoe, 1/5/13
Sorry, Shoe! Herb and Jamaal has won today’s “Hey, I heard a corny old joke from a friend or maybe had it forwarded to me via e-mail, let’s see how awkward it would be turned into comic strip dialogue” contest, and by a substantial margin.