I’m a little disappointed about Crankshaft’s insufferable he-yuppie neighbor’s poor grasp of economics. Agricultural jobs as a rule aren’t shipped overseas; agribusinesses are protected by tariffs and then resort to hiring the cheapest labor they can possibly find, often in the form of easy-to-exploit undocumented immigrants. Insufferable she-yuppie neighbor at least undersands that changing the formula so that work is done by old ladies makes for a poor business model.
Good lord, look at Marvin’s smug little smile in panel three. He’s all in favor of a gender-defined division of labor because he knows the patriarchy will be working to his benefit soon enough and because it gives him extra time to stew in his own poop. If he gets to ruin someone else’s sex life in the process, that’s just a bonus.
Mary Worth, 8/1/13
Yes, Mary Worth’s Sonoran Desert Heal-A-Thon continues to happen! Good news: As you can tell by Mary and June’s weird poses and increasingly rambling dialogue, the peyote is finally starting to kick in.
Panel from Slylock Fox, 7/28/13
Boy, Slylock is sure getting all Judgment of Solomon down at the trailer park today! You don’t even need to read the solution (it involves trying to assess the cream soda’s fizziness levels) to see the contempt he holds everyone in here. After all, whether the delicious soda rightfully belongs to Reeky or to Mrs. Beaver, Slylock is going to pop it open and ruin anyone’s chance of enjoying it on their terms. Presumably he’ll just roughly thrust it at whoever’s it turns out to be, saying “Drink it quick if you don’t want it to go flat.” Or maybe he’ll just gulp the whole thing down himself, as repayment for having to come down and sort this nonsense out in the first place.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 7/28/13
If there’s one aspect of life in Hootin’ Holler that I don’t think gets enough treatment, it’s the system of clan-based feuds that inevitably springs up in places where the nation-state’s justice system is weak, nonexistent, or distrusted. What deadly slights do those marks on the tree represent? How many generations of Smifs have been recording them against how many generations of Barlows? Is there any way to wipe the slate clean, except with Barlow blood?
Panels from Marvin, 7/28/13
For a while now the Marvin Sunday panel has consisted of Marvin’s entire family staring straight ahead in numb, wide-eyed despair, which as you can imagine has pleased me to no end. Today, however, Grandpa offers a specific complaint, which I like less, as I prefer to think of them having reached this state merely by contemplation of their own hellish existence.
Family Circus, 7/4/13
Happy Birthday, America! Here is one of your most beloved comics characters with a terrible gift: the knowledge that Romantic-era views of national patriotism are fundamentally incompatible with advanced 21st century capitalism. Your sacred flag is just another corporate brand to today’s media-raised children!
Mary Worth, 7/4/13
Oops, sorry, that got a little dark. Let’s focus on your real birthday present: Mary Worth is going on vacation, to some lovely Tucson spa resort! I am so excited for her adventures that I can’t even stand it. What fitness and spirituality class will she take — Zen aerobics or shamanistic spinning? Will she enjoy a pool party besides a non-Charterstone pool? Will Dr. Jeff expect to come with her, and then be gently rebuffed, and then sulk passive-aggressively? Will there be a person or persons at this resort who will have a problem that can be solved by application of Mary’s sensible advice? Will Mary be bitten by a rattlesnake while she hikes through the Sonoran desert? Will that rattlesnake wither and die?
Aww, isn’t that sweet! Peter Parker overheard this little brat demanding a private jet, just like his heroes the Avengers, so he decided to change into his spider-duds to show that some superheroes are losers who have to fly coach just like him! Remember the last time he did something to coax a kid into doing something that normal people do all the time? Remember how that worked out for him? Not that I think this is part of a nefarious villain’s scheme or anything, but I am looking forward to the part where Spidey actually gets to the front of the security line, which I imagine will go something like this:
TSA AGENT: Spider-Man! Wow! Are you … are you going on this plane? I … do you have, uh, a ticket, or some ID?
SPIDER-MAN: [Looks down at ticket and ID, both of which have "PETER PARKER" printed on them prominently]
SPIDER-MAN: [Runs away in a panic]
So Marvin has been doing this thing this week where Marvin and a bunch of other babies are at some kind of sleepaway camp for babies, and I’ve been trying not to let my soul-searing hatred for Marvin draw me into a boring, pedantic “This isn’t realistic” riff, seeing as how it also isn’t realistic for a baby to think in complete sentences or shit his pants for explicitly spiteful reasons. Still, it’s hard to ignore today’s punchline. Taking toddlers hiking is a bad idea, what with their inability to walk more than a few steps without falling down, talk, pay sustained attention to anything, or follow complex directions. Probably instead of thought-ballooning stereotypical hike complaints, Marvin and his fellow toddlers should all be on the ground, crawling in random directions, and crying.
Apartment 3-G, 7/4/13
Oh hey this “The Governor of New York is having someone give Lu Ann a makeover” plot is still happening, apparently! As usual, Lu Ann’s panicked semi-comprehending reactions to things are priceless. I’m assuming in the final panel she’s worried that the governor will end up with naughty pictures of her in a state of undress and this will be a political scandal somehow, but I’m hoping that she thinks the he just ordered her very soul to be digitized and sent over the airwaves via sinister telephone magic.
Gil Thorp, 6/28/13
I think we can all agree that it’s been a long week we’ve just slogged through and we deserve a little reward. That reward has been handed to us by Gil Thorp, in the form of an old man in a Hawaiian shirt dealing out some brutal vigilante justice on some young thugs. These punks were insulting the nice “!”ing lady who just wanted to take their order at this fast food restaurant, and when this elderly gent tried to school them in manners, they crossed the line and drew first
blood shove, leading to a wholly justified judo-throw “who-o-a!” followed by a meaty face-punch “WUD!” Does this herald at long last a bonkers wacky Gil Thorp summer storyline, like the kind we got in days of yore? Let’s hope!
But because I am a cruel blogger who taketh away joy as well as giveth, let me direct your attention to this image of Marvin wryly contemplating his new sexy dominatrix baby sitter.
SEE SEE IT’S NOT JUST ME MARMADUKE’S A MONSTER A MONSTER I TELL YOU
Apartment 3-G, 6/2/13
Last night I saw Frances Ha, a low-budget indie film that takes place mostly in New York but includes a brief sojourn to Paris that, I was surprised to see, was actually filmed in Paris. Admittedly it was all done with low-cost and probably handheld digital cameras, but even the cost of plane tickets for the star and a few crew members had to run into thousands of dollars, not an insignificant chunk of indie movie budget change. Comic strips are not restricted in this way, obviously, as any number of reference photographs available for free on the Internet could give an artist instant material to draw, say, an Italian cityscape as a background to Tommie’s adventures there, which is of course why the current storyline focuses on Lu Ann’s ill-defined children-of-veterans art education project, taking place in what I guess is the Mills Gallery. Still, it may have been all worth it just to see Marty tell Lu Ann what all of us have been waiting tell Lu Ann pretty much forever.
Funky Winkerbean, 6/2/13
Funky Winkerbean very, very rarely focuses on the positive. Still, the message I’m getting from today’s strip is: if your father was killed when you were a baby, maybe it’s just as well, because maybe he was an asshole you would’ve hated.
Marvin would like to take a break from its endless Marvin-pooping-in-his-pants jokes to offer you a Marvin-peeing-in-the-pool joke.
Marvin’s dad’s brief attempt to interact socially with non-wife-and-Marvin persons ended in abysmal failure when his co-worker Ted clumsily attempted to flirt with bar-ladies in his presence. I guess Jeff had been brought as “wing-man,” since there’s nothing that makes you more attractive to a woman than a dead-eyed friend with a combover? Anyway, Jeff will now briefly enjoy his home life again, at least until the next Marvin-expelled toxic event reminds him that hell is other people, no matter what their age.
Heathcliff is taking a little break from its downward (upward?) spiral into insanity to do some classic cat humor — haha, the cat wants to eat the delicious, delicious birds! — but I still have some questions about the context here. Namely, is Heathcliff playing in an all-cat baseball game? It would explain why the outfield fence is only 18 inches high, I guess.
Funky Winkerbean, 6/1/13
Having successfully expelled Frankie from their lives with righteous indignation, Darrin and Jessica are getting back to what they do best: smirking at each other while engaged in passive-aggressive one-upmanship.
Pluggers would rather spend hours driving around Chicago whining about parking than take the elitist communist L train.