Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/29/15
I’m not sure which I find more jarring here: the fact that Jughaid has used the flatlander term “spoiler alert” (in Hootin’ Holler, as in many traditional cultures, entertainment takes the form of bards putting their own spin on endless variations of well-known narratives, so the very idea of a novel, linear plot with a surprising ending would be foreign to these children), or the fact that the normally raven-haired Miz Prunelly is suddenly a blonde.
Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean, 1/29/15
Well, the Dick Tracy-Funky Winkerbean crossover is over, but the Funkyverse still has CROSSOVER FEVER!!!!! With nobody currently willing to cross over with it, though, it’s been forced to mingle timelines with … itself. Yes, there’s now a cross-decade Funky Winkerbean-Crankshaft narrative confluence in progress, about Crankshaft driving beloved (?) band leader Harry Dinkle and the band to some band championship or something. Funky’s installments are using Old Timey Photo Album Frame panels, the strip’s sign for Things That Happened Long Ago, which is confusing since both strips take place more or less in the present. All this timestream mucking about mainly serves to sadly let us know that, since Crankshaft’s life continues beyond this adventure, Harry will never make good on his promise to slide that baton straight through Crankshaft’s leathery old flesh and right into his black, shriveled heart.
Six Chix, 1/29/15
One good thing about having a nationally syndicated comic strip: when you experience some minor irritation in your daily life, the rapidly aging and declining comics-reading demographic will get to hear about it, by God.
The only time pluggers will be addressed with the slightest glimmer of dignity is when they are already in the grave.
Let us contemplate, just for a moment, the financial aspects of Crankshaft’s existence. I’m pretty sure that he’s lived with his daughter and son-in-law over the whole course of the strip. Because he has a job operating a large vehicle full of school children, I have to assume that this isn’t because of any decline in his physical or mental capacities due to age, but rather because he can’t afford to live on his own. (It could, I suppose, be because of the warm, close, loving relationship he has with his familhahahaha I can’t even finish that sentence.) There was a whole plotline years ago revolving around some bad kids on his bus known as the “rough riders”; Crankshaft, presumably in a fit of pique, promised to pay for their college education if they actually shaped up and graduated from high school, and then when they did it turned out he had forgotten to save any money to back up this boast, so he tapped into his retirement savings. But even before that incident he was living crabbily with his descendents, so he’s probably always been kind of hard up. Anyway, this is a long way of me wondering if Crankshaft is following these kids around and offering to outbid them just to be a dick, or if he’s genuinely so desperate for cash that he’s literally willing to undercut child labor. He’s ripe for recruitment for one of Neddy Spencer’s old-person labor camps!
Judge Parker, 1/6/15
Speaking of the beloved Spencer-Driver clan, they’re discovering they only have twelve bottles of wine to last two adults for three or four days, so things could get dicey! Seriously, Sophie is getting way worked up about this baby squirrel business. Nobody should be sober for that.
Meanwhile, the cavemen of B.C. are suggesting novel sexual activities to one another. It’s sad to see that even so early in the development of our species, some of us were very set in our ways.
For my money, panel three of today’s Momma is definitely the most heartbreaking! The whole strip is an emotional rollercoaster, really: the aggravation at being passive-aggressively invited to dinner, followed by seeming eagerness to get in on that pot roast action, and then — what’s that, Francis? What’s bothering you? The inevitable knowledge that any extended time spent alone with your mother comes at a terrible, terrible emotional price? I mean, he shouldn’t have gotten his hopes up. She’s been his mother for his whole life. He’s not very bright. But he does have feelings.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/3/15
“You know exactly what it means, Kelly! It means driving around for fun in a car that you steal, which won’t apply in any way to your situation because the whole point of this is that we’re giving you a car! Also, no ‘cruising’ or ‘showing off’! It’s very clear! Those two phrases are extremely clear and there are no possible misinterpretations of them! Do we understand each other?”
Yes, because if this were a real tree, it would’ve been totally reasonable for Crankshaft to take it out to the yard, stand it upright, douse it in gasoline, set on fire, and then just stand there five feet away with a hand on his hip and watch it burn.