Main content:

Comics archive! Crankshaft

Fun game: Figure out how Toby’s legs are attached in panel two

Shoe, 9/12/14

Oh, Shoe, you know that given my druthers I’d prefer not to contemplate the twisted chimeric anatomy of your bird-person characters, right? Especially when it comes to the naughty parts. I try not to think about those at all. I only contemplated the concept of bird-breasts obliquely, once, which didn’t stop TV Tropes from quoting me in the epigraph of the article on the subject. Anyway, the secondary sexual characteristics of these abhorrent beings are unpleasant enough to grapple with, but today’s strip demands that we give serious thought to the downstairs situation of these monsters. Specifically: do the bird-people of Shoe have a single cloaca that serves as the end point for their intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts, like birds, or do they have separate orifices for these different jobs, like humans? Related: do they bear live young, or lay eggs? I mean, any joke about some poor woman going into labor in the midst of a natural disaster and having her child forced back up inside her so she has to give birth again and again is awful enough even if it doesn’t raise disturbing questions about the the plumbing involved, you know?

Mary Worth, 9/12/14

Welp, as predicted, Mary is already starting to justify to herself the slow fade she’s going to pull on her beloved little friend Olive. “If only there were some way to communicate over a long physical distance! If these new-fangled computers could carry a message, that would be convenient, or perhaps if some government agency or private business existed that would, for a small fee, transport written correspondence. Ah well, no point in having regrets over the impossible, I suppose!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/12/14

You heard it here first: Mrs. Pierpont, recognizing Sarah’s prodigy-level artistic talent, is going to groom her as a master art forger, having her current aging employee train her in this lucrative craft before his eyesight goes. Hope you enjoy spending your childhood churning out fake Miros in a windowless warehouse basement “studio,” Sarah!

Crankshaft, 9/12/14

Crankshaft is of course an insufferable asshole, but his name is the title of the strip, which means that he is literally the reason his entire spacetime continuum exists, and everything and everyone else there has been called into being merely to further his story. When you think about it, it’s actually surprising that more characters in the strip haven’t angrily turned their back on God.

Actually kind of surprised Funky is capable of shame

Blondie, 9/8/14

Wait, wait, Dagwood, I want to hear more about your line of food-themed children’s books! Like Beauty and the Beef: does a simple peasant girl fall for a handsome prince who’s under a witch’s curse and has been turned into a succulent, mouth-watering plate of roast beef, and the girl must lift the spell before her love for the prince is overwhelmed by her hunger? Or Three Little Pigs In A Blanket: is this how the story should’ve ended, with the Wolf victorious and the pigs devoured, though not before their (still living?) bodies are wrapped in flaky, delicious biscuit dough? And “Wee Willie Twinkie” — clearly an anthropomorphic Twinkie, but a child, younger than Twinkie The Kid, trapped eternally in a prepubescent state like a boy vampire by Hostess Brands LLC’s devilish formula of shelf-stabilizing food preservatives. “Please eat me!” Wee Willie begs the reader. “I cannot decay over time! I’m an abomination against all that is natural and good! I long for death!” Anyway, these sound like they wouldn’t be traumatizing at all and I think Dagwood should spend a lot of time and money trying to get them published.

Dennis the Menace, 9/8/14

I originally saw the quotes around Dennis’s sentence here and assumed he was repeating something he had just heard on TV, while looking over his shoulder at his mother and presumably showing a creepy lack of affect: vaguely menacing, I thought. But I went back and looked at older panels and nope, it turns out the dialogue for Dennis the Menace is always set out in quotes, meaning that this is something he’s saying to his mom about … the fact the he’s watching people on TV making out, maybe? “Look, Mom, maybe this is several years earlier than you expected me to start looking for ‘Adult Situations’ in the television listings, but let’s establish a policy now of never talking about it, OK?” Menacing level: extreme.

Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, 9/8/14

One thing that’s fun about the Funkyverse is when women in stereotypically attractive professions (newscasters, personal trainers) are drawn with heavy-lidded, half-dead eyes. Somebody knows what they like! They like it when you’re so beaten down by life that you can’t feel anything anymore. Anyway, Crankshaft controls the last viable bee colony in his county — and perhaps in the world? — giving him unprecedented power over agricultural production, and, by extension, our very existence. And also Funky doesn’t want to do his exercises! Wacky!

Soothing unchanging comics

After some time spent away from comics-blogging, you come back and ask yourself: has anything changed? Fortunately, if you like consistency and stability and have just subjected yourself to a huge life transition, the answer when it comes to the comics is always a resounding no!

Apartment 3-G, 9/6/14

Tommie is outlining her entire romantic history, and, guess what, is still super boring! “And that’s when I fell instantly and immediately in love and my life changed fore–” “Yeah, look, Tommie, I gotta … go, I have a … thing, can’t miss it, let’s catch up at a … later … date, yeah, that’s it, we’ll hang out later.”

Crankshaft, 9/6/14

Crankshaft is, guess what, still being a superdick to his ostensible friends! “Hey guys, my brain still works, unlike yours!” he says, without any hint of a smile that might make this seem like friendly ribbing. “My faculties are still entirely intact. It’s only my cruelty that’s being exacerbated by old age.”

Mary Worth, 9/6/14

Mary is, as ever, still extolling the virtues of love and friendship while keeping all actual humans at arm’s length, emotionally speaking. “I’d like to come visit New York to spend time with you, Olive, but I’m not sure when I can, or if I can, since I have such a busy, demanding schedule of doing nothing and seeing nobody! Anyway, I got New York City ex-boyfriend problems, so it’s probably for the best if I don’t show my face around there.”

Judge Parker, 9/6/14

And people are still getting starry-eyed when engaging with the Spencer-Driver clan and throwing resources at them, even when they themselves are actual celebrities! “Wow, Sam, let’s hear your impartial legal advice: should I let your daughter start her business in a building I own, rent-free?” “Gosh, I don’t know, Rocky, just to make sure there’s no potential conflict of interest, maybe you should consult your own in-house counsel, the one who worked for me until like 20 minutes ago and whose wife is Neddy’s financial manager!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/6/14

And June Morgan still know that as long as things are going her way, it’s best not to ask questions. “Huh, so this old lady who’s abruptly taken our five year old daughter under her wing is from a family of violent criminals?” “Who cares?” “Do you think she and her thuggish henchman are armed?” “STOP TALKING THIS IS NOT TIME FOR TALKING THIS IS TIME FOR EATING HAMBURGERS THE SIZE OF OUR FACES”