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Comics archive! Crankshaft

Yessssss, Ed, crumble to dust before my very eyes

Mark Trail, 2/12/15

Hey, guys, remember back in October when Mark and Cherry got in some weird out-of-context longbow practice? Well, consider today to be context: provided. You could say there’ve been two Chekov’s Bow and Arrow Sets in this storyline: the first one placed on the metaphorical wall when Mark and Cherry did a little target practice back in October, and the second in panel one, when there turned out to be a bow and arrow just neatly propped up on this boat’s deck for no reason anyone has bothered or will bother to explain.

Momma, 2/12/15

How long has Abe Lincoln’s reanimated corpse been shambling among the living? At least since 1928, which was the last time he was able to pour liquid down his rotting gullet. Since then, anyone encountering this terrifying presidential zombie has presumably fled from him, screaming, in those few times when he stumbled into the light. Only Francis and his mother are caring — or foolish — enough to offer this unnatural history-golem their hospitality.

Crankshaft, 2/12/15

I’ve spent the maximum amount of time my own sense of dignity allows me to spend trying to parse a joke out of this Crankshaft and have concluded that … there really isn’t one? That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, though. If you don’t like seeing a slouching, sad-faced Ed Crankshaft admitting to his daughter that he’s slowly dying, you and I are very different people.

Marvin, 2/12/15

I know what the joke in this strip is, though! I guessed it right away! The joke is that Marvin smells like feces, all the time, and everybody knows it.

She doesn’t even have a dumb fake accent, come on

Mary Worth, 2/6/15

For a character whose whole schtick is giving advice, Mary Worth’s given some pretty bad advice over the years. There was the time one of Mary’s friends confessed she still had feelings for a now-married old flame whom she hadn’t seen in years, and Mary told her to go ahead and contact him and pretend it was all “platonic”, because what could possibly go wrong. There was also the time that she told a woman haunted by memories of being stood up at the altar that you can fix sadness by choosing to remember events differently from what actually happened. And these are just the first two instances that leapt to mind, so what I’m saying is that it’d probably be premature to call today’s strip the worst advice Mary’s ever given anyone. But still, telling someone that “this thing you’re about to do will probably anger your daughter, so rather than talking to her about it you should just do it and then she’ll have literally no choice but to accept it and your relationship is gonna be great” isn’t really a good idea, you know?

Pluggers, 2/6/15

Speaking of all-time lows, this panel can’t match the sheer awful concentrated sadness of 2006′s classic “Rhino-Man hocks his TV”, but you have to admit that “physical pain is a plugger’s constant companion, one he eventually learns to rely on for his sense of self” is pretty darn grim.

Funky Winkerbean, 2/6/15

For those of you who are fortunate enough to not be up on the terminology used by scholars of fan fiction, “Mary Sue” is a term deployed to criticize a fanfic character seen as being a poorly fleshed out and idealized stand-in for the author. I guess the point of this strip is to somehow prove that Les surely isn’t a Mary Sue character, because if he were, people would actually recognize him (“him” being either Les or Tom Batuik, I guess) in public! I’m not sure what a weird high-school-era flashback panel contributes to this message, structurally, but the important part is that total strangers feel absolutely no connection with or desire to speak to Les. None whatsoever.

Apartment 3-G, 2/6/15

At last, we’re meeting the psychic scam artist who’s gotten Margo’s mother into her clutches! Who had “vaguely dowdy brunette with boring hair wearing a pastel turtleneck” in the pool? Oh, everybody? OK!

Crankshaft, 2/6/15

Crankshaft’s been doing a pretty terrible series of Airport Indignity Laffs this week, but they, and the strip as a whole, have now ended abruptly as Crankshaft crawls into the baggage-handling mechanism and is crushed to death.

Old school ain’t what it used to be

Curtis, 2/4/15

This week’s Curtis has features Curtis’s dad going on and on about this collection of music “I grew up with” as performed by extremely non-specific “legendary” artists, who, we learn today, are not rappers. One assumes that these legendary artists are never named so that this plotline can be trotted out every few years while keeping Greg the same age, but the whole thing already seems on the edge of believability: with a couple of pre-teen kids and a wife not notably younger than him, it seems unrealistic to have Greg be much older than his mid-40s, which would mean he hit his musical stride right as hip-hop was starting to enter the musical mainstream. Ten years from now, it will be actively strange if he grew up not listening to rap, although who knows, maybe it’ll be just as strange if Curtis is listening to it.

Pluggers, 2/4/15

See, Curtis? Even Pluggers is admitting that most people in the plugger demographic in 2015 were filthy hippies in their youth. Just admit that Curtis’s dad likes old-school rap already.

Judge Parker, 2/4/15

Any chance that this angry fellow, who claimed earlier to have some pull with important politicians, might actually have pull with important politicians has just gone out the window as he used “the fed” to refer to some random non-Federal Reserve government agency. Sam, whose returns on capital vary between the staggering and the completely flabbergasting based on Fed decisions on interest rates and quantitative easing and such, is very much not impressed. It would be fun if this guy really were talking about the actual Fed, though. “We need the Fed working on this! Do you think fiat money can clear that road? Only a strong gold-based currency can restore our nation’s highways!”

Crankshaft, 2/4/15

In today’s fractured media landscape, there are still specialized audiences who aren’t being catered to — fans of watching angry, unsympathetic old men being sexually humiliated in public, for instance. One bold comic strip aims to meet this need.

Momma, 2/4/15

For a brief moment, Francis catches a glimpse of what it might be like to feel real human joy — and sees just enough to know that the experience is completely beyond him.