Happy November 11th, everyone! Do you remember that this is the anniversary of the day the guns of the Great War went silent, and there was a brief, idealistic window of hope that the slaughter had been so terrible that humanity would never fight a war again? And November 11th was supposed to be remembered forever as Armistice Day, the day the killing stopped? Ringing a bell? For anyone? The dashed optimism? No?
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 11/11/16
After it became clear that we were going to keep fighting wars and making more veterans, November 11th got rebranded as Veterans Day, and so it’s often an opportunity for comic strips to make you uncomfortable by reminding you that their protagonists fought in World War II, which ended more than 70 years ago. Please enjoy this depiction of Snuffy Smith bursting out of his threadbare uniform, and when you’re done with that, please enjoy Snuffy Smith in Hillbilly Blitzkrieg, now available in its entirety on YouTube. The movie is so unwatchably bad I was wasn’t able to get through more than a few minutes of it, but I checked the Wikipedia summary and I need to steel you for disappointment: despite the promise of the title, Snuffy does not actually fight for Nazi Germany in the film.
Ed Crankshaft is also a World War II vet, but on this day he’s chosen not to dwell on the past. Instead, he’s thinking about the future, the future where cold, soulless machines will displace human warmth, and it fills him with despair.
Mark Trail, 11/11/16
Well, we all knew the chopperslosions couldn’t go onforever, so I’m glad Mark Trail is allowing us to taper off by at least showing us some hot (literally) smoldering wreckage action. It’s extremely funny to me how quickly Cal’s mind turns from “rescuing Mark and Abbey” to “fleeing in this boat, Mark and Abbey will be fine, probably.”
I think I speak for all Americans when I say I’m glad this election is over with! Now we can get back to normal, everyday life: instead of having to listen to Crankshaft rant about how all politicians are criminals, we get to listen to him rant about how women these days all dress like whores.
Mary Worth, 11/9/16
Because I’m a monster, the first thing I thought of after reading Wilbur saying “We could explore the world together” is that would be funny if he followed it up with “…you know, sexually.” Because I hate myself, I then thought, “Are there other Wilbur quotes that would be equally funny ending with ‘…you know, sexually’?” And because I’m dedicated to bringing the real truth about the comics pages to you, I went through my archives to test my hypothesis:
This is one of my weird comics fixations and maybe it’s a cultural blind spot for me, but: is there anywhere in suburban America, like where the Flagstons or the Bumsteads live, where people regularly let their dogs roam about, unfenced and unleashed and unsupervised, at night? I get that this is a thing that happens in rural areas, but Hi and Lois don’t live in a rural area. I get that this is a thing that happened in, like, the ’50s, maybe, but Hi and Lois don’t live there either. Is this just some ossified institutional memory thing, where Dawg has always wandered free at night, and Walker-Brown Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC doesn’t want to change the continuity now? Or have I somehow magically managed to live only in the parts of the country where keeping your dog indoors at night, or at least fenced in a yard, is the social norm? (For what it’s worth, in my current neighborhood there’s an extra incentive to do so, what with the roaming coyotes.)
Judge Parker, 11/6/16
In the aftermath of her extremely public humiliation, Neddy has done the only sensible thing: flee to Alaska with her hunky lover, refusing all communication with her shattered family! It would be a hilarious narrative shift if, after a few weeks of rapid plot developments under new writer Ces Marciuliano, we just spend the next six to eight months with Neddy sipping coffee, looking wistfully out over the permafrost, and not answering her phone.
Ahhh, Crankshaft in a nutshell: Ed loudly subjects a room full of people to his opinion, talking to nobody in particular and neither noticing nor caring that nobody’s talking back to him!