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Comics archive! Funky Winkerbean

New week, new plots, impending death

Mark Trail, 6/27/16

Oh man, so after dragging on for a really long time, the Mark Trail cave adventure ended … extremely abruptly? Mark swam out through an underground passage and then Gabe and Carina followed shortly afterwards and they all emerged in the Rio Grande, the end! Suddenly, two years earlier, some wealthy couple is wrapping up their South Seas cruise on their gynormous yacht. The key questions we need to ask ourselves: Why are we seeing this in flashback? Will Mark and company stumble upon the wreckage of this yacht in the present, and need to figure out why it exploded? Because let’s make one thing absolutely clear: that boat is definitely going to explode.

Slylock Fox, 6/27/16

Oh my God, this is the most horrifying Slylock Fox mystery solution yet. We now know that the animapocalypse granted sapience to animals at all levels of the food chain, no matter how short their lifespan. “Here, try this so-called ‘magic potion,'” Slylock says to the mayfly, its mind already in a constant whirling panic over its impending mortality. “Maybe you’ll be able to stave off your inevitable death for another few days! Please, it’s for science.”

Crankshaft, 6/27/16

Newspaper comics creators have of course sworn a solemn oath to protect their shrinking revenues from print syndication: they must never read newspapers online. Some of them refuse to even acknowledge that newspapers put their articles on the internet; others, like Crankshaft, realize that this is an important part of the modern media landscape, but have no idea how online news works, per se. Fun fact: my very first grown-up job was at an “online magazine” where we published like 16-20 articles a month, and we published them to our website all at the same time, on the 20th of each month! This was in 1999.

Funky Winkerbean, 6/27/16

“What? No, they’re going to cut our funding. What the hell is wrong with you?”

Vowel disharmony

Six Chix, 6/24/16

It’s very sad seeing this grim future environmental dystopia whose inhabitants consider a scattering of trees in an open field to be a “forest.” This comic serves as a warning that merely “liking” activist posts on Facebook does not bring about meaningful political change.

Marvin, 6/24/16

DemonCat is a regular poster in the comments section of this very blog, and a little Googling has shown that all of these are the usernames of regular commenters on King Features’ official Comics Kingdom site, which is where Marvin is hosted. So, congrats, DemonCat and everyone else! You got a shout-out from Marvin! May God have mercy on your souls.

Judge Parker, 6/24/16

Wow, maybe the Parker-Drivers are more business savvy then I thought? They know that modern affluent consumers aren’t looking for mere products; they want stories and experiences, which means that they’ll buy Neddy’s amateurishly designed clothes because it makes them feel connected to the celebrities they idolize and vaguely patriotic for buying something Made in the USA! They’ll buy them at least once or twice, anyway, long enough for Neddy to book enough revenue to make the company attractive to some international conglomerate that’ll move the whole operation to Bangladesh.

Funky Winkerbean, 6/24/16

Wait, did Mopey Pete just say “may-soan” or “may-son-ee”? This is going to be bothering me for days.

How many of your favorite bloggers are secretly dogs? [looks around nervously]

Marvin, 6/20/16

Have you guys ever seen the Disney channel TV show Dog With A Blog? It’s about a dog who can speak, read, and write English, which is a pretty amazing set of skills for a dog to have! Really, the fact that he choses to use his language abilities to create and maintain a website consisting of posts in reverse chronological order is one of the less interesting things about him, ygou’d think, and yet that’s still what made it into the title of the show. I’ve seen exactly one episode of Dog With A Blog; in it, Stan, the titular dog, learns that dogs only live to be around 15 or so, and becomes obsessed with creating a video of himself so everyone will remember him and his amazing abilities after he dies. The kids in the family who own him, who are the only people who know about his talents, then have to find and destroy this tape, so his secrets aren’t revealed. This is a television show marketed to children, and it’s amazingly grim.

Dog With A Blog premiered in 2012, and I’m … reasonably sure that the “Bitsy’s Blog” bit in Marvin predates this? Somehow I’ve managed to have never covered Bitsy blogging on my site before, as near as I can tell, though it’s definitely been a thing. Anyway, if Marvin needs cash, maybe it should consider suing Disney, a company with deep pockets. Just imagine! The strip wouldn’t have to maintain even the tiniest shred of decorum necessary to still be getting syndication revenue from newspapers. It can just go ahead and become a full-on scat porn webcomic.

Funky Winkerbean, 6/20/16

Way back when Mason Jarr was first introduced as a character, he was the guy playing Les in the abortive TV movie based on Lisa’s Story, and was portrayed as a comical moron, in keeping with the storyline’s overall theme, which was that Hollywood is bad and everyone except for Les is a soulless hack. Now that he’s become a regular cast member, he’s been given some sympathetic gravitas, by which I mean he thinks and talks about death constantly, but it’s nice to see the character getting back to his roots and contemplating whether “Mason Jarre” would be a more dignified spelling of his extremely silly name.

Beetle Bailey, 6/20/16

Not that I’m an expert or anything, but wouldn’t soldiers on a hike in training be carrying … equipment of some kind? Like a backpack, or a rifle, or something? I guess what we’re seeing here is that our heroes have finally been assigned into combat, but have been defeated due to incompetence. Having abandoned their weapons, they’re retreating in disarray, and Sarge, desperately trying to keep their unit from disintegrating entirely, is about to resort to extreme measures.

Mary Worth, 6/20/16

Oh look, it’s a new (maybe?) Mary Worth plot, and here on day one we have the battle of the waistlines! Mary and Wilbur appear to be the same height, but Mary’s got her trusty grey sansabelts hiked all the way up over her navel, while Wilbur lets his shirt cascade down past his waist like a mighty waterfall. I look forward to the dramatic visual interplay between these very different approaches over the course of the week!