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Comics archive! Six Chix

Anthropologists take note: Hootin’ Holler is a bride-price culture, not a dowry culture

Six Chix and Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/13/16

My main source of info on the aesthetics of diamonds is my wife, who thinks standard diamonds are pretty but not worth the cost and chocolate diamonds are gross. But tastes vary! Still, I’m not really sure what the thrust of the joke in today’s Six Chix is supposed to be. I’m assuming Newly Engaged Lady can’t just be straightforwardly praising her fiance’s choice, as the strip would then lack a “joke” per se. Does she like “chocolate” diamonds because it’s like chocolate the candy and … ladies … be … eating chocolate? Like beloved cartoon character Cathy? Ack? Is this meant to be a commentary on the successful marketing of chocolate diamonds, historically just called brown diamonds and used mostly for industrial purposes, as a newly hip decorative gemstone? Whatever the case, today’s Barney Google and Snuffy Smith cuts through the various layers of meaning encoded the modern tradition of the engagement ring. Our modern, post-industrial society can afford to create abstract signifiers that participate in the ritual of creating a family bond; in impoverished Hootin’ Holler, the residents are closer to the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and they know what a bride wants is agricultural land, and lots of it.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 2/13/16

[stocks of Abbot, Nestle, and other infant formula manufacturers skyrocket as terrified mothers abandon breast-feeding]

I’m uncomfortable with that first-panel B.C. sound effect

Mary Worth, 2/2/16

Huh, Mary’s trip back east seems to be turning into some kind of “let’s revisit old favorites” victory lap. Fresh off of sexually humiliating old pal John Dill (not in the way that he’d prefer), Mary rekindles her old love of ice skating. Let’s not forget that back in 2008, after seeing her old figure skating pal Frank Griffin on TV, she abruptly dropped everything to fly to New York and watch him browbeat his daughter Lynn into skating better. Mary disagreed with Frank’s coaching techniques, because they were making his daughter sad, but it turned out she was actually sad because a boy she liked died and so Mary good-copped her back into competitive skating again and everything was fine (?). Anyway, I certainly hope that as Mary and Olive are out there skating around Rockefeller Plaza, they encounter a deranged Lynn Griffin, doing aimless twirls, still hearing her now-dead father’s enraged shouts in her ears. “This lady doesn’t need my help, does she?” thinks Olive. “Probably not. Probably best to not make eye contact.”

B.C., 2/2/16

One of the interesting things about living in Southern California is that all of the non-religious iconography around Christmas involves festive winter scenes, if by “winter” you mean “winter in the Northern U.S. or Europe.” So much fake snow in so many window displays! That’s considered “real” American winter, even though we’re the most populous state! Factor in the Southwest and Deep South and I wonder if there’s more Americans than not who don’t see white Christmases. Anyway, I’m glad to see B.C., of all strips, acknowledging our glorious diversity of winter climates.

Six Chix, 2/2/16

Here’s a comic about a fish who jumped out of the fishbowl and his friends watched him die in agony and now they’re trying to convince themselves they didn’t see what they just saw. I’m not sure what the “joke” is, per se? Maybe the joke is that anybody thinks there might some escape from the prisons that simultaneously hold us captive and keep us alive.

Dick Tracy: MPAA Enforcer

Dick Tracy, 2/1/16

The old Dick Tracy, by which I mean the relatively recent Dick Tracy of the ’00s as written and drawn by Dick Locher, was insanely violent. Villains were killed via fire, explosion, vicious dogs, mind erasure, bulldozer, suffocation or burns or however you die from falling head first into a smokestack, and, perhaps most memorably, via rats, lots and lots of hungry rats. Am I saying that I’m sad that the new creative team has for the most part toned down the carnage? Mostly no, but a little yes. And the little part of me that’s yes is particularly disappointed that this new storyline suddenly involves a cop who “does undercover work regarding music copyright infringement,” which sounds like the dorkiest form of undercover police work possible. “Hey, fellow teens, my names John Springstein — no relationship to Bruce, ha ha, because it’s spelled differently! Speaking of which, you guys know where I can illegally download some MP3s from Tunnel of Love?’ “Don’t worry,” one of the teens whispers to the others, “we can trust him. Only a real desperate character would wear that vest.”

Six Chix, 2/1/16

“Hey, that’s my phone! And that’s a pigeon and a rat, once one of the most common species in existence, now extinct after that supernova destroyed the Earth! Scientists decided not to bring any live specimens on the vast spaceship where we live now, which will carry our descendents to the Sirius system over the next several centuries. And since there are communications panels every ten meters or so in the corridors where we’ll spend the rest of our days, we don’t need phones anymore, either!”

Beetle Bailey, 2/1/16

You know who else saw from the top of a mountain that he could be king of the world but then rejected that power? Jesus Christ. Just something to think about. Not saying that Beetle Bailey is the Messiah, but, you know, not saying he isn’t, either.