Mary Worth, 11/6/13
“This award isn’t so much for me, or the other humans who work and volunteer there, as it is for the shelter itself — the actual physical building. I mean, if you think about it, all the volunteers and staffers in the world couldn’t help the homeless if we didn’t have a building to put them in, am I right? We’d just be standing around outside holding umbrellas over their heads or something, and that wouldn’t be very helpful at all! Anyway, that’s why we sometimes let the building wrench the very souls of some of our clients out of their bodies and suck them into a terrifying hell-dimension through the nightmarish maw-portal that lurks in the basement. Yes, the process is fatal and horrifying, but if this wonderful, helpful building needs to feed on the life-essence of 20 percent or so of the people we house in order to sustain its demonic existence, who are we to complain?”
Wow, I sure don’t remember a hat-and-diaper-clad chinless blob-horror being among the cast of beloved legacy strip Crock. Newspapers are correct to eschew any affiliation with whatever awful demonic babble is emerging from this abomination’s perversely grinning mouth-hole.
Hi and Lois, 11/6/13
“Ha ha but what if there was a baby who was also a cougar” –an idea that should’ve immediately been discarded, but was instead turned into the punchline of a nationally syndicated comic strip
Good news, everybody! The Tarantula and Spider-Man defeated El Condor, and the Tarantula was all about restoring democracy to Costa Verde and holding free and fair elections, but then like forty guys who showed up in the capital to watch El Condor’s arrest shouted that Tarantula should lead them, so now he’s going by “Mr. Presidente” and striking a Jesus Christ pose in front of his fanatical followers. ¡Viva la revolución! Anyway, Spidey, having encouraged Tarantula’s coup, is now enjoying some of its sweet, sweet material benefits. “Whoa whoa whoa, I get to fly on a plane while lying on a couch? This is amaaazing!”
Speaking of violent revolution, years of privation and failed leadership have finally broken down military discipline in the Lost Patrol. The angry men plan to lynch their leader, only to be killed themselves by a stratagem of the brutal commander they hate so much. It’s OK, though, because this bloody conflict has been given the cute name “grumble time!” Ha ha, those kooky grumbling starving murderous legionnaires!
Panels from Hi and Lois, 11/3/13
I’m not sure what I love more about today’s Hi and Lois throwaway panels: that Chip (estimated birth date: 1997) is waxing nostalgic to his little sister about the cocaine-fueled glory days of the ’70s New York disco scene, or that Dot, sullen and angry at having been confronted by an unfamiliar cultural reference, calls him “chip dip” in her head. I for one will be responding to things I don’t understand with “Whatever that means, chip dip” from now on.
“So I’m available? Over here? Eh? Eh? Available for sex? Eh?”
Mark Trail, 10/26/13
Well! We’ve had exciting Mark Trail denouements before, but I’m pretty sure none of them are more exciting than a villain being driven over a cliff to his death by a wounded, suicidal elk. I guess the Mark Trail storytelling machine caught wind of the outpouring of recognition Mary Worth got when that strip sent a plotline’s antagonist over a cliff and lurched into action, coming up with its own death-plummet climax a mere seven years later.
The one you feel really bad for in this scenario is of course Anne Marie, who just saw her fiance die horribly. It’s worth pointing out that Anne Marie is also completely in the dark about her fiance’s evil nature, because women in Mark Trail are (a) not very observant and (b) not told unpleasant facts by men, because a lady shouldn’t worry her pretty little head about such matters. Maybe they still won’t tell her, to protect her! “I’m sorry, Anne Marie, but your fiance is in Man Heaven now. Probably you’ll find a new fiance soon, with your long, pretty hair! Welp, I’m off to Lost Forest.”
Mary Worth, 10/26/13
This week, we’ve heard the story of a teenage boy, homeless after being kicked out of his abusive home, who Shelly helped in her early years at the shelter. That teen hobo eventually grew up to be the upstanding suit-wearing doctor you see before you, thanks to Shelly’s help and guidance. In the shocking conclusion to the tale, we learn that Shelly and Dr. Smith are involved in a sexual relationship so electric that they can’t keep from pawing all over each other, right here in front of the guest that they barely notice anymore. Mary’s eyes are wide with voyeuristic lust in anticipation of the red-hot May-December chocolate-vanilla action she’s about to see.
Gil Thorp, 10/26/13
You may not care for sports, or Gil Thorp, or sports in Gil Thorp, but you really have to appreciate today’s strip, in which Gil and Kaz come up with a coaching plan and grin smugly at each other about it, and then that plan flops spectacularly over two confusingly drawn panels. I’m pretty sure Jimmy Jarbo is pounding himself in the head in frustration over his failure in panel two? Silly, Jimmy, you can’t hurt yourself that way, you’re wearing a helmet! You need to take it off and find a good barky stick.
Herb’s expression in the last panel really sells this strip to me. He’s trying, ever so gently, to steer his best friend away from the massive coronary that’s awaiting him, only to see all his work undone in an instant. “Yes,” says Dagwood, “I do want to eat all my favorite foods at once! Can you blend them up into a viscous slurry and then pour down my gullet through a funnel?”
Once upon a time, there was a teenage chicken who was smart enough to learn how to drive a car, but then these guys killed it and ate it, the end.
Ha ha! It’s funny because the camel has been shot repeatedly. He’s in shock, of course, somehow unaware of his no doubt fatal wounds. The best we can hope for is that he’ll soon pass out from fluid loss without even realizing what’s happening; the alternative is a drawn-out, agonizing death in the middle of the desert.
Ha ha! It’s funny because, can you imagine a surgeon who can’t tie things right? Can you imagine that surgeon sewing up the slices he made in your flesh after he cut open your abdomen? Can imagine seeing your freshly stitched surgical wounds suddenly unraveling? Would you stay alive long enough to watch your viscera sluice out in a great, gory rush?
Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/22/13
Speaking of medical professionals to avoid, maybe don’t see a nurse who’s all smiles talking about how one of her practice’s patients got shot in the head with a nail gun, probably on purpose!
Mary Worth, 9/18/13
Oh, man, I really fell down on the job of keeping you up with Mary’s adventures (and I use that word in the loosest possible sense) over the past few weeks, didn’t I? Well, lucky for me, I don’t even have to type up a recap, because she’s conveniently thought-ballooning one for you. Her choice of reading material does give me an opportunity to point something out that I’ve been meaning to bring to your attention, though: there is now an officially authorized Mary Worth anthology that you can buy with your money on Amazon, right now. It is called Love and Other Stories of Mary Worth and it includes three of the great Mary Worth storylines of the past decade. The first is the story of Anna, who Mary urged to pursue her old flame Brian at her high school reunion even though he was married, but it turned out he wasn’t married anymore and so they got married and had sex and then she was afraid she was barren but then she barfed and it turned out she wasn’t. Next of course is the gripping tale of Aldomania, following the tale of thwarted romance from first glimpse to fiery death. And then it concludes with the story about the figure skater and her overbearing father-coach, which I seem to remember enjoying at the time but in retrospect it seems kind of meh and I’m not going to bother fishing through my archives to find the strips, but still, you should buy this book, because why not? I actually had forgotten the title of this collection and briefly thought that, in an act of subliminal buzz-building, Mary was reading her own book. Still, we can hold out hope that Return to Love is the sequel that will follow hot on the heels of Love and Other Stories, and will include all sorts of romantical Mary Worth tales like, uh, that lady who almost had sex with Charterstone’s designated pervert but then decided to stay married to her husband instead. Stay tuned!
Man, do I love how indignant El Condor is over Spidey and Tarantula’s ruse! Now I know why the U.S. government keeps propping up his regime despite its well-documented history of human rights abuses: because he’s hilarious! (Also, he’s cheerfully subservient to American business interests.)
Remember when everyone was freaking about E. coli in their hamburgers? I think it was the late ’90s? Also, remember when “hamburger steak” was a thing that people said and/or ate? I think it was never? I guess they mean Salisbury steak, but if so why does supposed Frenchman Crock love the Kaiser so much?
True story: Once, when I was living in California, I got the time zone math backwards and called my dad and stepmother at 11 p.m. my time, thinking that it was 8 p.m. on the East Coast when of course it was 2 a.m., and naturally they were less than thrilled about this. I should add that this was after nearly four years of living on the West Coast, so it’s not like I had any kind of excuse. Anyway, what I’m saying is that MJ has been sitting by the phone with no doubt increasing amounts of irritation waiting for Peter call while he’s been screwing around on the beach or whatever, and maybe he shouldn’t sound quite so insufferably smug in panel two? I mean, MJ still probably wouldn’t want him to come back, seeing as she’s already changed the locks on the apartment and had his name taken off their bank accounts, but still, it’s poor form.
I love that “HMO” is bolded in the last panel, just so we don’t miss the point. “Ha, this HMO is crueler than I am, and my notorious cruelty is central joke of the strip! HMO! Eh? Social commentary? Right?”
Beetle Bailey, 6/18/13
Specialist Chip Gizmo, the adorably nerdy character introduced to Beetle Bailey in 2002 to bring some techno-savvy to the strip, has built himself a sex robot with metal breasts and sharp, claw-like hands! If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the rest of the day screaming now.