Panel from Slylock Fox, 11/15/15
Call me a speciesist if you will, but it seems to me that the animals who rose up and took over the planet in the Slylockverse haven’t quite matched our levels of achievement, have they? I mean, they apparently seized control of a human research station at the North Pole, an event that was presumably quite bloody and involved several polar bears, and they’ve been operating it in a sort of cargo cult fashion ever since, but now they’re in trouble. “Which way did they go?” the polar bears ask, poking their claw at the scavenged compass. “South? It’s all south.” The thief rides away and the bears, already growing soft in their warm enclosure, have forgotten they once were the fastest things on the pack ice.
Mary Worth, 11/15/15
This is an amazingly prefect Mary Worth Time-Killing Strip! Mary exchanges pleasantries with the cabbie, who is enough of a pro to not react to whatever meagre tip she’s giving him; then we get four solid action-packed panels of Mary thought-ballooning about the mechanics of letting her hosts know she’s arrived, a little retrospective on how she got there (not in any soul-searching or philosophical way, just the actual travel mechanics), and some platitudes about New York and how it’s Always Different! Slap a successfully completed phone call on at the end and a fabricated quote from St. Augustine on at the beginning, and you’ve got a Sunday!
The answer to “how dark does Crock have to get before I laugh at it with respectful wonder” has now been established, and it is: botched suicide. I thank you for your time.
Mary Worth, 11/1/15
As Apartment 3-G’s impending shutdown has shown, it’s a tough market out there for soap opera comic strips. Losers fade; winners adapt. That’s why Mary Worth is, right before our eyes, pivoting into the kind of action-oriented comic today’s readers crave. Olive is a young girl with supernatural powers. Today’s she’s only demonstrating prescience, but soon she might be able to move objects with her mind … or even kill. That’s why she needs Mary at her side to guide her to adulthood and keep her moral code intact. It will be a dangerous journey. It could go either way. But in Mary Worth, we’ll see Olive become a tremendous force of good, on the comics page — and, if we play our cards right, in a Netflix original TV series in the spring of 2017!
The other day I was on the bus, and there were these two guys, one probably in his late 50s, the other in his 20s, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t know each other but were chatting in that way people on long bus rides sometimes do. I sat down near them in the middle of the conversation, so I’m not entirely clear on the context, but the younger guy was describing how his cousin (presumably around the same age) had committed suicide, and the older guy said, “Yeah, the Millennials are all weak-minded, I grew up in the ’70s when we were tough,” and I was completely flabbergasted. Anyway, it’s pretty common sport for anyone over 35 to shit on Millennials these days, and one of the great things about having comics like Crock written and drawn by very, very old people is to remind us that every generation was once young and irritating and viewed by its elders as worthy of unique and particular contempt. Don’t worry, kids, you’ll be old soon enough, and then everyone will forget all the selfie jokes.
Why did I recoil in disgust from Tuesday’s pee-soaked Beetle Bailey and yet genuinely chuckle at today’s camel-poop-centric Crock? I dunno, man, probably I’m just fickle, but I think it has a little to do with the attitudes of the two comic creatures. Otto looked sadistically thrilled at the prospect of pissing all over some innocent flowers; Quench the camel, meanwhile, just looks kind of pleased with himself for his quick thinking. “Yeah, you can kill me, bandit-man, but at least I gave back as good as I got, via pooping. That’s some solid wordplay-inspired defecation work on my part, if I do say so myself.”
(Side note: I remembered Quench’s name without having to look it up! I’m a sad, sad man who’s wasted his life.)
Funky Winkerbean, 9/26/15
Oh, God, this tape is going to be full of praise for anyone who managed to overcome her natural emotional defense mechanisms and fall in love with Les. I wish it were about sex stuff now!
Dennis the Menace, 9/26/15
All the neighborhood parents abruptly abandoned their homes and children several weeks ago, and these cookies are the last food they have left. Believe me, there’s nothing else! They’ve looked.