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.
Mary Worth, 4/30/13
Oh my goodness, you guys, it looks like we are about to get Mary Worth’s version of the immovable object/unstoppable force problem! You see, on the one hand, the thing that Mary likes more than anything else is seeing young people matched up into happily heteronormative couples — particularly couples like Tom and Beth, who she has selected for eternal happiness with her inscrutable Mary Powers. ON THE OTHER HAND, there is nothing Mary Worth hates more than lies and dishonesty. But what if the only way to ensure that Beth and Tom could get to know each other better, in a romantic but wholesome way, would involve Mary lying? What path will she choose? I sure hope she chooses lying, because (a) Mary lying, even in the cause of love, should be delightfully awkward, made even more so by the fact that (b) Mary, Tom, and Beth’s mom Elinor all live in the same condo complex, so there’s a good chance that the lying will take the following form:
MARY answers the door. ELINOR is standing in the hall.
ELINOR: Have you seen my daughter Beth? I’m worried that she’s whoring herself over at that man-slut Tom’s apartment.
MARY: Oh-h-h-h, of course not, Elinor! Beth is here in my apartment tonight.
ELINOR: Oh. Can I come in and see her?
ELINOR: Why not?
MARY: [Stands silently, smiling, for a long time, like, a really long time, things get uncomfortable real fast but she just keeps standing there silently, forever]
Well might Grossie’s Friend Whose Name I Forget (sigh, sadly “Grossie” is a name that will never, ever leave my brain) look dubious in panel three. If Grossie is so good at spotting plastic surgery from so far away, shouldn’t she notice her tablemate’s nose, pointing up at an impossibly taut angle, presumably being held in place by some kind of industrial-strength facelift technology?
This week’s “Marvin does variations on a dumb joke all week” involves the li’l scamp uploading “feet photos” onto Facebook. Can someone confirm or deny to me that this is an actual thing that people do? I tried Googling “feet photos Facebook” and got some extremely traumatizing results so I had to go take a walk and not look at the computer for a while.
(Side note: remember when CrySpace was the baby-themed social network of choice in the Marvinverse, back in 2009? I guess we can’t pretend that MySpace is relevant enough to be spoofed anymore. Not that we could pretend this in 2009 either, but you know.)
Ha ha, wouldn’t it be funny if they made an Indiana Jones movie in the modern day, with Harrison Ford playing the title role, even though he is an old man? Wait, what? In 2008, you say? Huh.
I cannot tell you how happy the single word “greenies” (well, OK, I guess the single word “greenies,” repeated) made me today. Not that I’m any great fan of amphetamines (for that is what the term refers to, in a baseball context), but I’m a particularly great non-fan of sports moralizing that boils down to “Everything today is so corrupt and soiled because of long hair and the rap music! Why can’t we go back to the noble, upright athletic heroes I had has a child?” Speed has been pretty prevalent in baseball since the 1940s, meaning that the vast majority of baseball fans today have never seen a greenie-less game! And pep pills actually help enhance performance, unlike, say, deer antler extract. In other words, I salute Heathcliff for reminding us that, as far back as history records, we have lived in a fallen world.
So … I’m assuming there’s, like, a handyman who endorses things on TV by saying he’s a handyman? Like Schmeese does in the throwaway panels here? Damn it, I hate being made to feel like I’m missing some pop cultural reference, and being made to feel like I’m missing some pop cultural reference by Crock is particularly humiliating.
Dennis the Menace, 3/18/13
Oh, man, the knowing glances Dennis and Mrs. Wilson are exchanging here speak volumes. Mr. Wilson’s look of peaceful repose, hands crossed contentedly over his chest, can only mean one thing: he’s been dead for months, and Mrs. Wilson hasn’t told anyone so she can keep collecting those sweet Postal Service pension checks. Dennis found out, naturally, but just as naturally is happy to keep her secret, as long as Mrs. Wilson keeps the cookies coming. Preserving Mr. Wilson’s corpse through some no doubt ghastly home mortuary science was not strictly necessary for running the scam, of course; that’s just to allow Mrs. Wilson and Dennis to glory in their satisfaction at the old crank’s death.
Seeing as 90% of Curtis strips are variations on the same five or six jokes, I would not have picked it as the first newspaper comic to use the resignation of Pope Benedict as fodder for a punchline. Only five weeks after he quit, too! In the world of syndicated comic strips, that’s an amount of time that can only be detected with the most delicate of scientific instruments.
Slylock Fox, 3/18/13
More haunting evidence of the terrible cataclysm that wiped out humankind and left Earth in the
hands paws of sentient beasts: although New York survived more or less intact, elsewhere whole mountain ranges were submerged by massive flooding. Typically, these creatures may be wearing hats and sailing boats and thinking they’re the ones in charge, but they’re still very keen to dig up some of the valuable remnants of the far superior civilization produced by the late lamented Homo sapiens.
This camel is outraged that a bird wants to use his hump for sex.
It’s nice to see that Heathcliff and his owner went through the trouble of putting up a festive banner in their living room, to create some holiday context for just staying home and getting bombed out of their skulls.
Mary Worth, 3/4/13
After a Sunday spent seeing Tom Harpman spilling his guts to Mary with little provocation, now we get to see Mary relating this information to Toby! Pretty thrilling, eh? I guess it is marginally more exciting to see Mary telling things to Toby rather than seeing someone telling things to Mary; the excitement comes in seeing Toby trying and failing to grapple with even basic human emotions, and shifting the conversation back to something she kind of understands: soup.
Convinced that his neighbors have the inside scoop on the upcoming economic collapse, Dagwood is just trying to hoard as much cash as he can. Haha, once rampaging mobs have lynched all the bankers, he’ll never have to pay any of it back!
It’s kind of a relief when Crock doesn’t even try to make a joke, am I right?
Mary Worth, 2/14/13
It’s always a dodgy business, trying to translate the contortions of the lumpy head-fronts of Mary Worth characters into real human emotions, but I think Mary looks kind of surprised in panel two by the announcement that this absurd cake contest somehow has the funding to hand out thousands of dollars to its winners. “You earned it! …wait, what? $10,000? I mean we earned it, we earned it, yes, look at me, I have a yellow ‘1st’ ribbon pinned to me, hand over that check, hand over that enormous novelty check to me right now, I was an integral part of this operation.”
Apartment 3-G, 2/14/13
I guess Lu Ann is supposed to be in Texas getting to know her birth mother Ruby better, or maybe in South Dakota trying to mend the relationship with her adoptive family that was always fraught for reasons she never understood, either possibility serving as a fine potential storyline that we will of course never, ever get to see. Nevertheless, it’s fun to see her call in and act baffled about the concept of fire, and her interrobang nicely captures her flailing, agitated confusion. “How could our building catch fire, Tommie!? Are buildings made of flammable material? Who stole the flame-magic from the sky god?” Tommie, meanwhile, is concerned that the Professor is sitting alone in the smoldering shell of their apartment building, wondering about the smell and the draft.
It appears that the characters of Crock, having been promised a release from their endless purgatory that has yet to arrive, have simply decided to stop telling terrible Crock-jokes. And more power to them!