Dennis the Menace, 2/3/15
You know what, you try coming up with a cute-but-not-too-cute joke-utterance to put into the mouth of a menacing-but-not-too-menacing little kid, day in and day out, for decades, OK??? It’s not easy! Sometimes you want to do something else. Sometimes you might want to put in a joke written by grownups, for grownups. Like that diet food, amiright? There’s fewer calories, but it costs more money! What’s up with that? Dennis’s exaggerated grimace at his dad’s comedic stylings is actually one of the more subtly menacing things he’s done lately.
I’m used to thinking of Captain Preppie as having been rendered largely harmless by his own relentless self-absorption, but panel one completely upends that impression, rendering him as a wild-eyed predator, attempting (and, thankfully, failing) to recruit others into a band of sex maniacs.
“Crude” is kind of a polite way to describe what the art in Crock is like, but you have to admit that it gets the job done here. I’m assuming that the “job” in question is to show a couple of sapient animals grinning dreamily about how if they just urinate on things, they own them. Cool, right? Fun how that works out. Just cover it in piss, and it’s yours. Buy some booze so you pee more and increase your landholdings. It’s enough to give you a faraway look in your eye as you contemplate what a wonderful world this is that we live in.
Six Chix, 1/27/15
In less fun sapient animal news, these two goldfish are going to be forced to share extremely cramped quarters with their friend’s bloating corpse for who knows how long. “Is it possible that the water we need to live was too wet?” they babble nonsensically, trying to distract themselves from the horror.
Apartment 3-G, 1/27/15
The Story Of The Breakfast Eaten At The Friendly Neighborhood Cafe Which Is Also Just Two People Standing Around On The Sidewalk … continues! In today’s installment, Margo revels in her local celebrity status. Her boast of “owning that new building down the block” is interesting; this as near as I can tell picks up a vaguely remembered plotline from more than a decade ago, which established that the girls (and perhaps all the other residents?) collectively own the building they lived in, and that said building isn’t new at all but actually old enough to include a hiding place used by slaves fleeing to freedom on the Underground Railroad. If Margo’s managed to spin things so that she’s famous as the sole owner of a newly constructed Manhattan apartment building despite all available evidence, I may have to re-evaluate my low opinion of her as a publicist.
Mary Worth, 1/27/15
Say what you will about Apartment 3-G’s weird story-art disconnect, but at least it doesn’t expect us to learn about its characters’ digestive lives in excruciating detail.
Philosophical question: are there young pluggers? Probably not. But: are new pluggers being formed as pluggerism-susceptible youth age into a plugger-appropriate range? Even this seems unlikely, as pluggerism seems founded not just on old age and cantankerousness but on a fairly specific nexus of cultural consumption. What I’m trying to get at here is that pluggers are dying, going extinct, never to be replaced. And those surviving pluggers are going to become more and more acutely aware of their thinning numbers, and eventually will eventually spend every waking minute haunted by the grim specter of their own death. The next decade or so of Pluggers will be amazing, in other words.
If I had to guess, I’d say this was an awkward attempt to graft the hip and in-the-news term “hack” onto a strip that never depicts characters using computers and that indeed takes place in some ill-defined but definitely early-to-mid-20th-century past. But still, by giving the title character the sinister power to access and alter his men’s very minds, this “joke” has made Crock more terrifying than he’s been for years.