Hey all, remember when Crock creator Bill Rechin died in 2011, and then a year later his son Kevin, who had taken over the strip in accordance with the Legacy Comics Law, declared that working on his dad’s creation made him too sad and he declared that he’d be quitting and shutting the strip down? And there was a note in passing that King Features would make “classic” Crock strips available to “foreign” newspapers for three years, and yet Crock continued to appear in American newspapers, or at least on the King Features site? And the strips that appeared didn’t seem to be particularly “classic”, but looked pretty much exactly like the strips from the decade or so leading up to Rechin’s death? ANYWAY, if you’re like me, you were probably hoping to watch Crock fade away into semi-fond and very vague memories without ever having introduced a black character possibly named “Three” who cheerfully asks people if they “ever do the ‘hip-hop.’” Today’s strip reminds us all that hoping for things only leads to disappointment.
I guess as purveyors of cultural/musical stereotypes go, today’s Heathcliff is significantly less problematic than today’s Crock. “These rock and rollers today, they’re all tall skinny white fellas with that ‘mop-top’ haircut, right? Like those Beatles that the girls are all screaming at? Let’s have Heathcliff sit in one of their guitar cases while he begs for change on the subway, that’ll show them. Heh heh, Heathcliff, you truly are the comics pages’ bad boy.”
Apartment 3-G, 11/3/14
Fun fact: Martin did purchase a table! For his apartment. Which is where he and Margo quite obviously are now. Definitely not in a restaurant. Real easy to get a table in your dad’s apartment, Margo. Just saying.
Reminder: When you see daily comics in color, those colors haven’t been selected by the artists, who generally submit their strips in black and white; instead, there’s a separate staff of colorists, paid by the syndicates, who add color for those contexts where color versions of the strip appear. I’m never afraid to mock these poor underpaid drones when their work results in weirdness or blatant historical errors, so I’m willing to give them kudos when they do the best they can with what they have to work with! Would a normally green cactus that loses its needles as part of a joke about it being “fall” in the desert turn orange, the way green leaves of deciduous trees turn orange before falling of their branches? Maybe! Does having the cactus be orange in the beginning ruin the joke? Trick question: this is Crock, and Crock jokes cannot be “ruined.”
Mary Worth, 9/29/14
It turns out that the real problem with Hanna Dingdon (side note: HAHAHA “DINGDON”) isn’t that her failing eyesight makes her a dangerous driver, it’s that her daughter just uses her as a personal babysitting services at the last minute, without any advance notice! Hanna has had it up to here with this inconsiderate treatment, and so she’s getting revenge the only way she knows how: by letting her grandson watch the most horrifying children’s programming you can imagine, starring monkey-faced rat-things bearing the logo of a literal broken heart on their chests, so that after every visit he’ll return to his mother a traumatized emotional wreck.
Slylock Fox, 9/22/14
We’ve seen this courtroom drama before, and back then I was interested in the sad picture it painted of the animal justice system: the injured Slylock meekly giving his testimony, almost cringing as the bull and his sharp-toothed lawyer grin confidently, secure in the knowledge that this case is going their way despite the facts. Today I’m more intrigued by those facts, or at least the presentation of them here, and what they say about the post-animapocalytic world. Are we meant to understand that the Great Change altered so many things about the world’s bovines — not only making them sapient, but also transforming them from quadrupeds to bipeds and granting them front-facing stereo vision to boot — and yet still left them color blind? Moreover, how exactly did the entirely human urban legend about bulls being enraged by red come to be believed by animal-dom at large? Were images of bullfights perhaps used during the Bestial Revolution to rile up anti-human sentiment? At any rate, this provides more evidence that Slylock Fox takes place in the first generation of so of the post-human reality, as the animals are slowly learning about each other … and about themselves.
Congratulations, Crock: for a strip with exceptionally crude art, you’ve sure managed to pack a lot of deeply unsettling emotion in the face of the Legionnaire in the second panel here. Does Butt Stew contain meat from a butt, or stuff that came out of a butt, or something even more disturbing? You don’t want to know, but he wants to spend the whole rest of the afternoon grinning smugly about just how much you don’t want to know.
Apartment 3-G, 9/22/14
NO DON’T TAKE YOUR TIME GO VERY QUICKLY JESUS FUCKING CHRIST I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE GOING TO GET ANOTHER WEEK OF THIS STORYLINE