Oh, hey, whoops! It turns out Crankshaft wasn’t being coy at all about the year in which takes place yesterday. Crankshaft happens in 2016, which means Funky Winkerbean happens in 2026, which means that the next ten years are going to pass by in escalating gloom in order to achieve the full-on miasma of despair that permeates the future-strip. Lucky for Lilian, she’s suffering a massive heart attack in the final panel here, and so won’t have to live through any of it.
Judge Parker, 3/25/16
Call me a big government liberal if you must, but I think if you’re going to build your business model on squeezing the last drops of usuable labor out of the old and feeble, you should at least make a good faith effort at keeping them alive.
Good to see Crock has given up on jokes entirely and is now just focusing on characters staring out at the reader while sassily spouting nonsense. He gave him the hump, if you know what he means! Do you know what he means? You don’t. Nobody does. But you can tell it’s supposed to be funny, from context.
Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean, 3/24/16
Unlike what appears to be a surprising number of you, I don’t care much about the weird chronological disconnect between Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, where both strips take place in the present (as near as can be determined by technological and social details) and yet Funky Winkerbean takes place ten years after Crankshaft. I really don’t care at all! It’s just Comic Book Time, y’all, and unless you’re dealing with For Better or for Worse or Doonesbury, you just accept that the characters all stay the same age more or less while the universe ages around them. The Funkyverse seems to want its readers to care about the discontinuity, though, which is strange because literally the only forms of “caring” anyone could have about this are “confusion” and “irritation”; still, what other explanation is there for the slo-mo crossover details that would only be of interest to Funkyverse obsessives? Like those twin girls who recently surfaced in Funky Winkerbean as teens are now back in Crankshaft, teasing us with potential clues about their birthdate! (Jokes on you, nerds: October 1995 is before they were born whether Crankshaft takes place in 2016 or 2006.) Meanwhile, in Funky Winkerbean, the gang is visiting the Valentine, presumably to show us that Max and his girlfriend have managed to run it for a decade without going bankrupt. I guess that’s supposed to be Max? Or some other bearded dude? At least he’s making a dumb play on words based on a phrase nobody ever uses. At least something makes sense.
Mary Worth, 3/24/16
Is there a phrase more emblematic of Mary Worth’s ethos than “Mary explains what Dawn is feeling”? Anyway, now that Mary has successfully annihilated Dawn’s emotional autonomy, she’ll be ready to force her puppet to make a “bolder personal effort” for “in-person connecting,” which probably will entail an assassination attempt on a senator or businessman opposed to Mary’s interests.
Normally I would just pass over this incomprehensible punchline like so many others in Crock, but the title character’s knowing glance in the final panel is really forcing me to dwell on it. “Eh? Hairy backs? Get it? His back? It’s hairy?”
Herb and Jamaal, 3/24/16
You know those Slylock Fox puzzles where the solution revolves around someone making a technically true but misleading statement to beat a lie detector test? This reminds me of a particularly pathetic version of that. “Heh heh,” thinks Herb smugly in the final panel. “I sure gave her a piece of my mind, in a way that guarantees that she’ll never notice! That’ll show her!”
Judge Parker, 3/24/16
WOW, when is BIG GOVERNMENT going to get OFF THE BACKS of JOB CREATORS who want to MAKE THINGS IN AMERICA by HIRING OLD PEOPLE and NOT PAYING THEM ANY BENEFITS because they’re ALREADY ON MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY????? Man, whichever local state legislator had his or her last campaign entirely financed by the Spencer-Driver SuperPAC is going to hear about this.
Slylock Fox, 3/21/16
Ha, Slylock, this is pretty much the lamest anti-drug campaign I’ve ever seen. “No!” he shouts at the glassy-eyed hordes, eager to hand fists full of money over to Wanda. “Don’t you understand? She isn’t using honey at all!” The animals stumble back to their homes, or just lie down on the grass, chemically fueled happiness shooting through their veins. Slylock runs from prone form to prone form. “Honey is created by bees in hives! At best, she’s using honey that bees created after gathering nectar from lily and cactus flowers. At best!” Nobody listens. Nobody hears. They’re thinking happy thoughts! Nothing but happy thoughts! Your honey talk isn’t happy, Slylock, and they can’t even hear it.
Gasoline Alley, 3/21/16
Good news! Gasoline Alley’s Mildly Irritating Appliance Salesman Guy, who you might remember from strips like these, is back! And he’s a … police officer? Sure, why not! I don’t really understand why Gasoline Alley thinks Frank Nelson’s character from Jack Benny’s 1940’s radio show is someone that modern people yearn to see in cartoon form, but you could argue that if The Simpsons did it, it can’t be the worst idea in the world. You could also argue that this is a comic strip that just wrapped a multi-month story arc about scrapbooking, so clearly nobody involved gives a shit about what you or I or anyone else thinks!
Since Crock is nominally set in early 20th century French colonial North Africa, if I had to identify the religion held by most of its characters, I’d have said “indifferent Catholics.” But clearly, in its decades wandering the desert, the Lost Patrol has fallen into some odd polytheism.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/21/15
“Your body is strong and robust and will go on living for years as your brain turns to goo and you lose every shred of the memories and personality that makes you you! This will only be a problem for your loved ones and people who talk to you, though, and I’m gonna stop talking to you right … about … now.”