Crock may be the only comic that I’ve antagonized so much that they felt a need to do a genuinely mean-spirited strip about me, but at least I am familiar with long-running Crock jokes and traditions, which is more than I can say for the people paid actual money to help produce it for publication. Captain Preppy, for instance, is an egomaniac who likes to gaze at himself in a handheld mirror while talking about how great he is. This is well-established Crock canon. Yet somebody looked at a black-and-white version of today’s strip and said, “He’s a holding a corndog, right? Looks like a corndog. Let’s check out the dialogue in panel two. ‘Boy, am I lucky.’ Yep, that’s the sort of thing that someone holding a corndog would say. God, I wish I had a corndog right now! Anyway, paintcan tool, pick corndog brown off the color chart, bloop, bloop, bloop. Done! On to Curtis! Wonder what he’s eating.”
Judge Parker, 3/30/16
Haha, Mrs. Chubb folded immediately after like 30 seconds of fairly mild questioning from Sam. Just goes to show that if you’re going to run a sordid fake-accident-injury scam, do not enlist as your accomplice a woman for whom pearls are part of her casual, lounging-around-the-house wear. She will be far too classy to commit.
Jesse Ventura ran for governor in 1998, which I guess offers some solid evidence for when the current run of Archie strips were originally written. I certainly hope that nobody was misled by this strip into thinking that Greco-Roman wrestling was a flashy, high-profile road to fame and eventual political glory.
Mary Worth, 3/30/16
“Hmm, what should I wear for my first day of class? I know: pants, a suit jacket, and a vest, all precisely the same shade of green!” –A guy who thinks about art and aesthetics, like, professionally
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.