I know that there are basically like six character designs in Archie, but Archie’s barber looks an awful lot like an adult version of resident nerd Dilton, doesn’t he? I’d like to imagine that Dilton accidentally slipped backwards from the future due to some kind of time travel experiment, and that he’s trapped in the present without his equipment or true identity, forcing him to take a series of jobs he considers beneath him. “Dilton Doiley” is a local high school student, so this future version of him must only go by the alias “Mr. Barber.” His deep-seated rage over his so-called friends’ failure to recognize him, so obvious on his face here, leads him to lash out the only we he knows how: by giving them terrible haircuts.
Usually a Sunday strip’s throwaway panels are connected somehow to the main action, at least thematically. At first I thought the little vignette of Dagwood and Daisy returning from a walk was completely out of left field, but then I figured out what the theme of the strip was: that Dagwood and Blondie will do anything to avoid talking or listening to each other.
Mark Trail, 2/15/15
I for one am pretty psyched that Mark Trail is jettisoning boring nature facts in favor of “unnerving news.” Is an enormous grizzly bear stalking you from less than 100 yards away, right now? Probably!
Mary Worth, 12/21/14
This has definitely been the year of reckless sexuality in Mary Worth, as this is actually the second time in 2014 that Anaïs Nin has been quoted in the opening panel of a Sunday strip. The eroticism in today’s strip is much more blatant, though. Look at Hanna and Sean in that last panel! Their bodies are definitely melting into each other, I tell you what.
It’s not unusual for a teen boy to imagine the two girls he’s fixated on looking at each other in sexually charged surprise, as if they’re seeing each other with new eyes. Usually in that scenario they aren’t wearing bulky Santa suits, but who am I to yuck someone else’s yum?
Amphetamine variants, across a socioeconomic scale running from meth to Adderall, are often used as productivity drugs: they focus the mind and, in the short term, make it easier for you to do work, especially work you don’t particularly want to do. By rejecting his friend’s offer of a little illicit worktime pick-me-up, Dag emphasizes his commitment to decadent leisure: as with food, his interest in drugs is entirely sensual, not utilitarian.
Last week Doc Ock skittered off from his penthouse lair to go enjoy the work of his earthquake machine … somewhere … else? “Somewhere else” turned out to be just straight-up chilling on his couch, presumably in a different lair, while his tentacles dangle forlornly, waiting for the artificial earthquake that never comes. Is he supposed to be watching TV? I bet he’s supposed to be watching TV. Everyone in this strip is always watching TV, all the time, and if there isn’t one there when you need it, it’ll just sort of appear, conveniently.
It’s pretty impressive that, in a strip whose punchline is that Marvin’s family is in such constant terror of his poops that everyone keeps careful track of his digestive velocity, the most unsettling part is actually his smug little smile in panel three. “That’s right, my bowel movements are so vile my own grandfather refuses to deal with them! Heh heh.”
Dennis the Menace, 10/16/14
The Mitchells have done the math and figured out that they can afford to meet their legal obligations as parents without interacting emotionally with their son at all! Look at them, smiling to themselves and not even making eye contact with him. Someone just found out what true menacing really is.
Based on the sad, reverent way Jughead has doffed his cap, I’m going to assume that Archie died in the ring.