Archie’s whole shtick is of course to present a false and corrosive nostalgia for a bygone era that downplays any and all negative aspects of generic mid-20th century high school life, but it’s rare to see the strip get self-aware like this. Principal Weatherbee eats the lunch created in an industrial kitchen from mass-produced staple ingredients, which is the only way to feed a school full of children and staff efficiently and within the shrinking budget allotted. “It’s not like my mon used to make!” Weatherbee declares, failing to mention that for his mother preparing food for even a small family took hours and hours every week.
Dennis the Menace, 9/25/15
You know, I’d like to think that my blog is proof that cultural criticism can effect social change. Certainly Dennis has seen a real menacing uptick lately, and I’m going to take the credit and assume this is a reaction to my years-long campaign to point out how non-menacing he’s been. “Wow, Mom, you kissed me and I felt nothing. No healing, no comfort, nothing.” Pretty sure things children say to their parents don’t get more menacing than that.
Herb and Jamaal, 9/25/15
Moses also died before the people he led arrived at their destination! What I’m trying to say this could be the most emotionally affecting Herb and Jamaal storyline yet, after which they’re going to have to change the name of the strip.
I’m really unsettled by Mr. Lodge’s look of cold calculation in the final panel here. That’s a man who’s thinking, “I’m wealthy, and I have connections in the shadowy underworld. Surely I know a man who will remove a tongue, for a price.”
Six Chix, 9/11/15
I’m assuming that the complainer, the gossip, and the underminer are all standing around that desk in the next room, playing their petty little office roles for each other in a 9 to 5 drama that never really ends. That last office archetype, though … she’s a loner. Just hanging out there in the middle of the room, standing absolutely still, trying not to attract attention … wait, what was that? Did somebody say “embezzler”? Does somebody need to die?
Gil Thorp, 9/11/15
OH MY GOD SHE REALLY IS TEACHING HIGH SCHOOL FOR A REALITY SHOW
I PREDICTED IT AND IT CAME TRUE
Gil Thorp, 9/9/15
If there’s one thing Gil Thorp does well, it’s call back to beloved (?) characters from the past, so as soon as it became clear that we were supposed to know who Holly Dobbs is, I Googled “holly dobbs gil thorp” and … guys. Guys. This article from 1993 says that Holly Dobbs is GIL’S EX-GIRLFRIEND, a former Milford English teacher/aspiring actor who he was about to propose to when she got cast in a play in fancy New York City and left Milford behind her … forever. Or, you know, for 38 years, since that story ran in newspapers in 1967. But now she’s back and I sincerely hope that the implications of both this strip and this strip hold, i.e., that she was secretly also dating Marty during her Milford life, and that now, with her acting career dead, she’s returning to teach high school as some sort of awful reality show stunt, meaning the hot Gil-Holly-Marty love triangle action will be broadcast to fans nationwise.
It’s kind of weird that this whole strip is just bathed in a urine-colored omnipresent glow, but if you were a colorist confronted with Archie strip where the joke involves Jughead stink-breathing “VICTOR HUGO,” and also, completely out of character, recognizing a Victor Hugo quote, you too might decide that you don’t get paid enough for this shit.
Mary Worth, 9/9/15
“I mean, not literally. That would’ve been great! I could’ve used that card to rent a room at a nice hotel! Instead I have to hide out here with you, ugh.”
Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/9/15
“I’ll see what I can do! About the patriarchy, I mean. I’m a former nanny who married her way into the upper corporate echelons, so I’m trying to bring it down from the inside.”
I’m starting to think Ralph Meckler’s probably not going to win this election, guys.