Mark Trail, 2/2/13
Usually Mark Trail flashback fashion takes us to the depths of the Eisenhower administration, which is why I am 100% amazed and flabbergasted (in a good way) by “Catfish” here. Now, none of us like to stereotype, but admit it: you probably imagined Catfish would be would be an angry, beefy guy with a mullet or perhaps a chubby fellow with a big white beard; either way, he’d be wearing overalls, obviously. BUT NO! No, Catfish is a bald sprite of a man who went back in time to 1987 and stole a sweet Ocean Pacific t-shirt out of my bedroom. He is such an odd bird in the sartorial world of Mark Trail that I am pretty much willing to forgive whatever crimes against competitive fishing ethics are going on in that van.
Herb and Jamaal, 2/2/13
Meanwhile, today’s unannounced “Classic Herb and Jamaal” is a repeat from barely two years ago! Although maybe even that appearance was itself a repeat from back when someone might have actually said “online talk rooms” and believed himself a vaguely with-it human being.
I’m going to pass over the ostensible action of this strip — is Mr. Lodge’s “antique doo-dad” the table itself? How does one break a table? Wouldn’t even gluing a broken table-chunk back onto the table leave a visible seam? Does Jughead not know the world “table”? — and just point out that Archie really can pull off those skinny plaid yellow pants, though pairing them with the baggy sea-foam sweater is a bit suspect.
Funky Winkerbean, 2/2/13
Oh hi there, would you like a little secret illegitimate daughter in your grueling stroke recovery storyline?
Family Circus, 2/2/13
I genuinely love how unimpressed Jeffy is by Dolly’s dramatic theological musings. “I don’t know much about celestial courtesy, girl, all I know is that I just ran out of clean tissues and your shirt looks awfully inviting.”
OK, when it comes to “what year are the Archie reruns from, and what weird violence has been done to the text and art to make them seem vaguely contemporary,” I … I don’t even know anymore? Like, obviously there’s some kind of chronological discontinuity going on here, or else why would Veronica, in a public place, call Archie “on his cell” from what appears to be a wall-mounted pay phone? And yet nothing about the joke makes sense if Archie doesn’t have a portable phone-type device on him. My guess is that in the original version of the strip Archie had a pager, which puts the date probably in the late-ish ’90s. Because there was this whole trend of kids having pagers then, right? Am I remembering that correctly? Or maybe Archie is a drug dealer? And this is why Reggie didn’t sell out Archie immediately, as he normally would, because now he and Archie and Jughead are in a drug gang? The least terrifying drug gang in America?
Gil Thorp, 1/30/13
Have you ever looked at your hand? Like, really looked at your hand? Like, really examined all the weird nubs and fleshy protuberances, and imagined high-fiving someone with an identically freaky hand, big paws just slapping all meatily together, and gone into a gibbering fit where you want nothing so much as to saw your hands off at the wrist, so you never have to look at them again?
Mary Worth, 1/27/13
A comment of the week from December demanded it, and so it has been done: today’s Mary Worth has provided a genuine cake-decorating-training montage. Feel free to play the theme from Rocky in your head while reading it, or, if you’re feeling saucy and/or 90s nostalgic, Smash Mouth’s “All Star.” Personally, I’m more interested in John’s relaxed, cheerful facial expression as he declares that this is a victory or death situation, and that the Santa Royale Civic Center will either echo with his bellows of triumph or be splattered by an awful melange of batter and blood.
“Why do I get the feeling that Riverdale High isn’t going to qualify for Race to the Top funding for innovation in education any time soon? Maybe it’s because our ‘homework’ consists of simple questions on disparate subjects, the answers to which require no critical thinking skills and could easily be looked up on the Internet.”
Panel from Judge Parker, 1/27/13
“And he’s dying!” “Too bad!” Really wish this strip had featured Sam staring bemusedly at a six-figure check because then I could just quit reading Judge Parker and look at this panel every day forever.
Panel from Slylock Fox, 1/27/13
Haha, yes, the salinity of the Dead Sea, but also COUNT WEIRDLY’S FACE EMERGING FROM A HATCH THAT OPENS IN THE VERY FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE.
Mark Trail, 1/22/13
Oh boy, you guys, we’re about to see a side of Mark we don’t usually see: Mark Trail, hard-hitting journalist! Rod Bassy is the king of the professional bass fishing circuit. Women want him; men want to be him. Mr Bassy, what’s the secret to your success? “Well, I’m a better fisherman than the others!” It seems that way! Well, I think I got what I came for, let me just take a few pictures of you in your stately home for the cover. This interview will appear in June’s Woods and Wildlife Magazine, and on our website at woodsandwildlifemagazine.biz just as soon as we can find someone who knows how to make a website.
I actually find Dilton’s defensiveness in panel two kind of poignant. He’s not absent minded, OK, he’s just not physically coordinated, we can’t all be popular jocks like you Betty, OK? I relate, but he needs to check himself, because wearing the incorrect sporting equipment for a pre-planned recreational outing isn’t so much “absent minded” as “comically dumb.”
Six Chix, 1/22/13
Look, I can’t fault anyone who’s watched the economic gyrations of the past five years for being gun-shy about investing in equities, but even if you’re just going to go with an all-cash portfolio, you don’t need to physically carry it around with you at all times. Go ahead and keep it in under your mattress or in a dresser or something. It’ll be safe there! JPMorgan Chase isn’t going to turn your drawer into synthetic sock-backed derivatives and sell tranches to investors in China and the United Arab Emirates. Probably not, anyway.
Haha, Crankshaft is so embarrassed about his compulsive hoarding that he transparently lies about it to his own family! It’s all just about some harmless gardening supplies, though, which is how you can tell that this is the “fun” Funkyverse strip.
Mark Trail, 1/7/13
SORRY EVERYBODY about not having kept you sufficiently up to date on the conclusion of the thrilling Caribbean (?) Ransom storyline in Mark Trail, but it turns out to have been disappointingly light on the comical violence. As one could have guessed, Otto decided to let Mark go without collecting the ransom money, seeing as Mark saved his life and all, but Otto’s henchmen weren’t so keen on this idea, which gave Mark the opportunity to show that a fishing line trumps a rifle literally every time the two come into conflict. And then Otto hands out a brutal beatdown with his cane, proving that just because he’s decided to be magnanimous to Mark doesn’t mean he’s going to stop ruling his island with deadly force. Did you save me from sharks, Juan? Did any of you other pathetic losers save me from sharks? No? Then you’ll keep your mouths shut and do as you’re told.
There’s something cruelly hilarious about people in the audience of a high school concert, who were presumably well aware of the musical quality that they’d encounter with performers at that skill level, just getting up and walking out when one particularly terrible kid gets up on stage to perform himself. You’ll notice that Archie’s mom didn’t even bother going to see her son in the first place.
Apartment 3-G, 1/7/13
Yes, finally, Margo gets some of her mojo back. “There are lots of things I don’t tell my boyfriend about, Greg, and making out with other dudes is pretty high on the list.”
Hi and Lois, 1/7/13
Dot is supposed to be, what, seven? Eight? I’m just trying to figure out how long it takes kids to recognize their parents’ marriage as the shameful web of deceit that it is.
Funky Winkerbean, 1/7/13
In his first epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul expresses hope that, after the Resurrection, we will understand each other and God better than we can now: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” Crazy Harry seems to have interpreted this to mean that in heaven everyone just runs around naked all the time.
This sick burn on Mannequin 2: On The Move and/or soulless corporate control of all media was probably more pointed back when the strip first ran in the early ’90s, when Mannequin 2: On The Move was a recent memory and we hadn’t yet resigned ourselves to soulless corporate control of all media.
The sad, love-starved souls in the Funkyverse think that gently resting your back against somebody else’s back qualifies as “cuddling.”
Heathcliff’s owner has lost a bet to his cat, and because they’re not allowed to bet for money, he’s now subject to humiliation and physical abuse on his own front lawn.
Biz’s old buddy Zeke is going to die soon.
Ziggy is sick and tired of working so hard to prevent his animal friends from killing each other.
Translation: WWHOORRRR WHOOORRRRORRR HORROR HORROR KILL KILL I WORSHIP THE DEMON BLOOD GOD BELOW