Boy, This Archie rerun from the ’90s has turned out to be eerily prescient! It’s true that, in the modern age of atomized, Internet-based media distribution and social networking, many readers have a stronger allegiance to the writers they follow than to the publications those writers work for, especially when those writers can use Twitter and the like to push out information faster than the media outlets’ traditional publication process can. This has resulted in many cases in a change in the power relationships between writers and publishers, exemplified quite nicely by Archie and Reggie’s despair over how their business model can survive now that Veronica has demonstrated how easily it can be disrupted. Let’s all pray that this strip’s prediction of a white-ties-and-black-shirts renaissance isn’t equally accurate!
I sincerely hope that J. Jonah Iron Manbot Whateverson realizes eventually that the best way to “crush” Spider-Man is to do so metaphorically, simply by being better at catching criminals than he is. For isn’t it much more satisfying to crush a man’s spirit than to mangle his body? The best would be for him to continue to do this for years, and, every time he emerges victorious, to boast of his superiority over the hated wall-crawler, long after everyone else has forgotten who Spider-Man even is anymore.
Uncle Claybo is an animal hoarder, and his pigs got sick because of the unsanitary conditions in his house, and he was arrested for animal cruelty :(
Funky Winkerbean, 2/24/14
After being told that she was old and apparently analog last week, Cindy gratefully took her corporate masters’ offer of a job as a newscaster in Cleveland, which is close enough to the Westview hell-nexus that I assume that she’ll now be back as a member of the regular cast. The abrupt transition to Funky declaring his intention to sexy up his body would imply to me that we’re about to get treated to the strip’s title character as a the fulcrum of a love triangle with his former and current wives, because scientists have finally figured out how to top the sense of disgust you felt when you saw two women fighting for Les Moore’s affections. Anyway, it’s good to have workout goals and all, but those goals should be realistic, and thus Funky should forget about “looking better than people my age” for the moment and concentrate on “looking like my actual age and not 10-15 years older.”
Meanwhile, in the “fun” Funkyverse strip, the actual, literal spectre of Death is strolling through Crankshaft’s suburban neighborhood, looking for souls to reap. Crankshaft gets over his momentary startlement rather quickly, of course, because he knows he’s safe for the moment: his destiny lies in a broken husk of a body in a nursing home, ten years in the future. “Huh, wonder which one of my family members is about to die,” he thinks idly, before returning to his shoveling.
The mid-90s Archie strips in syndicated reruns are in fact pretty dire, but it’s kind of sad how little faith in themselves they seem to have. Look at how Reggie’s punchline has been broken up over two panels! It’s like they think if you got to the end of a sentence in panel two, you’d say, “Enh, I don’t think this is going much of anywhere, think I’ll go take a nap or something.”
Good lord, Pop’s facial expression in that last panel chills me to my very core. “That’s right, Archie, Mr. Lodge doesn’t like you,” he thinks. “None of the adults in this town like you. Your time as a teenager, during which social convention demands that we be halfway pleasant and encouraging to you, is almost over. Prepare yourself for adulthood. Prepare yourself for … the shunning.”
Judge Parker, 2/13/14
So we’ve finally met April’s mysterious dying-of-cancer dad and he’s … one of the greatest things Judge Parker has ever seen? I’m not sure if he’s based directly on Hunter S. Thompson or if he’s been filtered through Doonesbury’s Uncle Duke, but he’s fantastic and I want him in every panel from now until the heat death of the universe finally brings this storyline to a close. My only regret is that April has actually drawn attention his tarantula companion; I sort of wish that it had just sat there on his shoulder, unexplained, for the next few weeks’ worth of strips, with everyone he meets reacting to it with silent but visible disgust.
Mary Worth, 2/13/14
Yep, Tommy’s coming back to Charterstone, all right! By the expression on her face you can tell Mary is almost as excited as I am.