It does seem a little sad that, in order to find a foe worthy of Newspaper Spider-Man’s capabilities, the strip creators have had to pick a character out of the deep Spider-Man rogues gallery who’s literally a moron. I do like the Ox-eye’s view in panel two, in which Spidey attempts to physically draw the information out of his bewebbèd foe. In panel three, our hero expresses shock that someone in the criminal underground wouldn’t want to freely give out his name.
I’m truly enjoying the emotional roller-coaster our hapless fast food employee is on here, from glum sadness to eye-twitching rage. Remember, advertising isn’t just business-to-consumer communications (B2C, as we say in the biz); it’s also business-to-business, or B2B! Join the fast-paced world of fast-food franchising, where you can serve delicious burgers to customers who are as attractive as these handsome actors! The sour looks all around in the final panel are a sad commentary on the web of mutual deceit on which modern consumer culture is built.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/9/14
Isn’t this charming! The mysterious millionaire who creepily wears widow’s weeds at all times and her thuggish henchman have brought these children to a windowless warehouse corridor in a dangerous neighborhood! GOOD PARENTING DECISIONS BY THE MORGANS, AS PER USUAL.
Anthropologists tend to see distinctions between societies that enforce rules of social conduct based on guilt and those that enforce them based on shame. They should probably study wherever it is Dagwood came from, since he is clearly capable of neither.
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Apartment 3-G, 8/28/14
Ah, Tommie’s Parade of Paramours marches on – today it’s IT Gary, whom Tommie didn’t find so robotic back in the day:
Apartment 3-G, 12/4/07 (panel)
The background on this baffles me a little – is Gary just not that into her?
Anyway, Tommie and Gary got pretty serious until Gary pulled up stakes and headed for Colorado in search of IT fulfillment, expecting Tommie to follow. She didn’t, because as Margo helpfully explained to her at the time, “You don’t even SKI!” These days, of course, people visit Colorado for all kinds of reasons other than IT and skiing. Which raises the question of how Tommie would act if she went to Colorado and got really, really wasted — like Maureen Dowd wasted. I think she’d probably spin around the room with a vacant expression on her face, getting into endless, pointless conversations with her roommate Carol.
Ooh, menace points for the little scamp in Archie. But is this even a thing people do any more? In California where I live, state agencies and TV newscasters encourage people to turn in their water-wasting neighbors for fines and reëducation; we have camps. There’s even an app to make shaming them more convenient. So it’s more likely somebody would write “Thanks” on a dusty car, and “Don’t waste water” in mud on a perfectly clean one. And then get fined for wasting water to make mud.
Gil Thorp, 8/28/14
Hey it’s Marty Moon! Marty takes a lot of grief here for being a pissy little alcoholic failure. And while that’s 100% accurate, credit him for being the only voice in Milford to call Gil on all the B.S. he dishes out in lieu of doing his damn job. Sure, right now it’s looking good with the 7-man practice of all against all and Sa’ad Shamoun’s muscle mass, but wait ’til mid-season when he pulls out the Wing-T or 5-wide or some nonsense and everybody mutters, “Sure, Coach.” Right now, though, it’s the first day of school, and Gil has other things on his mind – that enormous stein of coffee isn’t going to drink itself, you know.
Gasoline Alley, 8/28/14
The team at Gasoline Alley wishes to remind its readers that while “real life” may be where you live, it is most definitely not where they live.
Westward Bound! Day Three
And while we’re on the topic of gasoline: you can just see it on the poor guy’s face — “How, oh how can I possibly afford all this costly fuel?”
Faithful Comics Curmudgeon readers can think of a way!
– Uncle Lumpy
Mark Trail, 7/15/14
“Call me Dirty, Mark, like my good friends do! You like me, Dirty, don’t you? I sure like it when you talk to me: Dirty. And I will be Dirty for you any time and any way you want!”
In Carson McCullers’ novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, people constantly confide their deepest feelings in a character who is utterly incapable of understanding or helping them in any way. Mark Trail is exactly like that, but with more elephants and no actual hunting.
One of the paradoxes of experimental psychology is that the paradigm for secondary reinforcement, which increases the frequency of a behavior, is identical to the paradigm for frustration, which decreases it. Both paradigms present stimuli associated with a primary reinforcer such as, oh, say, sexual release, but withhold the primary reinforcer itself. Archie, of course, has been dining out on that association for a long time – start with a stereotypically porny setup like oiling up your mostly-naked girlfriend by the pool in front of her angry but impotent father, but then cut to some dumb pratfall. Readers know it won’t deliver — it hasn’t for 72 years, and never will. I guess I’m just asking why anybody reads Archie, since it’s not porn.
It didn’t occur to me before seeing this panel today that Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn are never shown in casual daywear — check it out. Apparently in the absence of any sort of emotional connection they had been relying on deeply-ingrained but meaningless rituals to keep their lives from flying apart: parties, dress codes, weekly visits with Dr. Pullman, and other mechanisms to sustain their empty, endless charade of a marriage. It worked, too, right up until the instant Loretta said, “We’re not staying together for the sake of appearances — any more.”
Judge Parker, 7/15/14
OK, I’m posting this partly because the dialog doesn’t make any sense – it’s like the authors pasted in speech-bubbles left over from other strips so they could make a tee time:
“What do you know about the fashion business?”
“Lots! Remember Jules? He didn’t know anything about business!”
“We met at an institute design class! That has nothing to do with business either!”
“But Jules was into shoes! Are we even talking about business any more?”
“That’s what design classes are for … to spark a passion! For shoes! Or Jules! Certainly not business — or design, whatever that is!”
But I mostly want to express my irritation that we are probably headed for a do-over of one of the most grindingly dull Judge Parker stories of all time, justly ignored in Josh’s retrospective: Mopey Eurotrash Jules and Sam the Man with a Business Plan. Spoiler: Sam winds up with a million-dollar stake in Jules’ business just because.
– Uncle Lumpy