Mary Worth, 2/25/14
This current storyline would be fantastic enough if it only featured the return of Tommy (who, despite having no dialogue today, is satisfying my need for Tommy-related content with his hilariously theatrical moping in panel one); but as a bonus, it’s also featuring Wilbur’s desperate, transparent attempt to win back his true love Iris! I have a special place in my heart for this pairing, considering that the very first Mary Worths I covered on this blog, nearly ten years ago, involved Wilbur asking Iris out on a date and then processing endlessly with his daughter about it. Nice to compare those old strips to today’s and see that his arms are as hairy and virile as ever! Anyway, never forget that today’s panel two — in which our combed-over lothario idly strokes one of his chins and explains that he’s decided to not do half of his fairly undemanding job — represents Wilbur “turning on the charm.”
Mark Trail, 2/25/14
While Jessica Canupp may turn out to be virtuous, I definitely remain convinced that her boyfriend Marlin is up to no good, what with his constant suspicion of Mark and now his refusal to help make Rusty’s dreams of a mounted, taxidermied fish looming over his bed come true. In unrelated news, I’m an unrepentant city slicker and thus have no idea how one transports a game fish to a taxidermist, but if panel two is any guide I guess you wrap it tightly in a neat cylinder of paper? My first suspicions were that Mark had brought a freakishly enormous baguette to his hosts for dinner, or perhaps a giant novelty cigar for everyone to enjoy afterwards.
Gasoline Alley, 2/25/14
Oops, it turns out that this terrible Fountain of Youth riot was just a cover story for one of Gasoline Alley’s occasional mass orgies. Molly Ballew almost slipped up and informed everyone who hadn’t been invited! How awkward!
This turtle’s shell, which was literally a part of his skeletal system, was apparently mortgaged and foreclosed upon, or perhaps was seized in some sort of brutal bankruptcy settlement, because he’s been unemployed for months and months. Today’s B.C. is super fucking depressing, in other words.
Funky Winkerbean, 2/20/14
So hey, remember that lady from Monday’s Funky Winkerbean, who deflected a sexual advance by announcing with dead eyes that, despite the fact that she was beautiful, she was broken inside and she hated herself? Well, turns out she’s Cindy Summers, former Westview popular girl and current national news anchor and Funky’s ex-wife! The whole marriage took place during the period when I wasn’t reading the strip, but faithful reader/disturbing Twitter user name Bat Les Moore assures me that this cheery moment happened during their divorce:
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY! Anyway, the residual effects of having been married to Funky probably explain Cindy’s self-loathing, but at least she still has her physical beauty and high-powered job to sustain her! Haha, whoops, except her boss is telling her that she’s too old to be beautiful and that they’re going to fire her, which, while this is obviously the thought process behind a lot of TV news personnel decisions, I’m pretty sure that if you just say it out loud explicitly like this you get extremely sued for age discrimination.
Anyway, not to dwell too much on this strip (haha, who am I kidding, dwelling too much on strips like this are the entire reason why this blog exists) but let’s examine today’s punchline! “It’s the digital age, Cindy … and digital shows your age.” It’s typically Winkerbeanean in that it uses low-level wordplay to let a character know that their life is changing for the worse. But does it make sense? Is TV Executive Man saying that young people, who like computers and don’t watch TV news, will watch TV news if someone young is on TV? Is he saying that Cindy has repeatedly tried and failed to operate computers, smartphones, and other digital devices on-air, further alienating the coveted young person demographic? Is he making reference to the fact that high-def broadcasts, blown up on a 60-inch screen, reveal the slight lines and imperfections on Cindy’s fortysomething visage, forcing the network to hunt after ever younger and smoother-faced anchors? Is he just being a dick, in a way that, I can’t emphasize enough, is totally, 100% legally actionable? Yes, it’s probably the last one.
Beetle Bailey, 2/20/14
Plato’s subtle shift in his third word balloon is instructive here. At first, with fanciful metaphors, he implies that Beetle can never satisfy Sarge with his work ethic. But then he shifts to an idea that, while still out of the reach of a lowly private, is at least within the realm of physical possibility. Sarge, he implies, can be bought. Now we must discover his price.
Oh, yeah, so: J. Jonah Jameson is inside the old Iron Man suit, has rigged it up somehow so his crazed eyes and Hitler mustache are visible through the mask, has gone mad with power, is determined to kill Spider-Man, blah blah blah. As you can see in the final panel, he’ll use the one weapon against which Spidey has no defense: crumbling masonry.
Mary Worth, 2/20/14
MARY WORTH IS INVITING TOMMY TO EAT IN HER APARTMENT REPEAT MARY WORTH US GIVING TOMMY AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE EITHER THEATRICALLY CONTRITE OR HILARIOUSLY INAPPROPRIATE ON HER TURF, THREAT LEVEL: AMAZING
Better Half, 2/20/14
Oh hey let’s check in with the Better Half, probably it won’t be an Oedipal nigtmarAAAAUUUUGGGHHH
Mary Worth, 2/17/14
YESSS YOU GUYS TOMMY’S BACK TOMMY’S BACK TOMMY’S BACK THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING
Tommy’s being all contrite now, but time will tell whether or not this is all just an charade to distract from his future meth-dealing activities. Frankly his hand gestures, culminating in the shirt-grip in panel two, seem a little showy to me. I do like the way even his hair (his sweet, sweet hair, always the source of his power) gets in on the act, his perky flip drooping submissively to show how very sorry he is for everything.
Anyway, Tommy’s back and this is going to be great so be sure to refresh joshreads dot com constantly for Tommy updates.
Apartment 3-G, 2/17/14
The other soap strips, realizing the world’s attention is focused firmly on Mary Worth, are just sort of going through the motions, though I have to admit that I’m actively charmed by what a nothingburger today’s Apartment 3-G is, plot-wise. “We went shopping and got some, uh, stuff! Look, these random multi-colored boxes! ‘They’ were giving things away! Isn’t that nice! Let’s have a good laugh! Ha ha ha!” Meanwhile, everyone ignores the piteous mewling of the baby deer, who hates the indoors but is woefully unprepared for life in the woods where Tommie’s going to dump her next week when she finally gets tired of cleaning up the deer poop.
Slylock Fox, 2/17/14
You know, the thing I always like about Reeky is that he could not possibly care less about you or what you think about him, when it comes to how he dresses or who he steals electricity from or whatever incredibly half-assed excuse he’s come up with about stealing his neighbors’ furniture and burning it for heat. That’s why this elaborately staged alibi is so disappointingly earnest, from my point of view, and it sickens me to think of Reeky stealing a bunch of newspapers from the coin-operated box, laying them out just so in front of his trailer, and setting the empty suitcase by the door with a grin, ready to pick it up and wave it about meaningfully at a moment’s notice. It all implies that he respects other people’s opinions, and also frankly reveals the limits of his abilities to plan anything more elaborate than busting open a mailbox with a baseball bat. We don’t even need to see the headlines to know this is a put-on, because we know that the only people Reeky finds more contemptible than the ones who travel to wussy non-America countries to go to museums or whatever are the ones who think they’re so smart about current events that they need to get newspapers delivered just to show everyone what big brains they have.
Funky Winkerbean, 2/17/14
Haha, wow, well, this is one way to deflect an unwanted cheeseball sexual advance! “My, you certainly are attractive!” “Yes, but my soul is fundamentally broken and repellant.” Naturally, since this is the Funkyverse, our lothario’s lust has only been inflamed by this response.
Family Circus, 2/17/14
“Oh, right, it was about the ‘home!’ Grandma already has a home, mommy, why are are we makin’ her move into another one?”