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?”
This week’s Crankshaft “plot” has been far too inane to discuss, involving a reality show called Ice Road School Bus Drivers — it’s like Ice Road Truckers, but for school bus drivers! — filming our characters in action. The producers are no doubt disappointed that Crankshaft didn’t engage in any of the property destruction or reckless endangerment of children for which he’s so famous, but nevertheless, the new reality show stars are getting their reward today: cheap giveaway hats emblazoned with the show’s logo. The drivers’ overjoyed reaction to this is probably the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. “Life doesn’t get any better than this!” proclaims Crankshaft, a man who helped defeat the Nazis in World War II, who has children and grandchildren, who played professional baseball, who overcame his own struggles and learned to read as an adult, who helped pay for a group of underprivileged kids from his bus route go to college. “Life doesn’t get any better than this.” He pulls the ill-fitting cap tightly down onto his head.
Mark Trail, 2/15/14
“I sure hope Trail is what he says he is … for his own good! If he’s a person, like he says he is, then that’s OK! But if he’s an animal, then I’m going to have to taxidermy him. I can’t stop taxidermying animals! But wait … what if a person is a kind of animal? Oh no. Oh NO. My taxidermying fingers are gettin’ itchy!”
Rex Morgan, M.D., 2/15/14
Well, it looks like Sarah was right to be suspicious of her editor, because her editor intends to put her in a cage and let other little kids come and gawk at her while she churns out books. This is quite frankly the best business decision anyone at the museum has made at any point during this storyline.
Mary Worth, 2/15/14
“But let’s not talk about such heavy topics now, Wilbur. Look, I’ve figured out that I can hold a full coffee cup using just my mouth! Pretty neat, huh?”
All across America’s strife-torn inner cities, members of the Bloods and Crips put down their newspapers with stunned expressions on their faces. “Why are we fighting all the time?” they ask. “No matter what crew we roll with, we’re all pluggers. We are all pluggers.” Consider the peace increased.