Mary Worth, 9/29/16
I’m not shy about my longtime affection for Joe Giella’s decade-plus at Mary Worth, I’ve been fans of June Brigman and Roy Richardson so far as well. Like Giella, they too come from the superhero world; as a result, despite the big shift in style they’ve brought to the strip, they carry on the tradition of the art feeling a little too jazzy for the banality of life in Charterstone. Anyway, one of my favorite little details of the Giella era was the weird food blobs. The Brigman/Richardson era may have opened with some lovingly detailed sandwiches, but they’re clearly aware of strip traditions, so shoutout to the meal of weird brownish chunks of Chinese food Iris and Tommy are sharing off of a single plate, washed down with chocolate milk.
“At last! I, Egghead, have captured Ant-Man — and Spider-Man to boot! And now all I have to do is scoop them up and — what’s this? Blast! I knew this shag carpeting was a terrible mistake! ‘It’ll be so comfy on your bare feet,’ they said! My plans are ruined!”
“Plus, you’re definitely going to be killing people — only this time without any lame-o ‘Geneva Conventions’ to cramp your style!”
You know how you can look at something for every day for years and never really notice it, until one day a slight shift in perspective totally blows your mind? Well, I read this dumb joke about how Shoe, the title character of the strip Shoe, spends a lot of time at strip clubs, and I was starting to work myself up to a joke about how the very idea of sexy live nude bird-women really brings to the fore the uncomfortable realities of how the bird-people of Shoe have both avian and mammalian characteristics, when suddenly I realized:
Shoe doesn’t wear clothes.
Every other bird-person in this strip wears clothes! Not Shoe. He wears white low-top sneakers and smokes cigars but otherwise goes around fully nude. And everyone just goes along with this! What … what is going on here. Why is he naked all the time. WHYYYYY
Mary Worth, 9/21/16
I’m kind of surprised that this SAMHSA-approved substance abuse counselor is doing his intake with his newest adult patient with his mother sitting right there in the room with him, or that he seems to be taunting him for his inability to score Vicodin. I’m not that familiar with the treatment modalities for opioid addiction, though. I’m learning just like you all are!
Funky Winkerbean, 9/21/16
Becky’s wordless emotional arc here, as she goes from hope that her husband’s obsessive geekery might actually improve their family’s financial situation for once to mingled anger and crushing despair, is legitimately the best-executed thing on the comics pages today.
Pluggers haven’t had sex for years, guys. Years.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 9/18/16
You know, there’s a lot of jokes in Barney Google and Snuffy Smith about Snuffy’s inability to hold down a job, but really, where would he work? Hootin’ Holler seems to be devoid of economic activity of any kind beyond subsistence farming; the only people there with any “jobs” as we would understand them in a modern sense are Sheriff Tate, Miss Prunelly the teacher, and Uriah the mailman, who are all government employees; Doc Pritchart, who presumably makes the bulk of his income from Medicaid reimbursements or perhaps a state-subsidized rural medicine grant; and Silas the storekeep, who I’m frankly baffled how he stays in business. Seeking any kind of financial advancement of the sort that the flatlanders would approve of would no doubt involve actually moving to the flatlands themselves, which I presume the Smifs would be loath to do. The dire position of the Hootin’ Holler is best illustrated by the location of the Smif home, shown in the next to last panel: if any degree of gentrification were in progress, this place would be touted for its stunning valley-wide views and would probably have been torn down to make way for a three-story ultramodern house with floor-to-ceiling-windows; but, since it’s sitting on a rocky, unplowable outcrop, under current market conditions it’s the unwanted property of the least reputable family in town.
Mary Worth, 9/18/16
“JOSH,” you’re probably saying, “I can’t believe you haven’t updated us on Tommy’s terrible pill addiction! Last we heard he was weeping in the car and being comforted by his mother! What’s happened since???” I’m happy to inform you that he continues to weep in the car and be comforted by his mother. More reports coming as events warrant.