Mary Worth, 6/26/16
Oh thank goodness, the new Sunday Mary Worth team heeded my warnings and and restored Wilbur’s glorious combover! His arms are still distressingly bare, but we’ll take today’s wispy strands of head hair as progress. Who knows, maybe he’s been waxing his arms, in the misguided belief that the Japanese will find his less off-putting if he isn’t in his usual bear-like state!
Panels from Hi and Lois, 6/26/16
Haha, nice try getting teens to like your strip with relatable email jokes, Hi and Lois! No teen alive would be this excited about getting an email. They’d recoil in horror and confusion, as if you tried to hand them a telegram. No, kids today want to get, uh, Snapchats, or … maybe YikYaks? Is that a thing? YikYaks? Look, I may not know what teens like, but I know what they don’t like, and what they don’t like is email.
Mary Worth, 6/22/16
I don’t want to engage in any stereotyping, but my understanding is that Japan is a more reserved and stoic culture than the United States. Thus, I would have to assume that those in Japan who survived the terrible tragedies of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident would like few things less than to have some American lunge at them in sympathy, Wilbur style, and try to get them to emote for “I Shouldn’t Be Alive!”, his terrible and widely syndicated newspaper column. Anyway, pretty much all you need to know about Mary Worth is that our upcoming storyline is much less likely to be “Wilbur rambles around Japan re-traumatizing earthquake victims” and more likely to be “Mary replies to someone who wrote into a newspaper advice column.”
Family Circus, 6/22/16
The “Billy subs for his dad on Fathers Day” bit has a long and storied history in the Family Circus, but does it usually last an entire week? Anyway, the layers of metafiction in these exercises are always exhausting — like, grown-up Jeff Keane is pretending to be the 7-year-old version of his real-life brother subbing for their father, who died in 2011 — and this strip just adds some messed up family dynamics to the mix. “No, it was Billy who made a crude fat joke about your child-self, Dolly! Billy, age 7!”
Looks like Kit Jr. (or Kit XXIII, I guess) will be spending the next four years in Tibet, cut off from his home and family. So at his goodbye party, he’s enjoying the sort of Bangallan treat he’ll be missing: a raw unpeeled potato, fresh from the bowl!
Have you guys ever seen the Disney channel TV show Dog With A Blog? It’s about a dog who can speak, read, and write English, which is a pretty amazing set of skills for a dog to have! Really, the fact that he choses to use his language abilities to create and maintain a website consisting of posts in reverse chronological order is one of the less interesting things about him, ygou’d think, and yet that’s still what made it into the title of the show. I’ve seen exactly one episode of Dog With A Blog; in it, Stan, the titular dog, learns that dogs only live to be around 15 or so, and becomes obsessed with creating a video of himself so everyone will remember him and his amazing abilities after he dies. The kids in the family who own him, who are the only people who know about his talents, then have to find and destroy this tape, so his secrets aren’t revealed. This is a television show marketed to children, and it’s amazingly grim.
Dog With A Blog premiered in 2012, and I’m … reasonably sure that the “Bitsy’s Blog” bit in Marvin predates this? Somehow I’ve managed to have never covered Bitsy blogging on my site before, as near as I can tell, though it’s definitely been a thing. Anyway, if Marvin needs cash, maybe it should consider suing Disney, a company with deep pockets. Just imagine! The strip wouldn’t have to maintain even the tiniest shred of decorum necessary to still be getting syndication revenue from newspapers. It can just go ahead and become a full-on scat porn webcomic.
Funky Winkerbean, 6/20/16
Way back when Mason Jarr was first introduced as a character, he was the guy playing Les in the abortive TV movie based on Lisa’s Story, and was portrayed as a comical moron, in keeping with the storyline’s overall theme, which was that Hollywood is bad and everyone except for Les is a soulless hack. Now that he’s become a regular cast member, he’s been given some sympathetic gravitas, by which I mean he thinks and talks about death constantly, but it’s nice to see the character getting back to his roots and contemplating whether “Mason Jarre” would be a more dignified spelling of his extremely silly name.
Beetle Bailey, 6/20/16
Not that I’m an expert or anything, but wouldn’t soldiers on a hike in training be carrying … equipment of some kind? Like a backpack, or a rifle, or something? I guess what we’re seeing here is that our heroes have finally been assigned into combat, but have been defeated due to incompetence. Having abandoned their weapons, they’re retreating in disarray, and Sarge, desperately trying to keep their unit from disintegrating entirely, is about to resort to extreme measures.
Mary Worth, 6/20/16
Oh look, it’s a new (maybe?) Mary Worth plot, and here on day one we have the battle of the waistlines! Mary and Wilbur appear to be the same height, but Mary’s got her trusty grey sansabelts hiked all the way up over her navel, while Wilbur lets his shirt cascade down past his waist like a mighty waterfall. I look forward to the dramatic visual interplay between these very different approaches over the course of the week!