Dick Tracy, 5/24/14
About a year ago I wrote a review for Bookforum of a couple of books about political cartooning, including a profusely illustrated biography of Thomas Nast, and hey, do you know who Thomas Nast really disliked? The Irish! One of the interesting things about seeing Nast’s old cartoons is getting a look at a whole style of racial caricature that’s fallen more or less completely out of use, though the similarly Celtic Scot Tabby Angus seems to carry just a hint of it in his character design. Anyway, big thanks to today’s cartoon for familiarizing me with the term cailleach, which, according to Wikipedia, is an Irish or Scottish mythological being who is “a divine hag, a creatrix, and possibly an ancestral deity or deified ancestor.” Since this is Gravel Gertie we’re talking about, who gave birth to some terrifying nightmare-thing we still haven’t gotten a good look at, I’d say that’s a pretty good description.
Family Circus, 5/24/14
Daddy looks pleased with Dolly’s playtime plans. With her urge to force a diverse range of creatures into the uniform and soul-numbing world of white-collar work, she’s perfect for middle management! At least one Keane Kid isn’t going to keep moving back home well into their 30s.
Better Half, 5/24/14
It’s too bad that the Better Half is a one-panel cartoon, because if we had panel after panel of this poor cashier forcing pizza down his gullet, chewing with grim determination, because he’s not hungry, but Stanley got the diet pizza, and a job is a job, and the two of them stare at each other in blank, expressionless silence, then I’d be an extremely happy guy.
Beetle Bailey, 4/24/14
Did Sarge just claim that our nation’s military is nothing more than a bunch of clowns? I’m sure I’m wildly misconstruing whatever baffling joke the strip is attempting here, but if slanderously asserting that America’s only military-themed comic strip just insulted our heroes is what it takes to get it pulled from newspapers nationwide and finally putting an end to its penchant for horrifying clown depictions, then I’m not going to feel any shame about it.
Herb and Jamaal, 4/24/14
You know, auditory hallucinations get a bad rap! You only hear about them when they do awful things, like order their sufferers to kill. But sometimes they only make whimsical suggestions, like “Hey, wouldn’t it be a pretty good idea to sleep in a laundromat?”
New-school Mark Trail: not only does he consort with geese but he also expresses the human emotion of affection for his wife? Bizarre. I mean, at least he’s doing it from a distance of several miles, so he won’t be expected to hug or kiss or touch or look at her. Seems relatively safe. Also, notice how he pairs up “being married to you” and “living here in Lost Forest”: if I have my LoFo lore right, the Trails’ cabin home is actually owned by Cherry’s father Doc. So, yes, this actually makes sense: every once in a while, Mark needs to placate Cherry’s intense, terrifying, incomprehensible feelings with an absolute minimum physical contact, so that he can continue to live rent-free in a cabin next to a forest, which is all he’s ever wanted in life. “I’ll be home later, honey!” he says. SPOILER ALERT: He’ll be home a lot later.
Better Half, 4/16/14
You know you’re a desperate pill addict when your mail-order prescriptions are delivered it feels exactly like your birthday and Christmas and every other holiday plus the day you got out of prison when you went away for mail fraud that one time combined.