Better Half, 9/8/13
One of the things I appreciate about the Better Half is that on Sunday, instead of just cramming in a bunch of unrelated panels that could have easily stood alone as dailies like the Lockhorns does, it offers a selection united by a subtle but definite theme. Today’s theme: Stanley hates himself! He doesn’t like the way he looks; he feels like his life is a malfunctioning piece of software that he wishes he could reset back to some long ago pristine state; and he’s eager to shift the blame for his many manifest failings onto a too-permissive society. Obviously all this anxiety and self-loathing leads him to panic that Harriet will leave him, but he needn’t worry: she just doesn’t have the energy to go find anyone better!
Family Circus, 9/8/13
As usual, the Keane pets are wearing little secret smiles. They quite frankly look awfully smug for a couple of dogs who are destined for damnation in eternal hellfire.
Mary Worth, 9/6/13
THANK GOODNESS SHANNON ISN’T GOING TO BE FIRED!!! It seemed that the odds were stacked against her, with the only sliver of hope she had to hold onto being the fact that any threat to her job seemed existed only in her and Mary’s panicked imaginations. My guess is that Aggie only got all this sweet free stuff because Shannon went to beg desperately for her job and her boss, in between the heaving sobs, managed to discern that maybe one of the customers got bent out of shape about dumb crap, let’s waive their bill or something, ugh, get this crying lady out of here, fine, fine, you can keep your job, whatever, just go.
“They’ll most likely caution participants that sharing at open talks may lead to feedback!” is probably the most hilarious sentence you’ll read for the entire month of September, by the way.
Better Half, 9/6/13
The thing I like about this strip is that Stanley is wearing a shirt and tie, which means that it isn’t casual Friday at all, and he’s desperately improvising to excuse whatever horrifying biological noise he just unleashed on the poor client on the other end of the line. This seems much, much more like something you’d get fired for than for providing feedback to someone sharing at open talk.
Today’s strip will be Exhibit A in Mary’s multimillion dollar “conspiracy to create a hostile work environment” lawsuit against the school district.
Mary Worth, 8/5/13
I’m someone who does a lot of swimming, and I’m hard pressed to explain the physical activity in which Mary is engaged in panel one. Her torso appears to be more or less vertical, so she sure doesn’t seem to be swimming. If we imagine her making airplane noises as she flies her hand around, that would explain a lot. Frankly, I’m more concerned with panel two, in which we see Mary’s “negative feelings” dripping from her face in huge, viscous drops. Every rude remark and flash of anger Mary has ever masked under a veneer of vaguely passive aggressive cheer for years is soaking into that pool. If any normal human were to enter it, their flesh would be seared off in seconds.
Better Half, 8/5/13
Stanley is deeply, deeply invested in the traditional social construction of binary gender. Also, his doctor wouldn’t write him a scrip for Viagra, so he’s trying to wheedle it out of his pharmacist.
Hi and Lois, 8/5/13
Oh, man, check out that sexy look Lois is flashing Hi in panel two. Is there any conversation between these two that doesn’t immediately become foreplay? Though Hi’s response seems less “aroused” than “I’m about to be pushed to my physical and mental limits of endurance.”
I guess the caption here is supposed to evoke the Game of Thrones “Winter is coming” tagline, and we’re supposed to imagine Heathcliff unleashing a nightmarish storm of meat-acquisition violence on the helpless butchers. But I’m afraid all I can think of when I hear “meat storm” is terrible farts, sorry everyone.
Mark Trail, 8/5/13
“This isn’t going to be that easy, Trail! I’ve got to put down what’s in my hands, grab this shotgun, turn off the safety, cock it, and get a bead on you, all before you have a chance to run across a fairly small ro — oops, didn’t make it. Well, I did my best!”
PROGRAMMING ANNOUNCEMENT! I’ll be on vacation for the next week, but your favorite Uncle Lumpy will be filling in for me, so be nice to him. I shall return to comics mocking on Wednesday, August 14. See ya then!
Judge Parker, 8/3/13
I have to admit I’m having a hard time getting a read on Judge Parker Senior’s expression in panel two, as he realizes that the concierge at the cruise ship’s business center isn’t just someone who passed some very basic training courses on using Microsoft Word and rebooting the Wi-Fi router, but is actually a gifted screenwriter who is ready to do all the work of adapting his novel for him. Is he having a Sarah Morgan-style epiphany about the emptiness of a life where everything is just handed to him? Or is it more a case of “Yeeeessss, labor is being done for me, as is my due”?
Mark Trail, 8/3/13
See, this is just more proof that Mark is a class act all the way. Sure, he might be forced by circumstances and your own villainy to knock you unconscious by kicking you in the face, but once you’re out he’ll be sure to gently lay your head on a cushy pillow of otter pelts. Or is that a cushy pillow of chilled otter carcasses? Either way, he’s nice, and isn’t afraid of a dead otter.
Better Half, 8/3/13
Harriet is trying to get Stanley riled up for sex, and since this is the Better Half she’s doing it in a really weird and gross way.
If you somehow encountered this Momma comic in complete isolation, not being familiar with its characters or narrative conventions, you’d probably be pretty confused by it, right? I was pretty confused by it myself, at first. I guess it’s supposed to mean that Momma has been answering the phone, and Ed thinks that Momma is an answering machine, because … he’s a moron? Which I guess means that Marylou lives with Momma? I suppose that I’m one of the very few people in the world who ought to know the living arrangements of the characters in Momma for his job, but I confess that I actually am pretty surprised by this. We all know that Francis lives in a disgustingly filthy apartment and Thomas and his wife live in their own house where they can have sex with each other in private, or so they think. I guess I always just assumed that Marylou had her own place. I think … I think there ought to be more Momma-and-Marylou-drive-each-other-crazy jokes to be gotten out of her still living at home? No, wait, I don’t mean to suggest that Momma do more of any specific kind of joke, or indeed any jokes at all. Forget I said anything.
Better Half, 7/2/13
Hey, everyone, Stanley just read his credit card number aloud, right here in the newspaper/on the Internet, where everyone can see/hear it! Why not try buying things with it? Just change a digit or two! Sure looks like a credit card number to me!
Mark Trail, 7/2/13
Mark Trail … in disguise? Mark Trail in disguise. Mark Trail in disguise you guys OMG OMG
Family Circus, 7/2/13
“But sometimes when you hurt inside it’s because you’re bleeding internally, and then hugging makes it worse. You can tell which is which by the screaming!”
Better Half, 6/22/13
There’s something about Stanley and Harriet’s affectless naivety that just kind of breaks my heart. Like, if Leroy Lockhorn said this, it would be an extremely sarcastic response to a failed attempt by Loretta to get him to eat better, and would also have nothing to do with the actual amount of potato chips he ate. Whereas I picture Stanley imagining that Harriet will find this hilarious, and also carefully counting all the potato chips he ate over a two-day period in order to make sure the joke was also accurate.
Sorry everybody if I got you super excited Monday about Crankshaft gracing us with some New York-themed puns. It turns out we had to sit through a whole week of Crankshaft being an asshole to everyone who works at the airport first. Look, in panel three we can see two people hating him at once!
Mary Worth, 6/22/13
Haha, thanks, Tom, I will very much be seeing that grossly exaggerated wink in my nightmares tonight! Still, worse will come when I awake, because then I’ll be unable to stop trying to figure out the precise combination of sexual acts “I was in the mood for meat … but seafood sounds really great, too!” is a metaphor for.