Rex Morgan, M.D.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/11/13
All the top etiquette experts agree: If you gave one of your dinner guests a handjob in high school, it’s best to bring it up as early in the evening as possible, to get any potential awkwardness out of the way.
Gasoline Alley, 12/11/13
Ha ha, look at Slim’s horrified thousand-mile stare! “I never thought any of the children would do … that … on my lap, and yet it keeps happening — again, and again and again…”
Marvin is just now realizing that he’s a literal demon from hell.
Mary Worth, 12/11/13
“I could take a black and white picture of all these black and white pictures! It’d be ‘self-referential’ or ‘metatextual’ or whatever bullshit the kids are saying these days.”
I’m preeeeettty sure that Francis has knocked some girl up.
BIRDS DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY
THE ONLY FLAW IN YOUR PERFECT PLAN
Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/25/13
Rex and June, who are married to each other, and have been for some time, and they were co-workers for a while before that, are meeting up with one of Rex’s high school buddies, which gives them an opportunity to … talk about Rex’s high school dating life? Which apparently they never had before? This strikes me as kind of weird, but maybe lots of people don’t want to know about their partner’s early romantic experience. Or maybe Rex has a good reason in particular to never talk about it. “I was cheerleading captain my senior year, and I dated a couple of cheerleaders, simultaneously. Well, ‘dated’ might be the wrong word, more like ‘brainwashed them and indoctrinated them into my sex-death cheerleading cult.’ And, yes, the reporters may have compared me to Charles Manson, but the big differences between me and Manson is that I wasn’t dumb enough to make the swastika on my forehead permanent, and also all the records were sealed, because I was a juvenile. Wait, maybe there was a reason I never told you about all this before.”
I somehow misread Momma’s statement in panel one as “Francis, you look more like Thomas Dewey everyday!” This would be completely in line chronologically with the strip’s usual cultural references. Francis doesn’t look anything like Thomas Dewey, of course, but he doesn’t look anything like his brother Thomas either, so whatever.
Has anyone considered that what Spider-Man has been overselling as his “spider-sense” is actually just what the rest of us call “irritation?”
The Lockhorns, 11/25/13
YES LEROY WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DIE WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DIE FOR MEEEEE
Funky Winkerbean, 11/15/13
I don’t know why, but I was under the impression that Lisa’s Forbidden Diary, the one that will help Les get inside his late wife’s head and unlock her cinematic secrets, was from, like, a time in her life when she and Les weren’t married and spending all their time together. Turns out nope! It’s just a record of all the stuff that Les probably would’ve known if he’d been paying attention at the time. Anyway, the very first passage Les reads consists of Lisa making a clunky joke and then noting smugly that the people she made it at didn’t seem to get it, probably because they weren’t smart enough. “That’s my girl,” Les thinks, smirking in her memory, smirking because she cannot. “That’s my girl.”
So it took me a while to figure out exactly what’s going on here, mostly because Heathcliff’s jeans have been colored the exact same shade of orange as his fur, and I was going to berate the syndicate colorist for doing this, but really, has Heathcliff ever worn pants before? Wouldn’t his sudden decision to do so cast an unflattering and frankly disturbing light on the years of pantslessness that led up to this point? Anyway, what’s going on here is that Heathcliff, who is wearing jeans that are the exact same shade of orange as his fur (and, side note, imagine leaving the house wearing only garments that precisely matched your own skin tone, imagine how everyone would look at you in mingled fascination and horror), is no-hands eating a turkey leg, and gorged himself to the point of bursting his pants button at exactly the right time for said pants button to hit a dog in the face. It seems like an awful lot would have had to go exactly right here for this plan to work out, but I guess Heathcliff is bored with his usual dog-harassment and wanted to take on a real challenge, you know? “He gets them with girth” says a nearby child, to give an example of another thing I’d rather not think too much about.
Dick Tracy, 11/15/13
I’m sorry, did you think Dick Tracy was an anachronistic square-jawed fascist wholly unfamiliar with American pop culture? Dick Tracy wants you to know that he’s cool, or at least was cool, back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. You know, back when he was young, taking in the post-punk and early new wave scenes in New York, hanging out with all those guys before they were famous, doing coke in the bathroom at CBGB with Patti Smith, what have you. Later he had them all arrested, of course.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/15/13
You guys, there is literally nothing Rex Morgan likes hearing better than “it’s going to cost them triple,” especially when the person reaping those tripled costs is a member of the Morgan family whose finances Rex is responsible for. Look at how pleased he is in that third panel, to hear about all the money his lawyer will be extracting from a local nonprofit arts organization! I’ve literally never seen him so happy. Just for comparison, this is the face he makes when a patient thanks him profusely for saving his life:
Mark Trail, 11/15/13
I take back what I said yesterday about the Mark Trail bug talk being boring — at least, boring in some conventional sense. Now I think it’s boring in a fascinating sense, like a five-hour Central European art house film where a village is increasingly infested with flies that represent the legacy of Communism or maybe just man’s own inherent corruption, and the inhabitants endure the plague with grim stoicism. There’s a shot of several flies on an old man’s face that goes on in silence for nearly two minutes. “Is he ever going to brush them off?” you wonder. He does, eventually. But they come back again a moment later, and he realizes that swatting them away was futile. The moose may seek shelter, but humanity has the self-awareness to know that it’s all hopeless.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 11/11/13
Happy Veterans Day, everybody, and let us never forget that once, long ago, Private Snuffy Smith helped defend the free world from the menace of fascism, as depicted in live action films in which Snuffy was played by little person Bud Duncan wearing a shockingly true-to-cartoon fake nose:
A few years back I linked to 1942′s Private Snuffy Smith, in which Snuffy enlists in the army in order to avoid trouble with the revenuers. In the intervening time, the sequel to that film, the Holy Grail of Snuffiana, has been uploaded to YouTube, the film with the most amazing title of any movie ever made: Hillbilly Blitzkrieg.
The plot involves Nazi spies trying to steal Snuffy’s moonshine formula and use it for rocket fuel, I guess? I only made it through about three minutes of it! Let me know what I missed, if anything.
Mary Worth, 11/11/13
“Neither would I. If not for me, I wouldn’t be here today. I create myself whole from within myself. I am the alpha and omega and nobody, least of all me, can escape me.”
Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/11/13
Guys, were you worried that the Morgans might not be extracting maximum revenue from Sarah’s drawings of horsies? Well, their highly compensated lawyer will see about that.
Mary Worth, 10/31/13
OH MY GOD EVERYBODY MARY WORTH WAS A DICKENSIAN STREET URCHIN! There was an ultimately quite disappointing Mary Worth flashback storyline in 2008, in which we learn that Mary’s parents got divorced and there was no food in the house but then a neighbor’s family invited her to dinner and taught her about Jesus and later her mom remarried and everything was fine. Except it seems some important backstory was left out in that tale, presumably because Mary couldn’t bring herself to admit her past homelessness to Toby, but since Shelly is perfectly happy to make sexytimes with an ex-hobo, she won’t judge too harshly.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/31/13
Meanwhile, in Rex Morgan, we’re finally getting to meet the sinister wife who somehow managed to not kill her husband despite shooting him in the head at point-blank range with a nailgun. And she appears to be … an Episcopal priest? Or one of the other denominations that wears a clerical collar and has female clergy? Anyway, bet none of you ever saw that coming, eh? I’m sure the tabloids will have quite a field day with the Tale of the Murderous Ministrix.
Wizard of Id, 10/31/13
I admit to being totally charmed seeing Bung the Jester chatting up a comely (I guess? it’s always tough to tell who’s supposed to be sexy in a strip as crudely drawn as Wizard of Id) rabbit furry in the background of this panel. Partly because they seem to be getting on quite well despite the fact that she’s twice as tall as he is, and partly because, unlike everyone else at this party, Bung has apparently decided that his faux medieval garb is costume enough, thanks.
Family Circus, 10/31/13
We all know that Billy is an insufferable dick and so his smile can’t represent anything noble or good. The question is: How long a game is he playing here? Is he smug because he’s about to rat Jeffy out to their parents for sullying of the Lord’s Prayer with references to a holiday that celebrates demons and ghouls? Or is he smiling because Jeffy has just accidentally pledged his soul to the Dark Lord Satan, and now Billy won’t have to spend time with him in heaven?
Meanwhile, in Crankshaft, a bunch of drunk little kids are stumbling down the street. Happy Halloween, everybody!
Ha ha! It’s funny because the camel has been shot repeatedly. He’s in shock, of course, somehow unaware of his no doubt fatal wounds. The best we can hope for is that he’ll soon pass out from fluid loss without even realizing what’s happening; the alternative is a drawn-out, agonizing death in the middle of the desert.
Ha ha! It’s funny because, can you imagine a surgeon who can’t tie things right? Can you imagine that surgeon sewing up the slices he made in your flesh after he cut open your abdomen? Can imagine seeing your freshly stitched surgical wounds suddenly unraveling? Would you stay alive long enough to watch your viscera sluice out in a great, gory rush?
Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/22/13
Speaking of medical professionals to avoid, maybe don’t see a nurse who’s all smiles talking about how one of her practice’s patients got shot in the head with a nail gun, probably on purpose!