Beetle Bailey, 9/24/14
Hey, who says Beetle Bailey is behind the times? Look, there’s Miss Blips relaying the General’s capricious orders via cell phone, instead of by walkie-talkie or carrier pigeon or whatever long-distance communication method was most current when the strip started. And keeping up with General Halftrack’s slow decline into decrepitude, his new-style sexual harassment is indistinguishable from a request for a sleep aid, since nothing seems more erotic to him these days than a nice, comfortable nap.
Funky Winkerbean, 9/24/14
Speaking of new eras, New Era Funky Winkerbean features a pair of extremely sad sack teens who serve as our viewpoint characters for the teen storylines in the strip. I can’t be bothered to learn their names, so I just call them Sad Sack Hat Teen and Sad Sack Glasses Teen in my mind, when I have to think about them, which I try to do as little as possible. Anyway, Sad Sack Hat Teen has been forced by Bull to do time in the Westview Scapegoat mascot costume in lieu of detention, and I’m seriously wondering who exactly he’s talking to in these panels. Clearly the giggling cheerleaders already know about this head-rubbing thing. Does he think that they can’t hear him in there? Because I’m pretty sure they can hear him. Or maybe he just doesn’t think it matters, because after the game the High Priest will symbolically burden him with the sins of the entire people, and then send him out into the wilderness, never to return.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/24/14
Guys, Sarah, doesn’t just imperiously demand ludicrous things because she’s mad with power and people are terrified to tell her no, OK? She does it because she wants her family to live the opulent lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to even after her baby brother is born. And she wants a pony. Just look at her, wiping away a tear of joy, just thinking about the moment when someone up and gives her a pony for no good reason at all.
Leroy’s crinkly smile is usually supposed to represent “drunk” or “drunk and horny,” but here I think it’s supposed to mean … smug? Smug as in “haha, yes, I have thought up the perfect comeback here for her request that we travel sometimes, point: Leroy, and yes, I am keeping track of points, I have been keeping track of points for years and years and years”
Oh, Shoe, you know that given my druthers I’d prefer not to contemplate the twisted chimeric anatomy of your bird-person characters, right? Especially when it comes to the naughty parts. I try not to think about those at all. I only contemplated the concept of bird-breasts obliquely, once, which didn’t stop TV Tropes from quoting me in the epigraph of the article on the subject. Anyway, the secondary sexual characteristics of these abhorrent beings are unpleasant enough to grapple with, but today’s strip demands that we give serious thought to the downstairs situation of these monsters. Specifically: do the bird-people of Shoe have a single cloaca that serves as the end point for their intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts, like birds, or do they have separate orifices for these different jobs, like humans? Related: do they bear live young, or lay eggs? I mean, any joke about some poor woman going into labor in the midst of a natural disaster and having her child forced back up inside her so she has to give birth again and again is awful enough even if it doesn’t raise disturbing questions about the the plumbing involved, you know?
Mary Worth, 9/12/14
Welp, as predicted, Mary is already starting to justify to herself the slow fade she’s going to pull on her beloved little friend Olive. “If only there were some way to communicate over a long physical distance! If these new-fangled computers could carry a message, that would be convenient, or perhaps if some government agency or private business existed that would, for a small fee, transport written correspondence. Ah well, no point in having regrets over the impossible, I suppose!”
Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/12/14
You heard it here first: Mrs. Pierpont, recognizing Sarah’s prodigy-level artistic talent, is going to groom her as a master art forger, having her current aging employee train her in this lucrative craft before his eyesight goes. Hope you enjoy spending your childhood churning out fake Miros in a windowless warehouse basement “studio,” Sarah!
Crankshaft is of course an insufferable asshole, but his name is the title of the strip, which means that he is literally the reason his entire spacetime continuum exists, and everything and everyone else there has been called into being merely to further his story. When you think about it, it’s actually surprising that more characters in the strip haven’t angrily turned their back on God.
It does seem a little sad that, in order to find a foe worthy of Newspaper Spider-Man’s capabilities, the strip creators have had to pick a character out of the deep Spider-Man rogues gallery who’s literally a moron. I do like the Ox-eye’s view in panel two, in which Spidey attempts to physically draw the information out of his bewebbèd foe. In panel three, our hero expresses shock that someone in the criminal underground wouldn’t want to freely give out his name.
I’m truly enjoying the emotional roller-coaster our hapless fast food employee is on here, from glum sadness to eye-twitching rage. Remember, advertising isn’t just business-to-consumer communications (B2C, as we say in the biz); it’s also business-to-business, or B2B! Join the fast-paced world of fast-food franchising, where you can serve delicious burgers to customers who are as attractive as these handsome actors! The sour looks all around in the final panel are a sad commentary on the web of mutual deceit on which modern consumer culture is built.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/9/14
Isn’t this charming! The mysterious millionaire who creepily wears widow’s weeds at all times and her thuggish henchman have brought these children to a windowless warehouse corridor in a dangerous neighborhood! GOOD PARENTING DECISIONS BY THE MORGANS, AS PER USUAL.
Anthropologists tend to see distinctions between societies that enforce rules of social conduct based on guilt and those that enforce them based on shame. They should probably study wherever it is Dagwood came from, since he is clearly capable of neither.