Funky Winkerbean, 8/18/15
Back a couple of months ago, when Darrin suggested to Les that he should “write about how you met my mom … how you met Lisa,” this is what I had to say on the subject:
What you should do with your next book is write about how you met and fell in love with Cayla, your current wife, and how that new relationship helped you move forhahahahaha obviously I’m kidding, write about Lisa, always Lisa, write about meeting Lisa and it will seem exciting and romantic at first but a miasma of despair will always be floating over it, always, because Lisa is dead and Lisa is always dead and you’re going to write about Lisa’s death forever and ever.
I’m ashamed to admit that at the time I had forgotten that Les had already written that book about Cayla, two years ago, and had promised to turn the trip to micromanage the vanity press that he would pay to publish it into a fully tax-deductible Hong Kong vacation. Except … that never happened? And now Les’s “publisher” has decided to not publish that book, which I’m sure Cayla enjoys thinking of as a “sequel,” until it can be integrated into the Lisa Trilogy of which it is obviously an integral part.
Anyway, Cayla’s been spending a lot of the strip lately staring dead-eyed and silent at Les as he douches it up, and I’ve been wondering: what if she decides to divorce him? At first, this seems extremely likely, as it would no doubt up the misery quotient for the strip. But I don’t think any character has actually received a deserved comeuppance for their terribleness in this strip since Cindy left Funky when his drinking got completely out of control. The pain people in the Funkyverse suffer is capricious and arbitrary. An arc where they experience negative repercussions as a result of their conduct would require someone to acknowledge that there was something wrong with their conduct in the first place.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/18/15
Meanwhile, in Rex Morgan, gold-digging former nanny Heather Avery is still young and vital, making it all the more tragic that her older, wealthy husband is sliding into dementia. I’m not sure if she’s coming on to the hired help here or just engaging in her right as an aristocrat to imperiously dissect her servant’s personal life in front him.
Mary Worth, 8/18/15
My questions as to whether the participants in the latest Mary Worth dinner from hell recognize it as a dinner from hell have now been answered. Look at Ian’s expression in panel two. That’s the face of a man who’s seen some shit, by God.
Mary Worth, 8/4/15
I’ve gone through a lot of fads and obsessions over the eleven (!) years I’ve been writing this blog, but Mary Worth is, and always has been, my lodestar. A quick peek at my stats shows that fully a quarter of the posts I’ve ever written discuss this strip. And you know what? It deserves all the attention. Today’s strip, in two efficient panels, encapsulates everything great about it: the overblown narration box, the crazy dutch angles in panel one as Ian pulls his hair out in consternation, and Toby’s twisted rage-face making her look like she’s planning on slitting Ian’s throat with that X-Acto knife. All this drama, of course, is turning on a relatively minor dispute, which could be resolved in one of several wholly acceptable ways — Ian could apologize and reschedule, Ian could cook something simple himself, Ian could explain his own error and ask the University Director what kind of takeout he’d like. But no, the Camerons have mutually and angrily decided to spin a terrible web of lies, in which Toby will attempt to pass off restaurant takeout food as her own, for literally no good reason at all. We can only hope this all unravels terribly and violently over dinner and Ian’s quest for academic advancement is ruined, ruined, but no matter what I am salivating to see what comes next, just as Ian probably is at the thought of takeout food.
Judge Parker, 8/4/15
Judge Parker’s joys are more subtle, but still worth savoring. Obviously when Sam’s close personal new friend (with whom he will never interact again, not once) gave him a skeet gun as a gift, it was a $20,000 Italian skeet gun. Unlike Sophie, I have no desire to Google anything about skeet gun models or their cost or nation of manufacture, so I’m just going to enjoy Sam’s rapid change of heart between panels one and two. “Hey, Sophie, this’ll be a chance for us to bond, and … wait, it cost how much? Yeah, keep your grubby hands off my high-quality, luxurious gun.”
Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/4/15
Speaking of class war, I too like my whiskey neat, and one of my go-to jokes about that is to say “in a glass” when people ask me how I like it — a joke I will now immediately stop making after seeing an addled British aristocrat say it in a soap opera comic strip. I’m pretty sure our put-upon servant is wearing gloves so that he doesn’t leave prints when he eventually throttles Avery.
Hi and Lois, 8/4/15
Having Lois’s head stick appear in front of the bottom of Dot’s word balloon is an interesting visual choice, but the fact that said word balloon covers up the house shutters makes it look like Lois is sticking her head right through that window. Anyway, I’m focusing on this minutia because I don’t want to deal with the fact that Hi and Lois’s long marriage is riddled with lies and deception.
GOD DAMN IT PLUGGERS I’M NOT A HUGE FAN OF THE BIG BANG THEORY OR ANYTHING BUT IT’S BEEN ONE OF THE HIGHEST-RATED SHOWS ON TV FOR EIGHT YEARS. THERE’S NO WAY IT CAN BE DESCRIBED AS “THE LATEST” ANYTHING. EIGHT GODDAMN YEAAAAARRRRRSSSS
Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/1/15
Oh, boy, as noted by Uncle Lumpy, deranged industrialist/nanny-marrier Milton Avery is back in the strip! When we last saw Milton a few years back in a plot I seem to have not covered in particular depth, his heart was on the verge of exploding because of his tightly wound business asshole lifestyle. After being vaguely threatening towards Rex for no good reason, it turned out that his real worry wasn’t over his heart, but his brain, which he was convinced was failing him. “You don’t have Alzheimer’s Disease until Rex says you do,” Heather declared, and I don’t remember if Rex weighed in one way or the other but today it’s pretty clear that he has Alzheimer’s Disease, or at least some other flavor of dementia. Looks like we’ve already found the excitiment of this new plot: can a senile and extremely wealthy man’s legal team keep him out of jail after he stabs a household employee to death?
Ha ha, yes, phones certainly do have a soporific effect that can smooth out conflict but also the passion of a life truly lived in the moment and OH MY GOD WHY IS THERE A PHONE IN FRONT OF THAT WEDGE OF SWISS CHEESE? Is the cheese alive? Has the Heathcliff creative team decided that, since all animals, predator and prey, are fully sapient in the strip, why not extend this to inanimate objects? Is every Heathcliff panel full of individual consciousnesses embedded in everything, fully aware, unable to communicate, and screaming?