The Funkyverse seems to have taken my proclamed indifference to its chrono-narrative shenanigans as some sort of challenge. “Oh, Mr. Fancy Comics Blogger Man, it doesn’t bother you that Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft take place ten years apart, and yet both also take place in an eternal Comic Book Time present, which right now in both cases is a recognizable 2016? Well, what if we do a fractured-time narrative around Rose’s death in Crankshaft, and we keep prefacing every strip with narration boxes like ‘One week ago…’ and ‘Three weeks ago…’, but we do it over the course of nearly a month, so it becomes increasingly muddled what the chronological reference point is? How about that, huh?” Well, OK, fine. That would bother me. That would bother me quite a bit, actually!
Funky Winkerbean, 5/22/16
Funky Winkerbean, meanwhile, presents me with a simple pleasure: knowing that, while Les thinks he can glimpse daylight at the end of the decade-long hell-tunnel that is his chosen profession, he’ll actually be stuck in place spinning his wheels endlessly until this strip hits its next time-jump, which will no doubt catapult him past his brief joy upon retirement and straight into whatever his next depressing life stage is (old age and death, I would hope).
Mary Worth, 5/22/16
Oh, look, it’s Mary Worth’s first appearance under the new Sunday strip artistic regime! I give her two thumbs up; the cowl-neck sweater is a particularly appropriate choice. Less appropriate is Dawn’s assertion that obviously she’s not in love with Harlan, but if she were, would that really be so bad? After all, Cher once fell in love with a bitter, sullen Nicolas Cage in a movie, and that worked out fine!
Judge Parker, 5/22/16
Since Neddy abandoned her old person sweatshop idea, the world has clamored to know: how will the Spencer-Drivers get rich now, at taxpayer expense? Well, it looks like this is how!
Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/22/16
Congratulations to the animals, for finally figuring out how to drive the Morgans out of the countryside!
Mary Worth, 5/19/16
So we all know who that could be — it’s Dawn, ready to berate Mary because she took her advice to achieve in-person connecting by making a bolder personal effort and all it got her was a weirdly all-consuming not-relationship with a contingent faculty member and the hatred of all her peers. I’m more interested in the banner DEBATE SCANDAL headline in the Santa Royale News, which appears to be an sixteen-page tabloid. Was one of the candidates for Santa Royale City Council getting illegal advice through an earpiece while debating his opponent down at the old VFW hall? Or did the local high school debate team get busted for using performance-enhancing drugs, which, having been a high school debater myself, I’m not sure what that would even entail. Coffee, maybe?
Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/19/16
With new writer Terry Beatty in place, Sarah seems destined to do less creepy adult-child stuff, like being groomed for greatness by a mobster and her pet artist, and more normal-child stuff, like frolicking in the yard with her pet dog! I thought maybe this would be setting off another adventure, like when Abbey found a bunch of human skeletons that one time, but nope, just a skunk. I guess we’re going also going to see Sarah doing less succeeding, like when she became a best-selling author and skipped the first grade, and more failing, like when her new classmates at her fancy private school call her “Stinky Sarah” for the next six to ten years.
Hello, faithful readers! I am back in the saddle and better than ever. I had a wonderful if extremely exhausting time on my book tour. Attendance really blew right past my expectations, and I might try to do some west coast dates later this year, so watch this space. I got to meet many of you, including a young man in Buffalo who asked me to autograph a printed out joke from my blog where I made fun of Archie! I was very, very thrilled to do this.
Anyway! Huge thanks to everyone who contributed during the fundraiser — you’ll be getting personalized thank yous soon, along with queries for info on where to send your tote bag, if you want one. And huge thanks to the unflappable Uncle Lumpy, who got to experience the most shocking moment in recent Mary Worth history, and who was hilarious all week. As Uncle Lumpy noted, though, Mary Worth’s new artistic regime is only working on Sunday strips for now, so in today’s strip, the world is back in the configuration that we all know and understand.
Mary Worth, 5/9/16
I love how Cathy has managed to get all the way up to touching distance in the middle of this vast expanse of concrete and Dawn is only now noticing her. Presumably her mind is far, far away, thinking about Harlan bending over in his short yoga shorts and how she is definitely 100% only friends with him, the sort of friendship that’s so all-consuming that you don’t have time for non-Harlan friends, because what use are non-Harlan friends, really?
Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/9/16
In other soap strip personnel news, as promised Rex Morgan, M.D., artist Terry Beatty is now Rex Morgan, M.D., artist and writer Terry Beatty. And the first thing happening under the new regime is that Rex and June are definitely not buying this fusty old money pit, which is great news for lovelorn pinheads. I love Rex’s genuinely thoughtful face in panel three. “No three-prong plugs? But … how will I power the laptop I use to ignore you?”
Haha, looks like Rose, the character introduced to make sure that Ed Crankshaft wasn’t the least likable person in the comic strip named after him, is about to die! It’s zany punchlines like this one that really make Crankshaft the “fun” Funkyverse strip.
You know, I’m pretty mean to the pluggers in Pluggers, but if you’re not overwhelmed by terrible empathy looking at this man-dog’s sad facial expression as he contemplates the amount of water he needs to choke down all the pills keeping him alive, you’re some kind of monster.