Edge City, 8/6/13
Oh hey it’s Edna and Morris Not-Ardin, off to visit America’s battlefields in their new RV. I hope they have fun and all, but what is the deal with this guy’s face? Has he got two mouths? An extra ear, with teeth? Is he some kind of weird Mr. Magoo/Popeye hybrid? Is that an enormous chaw of Mail Pouch parked in what just might be his cheek? For me, his image keeps flipping back and forth like one of those ambiguous figures from Psych 101:
Edna lets it all pass. She’s got her own problems, coping with the oral aftermath of her horrific trombone accident.
Hi and Lois, 8/6/13
And then one day, Hi Flagston just gave up. “Fetch me the gin, Lois.”
Apartment 3-G, 8/6/13
Margo snuffs out an alarming flicker of empathy as she spins around the room.
Judge Parker, 8/6/13
I only read Judge Parker for the articles, but here’s some eye candy — and a challenge — for the oglers in the audience. The challenge is this: do oglers of pretty comic-strip women ogle other representations of pretty women, such as mannequins? If so, would they ogle drawings of mannequins, such as those presented in panel one? Are features like heads and knees essential to this exercise? And how far does it go, the ogling: would it extend to a photo in a cartoon of a sketch of the shadow of a statue of a woman? What role does the quality of representation play, relative to the attractiveness of the original subject? I have to say, Judge Parker wouldn’t have been my first source for a deconstruction of male gaze theory, but there you have it.
Rhymes with Orange, 8/6/13
Lady, your problem is not the obsolete phone — it’s the renegade car.
I’m filling in while Josh is on vacation through next Tuesday. No fundraiser this time around, but contact me at email@example.com if the site starts acting up. Enjoy!
– Uncle Lumpy
Hooray, it’s a new super-person for Spider-Man to fight and/or team up with … the Tarantula! One of the joys of only interacting with Spider-Man in his newspaper comic incarnation is that I have zero background on beloved characters from the comics, so I can accept each new moronic villain on whatever inane terms the strip choses to present him or her. Even in four sentences of exposition here it seems like dashing revolutionary Newspaper Comic Tarantula is nothing like any of the versions of Comic Book Tarantula, who are all employed by death squads working for their nation’s despotic government. So hopefully fanboys everywhere are gnashing their teeth at this change, since fanboy-teeth-gnashing is like the most exquisite music to me.
Anyway, “Far as we know from TV and the Internet, the revolution’s going great!” is the most 21st century American thing I’ve ever heard, and it’s also the most Newspaper Spider-Man I’ve ever heard, which means I guess Newspaper Spider-Man is the hero we deserve. How’s your revolution going? I heard it was going great! I think I read about it on Twitter or something.
Edge City, 6/20/13
Hey, let’s check in with obsessive neurotic Abby Ardin! Today, she’s obsessing neurotically that someone might find out that the cool dress she bought came from a consignment shop. Is this really a thing that anyone does? In my experience — and I’m a guy who buys clothes at thrift/vintage/consignment shops a lot — people who buy clothes at consignment shops generally cannot shut up about it.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 6/20/13
Does it look lik Sarah’s lucky day? It doesn’t look like Sarah’s feeling very lucky at all. It looks like Sarah just achieved a dream with virtually no effort on her part, again, just had something handed to her by adults who were obsequious towards her supposed budding talent for no reason, and yet can’t feel anything, not triumph or joy or anything else. Why is everything so easy? What’s out there that can truly challenge me? Is this numbness what death feels like?
Herb and Jamaal, 6/20/13
Hey, remember that Herb and Jamaal from years ago where Herb and Jamaal were pretty obviously having sex? Well, the first couple panels have changed, but they’re at it again, if by “it” you mean “having sex with each other without talking about it,” which is pretty clearly what they’re doing.
Today is Mother’s Day across most of the world (British “Mum’s Day” is celebrated during Lent, in retribution for their cooking). Because of its ability to trigger a laugh riot of misunderstandings, dysfunction, and resentment, Mother’s Day is a huge deal in the comics, on a scale with Thanksgiving. Let’s see how some of our favorite families celebrate:
Edge City, 5/12/13
Obsessive neurotic Abby Ardin demands smooth sheets and an unsullied mattress, even if it means forgoing all the messy pleasures that sustain bonds of love. Husband Len submissively abets her every whim. It’s a mystery how those children got here.
Jeremy Zits-Duncan promises to give his mother the tolerance and respect she most desires, but fails utterly in the execution. SPANG!
Mary Worth, 5/12/13 (panel)
Beth Kinley celebrates her mother’s special day by ditching Elinor to enjoy some incompetent afterdinner macking on new beau Tom Harpman. Hey, Tom: Beth is a real girlfriend — quit trying to inflate her.
Lockhorns, 5/12/13 (panel)
Leroy cranks up the hypocrisy to give Loretta’s mom a proper greeting. Brrrrr…
Dennis the Menace, 5/12/13 (panel)
Henry and Dennis get it right … and so, as always, does Alice. But c’mon — Dondi was more menacing than this!
Funky Winkerbean, 5/12/13 (panel)
Darin and Jessica bring flowers to the grave of somebody named Lisa Moore whose ashes weren’t scattered in New York’s Central Park the way Darin’s mom’s were.
Jeff Murdoch congratulates himself for overspending at the Hallmark: “Surely now my mother will love me?” Ha ha, nope!
Happy Mother’s Day — give Mom a call!
– Uncle Lumpy
Special message to Baltimore-area readers: Psst! Don’t forget to come see me do comedy at Magooby’s, tonight!
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/3/13
You know, not to get too meta about my own shtick, but sometimes I get into so much of a groove exaggerating a strip’s tropes for humorous/queasy-making purposes that I forget that those tropes don’t always even need exaggeration! For instance: did you know that much of the intended humor value in Barney Google and SnuffY Smith derives from the fact that all the characters are desperately poor? It’s true! Like, I don’t think I ever fully grasped it, but instead of having “rooms” in their shack, the Smiths just have a tattered curtain running across the middle of the interior, providing rudimentary privacy when Snuffy and Loweezy want to get away from each other — when the latter’s resentment towards the former for never, ever helping around the house reaches a seething crescendo, say.
Mark Trail, 4/3/13
So Rusty is holding some kind of taxidermied monkey’s paw on the end of a long stick, right? There’s no way that withered hand at the bottom of panel two is (a) connected to his shoulder by an ordinary arm or (b) is a human hand or (c) is living tissue with blood pumping through it. What a strange, upsetting little boy. Mark at least seems to understand that Rusty is best experienced in small doses, though his attempt to express the idea using normal human syntax is somewhat unsuccessful. “Consider that a deal, friend! And remember, we can’t visit you if we don’t go home first! So we’re going home! Trust me, once you stop looking at Rusty, that weird inexplicable tension you have in your jaw will go away!”
Edge City, 4/3/13
Fine, Uncle Lumpy, fine, you’ve got me hooked on Edge City’s obsessive neurotic stylings! Anyway, today obsessive neurotic Abby Ardin’s hopes for a little emotional intimacy with her husband have been dashed, even taking into account the extremely low bar she’s set for herself.
Mary Worth, 4/3/13
After a busy day of not giving Tom’s lovelorn messages to her daughter, Elinor relaxes by reading the Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe and rattling her beloved bottles of prescription meds. This raises the question: How will Tom die? Tied to a table and eviscerated by a huge swinging blade? Or from a mysterious pill overdose?
Dennis the Menace, 4/3/13
Dennis and Joey are dragging a wagon of garbage around the neighborhood! Yes, Margaret, you are right to be horrified.
We make fun of Newspaper Spider-Man as a character here a lot, and for entirely justified reasons. But we must save some pity for the other characters exiled to the Newspaper Spider-Man universe as well! Take for instance the Kingpin, whose main villainous super-characteristic seems to be his bulk. In a fair comic-book universe, he might be expected to display his displeasure by, say, theatrically bending an iron bar in half or something; instead, he’s reduced to busting up his entirely ordinary white-collar workstation. Tune in tomorrow when Ted King, assistant director of the accounts receivables department, must sheepishly ask IT for a new keyboard!
Mary Worth, 3/6/13
I think we can say with a certain degree of confidence that Nice But Nervous-Looking Lady Moving Into 3E will end up helping Tom Harpman forget his ex-wife and love again, despite the arbitrary disapproval of Mean-Faced Old Lady Also Moving Into 3E Who Is Probably Nice But Nervous-Looking Lady’s Mother. Still, I think it would be great if this were an entirely new storyline, and the Tale of Tom Harpman were at nine days the shortest Mary Worth plot on record. “Turns out the guy keeps to himself because he’s sad and divorced. Likes soup, though. Let’s never talk about him again. So, how about Apartment 3E, right?”
Edge City, 3/6/13
I have significantly less tolerance for dwelling on Edge City’s obsessive neurotic antics than Uncle Lumpy does, but I do admit a certain queasy fascination with seeing how explicit this “the characters explore B&D” storyline will get, so, here you go: obsessive neurotic Abby Ardin tops from the bottom.
Plugger diversity is when a bunch of different brands of tires are owned by white people.
Dick Tracy, 2/22/13
Long-time readers will remember when Dick Tracy was a staple of these pages, back before a new team, narrative coherence, and really sumptuous art (go back and look at that first panel again; I’ll wait) put an end to that. So it’s nice of them to toss in an grisly death now and again, just for us old-timers. Thanks, guys — BEROWH!
Judge Parker, 2/22/13
Ha ha, so L’il Judge Randy’s going to tell his fiancée — a well-equipped professional assassin with a hair-trigger temper and history of gun violence returning from covert wet work in some Middle East hot spot — that their honeymoon will trap them on a boat with Mom ‘n’ Pop, the very people she planned to escape by eloping, swearing him to secrecy. Sam’s concerns are misplaced — L’il Judge won’t live to see cocktail hour, let alone Mexico. Work it like a claw, and call him mincemeat.
Mother Goose and Grimm, 2/22/13
The Scarlet Letter meets Welcome to the Monkey House. Those townsfolk will be mighty surprised when Reverend Dimmesdale shows up with a scarlet “D-” on his chest — the mercy grade Hester gave him so he wouldn’t try to retake the course.
Edge City, 2/22/13
Obsessive neurotic Abby Ardin finally found a personal trainer well-suited to her capabilities and goals, and promptly stopped exercising. Husband Len sizes up the situation perceptively, but both irony and correction are lost on Abby.
||This woman is a therapist.
||Yes, I am going to start every single Edge City post with “Obsessive neurotic Abby Ardin ….” I just have to, for some reason.
Hi and Lois, 2/22/13
Lois, check out the the Cubs memorabilia and the Dylan, Who, and Led Zeppelin posters: this guy is your Dad.
Just a reminder – no Comments of the Week on my watch. Look for them when Josh gets back Sunday or, you know, whenever.
– Uncle Lumpy