KIDS TODAY! WITH THE BIG, BAGGY JEANS! THEY’RE SO HUGE! THEY LOOK THEY MIGHT FALL DOWN, AND SOMETIMES YOU CAN SEE THEIR UNDERWEAR EVEN! HOO! BAGGY PANTS! IT’S CRAZY! WHO WEARS THAT STUFF? THE KIDS! THEY’RE NUTS!
Actually, I do find it kind of funny that Peter (or whoever) is pulling up his … um … diaper … thing in the third panel. Also, kudos for not letting us know that we’re all going to hell on Halloween this year, Johnny.
Judge Parker, 10/31/06
Look at Abbey’s face in panel three: she’s thinking, “God-damned lucky bastard, at least he was.” Have you noticed how difficult it is for her to convince Sam to fulfill his marital obligations? They act like they can’t get it on if there’s anyone else at home, which is kind of strange considering they live in an enormous ranch with, like, outbuildings and such. I’m thinking that Randy isn’t the main “family values” liability to this campaign.
This strip made me happy, for a brief moment, that Pluggers exists. Because if it didn’t, I probably would have seen this strip and thought, “Oh my God they want her to have sex with the freakish half-beast — that’s disgusting and horrifying!” But as it is, I just thought, “See, this is why you need to put ‘NO PLUGGERS’ very prominently in your personal ad.”
Mary Worth, 10/31/06
“Yeah, I’d say it went pretty well, seeing as I’m high as a fucking kite right now.”
Family Circus, 10/30/06
There’s always some sort of twisted psychodrama going on this ostensibly innocent little feature. Today, I’m wondering why Jeffy looks so damn depressed about Billy’s unfunny little joke. Some possibilities as to what might be running around his misshapen head:
- “Mommy’s wrong and preacher’s right! There really are such things as witches, and evil and the devil are real!”
- “Uh oh, Billy’s on to my initiation into the dark arts. I need to cast some sort of hex on him to keep him out of my business.”
- “‘Baby witches?’ This is my big brother who I’m supposed to look up to? Jesus, I don’t know if he’s this stupid or if he thinks that I am.”
- “Uh oh, I pooped my pants again.”
For Better Or For Worse, 10/30/06
OK, let’s for a moment assume that the crowd is going to go wild for the Hose-O-Phonium (which of course it wouldn’t in any rational world, but we are way past any rational world, baby). And let’s assume, against all evidence, that Uncle Phil really is the cool professional jazz-ish musician we’re told he is. And let’s assume that the endeavor on display here — the attempt of 4Evah and Eva to upstage the professional and talented (but still, of course, whorish and evil) RebaccaH — is a noble one. So, basically, Apes and her little friends are bringing in an adult professional to humiliate a thirteen-year-old. Nice. Shannon is so embarrassed by the whole thing that she’s attempting to escape through some kind of trapdoor in the floor, which is the only explanation I can come up with for why she comes up to about April’s navel in panel two.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/30/06
Ah, Mrs. Dr. Morgan, always trying to bring a little positive energy and dignity to a thankless world. Because who cares if the people in line behind her have to wait even longer than she did, she’s determined to make friendly chit-chat with this underpaid bureaucrat. It’s a bad idea, though: check out the seam down the side of the teller’s face in panel two. That’s no human clerk, it’s a pitiless android, and when it says “the clock keeps ticking,” it’s in deadly earnest: if June uses up her allotted time and the transaction isn’t complete, the DMV-bot will vaporize her with lasers from its eyes. So let’s get a move on, lady.
So does it still count as an infuriating rehash if you get all post-modern and have one of the characters note that it’s an infuriating rehash? Yes, yes it does. Tune in next week when Luann has an awkward phone conversation with Aaron, and Bernice stands behind her with an enormous sign that says “NOTE: THIS STRIP IS ‘PHONING IT IN.’”
Here’s a relatively new comic I haven’t featured before: Watch Your Head. Check out the crawl at the bottom of the screen in today’s installment:
Cory Thomas, WYH’s author, is an occasional poster in the comments section here at in the forum, and if he’s trying to get my attention, he’s got it. (Apartment 3-G, take note … oh, like they have to work to get my attention.) Anyway, the extremely overgeneralized version of WYH’s story is that it’s about the lives of a group of college students at a (fictional) traditionally African-American university. I’m sure a lot of newspapers are giving it a look for the coveted “comic with mostly black characters that might appeal to people over the age of twelve and under the age of sixty” slot with the Boondocks going on permanent hiatus; it also, to my mind, fills a rather remarkable hole in that there hasn’t to the best of my knowledge been a daily strip about college life in general since all the kids in Doonesbury finally got real jobs.
I’ve definitely liked what I’ve seen of this strip so far (and really, I would have said that even if I hadn’t seen the first indisputable shout-out to this site in a nationally syndicated comic strip this morning), but because it doesn’t appear in the Houston Chronicle where I read my strips online, I must confess I’ve been too lazy to put it into my daily rotation and give it the Comics Curmudgeon treatment. Hopefully it will get to the Chron soon. (Note to comic syndicators: The Houston Chronicle so dominates the online comics landscape that I think it’s definitely in your interest to court them extra hard when looking to syndicate a strip.)
Check out the strip’s home page at Comics.com, the cast of characters, faithful reader yellojkt’s appraisal from last month, and Cory Thomas’ Web site.
Here are your comments of the week, once again! A few people have pointed out to me, quite rightly, that it makes sense to put the #1 comment of the week in these posts, since they are archived for all time. So, this week’s winner:
“OK, Mary. In a perfect world, every impoverished nation would have postcards for sale on every corner and comprehensive cell phone coverage. Of course, in a perfect world, you would constantly be covered in fire ants.” –Splinky
And the almost-as-hilarious runners up:
“Ted Forth just keeps getting mildly cooler all the time. On the scale of dull preppy white guys he’s already moved from Dan Quayle to Tom Scavo. Next stop: Greg Kinnear.” –rich
“Shoot me now if I have to see Mary Worth in low cut magenta slacks. Just take the gun and point it at my head.” –Marc
“Mary is lucky to have friends like Ian and Toby Cameron. Otherwise she would be the worst person in the entire world.” –The Ray
“It bothers me a LOT that Funky Winkerbean is neither funky nor winkerbean.” –Christopher
“I say the time has come to replace Nietzche Family Circus with Margo Nietzche. She understands the will to power, the transvaluation of values, the death of morality, the philosophy of the superman, and what wine to order.” –Marion Delgado
“Christ, 4Evah’s Halloween experience makes ‘Monster Mash’ sound like Lou Reed on a three-day heroin binge.” –Facebones
“That’s the first time I have ever seen Cathy and feminism mentioned in the same sentence. Every Cathy strip lowers the glass ceiling a fraction of an inch.” –Bitter Scribe
“TWO biddies? Oh man … we are in for something big and biddilicous.” –Evey
“Binge drinking + French maid outfit = most uplifting Funky Winkerbean storyline ever!” –Zikar
“I wonder what Mr. Wilson’s job was before he ‘retired’ (read: was fired for criminal misconduct). He strikes me as the mailman type, because he always delivers the laffs.” –Joe
“Grandpa Walt [in Gasoline Alley] will never die. Why, you may ask? Cause senile dementia is COMEDY GOLD baby.” –ChefMike
“I own a handful of classic jazz records. While I don’t consider myself an expert in these matters, I’m almost positive Dizzy Gillespie’s horn never, ever made a noise like ‘bweeaappaabaapaa twaarboorp.’ On the other hand, Dizzy Gillespie didn’t suck total ass. Thanks for letting me share.” –dramashoes
“I’m into statuesque, homoerotic superheroes as much as the next guy, but what muscles are those even supposed to be on the Phantom’s back?” –bup
“Maybe Mark Trail is heading in the direction of a Pluggers origin story? ‘And that’s how Andy Dog met Molly Bear, and their unholy coupling somehow spawned a kangaroo, a chicken, and a folksy, down-home breed of class rage.’” –Sara B.
Also! It’s that time of week where I thank our sponsors, without whom I’d have to spend more time doing actual stupid work.
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Mary Worth, 10/29/06
TOMMY’S COMING BACK! TOMMY’S COMING BACK! TOMMY’S COMING BACK!
Oh, let’s bask in the anticipatory Tommyness, shall we?
As noted, if you’re not already familiar with the gospel of Tommy, now’s the time to get ready for the hijinks. Start here and work your way forward chronologically.
Anyway, based on the sub-Crossing Over with John Edward chicanery on display here, I’m going to guess that Ella is not actually a psychic, but is a one of Tommy’s friends from the joint in drag, pulling some kind of scam over on dear old mom. It’s all going to end in tears and recriminations and basement meth lab explosions. I’m a very happy man.
Family Circus, 10/29/06
The sequence of dialog is important here. “If people see you they’ll know who we are!” “And we’ll miss out on any extra candy!” So, you give more candy to total strangers than to kids that you know? There’s only one possible explanation: Their neighbors hate them as much as we do.
Judge Parker, 10/29/06
Raju: Scholar. International traveller. Wrestling nutritionist. Renaissance man. Cockblocker.
They’ll Do It Every Time, 10/28/06
TDIET exists to give whiny, petulant voice to the sort-of-but-not-really voiceless, and thus I always assume that whatever character is best expressing that classic look of quizzical put-upon-ness is meant to stand in for whoever sent the idea in to Mr. Scaduto in the first place. Today’s episode is an elaborate fantasy in which helpful teenagers are constantly thwarted in their attempts to pull their weight in the household; thus, we can only assume that “A. White” is the helpful baseball-cap flipping, vest-wearing cool cat. The idea that a teenager might be a regular TDIET reader is truly horrifying, however. Please, please tell me that, like David Tarafa, A. White is a plucky young Curmudgeon reader. PLease?
Another possibility is that A. White is actually the silent but clearly horror-stricken mother in this scenario. She’s too terrified to stand up to her obviously rage-filled hubby on her kid’s behalf in person, so she’s hoping that his favorite cartoon feature in the Boston Herald will show him the error of his control-freakish ways.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith and Mark Trail, 10/28/06
“Yeah, Andy, we’ve got to find Molly! And by ‘we,’ I mean ‘you.’ Go find our friend! I’ll be here with the gun … you know, if you need me … or whatever.” This strip just further illustrates that there isn’t a single featherless biped in Mark Trail who’s worth a damn. I hope that after Andy and Molly take care of the brothers -ake, they turn on Mark and his friends, and then rule over Lost Forest like the King and Queen of the Beasts that they are.
I offer this Snuffy Smith for comparison, to illustrate how Mark Trail is hopefully going to play out in a few days. That “Grr!!” coming out of the bear is meant to be menacing, but comes out just sort of cute and Molly-like.
The Phantom, 10/28/06
The Ghost Who Walks Very Uncomfortably In His Tight, Tight Pants is offering a lovely ass shot in the first panel (this one’s for you, bootsybrooks!), but I’m more looking forward to next week’s thrilling factory tour! “And in here is the break room … you can see we just got a new refrigerator … now down here is the factor floor, and here’s the conveyor belt … an interesting thing about this model is that it was first designed to accommodate a five-foot-wide belt, but they’ve been able to expand it to accommodate our shipping containers, which have had to get bigger because of changing packaging regulations…”
Judge Parker, 10/28/06
God damn it, is this strip going to be about not making assumptions about people based on first appearances, and about how people who seem very different might have a lot in common, and could even become good friends? Because that’s going to blow.
For Better Or For Worse, 10/28/06
Oh, 4Evah and Eva’s public humiliation is going to be delicious.