Family Circus, 7/30/10
Rarely have I been more disgusted with a smile plastered all over Jeffy’s grotesque and unnaturally horizontal face. One can’t fault a child for hurling a rock at the ocean, but surely the vandalistic joy and apparent sense of achievement he feels as a result of this act are worthy of censure? I censure him. FEEL MY WRATH, JEFFY!
Mary Worth, 7/30/10
OK, so maybe Mary isn’t a “licensed therapist” per se, but you have to admit she’s making great progress with Dr. Mike. Just yesterday he was punching himself in the head; now he’s more healthily directing that anger outwards, engaging in fisticuffs with his invisible absent father.
“And sometimes he barks out demonic incantations so as to raise an nightmare army of walking corpses that will do his awful bidding!”
Mary Worth, 7/29/10
I’m not going to lie to you: the deeper Dr. Mike sinks into misery, the happier I get. Thus I’m nearly ecstatic at the first-panel flashback, in which he mopes sullenly in the rain, having been stood up by his deadbeat dad once again, with only an albino pigeon for company. In panel two we see the present-day man tormented by these visions, and attempting to punch them out of his mind, or at least knock himself out and fall into blessed unconsciousness. Mary, watching over tented fingers, seemed stunned at just how quickly her latest meddle has gotten so awesome.
But I don’t want you to think that I wish ill to all inhabitants of the comics pages! For instance, poor Tina is one of the minor characters whose plight I feel most keenly. She’s been exposed to this sort of Oedipal horror for the entire duration of her marriage, but from her crumpled mouth and thousand-mile stare in panel three, I’m thinking that today may be the day when she finally snaps.
Beetle Bailey, 7/29/10
Camp Swampy’s base doctor was a good choice to conduct the terrible medical experiments that the government is secretly carrying out on unwitting human subjects, since he appears to be literally incapable of empathy.
EXCITING CONTEST OPPORTUNITY: You have all probably been wondering “Why is Gil Thorp wasting its time this summer on golf, the most boring sport in existence, without even the fun of Marty Moon being humiliated?” Well, it might have something to do with a little contest being run by the Detroit News, which employs Gil Thorp writer Neal Rubin to write about sports as his day job. Readers vote for a News writer; whoever gets the most votes will get $500 bucks for his or her favorite charity, and one person who voted for the winner will be selected at random to spend some Quality Time with that writer. So obviously you should all vote for Neal, get some cash to Gleaners Community Food Bank, and get in the running to win “a lavish lunch for two with Neal Rubin at one of the area’s best restaurants, or lunch and a round of golf for two with Neal at Plum Hollow Country Club in Southfield.” If you play golf with him, you must dress up as Ben Franklin and keep trying to get him to bet on the game. DO IT! VOTE NOW! (Thanks to faithful reader jvwalt for the tip!)
Dick Tracy, 7/28/10
I have to admit that I enjoy Dick’s second panel dialogue: “His movies can be viewed in 3-D without glasses — thus his riches.” Part of it is that I of course wish that someone would use “thus his riches” to end a sentence outlining one of my achievements (“He created the #1 Mary Worth fan site on the Internet — thus his riches”). But I also just like the rhythm of it. I’d call it poetry, but poetry and the decadent so-called “artists” who produce it are loathed by Dick with a righteous passion.
I am a little disappointed by panel three, though; traditionally the strip never misses a chance to translate police jargon like “lifted” for the civilians in the audience.
Judge Parker, 7/28/10
At last we learn why Sam is so fond of Jules, despite his previous outrage over the young man having the sex relations with his adult daughter: he recognizes in him a kindred spirit, an artiste crushed by parental disapproval! The fact that Sam was forced into law when his true passion lay elsewhere might explains his overall emotional numbness and inability to love. He pushed his musical past down so deeply into his soul that this is apparently the first his own wife has heard about it, and he’s apparently required two beers just to work up the nerve to broach the subject.
Oh, look, Brad and Toni are going to a restaurant called Something Stone, or perhaps the Stone Somethingry, so named because the building that houses it is of stone construction. See, these are the things you focus on, to avoid thinking about the sex banter. Maybe all the food on the menu is made of stones! Ha ha! Then they’ll eat them and die, and the banter will stop.
I can’t tell you how tickled I am by the phrase “Whoa! Slow down, Edison!” It seems very anachronistic, somehow. When exactly did Edison stop being a typical metonym for “genius”? Probably right around the time that his electric light and phonograph started looking pretty feeble next to the awesome majesty of the atomic bomb, and he was forever displaced in most people’s minds by Albert Einstein. Considering the strip’s legacy status, it’s quite appropriate that Dagwood is talking to an IT staffer using a pre-World War II vocabulary.
So, uh, Brad is hoping that Toni will absorb his no doubt formidable B.O., just by being a girl in his immediate proximity? Or is this supposed to imply something sexuNNNGGGHG DON’T THINK IT DON’T THINK IT
Panel from Mary Worth, 7/27/10
Ha ha, I honestly believe that this is one of the best Mary Worth moments of the past year. Look at how angry and confused Dr. Mike is. “Grr! So angry and confused! I want to punch something or someone, but I don’t know who or what!”
Crankshaft forgot to feed his cat, so it ran away.
Your comment of the week momentarily, but first, an important item that you almost certainly missed if you fail to read the Letters to the Editor page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Fortunately, faithful reader Mary from Richmond reads it for us, and noted the following nugget in the midst of a rambling diatribe from Eric Pickering in Midlothian about cruelty to animals and the relative newsworthiness thereof:
The police shootings happened in tense domestic situations where owners allowed their little Fido to attack the policeman. While these shootings may have been inappropriate, none of this would have happened if the animal was controlled. Loose, unsupervised animals will cause trouble somewhere and also have a good chance of getting hurt by another dog, car, or person. Mark Trail should learn this with his puppy Sassy.
You can read the whole thing here (it’s the first letter on the page), but trust me when I say that no more context is provided to those who do not follow Mark’s adventures than what you see in that paragraph.
And now, your comment of the week, which refers to some commentary of mine in this post:
“Josh, I don’t even play golf and I know what Torrey Pines is. I do not, however, know what ‘Eli Roth-style torture porn’ is. I think this says more about you than it does about me.” –Monkey David
And your runners up! Also hilarious!
“Ha ha, Tommie’s a bit more sadistic than I gave her credit for. ‘Are you in those tacky clothes that you wear every day yet? Laughing at you today will provide one of the few non-bleak memories that I have in life.’” –Fata Morgana
“Why is Dr. Mike holding a giant kitchen match? Is he going to try to immolate Mary Worth? Oh what joy! She’ll burn and burn, but not be consumed!” –zenvelo
“Dr. Mike’s hand gesture in panel one needs a little work. You’re supposed to raise the middle finger, doctor.” –Digger
“I don’t call Jenna because I’m in love with her. And I keep my computer screen turned out toward my office because it shows respect for HIPAA privacy laws. They don’t call me Dr. Opposite for nothing, Mary.” –Patrick
“Besides, Mr. Policeman, sir, we need him to ’member where we buried PJ.” –T Clone
“I can’t believe my political opponent is about find out I have cancer, and I haven’t even managed to find out his name. Talk about an informational imbalance!” –ks
“Dr. Mike’s attempt to intimidate Mary with a demonstration of his physical strength backfires badly: ‘Alas, because of previous failed romances, my heart is as fragile as this pencil. One more disappointment could cause me to snap, just like this … like … this … wait, give me a minute … mrphh … just like THIS … RRRGGH…’ As Dr. Mike, red-faced and grimacing, wrestles the unbroken pencil to the floor, Mary leaves to go plan the wedding.” –Walker of Dog
“A ha! Its obvious that Dr. Roberts deliberately did not contact her right after the date knowing that meddling Mary Worth would come in and request an appointment to demand an explanation. Cha ching! Now he can bill Mary’s fat health insurance policy and still get the girl. ‘Uh yeah, I’ll contact her, um, I think you also need a MRI.’” –Government Cheese
“If Dr. Mike’s feelings are too intense to express, he should try chugging down a bottle of wine like Jenna. It takes the edge off.” –Petal Metal
“Hronk? That’s a noise I expect from a Mark Trail second-panel goose, not a … second-panel … deformed … hand? What IS Gil Thorp known for these days anyway? I’ve lost track.” –Dragon of Life
“My take on that last panel is that the mortgage crisis is far worse than we knew — they’ve foreclosed on Baba Yaga’s chicken-legged hut. The giant kettle was probably considered a fixture, so they got that too. And now Baba’s hungry, so hungry. Townsfolk, keep your children close.” –Écureuil Écumant
“The cop says ‘Let’s go get your dog’ but didn’t add and ‘Let the punching commence’ because that goes without saying. Or, perhaps, ‘Let the punching commence’ because Murf thinks Mark might like to make a play on words. He’s wrong.” –Farley’s Revenge
“With Mary in the shrink’s chair, I’ll be over here desperately praying that a cigar remains a cigar for the duration.” –jayjaybear
“It took me several minutes of serious thinking to figure out the ‘joke’ in Wizard of Id. Not only is that the longest period of time I’ve ever spent concentrating on this particular strip; it’s also the entire allotment of time I’ve set aside for reading Wizard, ever. I didn’t expect to use it up so abruptly, but then, I didn’t expect this strip to still exist as late as 2010.” –Mollie
“Obviously the waitress is giving him the cake to placate him until the police arrive. The seventh difference is the police in the bottom panel won’t show up before the massacre begins.” –Flamedrake
“Wait, Smitty’s alibi is that he was just sitting there watching TV with a giant ceramic pig in his lap?” –Andy L
“It’s too bad Mark doesn’t have a ring like that Phantom’s, that would permanently scar those he strikes. Instead of a skull, it could leave an indelible imprint of Rusty’s hideous visage. Then again, Mark would never wear jewelry of any kind. So maybe he could just pick the kid up and swing him like a baseball bat, whacking the bad guys with his face.” –cheech wizard
“Oh my. ‘Sam seems to have taken a liking to Jules!’ Does it still count as subtext if Judge Parker puts it right there in the narration box?” –Ed Dravecky
“I think Kat’s right about being mindful of the message one’s appearance conveys. She went through some heavy deliberation before settling upon the image she wanted to project: Hillary Clinton, business leprechaun.” –Violet
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Mark Trail, 7/26/10
Ha ha, dognapper! Mark Trail and Officer Murphy have used technological wizardry to track your ransom call back to your home! Dognapping being a crime of the most heinous nature, they don’t need any warrant from any fancy judge in order to rip your house to pieces looking for the poor mutt! In fact, since this is a “ticking time bomb” scenario (who knows what horrors he has planned for that dog, or for America?), they’re well within their rights to torture you, by letting loose that horrifying demon-thing at the lower left of panel two! Let’s take a closer look at this gap-toothed, bug-eyed monster, shall we?
Yes, we can see why you wouldn’t want this little demon in your house, screeching and clawing at the faces of your wife and family. But I guess you should have thought about that before you became a crime suspect, crime suspect!
Apartment 3-G, 7/26/10
In panel three, it’s clear that Tommie has become far too accustomed to the abuse that everyone heaps upon her, as it appears that she’s decided to save everyone a lot of time and just punch herself in the face.