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Sunday drivin’

Rex Morgan, M.D., 7/20/14

Long ago, I worked with a photographer who was also a passionate VW enthusiast, and for whom every new “upgrade” to his beloved brand was a kick in the solar plexus: One-piece rear window, UNGH! Big tail lights, UNGH! Convertible top, UNGH! When they introduced a semiautomatic transmission he uttered a fearsome oath, bought a Porsche, and never looked back. Good thing, too, or he would’ve seen the abomination Niki’s driving.

The same dark forces that turned the bug by degrees into the Super Beetle turned Original Niki and Kelly into these two. We first met Niki snatching June’s purse to buy artisanal salami for his methskank Mom, then doing some impressive ethical acrobatics to talk himself into a big payday “reward” after an extended tutorial from Rex. Kelly started out a stereotypical Bad Girl running off to drug parties in the woods and having a Brush with Death before Seeing the Error of Her Ways. Now they’re all cleaned up, and droning out text like “Sarah’s a great kid and I like her very much” about hideous paint-spattered brat-monsters. Kids, don’t let the Morgans get anywhere near you, is what I’m saying.

Slylock Fox (panel), 7/20/14

Slylock’s totalitarian society descends into outright racism: “First they came for the skunks and I did not speak out, because I was not stinky.”

Lockhorns (panel), 7/20/14

Loretta, lack of wind is not the problem.

Also: Alfas haven’t had those bumpers since 1982. Has Leroy been bald 32 years?

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 7/20/14

Parson Tuttle’s own sins tend toward small-time grifting, so he’s plum tickled to get a lead on the more entertainin’ sinnin’ goin’ on in th’ Holler.

Piranha Club, 7/20/14

Now that right there is an authentic automobile. Own it, Ernie — own it as long as you possibly can. Doris will be happy to drive you to work.


– Uncle Lumpy

Thank you, thank you, mighty Cape Buffalo

Herb and Jamaal, 7/19/14

As a former center for the NBA’s Phazers and part-owner of a local restaurant, you’d expect Jamaal J. Jamaal to be comfortable in the public eye, and specifically with attention from the ladies. What’s more, he and Rajni met cute when she retrieved his underwear for him Thursday, and he spent all day yesterday checking out the contours of her “Single and Looking” T-shirt. But here he is again paralyzed by self-doubt — just like the poor, forlorn, rejected characters Angelina Jolie plays in all those movies.

Crankshaft, 7/19/14

Hey, remember how Crankshaft doesn’t know how to use a remote? Yeah, well, forget that.

Mark Trail, 7/19/14

RRRRRMMUMBRUMBBLLE, and Mark cuts short his halting exigesis of Lori’s ladyfeelings to Get the Hell out of Dodge. It is the mighty Cape Buffalo, fiercest among the bovines! Of unknown ancestry, the Cape Buffalo is unpredictable and highly dangerous to humans, as anyone would be who grew up a bastard cow.

No more speculating on feminine ways today! I bet Mark is every bit as grateful as we are.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 7/19/14

In the annals of nephewism, the relationship between Jughaid and his Uncle Snuffy stands out as a particularly sweet example. Equally ignorant and lazy, they share interests in shif’lessness and petty crime, and seem to get along pretty well. Jughaid even looks a little sheepish about his cosmic arrogance. Maybe God will cut him a break come smitin’ time.


– Uncle Lumpy

Shout-outery

Gil Thorp, 7/18/14

Tongue loosened by wine and Mimi’s sultry charms, Gil slurs out his commitment to mediocrity and refusal to reason with anybody, ever. And dammit, slow as he is, that tuba player is one hell of a receiver.

Mark Trail, 7/18/14

“I’m not interfering in your relationship with Lori …. That said, here are my opinion and advice regarding your relationship with Lori!” Mark has suppressed all feelings since 1946, but that dam has now burst with him loving and missing Cherry all willy-nilly, and here he advises Dirty to go work on his relationship. The long-awaited Mark Trail/Mary Worth crossover has begun, and it’s going to be awesome.

Funky Winkerbean, 7/18/14

Because comic book conventions are inherently fascinating, I had complete confidence that Comics Curmudgeon readers would follow this week’s Funky Winkerbean with rapt attention so I didn’t have to look at it. Thank you, generous readers!

But Comic John’s coy little shout-out in panel two is just too irritating to pass by. Tired joke, sitcom-style “That’s Our Crazy!” take, grandiose validation of the speaker’s own in-group, ugh. Pair that with the over-rendered “uncanny valley” look that suggests ol’ Skunkhead was drawn from life and now here I am considering the possibility that Comic John might be an actual real person living in the same world as me and seriously have you no mercy, Funky Winkerbean?

Judge Parker, 7/18/14

I do believe that’s a Business Plan Sam’s holding there. Steel yourselves.

Lots of name-checking going on in Judge Parker this week. Mopey Eurotrash Jules the other day, and now wealthy Parisian Cancer Rachel and country-music legend, solar entrepreneur, and real-estate titan Rocky Ledge, né Milton Rasmussen, husband of award-winning actress and equestrienne Godiva Danube, née Brunhilde Akermann. I kid you not.

There must be a point at which a comic moves so slowly that it needs to spend every strip reminding readers what’s gone before. I’m taking dibs on calling that point the “Parker Equilibrium.” Ironically, Apartment 3-G was first to reach it.


Just a reminder that there are no Comments of the Week on my watch — Josh will be back July 28 with an extra helping.

But to sate your lust for comics-themed Friday entertainment in the meantime, I have assembled “Twirlin’ Tommie Thompson” – two seemingly endless conversations with Carol Collins in Jack Riley’s magical barnyard, featuring Red Tommie and Blue Tommie and a swirling kaleidoscope of backgrounds:

It’s a little less annoying if you draw a little dot on your monitor at the tip of Tommie’s nose. But don’t use permanent marker like I did – it lasts a surprisingly long time.

– Uncle Lumpy