Main content:

More like Wizard of OLD, amiright

Wizard of Id, 11/17/14

Happy 50th birthday, Wizard of Id! You’ve spent half a century churning out quasi-medieval whimsy to the delight of several, and show no signs of stopping, so by all means let your mildly beloved characters pause and take a bow. Many of today’s other strips also paid tribute to this testament of syndicated comics longevity!

Mother Goose and Grimm, 11/17/14

Mother Goose and Grimm decided to celebrate Wizard of Id’s penchant for using the literal torture of human beings as a punchline. I was going to say that torture was “a big part of the Wizard of Id brand” but that was a little uncomfortably on the nose.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 11/17/14

Looks like all this devilish wizardry in the newspaper is tempting Hootin’ Holler’s youth into lives of service to satan! This is what you get when the federal gummint overstretches its reach to outlaw local traditions like stoning blasphemers.

Family Circus, 11/17/14

The Family Circus rather ungraciously implies that the strip is best enjoyed by babies and other illiterates.

Blondie, 11/17/14

Meanwhile, Dagwood doesn’t even bother to acknowledge the cake-gratulations (I JUST INVENTED THAT, © AND ™ JOSH FRUHLINGER, DO NOT STEAL) this bakery is offering because he’s so focused on buying his wife precisely the gift that he wants to eat.

Hi and Lois, 11/17/14

Finally, the Wiz looms in the background in panel two here as some sort of pop art painting, as Chip realizes that his parents’ dysfunctional marriage will forever compromise his ability to love.

Some strips did bravely ignore this important industry anniversary, however:

Judge Parker, 11/17/14

Our heroes in Judge Parker have decided to hunker down and get as drunk as possible, in the hopes that once they sober up all their problems will have resolved themselves.

Funky Winkerbean, 11/17/14

And Funky Winkerbean promises that the next week will consist entirely of hardcore Bushka family sex scenes. Stay tuned!

All’s well that ends with a near-death experience

Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/16/14

In addition to the genuinely hilarious “Sarah is adopted by a lovable/wealthy mob family” plot we’ve got going on in Rex Morgan, we also have a “June gets involved in petty academic squabbles” plot that is 100% non-hilarious, which is why I’ve barely mentioned it to date. But today it’s all been resolved! See, the vaguely sympathetic character (?) had a heart attack, and the vaguely unsympathetic character (?) saved her life! This will cause all conflict to fade away and bygones to be bygones, etc., which will make it super awkward that the Morgans’ friend/employee Becka just quit her job in a huff over the conflict.

In addition to proving that there’s no argument that can’t be resolved by a minor cardiac event, today’s strip gives us some red-hot imperious Morgan privilege action. “Out of the way, please! We need to get this woman to a hospital right away! Her life is at stake!” “I’m a friend!” “OH OK THEN”

B.C. and Momma, 11/16/14

The primitive hominids of B.C. have apparently reached a new stage in sapience, understanding that other forms of life may have the ability to feel pain and fear, just as they do. Meanwhile, Momma is disappointed that her son’s blundering has stymied an opportunity for bird-slaughter.

Panel from Judge Parker, 11/16/15

Sorry, other newspaper comics creators: nothing you publish this week will be funnier than this panel, in which uber-rich Abbey and Sophie realize they’re living their worst nightmare. “We’re trapped … in a trailer park … with poors! NOOOOOOOOOO”

Saturday flashbacks

The Phantom, 11/15/14

Oh my gosh, you guys, the Phantom! When we last saw our hero, he had been bitten by a snake while planting evidence on a guy; after pumping himself full of various antivenoms, he emerged from a painful ordeal physically healthy but with full-on amnesia (is this a thing? I don’t think this is a thing) and then wandered into the nearest Jungle Patrol camp. There my low opinions of this paramilitary organization were confirmed, because instead of trying to help him figure out his identity, the local commanders just put him in uniform and are having him do odd jobs around the compound.

But! Now this has set up the return of some beloved characters of yesteryear! You might recall that way back in 2008 a couple of Bangallan women, a lady cop and a waitress, decided to quit their boring day jobs and join the Jungle Patrol, despite its previously all-male makeup. (You can still buy the t-shirts based on their hilarious catchphrases!) They proved their worth by gunning some dude down in the dead of night, but retained their essential femininity in the sense that they had constant sexual fantasies about the Patrol’s “Unknown Commander” (who is, you guessed it, the Phantom himself). Later, the lady ex-cop half of this duo tried and failed to get a glimpse of this hunky he-hunk’s face while aiding and abetting some mild crimes against humanity.

Anyway! These two gals are still at it, if by “it” in you mean “serving in the Jungle Patrol” and “forming inappropriate sexual attractions to people that they don’t know are the Phantom!” Today they grace our amnesiac hero with a sexier new name, so they don’t feel like necrophiliacs when thinking hott thoughts about him.

Apartment 3-G, 11/15/14

Speaking of beloved characters of yesteryear, remember Sam, Margo’s wedding-planning assistant, who we last saw in 2007? I think he appeared in all of two strips, though that didn’t stop readers from rooting for them to get together (faithful reader Missy declared herself a “Sargo shipper”, a phrase that I have never forgotten). Anyway, looks like Sam’s going to emerge from whatever Bed-Stuy flophouse Margo banished him to seven years ago and save the day by planning her mother’s wedding for her. Will this finally be the act of heroism that wins her heart? Ha ha, of course not, you fools, Margo has no “heart” to “win.”

Funky Winkerbean, 11/15/14

This doesn’t involve any sort of flashback or anything, but it does nicely demonstrate that joy is so rare in the Funkyverse that people have no idea what it looks like when it’s happening. “Is he … is he having some kind of seizure?”