After the serial failures of his high-tech missile, “hypno”-gas, and “adamantium” chains, Kingpin resorts to old-school methods of persuasion like threatening to stone-cold bash a woman’s face in. Spider-Man is quick to comply — but then, “not moving a muscle” is pretty much his core competence.
Dick Tracy, 5/11/13
So it looks like Dr. Sail here is reconstructing the actual Moon Maid (who died in a 1978 car crash), not just creating an imposter from scratch? This opens up a chance to revisit the action-packed Moon Strips of the 1960′s and 1970′s (the so-called “Dick Tracy Has Gone Totally Nuts” era). Does it also signal complications for Moon Maid’s nominal widower Junior Tracy, who got re-married (to Sparkle Plenty) after his first wife’s death?
Ha! As recently as two years ago (the “Late Bonkers” era), Dick Tracy would have resolved such petty conflicts by having a beloved character burned, crushed, blown up, brain-wiped, dismembered, or (my favorite) eaten. But how will the new Team Tracy handle it?
Perhaps the answer lies with the Moon-obsessed siblings introduced here. Stellaluna, named for a cute bat from a kids’ book, is probably OK. But I would keep an eye on Retik, ominously named for Commander Cody’s nemesis (“Retik, the Moon Menace”) in the classic 1952 serial Radar Men from the Moon. Will this new Retik re-kill a reanimated Moon Maid, saving Junior Tracy from inconvenience? Stay tuned!
Hey, Retik: if you’re short on ideas, I’m pretty sure “suffocated in the vacuum of space” and “vaporized by a meteor” are still available. Just sayin’.
Gasoline Alley, 5/11/13
Hm, Gasoline Alley supercentenarian Walt Wallet is hanging out at the “Comics Retirement Home” with characters like these from discontinued old-timey strips, leading one to think he might, I dunno, retire or something? Except that we’ve already been down this road, in 2006, and it came to nothing.
C’mon guys, it’s time to pull the trigger — this routine will only get even more embarrassing if you have to do it again in another seven years, when Walt is 120.
Funky Winkerbean, 5/11/13
Aw, look at Darin’s adorable pissy face! Do you suppose he broke his jaw trying not to smirk?
Hey, I’m subbing while Josh takes a break through Sunday May 19 — reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have access or comment issues. Enjoy!
– Uncle Lumpy
Hey all! I’m taking next week off from the comics-mocking, but have no fear: your favorite Uncle Lumpy will be filling in with his usual hilariously avuncular stylings. So be nice to him! I shall RETURN on the 20th. But until then: you comment of the week!
“It’s a nice first try, but Ziggy hasn’t quite gotten the hang of blatant product placement yet. Here’s a quick tip: try not to make the readers imagine Ziggy having sex with the sponsor’s mascot.” –Brad
And your hilarious runners up!
“Hey, kids … did we have a nice day? Oh, sorry, and how are you, insignificant child-care provider? Did you tend to my child’s every beck and call?” –Dood
“There’s a drawer full of them … she wants to sell them! A whole drawer of horse pictures. It’s a giant flipbook, first the happy horse, but then the clouds roll in and the lightning strikes and it’s just page after page of spikes and horsemeat and rendering plants. It’s like a little horsey Guernica in that drawer. I dream about it at night, I can hear the frightened whinny of her horses. Please take her out of school and get her a DeviantArt account. Please?” –Voshkod
“We would like to remind you on this National Tea on a Propane Camp Stove Day to take time out to enjoy a nice pot of tea made on a propane camp stove. Thank you.” –Spokesman for Propane
“Inclement weather spoils another game of ‘Civil War wounded.’” –Doctor Handsome
“I’d like to imagine that the girl in front of Billy has awesome fashion sense instead of just being recycled art from who knows what era when someone thought The Kids Today were dressing like that. ‘Today,’ she said this morning. ‘I’ll push not just this podunk town’s boundaries, but America’s.’ Then she put on her Dr Bunsen Honeydew glasses, lavender polo, and red beret, smiling at the persona in the mirror. Is she French? A beatnik? Very, very old and shrinking? ‘No,’ she thought. ‘She’s an enigma.’” –Alex Blaze
“Slylock carried a magnifying glass once. However, seeing the world expanded, broken into digestible components so that no detail however seemingly meaningless was ever missed didn’t quite suit his style of hard-hitting arbitrary justice handed down from a brutal authority figure, so he elected to carry an ornate hand mirror instead and see the only font of truth necessary to convict ‘evildoers’: his own face, damning the perpetrators.” –bunivasal
“Yesterday I thought for a moment that Spider-Man, actual newspaper Spider-Man, had outplanned and outwitted and defeated a real Super-Villain. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Doctor Doom or General Zod or something, just a fat man with lots of money who only qualifies as a Super-Villain through a loophole in the Lex Luthor Clause (and if he hypno-gas was fake, he might be disqualified entirely — I have to check the case law, but I think dicta in Gorilla Grod v. Flash is relevant here).” –Master Softheart
Apartment 3-G: “‘Fat missive from Greg’ is my new favorite euphemism.” –KreatureFeature
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Family Circus, 5/10/13
It’s generally a good bet that any given Family Circus cartoon features lightly repurposed art and/or jokes from times gone by. That’s why I’m fascinated by the TV floating in Daddy’s groggy dream-bubble, the dream-bubble about to be so cruelly burst by Jeffy’s hoe. (Side note: who on Earth thought it was a good idea to give Jeffy a blade at the end of the long stick? If it can break up clods of dirt it can cut through flesh!) What clip-art library did it emerge from? The television is all black and 2-D depthless, like a modern flatscreens, but seems to have a DVD player or cable box perched impossible atop it. Maybe in his half-awake state he’s conflating all the TV technology he’s encountered in his lifetime, much as the strip itself does. We could do a better job of placing the timeframe of this reverie if we could just see how long the basketball players’ shorts are.
Mark Trail, 5/10/13
In different kind of comic strip, when two people stumble through a lonely forest away from their crashed plane and find an abandoned cabin, inspiring a “bad feeling” in an experienced woodsman, it would herald some truly terrifying adventures to come! In Mark Trail, it just means that Mark and Wes are going to do some canoeing, whee.
Mary Worth, 5/10/13
Aw, isn’t that cute, Beth is holding onto Tom’s left hand! In other Tom hand news, in panel one we can see that on his right hand he’s wearing a glove made out of human skin.
Slylock Fox, 5/9/13
Now, you might think that little Johnny falling asleep in mid-arithmetic is the sign of some serious medical condition, but just check out that menu hanging on the wall next to him. Lobster? Quail? Paté? The child’s slovenly clothes aside, this is clearly some sort of school for the ultra-wealthy, so probably this little one-percenter has just dozed off after a particularly rich lunch, served to him on butter-drenched platters brought to his mahogany table by a steady stream of manservants. The school nurses must be experts in treating gout and other diseases usually associated with bewigged 18th-century British gentry.
Haha, all the drama and excitement you’ve been enjoying over the past few weeks, as a mind-controlled Daredevil battled Spidey and brought him to the Kingpin, have been a fraud! Everyone was faking and nobody was ever in any danger. The main takeaway here is that Kingpin’s “Faster! Work faster!” management strategy is a failure, since it just causes your underlings to produce sham, non-functional products and then plot with your enemies to destroy you.
Heathcliff’s plan to foster a cult of personality among his house’s rodent population seems to be moving along nicely! I enjoy the fact that his owner-lady and owner-son (grandson?) are looking at this enormous cheese-idol with wide-eyed awe, but his owner-man is pissed off. Never mind the theological implications here; dude is just mad that this huge blob of no doubt stinky cheese in occupying space in his living room, where it will presumably get moldy and even more disgusting in short order.
Mary Worth, 5/8/13
Meanwhile, the world’s most awkwardly intense first date proceeds apace! Sure, let’s sit on the same side of the table, that’s not weird at all. Haha, I’ll just blurt out that I love everything you said, even though you clearly phrased the sentence as a counterfactual! I sincerely hope that Beth goes and gets a ukelele, hands it to Tom, and watches him try to act like he knows how to play it.
Tropical rain forests support more than half the world’s species of plants and animals — and according to this cartoon, all those species are terrifying. Pave it now! Replace it with Wal-Marts and strip malls with nail salons and Little Ceasars franchises! IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAFE.
Hi and Lois, 5/7/13
Sadly, one the many businesses that the Internet has changed beyond recognition is the adult film industry. Probably this shaggy-haired 19-year-old pizza dude has consumed all of his pornography in short, plotless smut-bursts, delivered in a tiny browser window, and has never seen the archetypical porn storyline in which a startled delivery guy is seduced by a sexually voracious customer. The smile on his face in panel two implies that at he’s at least read about such plots, though, or maybe heard them referenced in older literature, because he seems to realize that “Hey attractive lady, your husband can’t spend time with you but spent $12 to have shitty food delivered without bothering to even tell you he did it” is pretty much the gold standard for that particular scenario.
Family Circus, 5/7/13
Speaking of things that would be foreign to modern folk, I’ve always appreciated the fact that the Keane Kids seem to just form ad hoc play groups with whichever other kids are outside, rather than requiring their parents to set up appointments weeks in advance on the subdivision’s shared Outlook calendar. But still, I’m concerned about the seething mass of dozens of children that seems to have spontaneously assembled on the Keane’s lawn. What “game” could this tightly packed mob possibly be playing, other than “Let’s see how quickly we can fall upon and devour passers-by”? Ma Keane should shut that door as quickly as she can, then start boarding up the windows.
Funky Winkerbean, 5/7/13
Oh look, a Westview citizen has responded to a simple question with unfunny, confusing wordplay! Darrin’s bio-dad reacts not by co-smirking but with normal human irritation. I think I’m starting to like this guy.
Haha, it’s funny because Ziggy wants to have sex with a lizard, and he feels terrible about it!