Judge Parker, 12/1/13
Congratulations, Judge Parker! You’ve offered us many tantalizing hints that the story of Neddy’s Kidnapped Do-Gooder Friend And His Sad Wife might end in some interesting way: that they might be scam artists, that the husband might be a scam artist without his wife’s knowledge, that Neddy might have to part with enough of her trust fund to make a dent in her lifestyle to pay the ransom, that there might be some moral dilemma involved in sending heavily armed U.S. special forces into a densely populated city, etc. But instead, you stuck to your core competency: none of that happened, and the plot was wrapped up as boringly as possible, even considering said wrapping up involved the phrase “extraction team”! Obviously we don’t actually get to see all this derring-do; if this strip isn’t going to even bother showing us a main character’s triumphant cheerleading routine, it certainly isn’t going to let us see a bunch of people we barely even know shooting guns and/or getting shot. I guess there could be more to this, but the final panel sure seems to promise more boring times to come, unless you find the idea of obscenely privileged twentysomething heiresses dropping out of art school and moving back in with their easily irritated parents exciting. (Having typed that out, I think I might actually find that exciting, so hooray for Neddy’s return, I guess?)
This is a good example of a cartoon where the throwaway panels at the top entirely change the complexion of the strip. Notice that Archie says that he was stung by a bee as he was walking in to the bowling alley. Either those throwaway panels take place in the moment just before he made the fateful decision to stick his rapidly swelling thumb into the bowling ball, or, more likely, he’s just in a foul mood because once again he’s gone on a date with Veronica that’s amply demonstrated that they’re totally different people and he actually finds her quite irritating and he’s really only attracted to the idea of her, but he can’t admit that to anybody, not even himself, so instead he’s come up with some completely cockamamie story so he doesn’t have to talk about what’s in his heart.
Panel from Mark Trail, 12/1/13
“Deer are native to every continent worldwide! Except for, you know, two of them. Out of seven! But still, that’s solid 71% continent coverage. Good job, deer!”
Mark Trail, 11/30/13
“Sure, after making half-assed attempts to disguise ourselves, we’ll just tell you our full names, what could possibly go wrong? The shining divine rays behind your head and accompanying chorus of angels doesn’t indicate how this is going to go down, probably!”
oh my god he didn’t invite her back to his house this is better than even I could have imagined
Hey guys, I’m traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday and so I’m going to skip doing a COTW this week, OK? Let’s give DaveyK another week at the top. Hope you’re enjoying your turkey comas!
I love that the canary is taunting the hungover Heathcliff with a “gobble gobble.” It still feels loyalty to its clade. It may not have been able to stop the horrible scene of carnage that happened yesterday — it may have been forced to sit there in a cage suspended just feet away the table, forced to listen to the awful sounds of grunting mammals tearing tender bird-flesh away from the bones — but at least it can take some small satisfaction that they’re suffering.
Mary Worth, 11/29/13
“Wait, what? He can’t sing anymore? This changes everything. Definitely not going to make a move on him anymore. Probably not even going to stay for the rest of this meal. If I excuse myself to the bathroom now, I could be on the 6 train before he even realizes I’ve left.”
Better Half, 11/29/13
AHH AHH AHH I TRIED TO WARN YOU I DID NOW A THREE-LIPPED TWO-MOUTHED HORROR WANTS TO DRAG ALL ITS LIPS OVER SOME POOR MAN’S FACE AHHHHHH
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY! The intermittently ongoing plot in Crankshaft has been that Mary, the new bus driver in Crankshaft’s school district, is pleasant and nice and good at her job and everybody loves her, except for Crankshaft, obviously, for whom happiness is Kryptonite, if Kryptonite didn’t kill Superman but instead made him more of a sullen dick. Anyway, she’s been talking all week about how excited she is about having her family all around her for Thanksgiving, except apparently she’s just eating down at the Dale Evans instead, which means she has a Dark Secret, like she doesn’t have a family and it was all a brave front. Presumably Crankshaft will invite her to his place for dinner, and he’ll be insufferable because this will prove him “right,” somehow, which is more evidence that even on this nice holiday we can’t have nice things, because this is the Funkyverse, so suffer, mortal.
Mark Trail, 11/28/13
At least we can be thankful for madness in Mark Trail! Ha ha, is Mark asking Mr. Dunlap, noted Indian artifact owner and non-doctor, for his medical opinion? Sure, why not! Have Jeff and Jared, last seen looking like this, put on faintly absurd outfits in an attempt to look “inconspicuous”? Yes and yes and HELLO, floppy fisherman hat that also kind of looks like a Mountie hat! I love you all!
Mary Worth, 11/27/13
I know you’re all wondering what happened to Mary after she got viciously shoved right in the middle of Central Park. Turns out that she was rescued by the timely intervention of hunky silver-haired Broadway legend Ken Kensington, one of Mary’s top celebrity crushes! Usually I’m in a favor of anything that would put a definitive end to the sad, sexless non-relationship between Mary and Dr. Jeff, but this whole meet-cute scenario is a little too neat for my liking. My guess is that Ken used his theater world contacts to find out-of-work non-equity actors willing to play any role at any price … even if that role is Dastardly Central Park Mugger Who Fightens Attractive Women Of A Certain Age And Allows Ken Kensington To Swoop In And Play The Hero, and the price is far below scale. It certainly would go a long way towards explaining this facial expression:
Obviously this is much less “So, it’s come to this, I’m trying to grab purses from old ladies so I can afford my next meal/fix” and much more “OK, Devin, remember your Method classes: Place yourself in the mindset of a criminal. Not just any criminal, but the most nefarious criminal madman alive! Yes, I can feel the power and insanity flowing through me! Ken says that there’s an understudy part opening in Jersey Boys soon and that he knows the director — success is so close I can almost taste it!”
Dennis the Menace, 11/27/13
The span of time between when you realize that other beings can die and when you realize that you will someday, inevitably, die is definitely the most menacing age. Sometimes it lasts years!
“Ha ha, don’t worry! We’re enjoying a nice dinner now, but later I’m going to kill most of them and kick the rest of them out of the house.”
Brad and Toni will have no time to paint their future bedroom or even decorate it in any way, because every single moment they spend in it they’ll just be straight-up fucking. They probably won’t even bother to get furniture or anything; they’ll just go at it constantly on top of a pile of blankets or something in a corner. Anyway, I’m going back to ignoring Luann forever, right after I get finished with the vomiting.