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SantaBot3000 will deliver cybernetic holiday cheer

Gil Thorp, 12/15/14

Guys, the Mudlarks have won its first state championship in years, so I guess it’s OK if we let the strip revel in it for another week or so instead of moving along to basketball season or whatever’s next. We may not have actually gotten to see Gil and Kaz triumphantly driving their banged up late-’90s Nissans behind the Milford Fire Departments most expendable vehicles, but at least we’re being treated to a long, hard look at the incredibly phallic state championship trophy. Go ahead, nameless Milford students! Stroke the trophy’s golden shaft, from its bulbous football-head down to its helmet-balls! You know you want to!

(If you’d like to celebrate the Mudlark’s championship season in style, the cool kids at the This Week In Milford blog have a t-shirt you might be interested in!)

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/15/14

I think it’s a pretty safe bet that nobody involved in the current iteration of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith (or, for that matter, any of the previous iterations) actually lives in an isolated, impoverished hamlet in the Appalachians and/or Ozarks. So strips like today are interesting because I guess they’re supposed to represent what a flatlander would think a hillbilly’s idea of a flatlander would look like? Backpacks are the key, apparently. Anyway, these effete poverty tourists are looking pretty smug for people who are about to get murdered.

Family Circus, 12/15/14

Oh, man, there are so many great things about this Family Circus. There’s Billy’s look of shame and fear as he realizes that his usual goof-off attitude towards life and school assignments has finally resulted in something unpleasant happening to him, and his teacher’s similarly stricken appearance as she realizes the magnitude of her mistake in giving her most sullen student stage time. Then there’s the way Big Daddy Keane stares blankly at his failing son, while his wife glares at him, thinking “I’m going to go ahead and blame you for this.” But the best, the absolute best, is little Jeffy pointing and grinning, as if to say “Look! I’m not the one fucking up, for once!”

Crankshaft, 12/15/14

Crankshaft isn’t what you’d call sentimental, but he knows one thing for sure: if you don’t lure a white-bearded drifter to your home with the promise of a hot meal and then force him to wear a dirty old Santa suit and stand on your lawn for the entire month of December, it’s not really Christmas.

The lonely suburban stroll

Blondie, 12/14/14

Dagwood and Herb live next door to each other and make up half their carpool, and yet the driver still doesn’t deign to drop them off in front of their own houses. Though perhaps that’s by request: today we see they like to spend time walking down the dark and eerily quiet streets of their suburban subdivision, negotiating the terms of their friendship.

Dennis the Menace, 12/14/14

There are two potential interpretations of this strip: that Dennis fabricated an highlight-filled weekend in anticipation of needing to top his friend, then fessed up to the truth when he found out it was unnecessary, or that he switched his story to something worse than the truth in order to make his friend not feel bad. Since the first one is more menacing, it’s obviously what’s going on here. Double points if it gets back to his dad and makes him feel bad too.

Next year’s bonfire will include so many extra sacrifices!

Gil Thorp, 12/13/14

One of the Peanuts plots burned most intensely into my memory involves Charlie Brown’s baseball team advancing to the league championship through a series of odd circumstances that cause opposing teams to forfeit. The team wins the championship game outright — except that later they have to forfeit due to a gambling scandal: Linus and Lucy’s little brother Rerun bet Snoopy a nickel that the team would win. Anyway, this is just my way of saying that one of the Mudlark teams has actually won a championship for the first time in the decade I’ve been reading this strip, but panel two might cause everyone’s joy to unravel.

Blondie, 12/13/14

“These movies all depict the warm family togetherness that is the true meaning of Christmas. If anyone wants me, I’ll be sitting here by myself in the living room, staring at the TV and not talking to anybody.”

Funky Winkerbean, 12/13/14

Just in case you had forgotten, Funky Winkerbean has a character with PTSD that it occasionally does Very Serious Stories about!