Comment of the Week

Man, I can not wait for Mark Trail to tell us about the flora and fauna of Guantanamo Bay. 'As I enter my fifth year of captivity as an enemy combatant, let's look again at the common iguana. I call her Shirley. She's my wife now.’

Voshkod

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Funky Winkerbean, 1/26/21

“Man,” thought Harry Dinkle, “I remember back in the day, these conferences used to be fun! People had a sense of humor, liked to joke around. Now they’re a bunch of stick-in-the-muds who’ll bite your head off for no reason. Also, totally unrelated, it used to be a lot easier to find someone who had cocaine.”

Mother Goose and Grimm, 1/26/21

Strips like Mother Goose and Grimm really veer back and forth between “These characters are basically humans who happen to look like animals” and “These characters are animals with animal-like traits,” and I want to make clear that I fully recognize that this is in fact part of the fun of the strip, not a “goof” or a “mistake” or whatever. Still, I think the veering back and forth can sometimes veer into unintentionally awkward territory, like today, when the joke is supposed to be “Ha ha, Attila is a character in this strip who talks and thinks like a person but is also a cat,” but the execution, especially the whisper and look of panic on the sales lady’s face, really gives off a strong “please help me escape from this abusive relationship” vibe.

Dennis the Menace, 1/26/21

Speaking of which, I don’t usually look at a Dennis the Menace punchline and say “Jeez, I hope this is a sex thing,” but for the sake of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, I sincerely hope this is a sex thing.

Pluggers, 1/26/21

Fun fact for those of us rapidly aging into the plugger demographic: the “More Cowbell” sketch first aired in 2000! Can you imagine! Anyway, a better caption here would be “It’s been about 20 years since pluggers have been able to stay awake late enough to watch SNL.

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Crankshaft, 1/25/21

All syndicated newspaper comics artists have to submit their strips at least a few weeks in advance. Most, not surprisingly, go right up to the wire of what they’re allowed to do, but some leave a longer buffer. I admit that this is only a rumor I’ve heard secondhand, so I’m not saying I’m sure this is true, but the consistent rumor really is that Tom Batuik has a full year-long buffer for the Funkyverse strips, so he can get in the spirit of the holidays as he writes twelve months in advance. Normally this isn’t a big deal, as one Christmas is pretty much the same as the next, but over the past year, as a global pandemic brought exactly the sort of disease-based gloom we expect from the Funkyverse into our reality, the disconnect has been kind of striking. I’ve assumed that, like many strips, Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft would just ignore COVID-19 rather than be caught a full year behind the times but … what if they won’t? What if we’re about to see last year’s rollercoaster of panic and confusion play out for us amongst Crankshaft’s family and bus driver pals? Wouldn’t that be incredible? And by incredible I mean “extremely disturbing, please don’t do this, why on earth would you do this?” Well, buckle up, because here we go! CORPSES IN THE STREETS OF CENTERVILLE EVERYBODY

Crock, 1/25/21

I relate far too well to Poulet’s seemingly out-of-place expression in panel two. Sometimes, when you spend far too much time worrying about something that you’re not sure will ever really happen, even if it’s a bad thing, just knowing that it’s a real possibility and you haven’t wasted all that anxiety on a mirage is a relief!

Hi and Lois, 1/25/21

Speaking of facial expressions, I am genuinely cackling at Hi’s slack-jawed shock in panel one here. “I cannot believe I married this naive simpleton,” he seems to be thinking, just barely capable of holding his tongue so as to prevent an open marital rift.

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Panel from Slylock Fox, 1/24/21

We haven’t checked in with Cassandra Cat’s incredibly transparent attempts to lure Slylock back to her apartment lately, have we? Mostly I wanted to show today’s panel for the delightful array of details in Cassandra’s retro-hip shag-carpeted pad: Catsmo magazine, a nice little tin of sardines open on the end table for snacking, the wall of photos of cartoon cat heroes, and, of course, a cat dancer toy, for later, when Cassandra convinces Slylock to put down the magnifying glass and send Max home.

Panel from The Lockhorns, 1/24/21

One of the great ironies of the Lockhorns’ lives is that they drive everyone else as crazy as they drive each other, but while their baffling decision to remain married means they can never avoid each other, other people are generally able to avoid them. The terrible social claustrophobia that results leads them to often bother total strangers in public with their gripes and musings. I think today is the best of these I’ve ever seen. How long has Leroy been deliberately lurking there, waiting for an actual child to pick up that book so he can go off on how his darn wife never cleans out the refrigerator, a complaint the Dr. Seuss-reading set will surely fine extremely relatable? I particularly enjoy the kid’s facial expression, which to me reads as “Sir, I know I’d get in trouble for saying this out loud, but … sir, what the fuck.”