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Crankshaft, 5/20/18

I’m not a baby boomer, so I thought that maybe the incredibly banal sentence “I’m sorry to say the band has broken up” was uttered mournfully by Paul McCartney at a famous press conference or something, but turns out nope! Turns out that this is just a sad attempt to build a joke a backwards from a possibly real-life incident in which a FitBit — wait, sorry, “Never-Quit-Bit” — band broke, and the only band (in the group-of-musicians sense) that came to mind to make the joke specific was the Beatles. Which, I get it, know your newspaper-comic-reading-audience, but … couldn’t we come up with a more contemporary reference? One Direction? Didn’t One Direction just break up? (I’m not a baby boomer, but I’m also not, like, a young person, so I don’t actually know.)

Mary Worth, 5/20/18

Sorry, guys, I won’t apologize for just cackling in cruel delight whenever Wilbur overcomes some pathetic life drama and claws his way back up to the level of mediocrity he’s comfortable with and then just spasms with delight! The classic example of this is obviously “I shouldn’t be alive … but I am!”, but also let’s not forget the time that Wilbur used his Ask Wendy column to advise a lady to dump her husband, and when she did and regretted it, she sued him, but the case was thrown out on a technicality, leading Wilbur to literally vibrate with relief like a tuning fork. The penultimate panel here is great on its own, of course, but what really makes it special is the context, which is that Wilbur is talking to his editor in the panels before and after it, and there’s no indication that he’s muted the call in between.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/20/18

The last time Heather entered the Avery International board room, of course, it was to prop up her dementia-striken husband, hoping against hope that he could hold it together long enough to fool the board into thinking he still had control of his faculties and could therefore legitimately block a corporate merger that would’ve probably benefitted company shareholders. She committed this fraud for no reason beyond spite against Milton’s son. But bringing in a baby would obviously be beyond the pale!

Dick Tracy, 5/20/18

I sincerely hope that the narration box in panel four is meant to indicate that, here in the back room of Bank Mazuma, a mysterious robotic voice from nowhere suddenly announced “Lights out! Everybody dance!” and then the rest of this gunfight is scored to extremely aggressive techno music.

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Mark Trail, 5/19/18

Hey, now, Mister Eyebrows, Mark just showed up and helped everybody push a big whale into the water, but he never proved that he actually knew what kind of whale it was! Don’t back down now and show weakness in front of your fellow tourists! Make him look it up on Wikipedia and show you the pictures at least. Ugh, if this guy gets any more submissive he’s going to start grooming Mark, although I guess his smooth, hairless torso leaves nowhere for ticks and other parasites to nest.

Mary Worth, 5/19/18

Oh no. Oh, this isn’t … this isn’t real, guys. I’m sorry, I know we all want the best for Wilbur, but nobody is demanding Wilbur’s return. This is a guided visualization at his shrink’s, or he’s gone into a happy fugue state, or something. This can’t be happening. It can’t be.

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Here’s today’s COTW, which is short and sweet and made me laugh like a hyena:

“Dr. Hweb Blog” –Jarin Udom, on Facebook

And the very hilarious runners up!

“Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Mark Trail! Unless you’re an elephant! Then you’re stuck with an oversized brain that leaves mother elephants like you with an enhanced capacity to despair and grieve for your dead children! You even have the guilt to bury them yourself and the memory to endure the pain for years! Happy Mother’s Day!” –jroggs

“THIS WAS NOT ON THE INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO SYLLABUS, JAMES LIPTON” –pastordan

“This is a surprisingly complicated joke. In reality, the term ‘tree hugging‘ doesn’t mean ’embracing trees as though they were human.’ It means ‘going to extraordinary lengths to protect trees from being cut down.’ So does the talking, sentient tree in this strip want to die, having grown tired of its solitary, stationary existence? Or is the tree willing to sacrifice its own life to further the cause of capitalism? ‘Get away, you fool! They’re going to build a Lens Crafters on this spot!’” –Joe Blevins

“He looks like a tree hugger … and a tree kisser to me if you know what I mean and I think you do. But if you don’t, what I mean is smoking marijuana.” –that guy

“As usual, Daisy is the most entertaining aspect of this strip. I just love how she wakes up, smiles as she realizes what’s about to happen, and then sets herself up for a front-row seat in the kitchen to enjoy the ensuing mayhem. Daisy knows what that’s all about, and she’s LOVING it.” –pugfuggly

“Alice’s hair is protruding out of the panel, as the first step in escaping the patriarchal nature of the 50s-era comic strip.” -Pozzo

“I don’t know about you guys, but the idea of Mark pounding the living shit out of an argumentative modal realist gives me ten times the anticipatory pleasure of any number of poachers, bank robbers, crooked senators, or confused sheriffs. I want the blows to land just as he uses the term ‘indexical,’ turning his nose and teeth into a reducible set of body parts and fluids. ‘Keep talking and you’ll need more than a reliance on counterpart theory,’ Mark says, tossing a copy of Kripke’s response onto the sand where the blood was pooling.” –James Dowd, on Facebook

“Are … are Mark’s nipples erect? I mean I knew he liked dishing out nature facts but, geez, this is supposed to be a family strip. Someone cover Rusty’s eyes.” –Truckosaurus

“So I guess it’s the strongly matriarchal society of Hootin’ Holler, in which only women are allowed high-caloric luxuries like dessert, that’s caused the menfolk to shrink into physically stunted grotesques. But the good news is that we can finally stop blaming the moonshine.” –BigTed

“All I can think of looking at today’s Mark Trail is the horrific sunburn awaiting these pasty people.” –Naked Bunny with a Whip

“I love the attitude of the Mark Trail colorist. Let’s see: Polka dots vs. Tiger stripes? New hair style? Could this be a completely different character? Aw, screw it, I am NOT scrolling up to that color bar again.” –Col Havoc.

“Wow. Everybody involved with this whale is aggressively and unaccountably furious. How DARE this whale strand itself at our exclusive beach resort. We paid good money and this ecolodge can’t even keep the beach free of filthy cetaceans.” –Escape Zeppelin

“Well, you pretty much have already given up your privacy when you go to Doctor Blog. He’s posting about Leroy’s ED while he’s still sitting there! ‘Flaccid has two c’s,’ Loretta helpfully adds.” –Aphthakid

“After all he’s been through, Wilbur still doesn’t know how to hold a goddamn phone.” –Tom the Sailor Man

“What? No, this is your therapist. I said your problems are whack.” –Rob Carlson

Look before you ‘lease’! And you know what I mean by ‘lease’! Wink wink. I … literally mean lease. Nudge nudge.” –Bootis

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