Comment of the Week

It's good to know that this guy specifically chose a chunky, heavy gold wedding ring. He's so married he wants his ring to be visible from space. You got the Great Wall and you got this. You won't see him putting out for an appletini, baby.

made of wince

Post Content

Family Circus, 8/17/22

The Keanes have been on vacation in New York City for a couple weeks now, in a series of panels that are actually reruns from decades ago; Don McHoull on Twitter pointed out that the Twin Towers were replaced by the modern-day Freedom Tower in last Friday’s episode, which was a surprise to me because I had been assuming that the originals were from before the Twin Towers were built in the first place in 1972. Very little else has been done to modernize the strips; today’s, for instance, reminds us of an era when telling the world that your restaurant was AIR CONDITIONED was a solid way to differentiate yourself from your competition. Sadly, I initially misread the awning sign as AIR CONDITIONERS, and got irrationally angry at Billy (it doesn’t take much) and was about to write a whole screed here on the theme of “You little shit, you think you’re gonna order a HAMBURGER at an APPLIANCE STORE???” His actual transgressions is a bit more normal than that so I’ll leave it be.

Pluggers, 8/17/22

I feel very protective of the idea that pluggerdom represents a specific cultural and socioeconomic position, but here we have yet another canonical Pluggers panel taunting me with the fact that sometimes the whole gimmick is just “all-number calling was rolled out nationwide by the early 1960s, so you’re a plugger if you’re older than about 63.” Why this particular take on the plugger mythos is accompanied by a particularly pissed-off bear in overalls holding up a sign the size of a license plate that doesn’t have enough digits on it to be an actual phone number is not clear to me, but I guess Pluggers knows its business.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/17/22

I am a middle-aged married man without children and so it goes without saying that I am very out of touch with what the kids today are up to, but I am given to understand they will often say they’re “talking” to someone as a euphemism for the early stages of romance, which can run the gamut from flirting in DMs to having actual sex but not yet defining their relationship or committing to monogamy. I guess the son half of this father-son duo, who appears to be 5-10 years older than I am and is therefore one of the younger characters in Rex Morgan, M.D., is at that stage in the process of wooing a nice lady he met at a funeral, but is showing his maturity by referring to it as “chatting.” Anyway, he’s gonna leave his dad alone to go get laid! Hopefully the old guy isn’t gonna drop dead while he’s gone, that would make the whole thing pretty awkward.

Mary Worth, 8/17/22

“Oh, yeah, your dad? Your terrible, terrible dad? I’ve been watching you turn into him for years, honey, but I wasn’t gonna say anything until you came crawling to me begging for help.” Truly Mary must completely break down her victims in order to build them back up in her image.

Post Content

Beetle Bailey, 8/16/22

Feel like it’s been a long time since I saw someone actually smoking a tobacco cigarette in a newspaper comic strip, and while I hadn’t thought about it much, I think I unconsciously assumed there was some kind of Hayes Code-style agreement that we wouldn’t depict such a thing in a medium intended for children. But maybe I’m wrong about that, or maybe there was a collective recognition over at Beetle Bailey central that nobody cares anymore and definitely no children are reading Beetle Bailey, so why not be free, for certain limited definitions of “being free,” which is to say free to depict Rocky, the camp’s resident “bad boy” (non-sexual division), enjoying a cigarette held at arm’s length and Beetle being weirdly passive aggressive about it.

Mary Worth, 8/16/22

Part of being a true alpha predator like Mary is knowing when to sit back and let your prey come to you. Dawn is wasting absolutely no time in flinging herself emotionally prostate at Mary’s feet, and Mary, as you can see in panel two, is sitting absolutely still, with a fully neutral facial expression, to allow the maximum emotional purging to take place on its own before the meddling process begins. I assume she’s about to lift that lemonade to her lips and make the quietest sip humanly possible as Dawn spirals into a vivid description of her hateful emotional inheritance.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/16/22

Oh, sorry, I guess we’re gonna be spending this week doing a wellness check on all of this strip’s elderly characters. How is this dynamic duo of pinball maniacs doing? Well, I guess I hope to one day live to be quite old, and maybe by that time I’ll have earned the right to answer innocent conversation starters like “How’s it goin’, pop?” with musings on my own mortality that are faux cheery and also reveal that I don’t really understand how aging and dying works.

Post Content

Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/15/22

Ah, good news, everybody! It looks like Andrzej and Tildy may have had some health scares, but they’re on the mend and all this drama has brought them closer together. It’s a perfect ending to the week as we look forward to seeing what new story begins on Monday, and [looks at calendar]. Oh. Um. Well, I hope everyone is excited to see two old people sitting quietly and watching the the 1930 Cooper/Dietrich film Morocco in a hospital room for the next six days!

Gil Thorp, 8/15/22

I’ve made many, many jokes over the years about how the Thorps’ kids have been memory holed. The strip’s new writer is bringing them back, though, and in their very first appearance is letting us know why they’ve been gone so long: they suck. A bratty teen and a little tattletale! Who’d want a get a Christmas card with pictures of these losers on it? Certainly not me!

Blondie, 8/15/22

A thing about this strip that makes me sad is that in the third panel you can just see that the gas station where the Bumsteads are filling up is called “Gooney Gas.” That’s a solid goofy Blondie business name and it deserves better than to be crammed in between two word balloons in such small type that it’s probably illegible in newspapers. Is there a Gooney Gas mascot? A bizarre slogan on par with “Say — then pay!”? America demands a full exploration of this intriguing corner of the Blondieverse!