Comment of the Week

Justin is doing his own thing, as always? No. I don't believe it. Oh, wait ... a lava lamp? I stand corrected.

Handsome Harry Backstayge, Idol of a Million Other Women

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Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/27/24

Big news, everyone! Our character wrap-up is finally over and we’re getting to our next exciting Rex Morgan, M.D., medically themed storyline: Buck’s tween son Corey, who appears to have hit puberty and also grown his hair all long and greasy, just like the ladies like it, is getting into standup comedy, along with his friend Parker. Now, having been to far too many open mics myself, I can tell you that they are wretched hives of scum and villainy and “supportive” parents who take their children to them should be investigated by CPS, but it is true that testing out the timing and delivery of the jokes you write is an important part of the proces, so they’re a necessary evil. For instance, is “as always, the sky” a funny response to “what’s up”? Well, it really depends on whether you say it in a jokey, smirky way (bad) or deliver it with a world-weary sigh, as if you cannot believe how many times you’ve been forced to answer this simple and obvious question (good). Anyway, in this plot we might get to see Corey become the Joker, so fingers crossed for that.

Hi and Lois, 5/27/24

One of my pet peeves is that Memorial Day, a holiday specifically set aside to honor those who died while serving in the US armed forces, has sort of become elided with Veterans Day and is now just treated as “let’s respect the troops, but when the weather is nicer.” The result is that you get strips like this, where two little kids knock on the door of their elderly neighbor and are like “Hey, Mr. Weaving, do you have any memories of your dead comrades? Were they shot down right in front of you? Does the image never leave your mind?”

Beetle Bailey, 5/27/24

Beetle Bailey understands the holidays correctly, at least. That’s what I’m taking from Gen. Halftrack’s facial expression, anyway, which reads less as “sentimental” and more as “my God, look at how young and full of promise they were. I’m the only one who made it out and I’ve wasted my life. I should’ve been there when that NVA artillery shell hit, not them. It should’ve been me. It should’ve been me!

Mary Worth, 5/27/24

What do you think she’s hearing, exactly? Snoring? Sobbing? Chewing? Some unholy combination of the three?

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Mary Worth, 5/26/24

Jesus, Wilbur, did you ever think that Willa has probably even more reason to mourn than you do, and you’ve never tried to reach out to her so that the two of your could support one another? No, instead you’ve turned your grief into a narcissistic wallow, and have further alienated your remaining fish by making it clear that Stellan was your favorite.

Meanwhile, in the final panel Mary has revealed how long this has been going on, and I have to say that “several weeks” is one of the less amusing options. Like, it would’ve been funny if we found out that Wilbur had been living in isolation and increasing squalor for a year, and very funny if we found out he had been living in isolation and increasing squalor for six hours.

Hagar the Horrible, 5/26/24

Damn, with all this talk of sacrifice, I assumed Hagar was going to offer a fine stallion or heifer up to the gods of the Norse pantheon to propitiate them for safety on his next raid. But with a larder full of cuisine brought back from Italy and the mysterious lands south of Vinland, I guess he’s a little soft now to go in for the old ways.

Hi and Lois, 5/26/24

An underrated aspect of the Hi and Lois mythos is that Hi has one friend, who is his nextdoor neighbor and also his coworker, and he really doesn’t like him very much.

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Dustin, 5/25/24

Syndicated newspaper comic strip creators love golf for some accursed reason, but I have to say that they’re generally pretty good about only doing jokes about aspects of golf that non-golfers know about through cultural osmosis, like that you can lose your ball in a sand or water trap, or that everyone who plays it fucking hates it for some reason. Today’s Dustin, however, requires you to know whether 112 is a good or a bad score. I mean, I guess it’s clear from context that it’s bad, but still: I think this is over the line. It made me dedicate some thought to the awful “sport of kings” [note to self: wait, is that horse racing? double-check this] when all I wanted to do is find out what specific kind of terrible asshole Dustin’s dad was going to be today. Unacceptable! Save it for your side gig submitting New Yorker-style single-panel cartoons to Golf Digest, creeps!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/25/24

“Living their retro-diner-roots-country life to the fullest” makes it sound very much like we’re seeing some unpleasant rockabilly LARP situation, possibly in a corporate “immersive experience” theme park run by whatever hedge fund currently owns the rights to the Johnny Rockets IP. And that’s the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that this is foreplay!

Family Circus, 5/25/24

Ah, man, this is great. Now I know that whenever we see Billy dressed up to play sports, he feels like he’s under a microscope and is miserable most of the time! I’m a major Billy hater as you all well know, so this is a big win for me.