I’ve been trying very hard to ignore the slow-motion train wreck of idiocy that is this week’s Spider-Man, but I can turn away from it no longer. See, they’re filming the climactic elevator battle scene between Marvella (played by Mary Jane) and $1.99 Walgreens Plastic Halloween Cat Mask Woman (played by washed-up has-been Narna Lamarr) in a novel fashion: they’re putting them in a real elevator, with no microphones of any kind (otherwise Narna’s bitchy off-script taunts would be picked up) and having them improvise some fisticuffs. (I hear this is exactly how Robert Altman filmed most of McCabe & Mrs. Miller.) Apparently there are multiple cameras filming from multiple angles, with the fight being edited on the fly and fed directly into the VIEW SCREEN that Beardo the director and Peter Parker are watching. This is, it goes without saying, so bonecrushingly moronic that I fear that I’ve dropped five to ten IQ points just by typing this paragraph.
Note Peter’s thought balloon in panel two: he clearly has the relative inability to suspend his disbelief of a spider.
So “Trooper Megan” appears to be not the butt of a one-off joke but a new addition to the lovable and poorly drawn Crock cast. To which I can only ask: why, why, why, for the love of God, why. I’ve just started reading this comic again for the first time in 15 years, and before Megan sashayed sexily onto the scene, the cast was exactly the same as it was when I graduated from high school. Is this supposed to be like Beetle Bailey, where a new “relevant” character gets added every five years or so? If so, this implies that the creators of this strip have just now discovered that women exist who don’t wear burqas. C’mon, Illegible Signature Crock-Writing Dude Whose Name It Is Not Worth My Time To Look Up: you’ve earned the right to cruise on with the same group of ham-handedly named Frenchmen that you’ve been cruising along with for decades now. Don’t make more work for yourself for no good reason — and trust me, this isn’t a good reason.
Note to Ziggy, Inc.: The 35 Years of Ziggy Classics must amount to better than 10,000 cartoons; thus, I’m pretty sure you can get through the length of Tom II’s vacation without reprinting one that contains a totally dated current events punchline that wasn’t even funny when it was topical. I know it’s cheaper to use a robot arm to just select a comic out of the file cabinet at random rather than have someone use editorial judgement, but you might want to change that process, for quality-control purposes.
Apartment 3-G, 7/26/06
Man, look at that sad face in panel three. Because if it weren’t for totally-not-actually-happening-and-only-implied-by-a-totally-unrealistic-series-of-events-and-sitcom-style-misunderstanding action, she wouldn’t be getting any action at all.