The secret fear of anyone in a profession that might be broadly labeled as “helpful” is that they’ll do such a good job that they’ll be rendered obsolete. For instance, for my non-comics-mocking job, I for the most part edit material written by and for computer programmers; deep down, I worry that my skillful and helpful suggestions will eventually sink in, and the geeks of the world will soon be sending grammatical, well structured, easy-to-read prose to publishers worldwide, rendering my services superfluous; this is why I’m trying to milk as much cash from the comics gig as I can. Police officers presumably fret that one day they’ll eliminate all crime everywhere, freeing up tax dollars to go towards city-subsidized public bocce courts. Perhaps this is why cops turn corrupt: it’s actually part of their union rules, so that there’s always crime to fight.
For superheroes, it’s not cash at stake, since any one of them could make big money on the sideshow circuit; rather, it’s their intrinsic sense of self-worth. Spider-Man’s own ego is pretty shaky: he plummets into a pointless pit of hypermacho self-loathing every time he realizes that his wife makes more than he does. Thus, it should come as no surprise that he positively revels in Los Angeles’ sky-high crime rate as the only cure to his sense of existential despair. Sure, it’s apparently just some extra from a gay pirate porno film dabbling in a little purse snatching, but whiny whiny Peter Parker will take emotional validation from wherever he can get it.
Note to cartoonist everywhere: Most of the characters in your feature may just crap in their pants instead of into a toilet like civilized people, but doesn’t mean that you can repeatedly make jokes about it, OK? Just … just trust me on this. It’s not acceptable. God help us all if this spreads to the folks at the other end of the age spectrum in Gasoline Alley or Momma.
OK, see, the first boomerang joke was mildly amusing. The second is loopy and weird, and sort of indicates that Johnny Hart has the idea of a boomerang sort of stuck in his mind like a bit of chicken between two teeth, and he’s idly working at it with his tongue, and we have to watch the results. And it’s a boomerang. Not something interesting and relevant and funny. A boomerang. Troubling.