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Crankshaft, 5/21/07

Since a Crankshaft is a Funky Winkerbean sister strip, talk of death ought to make any character within earshot worry that they’re next in line for a demise that is both informative (to the reader) and agonizing (to the character … and, OK, also to the reader). The hilarious switcharoo in the final panel shows that the ’Shaft has not in fact worn his omnipresent baseball cap to yet another funeral, but is merely continuing his reign of terror over the cowed ladies of the Garden Club. To be honest I’ve never really understood his svengali-like hold over these innocent horticulture enthusiasts; there has to be some sort of cult-like angle to it. I wouldn’t be surprised if his next Garden Club speech starts very similarly to the one we see here, but ends instead at a table set with lots of little Dixie cups full of Kool-Aid.

Blondie, 5/21/07

Dagwood Bumstead — overeater, oversleeper, underachiever, tool moocher, intellectual soul mate to middle-schooler Elmo — has never been particularly troubled by shame. Thus his sudden look of mingled guilt and confusion in the final panel of this strip must indicate that his dream — with its “cherries the size of bowling balls” — got very, very weird indeed. Good taste, and our own peace of mind, must preclude us from contemplating the matter further.

Hi and Lois, 5/21/07

I’d blame this on another wacky coloring sweatshop mix-up, but the rug looks like this in black and white, too. There are only two reasons to have an inky black wall-to-wall carpet: to remind you of the dark abyss of Death that will one day open up and swallow your soul (and the Flagstons don’t seem like the type) or to absorb any and all liquids you might care to spill onto it without show visible stains. There’s a reason that they leave Trixie sitting in front of that window for 20 hours a day.

Mark Trail, 5/21/07

Oh, Mark, Mark, Mark. You’re so eager to impress your chesty little friend that you’ve blown the cover off of your journalistic M.O. “Take a boring story from three years ago that nobody remembers, replace a few paragraphs with updated information, and … ka-CHING! Another fat paycheck, plus a free trip away from my Stepford Wife and freaky gap-toothed big-headed not-son!”

I’m pretty sure that panel two offers the first look at a dangling mouse corpse with its head half-masticated to ever appear in the comics pages.