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Spider-Man, 8/14/07

You sort of get the feeling that the final panel is taking place in the Shocker’s tiny studio apartment, and we’re about twenty minutes into this. “Wait, hold on … ‘Look out, world — here comes the Shocker!’ Hmmm … no, I think that’s too much emphasis on the name, sounds egotistical. How about this? “Look out, world … heeeeere’s … the Shocker!’ No, God damn it, that’s derivative and corny. Stupid! So stupid! I’m never going to get this right!”

God bless faithful reader Tabby, who a while back posted a link to the Shocker’s character page at Here are some delicious excerpts:

Real Name: Herman Schultz
Known Confidants: None
Education: Unknown, but probably a high school education
Strength Level: Normal human strength
Powers: None
Limitations: The Shocker has had severe problems with self-doubt.

Ha ha! No powers, no confidants, no super-powers, normal human strength, maybe a high-school diploma, and crippling self-doubt! Truly the creative team dipped deep into the reserves and found the perfect villain for the newspaper iteration of the Spider-Man mythos.

Mark Trail, 8/14/07

Boy, the ladies sure can’t get enough of Mark Trail! And who can blame them, what with his rugged good looks, corpse-like pallor, propensity for violence and vigilantism, disinclination to use contractions, and total disinterest in sex? Sam sure is keen to get with this hunky hunk of man-hunk: she’s even willing to go back to Lost Forest to have a three-way with his disturbing-looking wife while his hideously ugly son takes pictures.

By the way, for those of you who don’t remember the beginning of this interminable storyline, “clean up places that attract birds” is, no fooling, a euphemism for “pave over wetlands so that birds can no longer breed there.” Also, I’m reasonably sure that we’ve seen this spread-eagled squirrel before; a shiny virtual penny to whomever can discover him in the archives.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/14/07

OH MY GOD! ALAN HARRINGTON! THAT’S … wait, are we supposed to know who that is? Damn it, what was the point of introducing us to all those loser board members if the suspect wasn’t even memorable enough to remember?

Apartment 3-G, 8/14/07


Q. OK, so you’ve got two characters in your soap opera strip. Both are male, white (of course! Ha ha!) 30s/40s-ish. Both are sandy-haired. So far you’ve managed to avoid having them appear in the strip at the same time, but now narrative logic demands that they meet. What do you do, hotshot? What do you do?

A. Yellow! Very, very yellow!

Eric Mills obviously had the same reddish hair color as Alan as recently as two weeks ago, but it’s worth noting that, when he was introduced last summer, his hair was black. Personally, I think that the process of dating (or “dating”) Margo is slowly but surely sucking the life essence out of him. His hair will be completely white by the end of the year.