Fisticuffs, by Calvin Klein
For all the time I spend slamming on poor inept Spider-Man, there are occasional gems that keep me reading the thing day after day; indeed, today’s strip made me laugh louder than, say, any installment of Blondie, ever. Of all newspaper Spider-Man’s neglected and useless super-powers, his spider sense is the worst. It singularly failed to prevent him from, say, being clobbered by a lead-pipe-wielding butler or getting hit in the head with a brick. But finding a totally obvious piece of paper that’s just sitting out on a desk in plain sight, with the information Spidey needs written out in 72-point font? Oh, it’s going to tingle like crazy! I’m not sure how much use an actual spider would have for this kind of power, though, seeing as most of them are illiterate. I think a better name for it would be “convenience sense,” and he could use it around the house to find missing keys, misplaced cell phones, and, of course, the TV remote.
One Big Happy, 12/10/08
Now, obviously we all enjoy a good Oedipus joke now and then, and they obviously come to mind all the time, what with Sophocles’ great play-cycle being frequently restaged for television, with Oedipus played by some kind of cut-rate Jonas Brother wearing fingerless gloves for some reason. Still, I think I would have liked it better if this strip had starred, say, Joe and his dad, or Ruthie and her grandpa, or really just about any other possible character combination you could name, not least because of this.
Mark Trail, 12/10/08
Surely I can’t be the only one who read the narration box in the final panel of this strip and then spent a few minutes wondering what Mark smells like. My guess: pine needles, and fresh-pressed khaki, and whatever the opposite of pheromones is.