Some might call it inconsistent, but I like my terrible comic strips to keep track of and abide by their ossified, humorless conventions rather than trying to branch out into new comedic structures. Take, for instance, the frequent “Crock talks to his mother on the phone” trope in Crock. Usually we only hear our sinister commandant’s side of the conversation, with his mother’s replies relayed in indirect speech to whatever hapless forgettable character happens to have wandered into the panel. Today is the first time that I can remember actually seeing a word balloon (one so large that Crock has to hold the phone a good foot from his ear) emerging from Crock’s phone. Of course, the punchline is a hilarious reference to terrible institutional food causing an old woman to defecate uncontrollably, so I think we can provide the structural flexibility necessary to allow such a gem to be delivered.
Mary Worth, 4/25/09
“That’s right, Covice! Your nationwide string of broken hearts ends here, thanks the efforts of Bruno and Flaxhair, FraudCops! With the rust-colored jacket of justice and the minty blazer of retribution, they travel the nation, looking for scamsters with tell-tale pencil mustaches to put in the slammer. Sorry we took as long to catch up with him as we did, young lady; you didn’t do anything foolish like, say, give him an enormous sum of money, did you? Because you can pretty much kiss it goodbye if you did.”
The obvious punchline here is actually “Your body has a lot of hair.” I’d like to believe that the form actually used was chosen because it’s mildly funnier, but it may just be that someone finally remembered, apparently between the first and second panels, that the characters in Shoe are birds and thus have no hair at all.