I’ll admit that I’ve been disappointed with Bigshot as a sinister adversary, as his name seems to indicate only his somewhat larger than average girth and his sole apparent superpower is the ability to wear that suit without self-consciousness. But now we’re beginning to see that below the surface of cheerful good-natured criminality lurks almost unspeakable depravity. In order to force the reformed Sandman to return to his life of crime, Bigshot has kidnapped the mutant’s daughter — an obvious and time-tested tactic. Presumably Sandman will rob a bank or two, little Sandy will be released unharmed, and everyone’s comes out a winner, right?
But wait, what’s this? Is Bigshot having is awful minions pollute li’l Sandy’s mind … with literacy? Imagine the scene: Poppa Sandman’s all like, “Hey, Sandy, let’s tune in to NBC to watch the hilarious and insightful Jay Leno, just like we do every weekday at 10 pm!” but then Sandy’s all “No way, dad! I’m still working my way through this week’s New York Review of Books!” And just like that, a once-solid father-daughter relationship begins to founder. Bigshot, you are a monster.
Upon reading this strip, my first thought was, “Hey, Danny is supposed to be one of Francis’s no-good friends, right?” This implies some kind of intriguing family drama here, with Marylou going after (and by “going after” I mean “attempting to strangle”) a member of her little (?) brother’s coterie of losers. I was just about to start plumbing the depths of my archives or the Chronicle’s pages to confirm Danny’s identity, but then I had an epiphany: I had spent the maximum reasonable amount of time thinking about Momma today. Sure, this whole comics thing is fun now, but when you’re trying to cross-reference the identities of Momma’s mushy scribbles — and then, once you do, maybe update the strip’s Wikipedia page with your findings, just in case you or the Internet community at large has need of this data in the future — well, that’s when people start staging interventions.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/28/09
I’m sorry, residents of Hootin’ Holler would have to trudge three or four miles down rocky hillsides to the flatlands in order to get any kind of advanced schoolin’, so I refuse to believe that any resident of this impoverished hamlet would be able to deal with advanced math like “fractions” — or, for that matter, to form coherent thoughts without verbalizing them.