You know, I actually feel kind of bad for Archie, here; his facial expression in the third panel, though partly masked by terrifying clown makeup, really is sort of heartbreaking. Archie’s a nice guy! He only wants the best for Veronica, at least when he doesn’t want the best for Betty! Why won’t Mr. Lodge love him, or at least treat him with grudging affection? With all the mean things Mr. Lodge has said to Archie’s face, you’d think there wouldn’t be anything he could say behind his back that would make Archie so upset, but there he is, looking like the saddest clown in Riverdale.
Archie, you don’t want this heartless plutocrat’s love! Look, he’s currently smugly reading his own autobiography, Me! Not that he wrote it himself, mind you; he passed that duty off to one of his minions, which is why the author photo is actually of the money he used to pay the ghostwriter.
The Inappropriate Goggle Eyes of Horror are one of my most favorite visual tics in Shoe; these occur when a Shoe character encounters a typical lame Shoe punchline and reacts with a facial expression more appropriate for someone who just heard news about a fresh round of genocide. It’s common enough that it’s actually sort of remarkable when you don’t see it, as you don’t here. What is the distinction between punchlines that elicit goggle-eyed horror and those that do not? They all seem equally tepid. Is Shoe’s desperate alcoholism just such a well-known part of his personality that nobody bothers to react to it? Or is the Perfesser even more numb to life’s horror than usual today?
Well, I guess this week’s evidence is that Crock is just going to hurl headfirst into horror and nightmare. If they’re going to go that route, I wish they’d do a little fact-checking. For instance, generally speaking germs are used in germ warfare rather than chemical warfare.
Mary Worth, 7/23/10
Oh, God, please let the Oedipal Complex be one of the Freudian theories Mary disputes. “Tell me about your mother. She and I are probably about the same age. Do I resemble her … physically?”
To avoid having this conversation, Dr. Mike has clearly chosen suicide. In panel one, his face twists in pain as he plunges that pencil he was playing with into his gut; in panel two, his expression goes slack as he finally finds peace.