Beetle Bailey, 9/18/10
This is a joke. I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way; I mean it’s got a setup that establishes our expectations, and a punchline and visual that gently subvert them. Sure, it’s Beetle Bailey and it’s about golf, but it’s professionally executed and there’s no denying it’s a joke. That, and we get to look at General Halftrack’s sweet pimp hat. Nice.
This, on the other hand, is Crankshaft. It starts out like a joke, with one of those trademark paid-by-the-word Crankshaft “setups” busting a bowel in panel 1 — maybe bricks are hard to draw? But there’s no twist, no surprise, no little epiphany at the end — just confirmation that Crankshaft’s bitter hostility is no match for his selfishness. And the same damn hat as always.
The Phantom, 7/29/10
Up top, the Phantom shows up dressed like a thug in the the middle of the night to interrogate the homeowner whose phone Diana used to call New York back in July, as we see down below. The terrified Rhodian reports that no way was he shooting at any white woman, and anyway he only used his little BLAM gun, not that great big BOOM one, no sir!
Mary Worth, 9/18/10
Four days listening to Hunky Doc Mike drone on about his dead absentee alcoholic vigilante failure Dad and poor Jenna’s itching to wrap up this “closure” claptrap and get down with some hott “moving on” action! Let’s listen in:
Mike: “I saw a man who wanted justice, and became obsessed with getting it.”
Jenna: “It seems knowing his reasons and weaknesses helped you forgive him. Do you want to take a walk?”
Mike: “He gave me life, but I never really knew him.”
Jenna: “You came through when it mattered! My place or yours? I think I might have a little wine left!”
Mike: “When he reached out to me, I saw what I had missed all those years!”
Jenna: “You helped him find peace! “It’s just down the street, and I’ve got a trapeze!”
Mike: “There was so little time, and so much I needed to say to him.”
Jenna: “You did what you could! Hey, maybe there’s some special thing you’ve always wanted to try but were too embarrassed to ask a girl ….”
Mike: “He taught me the lessons of his life, but died before I could thank him!”
Jenna: “Oh crap, Mary and Jeff just walked in — listen, just do me in the john, OK?”
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— Uncle Lumpy