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Archie, 4/29/11

So, the Archie newspaper strip got a new artist this week! Despite having written a blog about comic strips for like the past six years, I actually don’t have a very good vocabulary to describe what I like and dislike about art, so I’ll just say that the new style looks more … cramped? All the features have seemed smaller, less detailed, seen from farther away — until today, that is, when we’re treated to the horrifying closeup of Professor Flutesnoot in panel two, with the bags under his eyes and the terrifyingly realistic shading on the huge fleshy proboscis jutting out at us from the middle of his face. From now on, I want the viewpoint of the strip to stay as far away from the characters as possible to spare us such horrors.

Also, isn’t Professor Flutesnoot a chemistry teacher? I distinctly remember people fiddling with test tubes in his class. Damn it, do I have to keep track of continuity for the Archie universe? Because I don’t think I’m ready for that.

Mark Trail, 4/29/11

Of course, Professor Flutesnoot isn’t one tenth as terrifying as Nightmare Sherriff there in panel three of Mark Trail. What’s the most disturbing thing about him, do you think? The fact that the distance from his eyes to his upper lip seems disproportionately long when compared to the distance from his upper lip to his chin? His “hair,” which looks like someone else’s scalp that he’s wearing as a hat? His soulless orange eyes? The unexplained figure standing behind him, whose anxious expression seems to be saying “Watch out! I can’t control him when he’s like this! Oh … oh God!

Gil Thorp, 4/29/11

At last, someone has the guts to cut down Milford’s bloated budget! I can see two directions where this story might be going. Hobart McMustache could demand cuts to the athletic department, particularly to sports that are boring and/or involve girls; on the other hand, he might hold the Thorps up as examples of good fiscal stewards of public money, since they tend to get assistant coaching duties for no charge from the janitorial staff or from cantankerous old weirdos who just show up at practice one day.

Mary Worth, 4/29/11

Oh look, Liza got a taste of Drew’s love and now has instantly become a psycho stalker, what a surprising development. Frankly, I’m much more intrigued by Drew’s hideous phone, which appears to be a cheap Vietnamese knock-off of a Dell PocketPC from 2004 or so. Still, you have to be impressed that it auto-hyphenated “tonight” to keep the lines of text formatted properly, unless we’re meant to understand that Liza did that to interject a charming faux-Victorianism into the midst of her awful txt-speak.