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B.C., 6/13/11

You know, as much as I rail against the practice of keeping the same 30 or so comic strips in every newspaper in America, despite the deaths of their creators, I do understand why people like having them around. There’s something tremendously comforting in seeing the same characters, day after day, year after year, doing the same things. You get so accustomed to their rhythms that you pretty much stop questioning the strip’s visual conventions, even those conventions were laid down years before you started reading and you’re never quite sure where they came from in the first place.

Take the clothes that the cavemen of B.C. wear, for instance. I guess they’re supposed to be kind of a loincloth thing? At one point they involved a shoulder strap of some sort, but now they’re just a black strip around the waist area. Johnny Hart no doubt came up with the character design fairly early in the strip run and then promptly stopped thinking about it. However, now his grandson is in charge and is playing around with things, which involves forcing us to contemplate the fact that the cavemen’s dangly bit are on full display under these “suits,” which, thanks a lot, I think I’d like to go back to the unchanging nostalgia now.

Gil Thorp, 6/13/11

Ha ha, look at how angry Gil is in panel two! He may not have given a crap when sinister Hobart threatened to slash school budgets and lay off most of his co-workers, but when people start talking about his drinking problem and his inappropriate fraternization with students, well, that’s when things get ugly.

Slylock Fox, 6/13/11

This is pretty much one of the most hilariously depressing Slylock Foxes ever. “Sorry Max, your idea is flawed due to your fundamental inability to grasp basic thermodynamics. What? No, I don’t have a better idea. All these candles are going to melt and and this poor lady is going to go bankrupt! Well, we really should be going.”

Marvin, 6/13/11

While I can’t blame Marvin’s family for turning to illegal drugs to deal with the fact that they’re related to Marvin, I’d have guessed that they’d go for alcohol or other depressants, which would dull the pain if only temporarily. But Jeff clearly finds that coke or speed or something along those lines helps him cope, and who am I to judge?