Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/26/12
Oh my goodness, has anything in the comics ever been as delightful as Rex and June’s facial expressions in panel one of this strip? June at least looks concerned, if comically so; Rex, on the other hand, is heaving what must be the loudest, most dickish sigh of all time. “Can’t we please,” he seems to be asking, “have just one funeral in this town that doesn’t devolve into a trans-generational drunken catfight? Please?”
I love Rex and June’s facial expressions SO MUCH that that I’ve decided to revive an ancient (yes, five years ago is “ancient,” on the Internet) Comics Curmudgeon tradition: a comics panel lookalike contest! You might recall the finger-quotin’ Margo and self-clubbing Tyler lookalike contests; now it’s time for a Hilariously Overwrought Rex and June Facial Expression Lookalike contest! Here, here’s a close-up of the panel:
Take a photo of you and a friend imitating Rex and June here (no need to include Iris and Mabel, but feel free if you think its important for your take on the tableau) and send éem to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The top entry will be arbitrarily chosen by me and whatever friends or family members I rope into helping me pick, and wins … eternal glory? Sure, let’s say that. Eternal glory PLUS your choice of one item from the Comics Curmudgeon merch store, which yes, still exists, even though I haven’t updated it in a long time. Go forth and look like that panel, everybody! Points for style, execution, amusing variations, etc.! I am not legally responsible if you sprain your face trying to match Rex and June’s expressions.
How much more out of touch from today’s cultural zeitgeist can these legacy comics gets. Everyone knows today’s younger adults are way too marketing-savvy to be interested in some flashy redesigned cereal box. Instead, they go gaga for retro cereal box design, like the recent throwback Captain Crunch boxes with the original character design by Rocky & Bullwinkle creator Jay Ward and oh my God I want that cereal I want it I WANT IT.
“Mammon Theater,” you say? Now the true nature of this storyline is clear. Picture Perfect represents the kind of safe, commercial, money-making Broadway hit that’s brushing aside live theater’s unique ability to challenge the audience and foment social change, instead turning the stage into just another entertainment venue. Hardy Laurel’s attempts to expand theatergoers’ minds with his absurdist, Dada-esque improvisations have been brushed aside in the quest for profits; now he’ll wreak a terrible revenge … for art’s sake.