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Funky Winkerbean, 9/4/14

Most unwelcome guests just make you feel old.

But when Les Moore’s wife Lisa died in 2007 and once before, Funky Winkerbean jumped forward in time and its spinoff Crankshaft didn’t. The charming though confusing result is that whenever a Crankshaft character encounters somebody from the Funky continuity, they age about fifteen years.

So here we have Old Pam, daughter of Really Old Ed, and her husband Old Jeff, son of Probably Dead Rose. I say Probably Dead because that appears to be a genuine smile on Jeff’s face in panels two and three, and Rose strictly enforced her rules against that sort of thing.

As for the third panel hey, doesn’t anybody say “you’re welcome” anymore? Old Jeff is grateful for Holly’s gift — why does Holly imagine that’s worrisome for him? Not long ago, Old Jeff’s daughter Grown Up Mindy gave Holly a comic, to her joy and satisfaction — why does she think Old Jeff would react differently? Maybe she’s releasing him from an obligation to reciprocate, to break the cycle of comics-transfer before it escalates into some insane suburban potlatch with skidloads of mouldering comics trucked endlessly between Westview and Centerville to lie rotting on porches? Or is it out of simple mercy to Funky Winkerbean readers who just can’t imagine grownups making such a godawful fuss about comic books?

Comic strips, on the other hand ….

Beetle Bailey, 9/4/14

I’ve been reading Beetle Bailey a long, long time, and I can’t remember Otto ever appearing, being treated, as or acting like a real dog — to the extent that at first glance I thought he was ogling the woman in the first panel. Even the artist has a hard time accepting Otto’s dog-nature: sure, the front limbs end pawishly, but the backs end in feet, making it look like he’s running on his toes.

Maybe its just a subtle send-up of socially-constructed gender roles, such as we are used to finding in the pages of Beetle Bailey: all poodles are girls, of course, as are all ballet dancers who perform en pointe. So what appears to be gender-normative attraction is in fact ambiguous or transgressive! Who’s on the leash here?! The patriarchy!

Mary Worth, 9/4/14

Mary surrenders to control by her abdominal ganglia, much like a dinosaur or cockroach.

— Uncle Lumpy