Dick Tracy and Funky Winkerbean, 1/19/15
Welp, I had heard about this before, but had sort of blocked it out because I didn’t want to believe it was true, but here it is, something that’s really happening, in the real world and not one of my terrible fever dreams: a Dick Tracy-Funky Winkerbean crossover. You wouldn’t think these two strips would have much in common, what with Funky Winkerbean being mostly focused on a thin crust of puns and smirking atop an infinitely deep well of misery, and Dick Tracy being dedicated to a rigid and violent code of implacable justice along with, since the strip’s reboot a few years ago, endless and baffling nostalgia for the strip’s past and comics/pop culture history in general. But today the overlap in the Venn diagram becomes apparent, and it’s historic comic books. (This particular set was recovered at the end of another crossover plot involving The Jumbler, a puzzle-focused villain who taunted Dick with vaguely sexual vlogs and was eventually defeated with the help of actual Jumble artist/faithful Comics Curmudgeon reader Jeff Knurek.)
Anyway, I like panel one of Dick Tracy, where Les and Funky’s smug, punchable faces are displayed on retro-futuristic screens, because for a brief moment I though their heads had been impaled on a giant pike. Dick and Sam are clearly heading to Westview hoping to meet its two most nefarious characters, so they’re probably going to be pretty depressed at being stuck with Crazy Harry and Comic Book John.
Gil Thorp, 1/19/15
Despite teasing us with promises of Marty Moon, the Gil Thorp basketball season storyline has mostly been about the poindexter at left here, the basketball manager who years to someday be a coach and also seems to be vaguely on the autistic spectrum somewhere. Anyway, I was totally on board when his shtick was all about improving players’ skills and irritating Coaches Gil and Kaz, but now he’s branching out to blathering at innocent teens about their #brand, so he must be stopped at all costs.
The setup for this joke is clunky and terrible — would any human ever make the abrupt shift in pronoun references necessary to make it work? — but I sincerely appreciate Francis’s exaggerated reaction, as he appears to not just be doing a spit-take but actually bobbling his beverage to comic effect. Also, do you think that’s supposed to be beer? Do you think that Francis is just hanging around his mother’s house while she chats with her friend, getting slightly buzzed and not talking to them even though he’s only sitting about 18 inches away? I hope so!
Meanwhile, in Bangalla, the amnesiac Phantom continues to send all ladies who lay eyes on him into an involuntary lust-frenzy. Is sexual arousal truly nature’s anesthetic? Guess our climber gal is going to find out!