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Beetle Bailey, 5/28/18

The character design in Beetle Bailey is extremely stylized, which is actually fine and not anything to complain about, it’s a cartoon, for Pete’s sake, though I will say that if anything a little too much attention is generally lavished on the ears. I mean, why draw the head as a basic oval but then spend a lot of time getting the details of all the little cartilage nubs inside the earlobe correct? Why make two characters where the distinguishing feature between them is that one of them has cauliflower ears? I guess it’s all been leading to this moment, this moment when an amiable, popular, long-running newspaper comic strip takes a sudden and nauseating left turn straight into nightmarish body horror.

Hi and Lois, 5/28/18

I guess that’s supposed to be the Flagstons’ occasionally glimpsed elderly neighbor at the lower right there, but since Memorial Day is of course as we all know a holiday set aside to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces, and the day where we honor the living for their service is called Veteran’s Day and is in November, I choose to believe that that’s actually a ghost, sadly watching these civilians enjoying their three-day weekend and not remembering the reason for the season, which is to say him. That explains why he’s standing in the yard but nobody seems to notice him, and why his words are depicted in a thought balloon (ghosts cannot be heard by the living, obviously). “Ah ha,” you’re saying, “But Josh, why is he old? We don’t as a rule send the elderly off to die in wars!” Well, jokes on you, buddy: your assumption that we live on eternally young in the afterlife is obviously flawed. This guy probably died in Korea or Vietnam in his 20s and his spectre continued to age, much to his horror. “Maybe if I can will these living souls into remembering me, that will keep me young,” he thinks. Sorry, soldier! That’s not how the universe works, apparently! Enjoy growing older and older, forever!

Dick Tracy, 5/28/18

I’ve lived in California for close to four years now, and I gotta say: palm trees? Hot tubs? Attractive women of varying ethnicities? 58 counties, representing a uniquely powerful form of local government, often weilding more influence over our day-to-day lives than the administrations of our better-known cities? You sure have the “west coast lifestyle” pegged, Dick Tracy!