So Crankshaft has been doing a “the kids did not react well to Ed’s Halloween costume” bit for a couple days and I have to admit that at first I didn’t really get it? Like, yesterday, his co-workers were like “Ha ha, Ed picked the wrong costume” and I genuinely thought it was because the horizontal stripes were supposed to be unflattering, but I guess it’s just that Freddy Krueger is too scary for the youths. Which … I mean, look, I literally have never seen any films in the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise because I’m an absolute coward when it comes to horror movies. But is a burnt nightmare man with a claw glove objectively scarier, as a concept, than an undead ghoul with fangs who thirsts for blood and can either kill you or transform you into a cursed being like himself at his whim, or scarier than a shambling parody of life pieced together from rotting corpses by a crazed scientist in violation of God’s law? I would argue the answer is no, and I only find Freddy scarier because he was a splashy new horror icon of my formative years, whereas Draculas and Frankensteins and such had been part of the cultural background radiation of my whole life. But as for those kids on Ed’s bus … well, did you know that the first Nightmare on Elm Street film came out 34 years ago? That’s a long time! Those kids aren’t going to find Freddy uniquely terrifying, certainly not compared to Ed Crankshaft, the man who’s actually trying to kill them.
I still don’t feel like I have a full handle on what’s happening in today’s Blondie. Has Dagwood always worried that his barber was planning to stab him to death with scissors? I would’ve said that seems paranoid but after seeing this strip I’m honestly not so sure!
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/31/18
The Smif-Barlow feud has of course caused endless tragedy in Hootin’ Holler, its origins long forgotten but the occasional outbreak of violence renewing it every generation. I actually wonder how Lukey fits into it — is his family considered a client of the Smifs, or perhaps they’re linked by kinship somehow? Anyway, today’s strip shows how the violence perpetuates itself: Barlow isn’t harming anyone, but Snuffy and Lukey have to make a show of being “afraid” of him as he wanders onto their turf to justify the vicious beating they’re about to dish out in the moonless dark.