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Beetle Bailey, 6/22/19

Maybe I’m getting old and my brain is turning to pudding or whatever, but I genuinely enjoyed today’s Beetle Bailey! Mostly I like the contrast between Sarge and Otto’s faces. What exactly went down at this dog show? What did Otto think would go down? The phrase “Sarge took Otto to the dog show” doesn’t make it sound like Otto was formally entered in the competition, but perhaps Otto secretly hoped that he would be spotted in the stands by one of the judges, who would say “Who’s that? Why, it’s a dog in an army uniform! What a good boy! What a very good boy, indeed!” Instead a truly zany series of events occurred that left Otto furious and Sarge confused and a little sad.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/22/19

Wow, there’s a lot going on here when it comes to perceptions of the powers, purpose, and very nature of political authority. In the first panel, Snuffy bluntly demands that Sheriff Tait use his monopoly on legitimate violence in the Holler to expel outsiders: to our hillbilly, the demos to which the sheriff answers has the absolute right to control access to local territory and resources in favor of natives if competition for those resources gets too intense. The sheriff’s initial response might at first seem to indicate his loyalty to a code of abstract law — the outsiders have a right to be there, and nothing can be done unless they’ve actually committed a crime. But then, we see the cash in his hand and we learn the truth: Tait doesn’t truck with either modern legalism or traditional community-based exercises of power. He just sees the law and the state as a vehicle for his personal enrichment. Snuffy can’t help but be impressed.

Mark Trail, 6/22/19

Good news, everyone! Mark, Leola, and Doc are close to the mine! I guess they don’t need to find JJ and pull the map out from under his waterlogged corpse after all, and can just let the desert scavengers do their thing uninterrupted.