Gentle readers! Welcome back to The Comics Curmudgeon! I hope you enjoyed the holiday break from the comics; as usual, I couldn’t keep away from my beloved continuity strips, so I’m offering a quick end-of-year roundup here. I sincerely hope that your Christmas was better than that experienced by the denizens of the Funkyverse. I mean, just look at these sad, sorry bastards.
Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, 12/25/19
All us of course hope that our Christmas celebration will be as good as Mary Worth’s Christmas celebration…
Mary Worth, 12/25/19
…to which you’ll note that Wilbur, who Mary has been endlessly talking up as a suitable romantic partner, has not been invited. Ian has been invited to this thing, and Wilbur still didn’t make the cut. I love Dr. Jeff’s sweater, which is meant to make clear his constant joy at Wilbur’s absence.
(By the way, if you want to express your joy, or anger, at 2019’s Mary Worth, be sure to vote in the Worthy Awards, the Mary Worth gala put on by faithful reader Wanders! Give your opinion on such important categories as “Outstanding Performance By An Inconsequential Character,” “Outstanding Representation Of Food,” and “Outstanding Floating Head.”)
Mary Worth, 12/26/19
I guess Estelle and Wilbur have decided to spend Christmas together at the karaoke bar instead. Gotta love Wilbur’s wild-eyed plunge into the barrel of music-related metaphors for how desperate he is for Estelle to spend time with him!
Curtis used to do extremely bonkers Kwanzaa storylines every year, featuring bat-winged bears and telepathic otters, but mostly the strip abandoned the concept, despite a few half-assed revivals. But I’m hoping that this year’s revival, starring a mysterious tween wearing a deeply unsettling wooden mask, will feature at least three-quarters of an ass’s worth of effort.
Funky Winkerbean, 12/28/19
Just a brief reminder that it isn’t just the Funkyverse characters we know who are tiresome beyond belief; everyone in this cursed plane of existence is exactly this terrible. It’s a wonder they haven’t all murdered each other.
Mark Trail, 12/28/19
Look, Mark, there’s just no way to earn respect within the cryptid investigator community unless you bring a hitherto legendary creature to New York and put him in chains for Broadway audiences to gawk at, OK? Mere regional theater just isn’t going to cut it!
Mary Worth, 12/28/19
My father was an alcoholism counselor for many years and he introduced me to the concept of a “dry drunk,” an addict who decides to stop using because they recognize their addiction as a barrier that stops them from getting things they want in life, but who never truly grapple with the root causes of their addictive behavior in the first place, and who therefore continue to act out in other ways. The canonical example of a dry drunk that he used was Jack Torrence, the father in The Shining who was played by Jack Nicholson in the movie version. Just putting that out there for Estelle to think about!
Dick Tracy, 12/29/19
The latest story of Splitface sure wrapped up quickly, and boringly, and Steve Roper and Mike Nomad went home, but good news: we’ve got a new story with a new villain: Mr. Roboto! Does Mr. Roboto appear to be some dude wearing the Mr. Roboto costume from Styx’s Kilroy Was Here rock opera? Yes. Is Mr. Robot possibly former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung, who wore the costume on-stage, possibly because his acrimonious split with his bandmates has driven him to a life of crime? Let’s hope!
Mark Trail, 12/29/19
Mark Trail spent the final Sunday of 2019 reminding you that just because some socialist tried convince you that America belongs to its people, bears don’t buy that Marxist claptrap. Bears don’t believe in capitalism either, so we can’t even buy America from them. Nope, the only way to make their land our land is to defeat them in single combat. Or you could slowly back away from them, like a coward, if you’re OK with their rule!
Mary Worth, 12/29/19
“Only alcohol could encourage someone to take a risk with a potentially exciting payoff,” thinks Wilbur. “I guess that sort of thing is behind me, now that I don’t drink anymore. This attitude definitely won’t be setting me up for trouble further down the road!”
Dick Tracy, 12/30/19
Wow, I guess I assumed when a criminal comes up with a whole robot/Styx persona, he has something more exciting in mind for his crime spree than just … robbing banks? Seems kind of basic, to be honest. You could’ve done this in a ski mask just as effectively.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/30/19
AW HELL YES IT’S BELOVED REX MORGAN, M.D., CHARACTER AUNTIE TILDY, POSSIBLY BEING INTRODUCED HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME OR MAYBE MAKING A REAPPEARANCE AFTER A MORE THAN 15-YEAR ABSENCE FROM THE STRIP! ARE YOU ALL STOKED ABOUT HER ANTICS? I’M GOING TO TAKE YOUR TOTAL SILENCE AS A “YES”!
Mary Worth, 12/31/19
“He didn’t offer you injections of the serum that has kept me ageless for more than three hundred years? I’m so sorry, my dear, I thought I put you on the list!”
Mark Trail, 1/1/20
Gosh, I guess Harvey Camel isn’t such a bad guy after all! Nope, it’s Genie who’s the money grubber we’re all going to have to keep an eye on! Poor Genie: she always knows how to count things — how many people live in Kathmandu, how many dollars a live yeti could be sold for on the black market — but she never knows the true worth of things, like a monopoly granted by the Nepalese government on all-inclusive tours to the yeti-rich Himalayan foothills, run by Dr. Camel and his trusted contractors.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/1/20
“I mean ‘golden’ pretty literally. Anyone called ‘the Count’ was probably quite rich, and it sounds like you might be one of this woman’s only heirs. Let’s start formulating a plan to make sure she still likes us but also maybe we subtly exacerbate any pre-existing medical conditions she might have.”
Oh hell yeah, mask-girl’s gonna melt some bad guy with her unmasked face. This will be the best Kwanzaa ever!
In 2020, keep coming back to this site for all the stuff you love, which I will keep doing, as well as any of the stuff you don’t like, because I’m pretty much not planning on changing anything! Though I will say that if one of the things you don’t like is the ads on the site, you can become a Comics Curmudgeon supporter for $3 a month and get an ad-free site and more! And if one of the things you love about the site is when I promote my live comedy shows, good news, because I’m going to keep doing that, too. Like, here’s a reminder: I’m doing an Internet Read Aloud show in Los Angeles this Friday, January 3rd, at 8 pm (Facebook event here):
AND I’ll be putting on a special version of the show at SF Sketchfest on Saturday, January 18, co-hosted by Conor Lastowka, and featuring Bill Corbett of MST3K/Rifftrax and Laser Malena-Webber of the Doubleclicks, among others!
Tickets are limited so buy some now!