You know, after many years in the comics-mocking biz, you get somewhat inured to the foibles of the daily strips. That’s why it’s good to get a fresh perspective sometimes, like when my wife saw this Crankshaft over my shoulder and said, in tones of increasing incredulity, “Wait, is that the joke? There’s no more to it? Like, there’s not another panel? He just said the wrong word? That’s the joke?” Yes! That is, in fact, the joke. But the thing that makes this a character-driven comic strip is how angry he looks while he says it, for no good reason. That’s our Crankshaft! He’s old, dumb, and mean!
Funky Winkerbean, 8/9/21
At least Crankshaft has a joke, though! Funky Winkerbean is a more story-driven strip, but it really is supposed to have punchlines. Maybe … something from Mason about “unwrapping” some surprise? Never thought I’d be over here demanding a smirk-accompanied sub-pun from Funky Winkerbean, but now I realize that’s the base level of effort I expect from the Funkyverse strips.
Mary Worth, 8/9/21
Mary Worth, of course, doesn’t need anything so vulgar as a “joke” or a “punchline” to be the most hilarious comic strip in the paper. Not sure what’s funnier: that Drew feels compelled to compliment Mary’s cooking even though he wasn’t able to tell exactly what kind of spherical starch blobs accompanied the lamb (“probably they’re … root vegetables? of some kind?”) or that Dr. Jeff is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice — using his highly trained surgeon’s hands to wash the dishes like he’s the help — just to make sure his son gets meddled properly.