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Dustin, 1/9/23

Dustin is still doing the “Dustin’s dad wants to do pole vaulting” “plot,” for a second week, which I’m reasonably sure is the longest I’ve ever seen it do a “plot,” and I feel like the way Dustin’s mom is reacting is kind of the key to why I hate this strip so much. Ever since she found out that Dustin’s dad wants do this, she’s been in a simmering fury, which I assume we’re supposed to understand is because, deep down, she loves her husband and is scared of him acting self-destructively, but we (and, presumably, her husband) never hear the “she loves her husband” part and instead she’s just immediately gone from zero to “HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD TIME IN HELL THINKING ABOUT ME FUCKING HOT YOUNG DUDES.” Which, I realize these are “jokes” and exaggerated versions of real-life behaviors and whatnot but it feels of a piece with the vibe where Dustin’s dad gives Dustin constant shit for being a loser, and maybe if asked he’d say (or the creators of the strip would say) it’s because he loves his son and wants him to succeed but if the “love” part is never expressed it’s just people being mean to each other, you know? Sorry to not be making any jokes here but it’s wild that there’s this family comic strip about a family incapable of expressing affection towards one another, maybe because they don’t actually feel affection, and we’re supposed to like or root for these people. Like at least when the Lockhorns do it, it’s explicitly the entire bit of the strip, plus they’re weird little gnome people so it’s funnier to see them fight.

Marvin, 1/9/23

Marvin is also a strip about a family that doesn’t like each other, but I’ve long resigned myself to that, so now I’m intrigued by a potential pivot from “Marvin poops himself” to “Marvin plans to defeat his father, who he does not like, in hand-to-hand combat.”

Dick Tracy, 1/9/23

Looks like our assassin “Kyptonite,” previously identified as “Kriptonite,” is in fact Just Some Guy, not even weird in the Dick Tracy sense. It’s particularly wearisome that he makes a little joke about his name in the final panel here. You’re the one who picked this nickname, man! Sorry if it results in confusion that you feel like you have to deflect in advance, before you agree to just shoot some guy with a gun, for money.

Hi and Lois, 1/9/23

Hi and Thirsty are definitely at Chez Thurston (you can tell by the patched couch), so it’s very funny to me that Thirsty made exactly one hamburger, for himself, then didn’t bother asking Hi if he wanted one until he sat down and was on the verge of shoving it in his hamburger hole.