The Advanced Archive found 402 posts!

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Dilbert, 5/23/06

Panel one: Trademark minimalist Dilbert art, straight on. Panel two: Trademark minimalist Dilbert art, at a 30 degree angle. Panel three: Trademark minimalist Dilbert art, through a window. Conclusion: You can dress these drawings up, but you can’t really take them out.

Herb and Jamaal, 5/23/06

For everybody’s who’s been waiting since 1971 for Herb and Jamaal’s take on glam rock-inspired androgyny: at long last, your day has arrived. Note cunning use of passive voice in punchline, maintaining the mystery for all of us, for some mysterious and unfunny reason.

Marvin, 5/23/06

Marvin has spent the last week and half lingering on a “Marvin’s grandfather has become obsessed with Sudoku” storyline so mind-warpingly boring that it makes Gasoline Alley’s DMV-a-thon look like the car chase scene in the French Connection by comparison. (The game has been referred to as “Yunoklu” throughout; I imagine that the reasons for this are trademark-related, because they certainly can’t be humor-related.) Today’s episode does have a glimmer of interest, however, in that blind panic has turned one (and only one) of Grandpa’s glasses lenses blue. If you can explain this, you’re a better comics-explainer than I.

Momma, 5/23/06

Hmm, there’s some odd quoting going on here: “Show biz” is quoted when Momma says it, but not when Francis does. I wonder what Finger Quotin’ Margo thinks of that?

Damn, girl, that’s cold.

Cockroach update: Another freakishly huge representative of order Blattodea in the cat’s dish this morning, leading to a humiliating repeat of yesterday’s pathetic drama. That’s twice in two days; in the 36 months of the food bowl sitting in that exact spot, it had only happened once before that. Are the roaches getting smarter? Are they plotting to rise up against us? I’m disturbed. Anyone have any bright ideas on roach control?

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Pluggers, 7/11/06

Boy, you read a strip for a while and you think you know it pretty well, but I have to admit that I’m shocked by how quickly Pluggers has gone from “smug and self-satisfied” to “soul-wrenchingly depressing.” Rhino-Man (not to be confused with the Rhino) must be very, very hard up for cash if the $7.50 or so he’ll get for his Carter-era 13-inch is going to get him out of some bind. That’s bad enough, but what’s really bringing me down is his incredibly glum facial expression. Presumably he’s thinking about the long trudge back to his tiny, barely furnished apartment, where he won’t even have broadcast TV to distract him from the fact that he’s broke and he’s going to die alone.

I know Pluggers doesn’t usually do continuing storylines, but I’d like to see the new, bleaker Pluggers follow Rhino-Man for the next few days:

  • “Plugger venture capital.” (Rhino-Man is rooting through a dumpster, looking for bottles or cans he can return.)
  • “Plugger Zoloft.” (Rhino-Man is passed out in his battered easy chair, surrounded by empty cans of Milwaukee’s Best.)
  • “Plugger liquid assets.” (Rhino-Man is selling his blood.)
  • “This is how a Plugger’s wages are garnished.” (Two Bear-Men are cutting off one of Rhino Man’s thumbs.)
  • “Plugger therapy.” (Rhino-Man has a shotgun in his mouth.)

Gil Thorp, 7/11/06

It’s kind of interesting that Von and the legendary Marty Moon are now palling around on the golf course, considering that it was Marty’s arrest that started Von’s mediocre radio career. It’s good to see that Marty is leading a young and impressionable fellow DJ down a dark path of illegal sports betting, and also good to see that Gil Thorp still has it when it comes to incomprehensible sports jargon. Here’s the definition of a “Nassau”, if you’re curious; I’m not even going to attempt to parse the third panel. Instead, I offer the following philosophical question: Is there a parallel universe Marty Moon, and if so, does he spend all his spare time ministering to sick children and not have a goatee?

Marvin, 7/11/06

Marvin, you may have heard, is dispensing with its long-standing “whites only” policy and has introduced a new character: “Ming Ming,” a Chinese baby adopted by Marvin’s aunt. So far, Ming Ming has spent her time engaging in a strange internal monologue about the alien beings that have kidnapped her and taken her to a mysterious planet. As opposed to the homeland that she’s gotten to know and love so well over, you know, so many years. She’s also, as you can see here, been sitting completely motionless and staring forward with her creepy, expressionless eyes. So, um, yay diversity.

Mary Worth, 7/11/06

Topographical-Map-Shirt-Girl is walking briskly for her life away from the raging game of “Bad Touch, Worse Touch” that Mary and Aldo have going here. Aldo at first looks forlorn and slouchy, his arms in the C3PO position, as Mary essentially asks him if he likes things that are alive. But with her gentle and uninvited touch on his shoulder, it’s Aldo who comes alive, and begins, and he suddenly moves to poke Mary in the face with his finger, as if he thinks that the living image of his late wife standing before him must be some sort of mirage. Who knows, maybe we’ve got it all wrong — maybe these two lonely middle-aged widowed folks are going to find comfort with each other this summer. Or maybe they’ll continue to make confusing hand gestures that have never accompanied actual human interaction in the entire history of bipedalism.

Mark Trail, 7/11/06

I’m pretty sure that in the last panel, Mark is leaning down to take a big, healthy whiff of bear scat.

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Crock, 7/18/06

If there was ever a time in the thirty-year history of Crock — a comic strip about a group of Western military men engaged in a seemingly unending mission somewhere in the Arab world — in which it ought to by right match up to the geopolitical moment, this is it. Unfortunately, and yet to the surprise of nobody, it hasn’t lived up to the challenge. One doesn’t expect Ph.D.-level theses on interactions between Western and Islamic culture, but one does expect someone identified as a “nomad” to look less like a parody of a cold-war era spy, complete with totally-inappropriate-for-the-desert all-black clothes, and more like, oh, I don’t know, a middle-eastern nomad. Surely a picture could be found in a book or magazine to serve as a guide. Interestingly, the artist may be somewhat embarrassed about this: in panel three, the nomad is forced almost completely out of the frame, giving up screen space to a lovely palm tree.

They’ll Do It Every Time, 7/18/06

Some of you commentors have reacted to this TDIET with disparaging comments along the lines of “What the hell is wrong with this guy” and “Nobody does this ever.” You people don’t understand that you’re seeing a master at the top of his game. Look at how he diagrams the entire joke for you along the right of the word balloon. In the hands of a lesser artist, revealing how the process works like this would be an open invitation to host of imitators, but even if you see all the individual pieces of the puzzle, you can never fit them together in that oh-so-special TDIET way. It’s like the time I saw Penn and Teller and they did a trick twice, the second time explaining what they were doing as they were doing it, and you still came away amazed. The “P.S.” at the end is just a little reminder that you that this, in fact, is how we roll in They’ll Do It Every Time. Oh yeah!

Marvin, 7/18/06

Ha, ha! You see, in the west, we’d use “sticks and stones,” but in the east, they’d use “bamboo and pebbles.” Because, see, they don’t have trees in China, just bamboo. Lots and lots of bamboo. And pebbles are … um … zen … oh, Christ, this strip is just totally appalling to me.