Arctic Circle, 8/27/22
Arctic Circle boldly swerves out of its lane (preachy environmental half-jokes) directly into the oncoming traffic of toilet humor. Meanwhile back over in Marvin, Jeff and Jenny Miller return the tribute by composting their son.
Funky Winkerbean, 8/27/22
Hey, anybody remember Roland Mathews, the curly-haired “activist” hypocrite with a belligerent father and a blind spot for women’s rights? No? A solid number-three character during Funky Winkerbean‘s first year, Roland faded out during the strip’s evolution from political themes to high-school hijinx, reappearing once in 2008 for a reunion cameo (back row, second from right).
But the 50-year mark is a time for tying up loose ends, so here’s Rolanda! Will she recount the harrowing yet heartwarming details of her life’s journey? Will she at last unpack her complex issues with Roland’s old nemesis “Wicked” Wanda Waskowski, Westview’s no-nonsense sign-wielding “Girls’ Libber”? Most of all, will she deliver anything even remotely resembling a punchline?
Jury’s out on those first two.
On The Mickey Mouse Club of my longago youth, my least favorite day was Wednesday—”Anything Can Happen Day”—because, well, anything could happen. Mondays reliably delivered Fun With Music, and Thursday predictably brought in clowns, acrobats, animal acts, and circus paraphernalia. Wednesday? Total crapshoot, and very unsettling to the young psyche: these were the Cold War years, after all, and nuclear annihilation was on the table:
Today is the day that is filled with surprises
Nobody knows what’s gonna happen!
Why you might wake to see the Russian missiles raining down
Each one with several warheads to obliterate your town!
When they hit their mark
You will glow in the dark—
On the Mouseketeers’ Anything-Can-Happen Day!
So it is whenever Gunk arrives from Flyspeck Island to disrupt Curtis. His current gimmick is a self-filling salad bowl backed up by a salad-bowl-replicating suitcase, so that no one need ever again want for salad, or for that matter bowls. In today’s strip, Upper Manhattan’s Big Salad cartel predictably launches a witch-hunt to protect its business. But the kindly hardware-store owner begs off, since he… wait, what? “Ma! The writers murdered that kindly hardware-store owner for no good reason!” Anything can happen: this is what it looks like, people.
Many thanks to the indispensable ComicBookHarriet over at sonofstuckfunky.com for character histories of Roland, Wanda, and poor, dead, “I coulda been Lisa” Livinia Swenson.