Archive: Barney Google & Snuffy Smith

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Beetle Bailey, 6/22/19

Maybe I’m getting old and my brain is turning to pudding or whatever, but I genuinely enjoyed today’s Beetle Bailey! Mostly I like the contrast between Sarge and Otto’s faces. What exactly went down at this dog show? What did Otto think would go down? The phrase “Sarge took Otto to the dog show” doesn’t make it sound like Otto was formally entered in the competition, but perhaps Otto secretly hoped that he would be spotted in the stands by one of the judges, who would say “Who’s that? Why, it’s a dog in an army uniform! What a good boy! What a very good boy, indeed!” Instead a truly zany series of events occurred that left Otto furious and Sarge confused and a little sad.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/22/19

Wow, there’s a lot going on here when it comes to perceptions of the powers, purpose, and very nature of political authority. In the first panel, Snuffy bluntly demands that Sheriff Tait use his monopoly on legitimate violence in the Holler to expel outsiders: to our hillbilly, the demos to which the sheriff answers has the absolute right to control access to local territory and resources in favor of natives if competition for those resources gets too intense. The sheriff’s initial response might at first seem to indicate his loyalty to a code of abstract law — the outsiders have a right to be there, and nothing can be done unless they’ve actually committed a crime. But then, we see the cash in his hand and we learn the truth: Tait doesn’t truck with either modern legalism or traditional community-based exercises of power. He just sees the law and the state as a vehicle for his personal enrichment. Snuffy can’t help but be impressed.

Mark Trail, 6/22/19

Good news, everyone! Mark, Leola, and Doc are close to the mine! I guess they don’t need to find JJ and pull the map out from under his waterlogged corpse after all, and can just let the desert scavengers do their thing uninterrupted.

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Mary Worth, 6/18/19

Oh, hey kids, in case you were wondering, the Mary Worth Estelle Gets Grifted storyline is still happening this week, and presumably will be until the heat death of the universe. Today I want to point out that if you knew Wilbur, and if Mary called you up and said “I have some news about Wilbur…“, you’d definitely assume it was bad news, right? Like he had cried himself to death, or went on a tour of the mayonnaise factor and “accidentally” got locked into the mayonnaise factory overnight and just when he was going to enjoy a single spoonful of mayonnaise fresh from the vat he slipped (on mayonnaise) and suffered massive head trauma? I guess Dr. Jeff is in for a pleasant (?) surprise.

Judge Parker, 6/18/19

Over in Judge Parker, the traditional social hierarchy is all upside down: Judge Parker Senior is super duper going to jail, but Marie, who you might recall decided to quit her job as the Spencer-Driver maidservant and take her chances in the outside world despite the gangsters who want her dead, is living her best life, in case you were worried about her! This time she’s relaxing at a tropical resort with a hunk who won’t fake his death, probably.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/18/19

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, drunk with power now that it got other syndicated newspaper strips to acknowledge its existence for a single day, is returning to a task it attempted and failed at back in 2014: making Bizzy Buzz Buzz, the manic Smif niece who loves to clean, happen. Folks, I gotta tell ya: Bizzy Buzz Buzz is not gonna happen!

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/17/19

Oh hey, remember that Barney Google and Snuffy Smith crossover business from a couple weeks ago that I quickly lost interest in? Well, it was all a run-up to the strip’s 100th anniversary. Thanks for 100 bodacious years, the strip’s titular characters say, though given how the history of the strip has played out, really Snuffy should be saying “Thanks for 85 bodacious years,” and Barney should reply “Thanks for 35 bodacious years, and then decades of extremely rare bodacious cameos, and then more frequent bodacious appearances starting in 2012 for whatever reason.” I was going to make fun the today’s boast (threat?) that this strip will last another century or maybe even more, but it’s honestly pretty wild it’s lasted this long, so who’s to say what the future holds? Anyway, let’s see how the other strips in the King Features stable are kissing Barney Google and Snuffy Smith’s ass today!

Mark Trail, 6/17/19

Kudos to Mark Trail for dispensing with its contractual obligation with a bit of confusing dialogue rather than trying to integrate Snuffy into the wold of the strip, possibly as a grotesque, gnomish hermit living deep in the Sonoran Desert. Instead we’re just left with Mark looking at Doc thinking “Is this … a bit? Is he doing a bit? Couldn’t he just call from his cell phone? We all have cell phones, right?”

Shoe, 6/17/19

I’m also fond of today’s Shoe, in which the sapient bird-characters threaten to kill and eat (hopefully in that order) the beloved sapient (?) horse-character Spark Plug. Then they’ll eat Barney and Snuffy too! How dare these humans come to the treetop realm of the bird-men! They must be punished!

Six Chix, 6/17/19

Six Chix gives a shoutout to Barney’s … famous … self-driving car? Maybe this is a reference to Waymo, the autonomous vehicle company that spun off of Google, or maybe it’s just acknowledgement that Barney will need a new form of transportation now that the birds have eaten Spark Plug.

Family Circus, 6/17/19

Meanwhile, that other venerable institution of the funny pages, the Family Circus, absolutely cannot be bothered to say anything nice about the birthday boys. Oh, your weird urban-sharpie-turned-hillbilly-minstrel-show strip is a hundred years old? Who cares. It’s Father’s Day week, and that means Jeffy Keane is going do a strip where he pretends to be his brother insulting his sister while giving their dad a day off. Fuck Dolly and her shitty toaster-operation skills and fuck Barney Google and Snuffy Smith: that’s the official Family Circus position.