Archive: Barney Google & Snuffy Smith

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Mark Trail, 2/18/17

So this week’s Mark Trail has been a lot of boring blah blah between some white lady and some African dude in an airport in Africa about how dumb liberals don’t get how hunting majestic African wildlife is a good thing for everyone concerned, but then we got to the end of the week and HOLY COW, GUYS, IT’S THE RETURN OF CHRIS “DIRTY” DYER, STAR OF ONE OF THE GREATEST MARK TRAIL PANELS OF ALL TIME:

See, Mark headed over to Africa on a big rhino poaching story, hooked up with a safari group that “Dirty” and his love-object Lori were part of, and had to assure “Dirty” that he did not want get together with Lori to “do the dirty” (this is literally what Mark calls sex, but he uses a child’s voice when he says it, not a crude bro’s voice). Later it turned out that “Dirty” was in fact the rhino poacher, and the angry rhinos ran his car off the road in revenge, and that after that he died. OR DID HE????? Well, no, he didn’t, because he’s right here, in today’s strip, only slightly worse for wear, if you consider having an eye gouged out “only slightly worse for wear.” Anyway, I look forward to discovering what shenanigans “Dirty” is up to (probably more poaching???), and why it is that he went to the trouble of faking his death but then still goes around introducing himself by his actual name.

Pluggers, 2/18/17

For a long time, the Top Two Most Depressing Pluggers Ever were clearly “Rhino-Man Hocks His TV” and “Kangaroo Lady Approaches Her Emotional Breaking Point”, but I think we may have a new contender today? Ha ha, it’s funny because … she wants to get out of the house and do something, anything, with her husband, but he just wants to point his bleary eyes in the vague direction of the television and let the beer annihilate anything resembling an emotion that attempts to pass through his brain!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 2/18/17

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that right before Buck’s Comic-Con adventure got underway, he had a meet-cute with a nice lady at the gym that Rex made him go to. Laid up in his hospital bed, and having failed to emotionally connect with his son, he figures now’s the time to take that relationship to the next level, phone-sex wise! “Hey, Mindy … yeah, I have some more privacy now … damn, girl, just thinking of you is making me dizzy … or maybe that’s the dehydration from carrying around too many comic books for hours … anyway — hello? hello?”

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/18/17

Oh sure, these fellas are all tongue-lollin’ laffs now, but when Snuffy gets wind of this, he might decide to both boost his revenues from his business as a huntin’ guide and take care of his gambling debts by promising rich flatlanders that lawless, forgotten Hootin’ Holler is the perfect place to pursue “the most dangerous game.”

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Dick Tracy, 2/7/17

If ’00s Dick Tracy was a continuing exploration of how many insanely violent ways a newspaper comic strip could kill off its villains, ’10s Dick Tracy is a long-running experiment in how far up the asshole of obscure comics history a newspaper comic strip can get, which is … not better? It’s different, anyway. Let us remind you that the “Moon Maid” in the current run of the strip is actually some genetically modified and mind-wiped gangster’s daughter, and so while the Tracy family has taken her in, she isn’t really Dick’s son’s wife, leaving her free to flirt shamelessly with hunky crossover star The Spirit. The Tracys’ guest is regaling everyone with the plot of a comic book from 1952, because why not, and while his words say “of course we didn’t visit the dark side of the moon where Moon Valley [the home of Moon Maid’s Lunarian people] is,” the knowing expression he’s giving the reader says “of course we did visit the dark side of the moon, where I learned the sexual techniques that bring the most pleasure to the inhabitants of Moon Valley!” Or, uh, maybe it’s just me? Maybe it’s just me.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/7/17

Look, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, you came into your current phase of existence in the 1930s when your original concept, about a ne’er-do-well horse-racing aficionado, lost its lustre and the decision was made to pivot into the then-lucrative realm of making fun of hillbillies, and ever since then, that’s been your shtick. If you wanted to, say, shift the tone and start exploring real issues of poverty in isolated rural communities, or maybe have your characters provide an outsider’s perspective on mainstream American urban and suburban life, then I think we’d all accept it and actually be pretty impressed. But don’t think you can just wedge in whatever generic jokes you’ve got rattling around in your head, à la “What’s the deal with energy drinks?” Leave those to other, non-hillbilly-based comic strips. Yours is a higher, or at least more specific, calling.

Dennis the Menace, 2/7/17

So, who’s the real menace here? The innocent child, who, like more and more of us young and old, occasionally enjoys eating traditional breakfast foods like pancakes or scrambled eggs in the evening? Or his mother, who’s asking this question having clearly already prepared the meal, presumably as part of her plan to reply to whatever he says with “tough shit, kid, you’re getting whatever’s in this casserole dish”?

Judge Parker, 2/7/17

“She’s a qualified mental health professional, with a speciality in adolescents and trauma! I’m … honestly surprised this hasn’t occurred to you already?”

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Mary Worth, 1/26/17

Guys! Did you know that millennials symbolize a sexual pair-bond with matching tattoos? And did you know that millennials refer to a tattoo as “an ink”, with “inks” being the plural? This is all 100% true, I am a millennial expert, please have me on your cultural affairs television program.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/26/17

Have you ever wondered what it would look if the “second coming” of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did not involve him returning to Earth to judge the living and the dead, as many believe will happen, but instead just took the form of him appearing as a walk-on character in the syndicated comic strip Barney Google and Snuffy Smith? Well now you know!