Archive: Barney Google & Snuffy Smith

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Beetle Bailey, 4/7/20

Way back in the mists of time, like the late ’90s and early ’00s, many people looked at the Internet on primitive CRT screens that could only display 256 different colors, which gave rise to a limited “web-safe color palette” made up of shades that you could be sure all your users would see properly. I’m reasonably certain that when I first started this blog in 2004, the colorized comics from King Features still used that palette, which would explain some of the odder coloring choices, like the electric blue sports coats so beloved by the square gentlemen of my late beloved Apartment 3-G.

Anyway, I assume that the anonymous, underpaid comics colorists long ago shifted to accommodate the literally millions of distinct shades that modern monitors and touchscreen devices are capable of displaying, which is why I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that what Cookie is serving up today isn’t a “sloppy joe” as most of us would understand it, i.e., ground beef in a dark red sauce. No, the men of Camp Swampy have their plates running with bright, red, fresh blood, its color picked out of a near-infinite spectrum to indicate that they’ve been offered the still-steaming viscera of something — or someone — who’s been freshly killed.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/7/20

Wow, I have to admit some deep-rooted prejudice that I wasn’t even conscious of holding: I’ve always assumed that Doc Pritchard was a flatlander who ended up in Hootin’ Holler as part of a federal rural medicine program to clear his loans from med school, or maybe he’s just lying low to avoid multiple active malpractice suits. But no, it looks like he’s actually from this place, or at least is tied to its rocky soil via kin; since he’s familiar with their down-home rural ways, that may explain why he’s cheerfully moonlighting as a large-animal vet today.

Six Chix, 4/7/20

Look, the world’s a little crazy right now, so if you have the modestly prominent platform of a day’s share in a nationally syndicated newspaper comic strip, why not use it to air out your most petty and specific grievance? Do you believe not only that deep-dish pizza is garbage, but that those assholes from Chicago don’t even really like it? Go ahead and tell the world! What are they going to do, violate “safe at home” orders to come get you?

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 3/30/20

What’s your favorite part of this extremely improbable scene? Some might say it’s that the makeshift Hootin’ Holler clinic, which is in such dire shape that the waiting area is separated from the rest of the facility by a patched sheet in what is almost certainly a serious HIPAA violation, somehow has a functioning EKG machine, even if the accompanying treadmill is predictably not in operation. But for me, it’s that Snuffy has stripped to the waist so the electrodes can be attached to his gnomish torso, but is still wearing his overalls, the straps flapping behind him as he hops.

Blondie, 3/30/20

The only way this smash-cut joke actually works is if Blondie chloroformed Dagwood between panels one and two, changed him out if his work vest into his casual sweater, then hauled his unresponsive body to the car, dragged him into a restaurant booth, and waited for him to come to before delivering this zinger. It would mess with the rhythm of the strip to show all that, of course, but I do sincerely want to see it.

Mark Trail, 3/30/20

Wow, this really takes a lot of the weight off of Rusty, who thought he was going to have explain this! Thanks, Eric, for breaking the bad news to Kevin. You’re the real hero!

Six Chix, 3/30/20

“If You Truly Want To Be One Of The Six Chix, You Need To Do A Vaguely Pervy Bigfoot Strip”: another installment in a continuing series.

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Dick Tracy, 3/25/20

Wow, I’m not sure if Quiver’s little scheme here, which I assume entails having down-and-out folks collect spare change for a nonexistent charity, deserves the noble appellation of con. I expect a con to consist of complex wheels-within-wheels trickery as depicted in the movie The Sting, not a sad little attempt to make rent with a pile of quarters and nickels. Still, it’s nice to see that Shaky wants to get involved — clearly he’s one of those guys who always needs to be productive and can’t sit still and relax a little, despite the fact that he is (and I can’t emphasize this enough) dying.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 3/25/20

Man, I remember when weddings between members of two rival Hootin’ Holler clans resulted in violence, not passive aggression. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Snuffy Smith is losing its edge.

Curtis, 3/25/20

Not sure what denomination church the Wilkins family attends, but making up fake scripture for personal financial gain is pretty much always considered heresy, right? Never would’ve pegged Curtis for a heretic. You hate to see it.