Archive: Barney Google & Snuffy Smith

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What guidance do our syndicated newspaper comics have on this, the most sacred of mid-term election days in the United States?

Beetle Bailey, 11/6/18

Beetle Bailey urges you to vote for candidates who aren’t afraid to stand up to the bloated, wasteful military-industrial complex!

Curtis, 11/6/18

Curtis takes a very strong stance against all the do-nothing zookeepers in this country. Is your local zookeeper getting rich off his government salary while man-eating lions roam the streets? Vote the bums out!

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 11/6/18

Snuffy, meanwhile, has the best of both worlds: he gets to cast his ballot to have his say on land politics, but then retreat to his nautical fortress, where he’s only under the jurisdiction of maritime law. Remember, Snuffy can only be tried in a court where there’s a gold fringe around the flag!

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Crankshaft, 10/31/18

So Crankshaft has been doing a “the kids did not react well to Ed’s Halloween costume” bit for a couple days and I have to admit that at first I didn’t really get it? Like, yesterday, his co-workers were like “Ha ha, Ed picked the wrong costume” and I genuinely thought it was because the horizontal stripes were supposed to be unflattering, but I guess it’s just that Freddy Krueger is too scary for the youths. Which … I mean, look, I literally have never seen any films in the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise because I’m an absolute coward when it comes to horror movies. But is a burnt nightmare man with a claw glove objectively scarier, as a concept, than an undead ghoul with fangs who thirsts for blood and can either kill you or transform you into a cursed being like himself at his whim, or scarier than a shambling parody of life pieced together from rotting corpses by a crazed scientist in violation of God’s law? I would argue the answer is no, and I only find Freddy scarier because he was a splashy new horror icon of my formative years, whereas Draculas and Frankensteins and such had been part of the cultural background radiation of my whole life. But as for those kids on Ed’s bus … well, did you know that the first Nightmare on Elm Street film came out 34 years ago? That’s a long time! Those kids aren’t going to find Freddy uniquely terrifying, certainly not compared to Ed Crankshaft, the man who’s actually trying to kill them.

Blondie, 10/31/18

I still don’t feel like I have a full handle on what’s happening in today’s Blondie. Has Dagwood always worried that his barber was planning to stab him to death with scissors? I would’ve said that seems paranoid but after seeing this strip I’m honestly not so sure!

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/31/18

The Smif-Barlow feud has of course caused endless tragedy in Hootin’ Holler, its origins long forgotten but the occasional outbreak of violence renewing it every generation. I actually wonder how Lukey fits into it — is his family considered a client of the Smifs, or perhaps they’re linked by kinship somehow? Anyway, today’s strip shows how the violence perpetuates itself: Barlow isn’t harming anyone, but Snuffy and Lukey have to make a show of being “afraid” of him as he wanders onto their turf to justify the vicious beating they’re about to dish out in the moonless dark.

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Mary Worth, 10/27/18

An act of providence? An act of providence? Mary, there wasn’t some crazy series of coincidences guided by a divine hand that led Mr. Wynter to this sad pup. You were the one who tricked him out of the apartment by claiming you had car problems and then drove directly to the animal shelter. This is as close to an open confession we’ve gotten of how we’ve long suspected Mary sees herself: as a direct instrument of God’s will on Earth, or perhaps even as a Deity in her own right.

Dick Tracy, 10/27/18

I apologize for my premature complaints about the realism in this story line. While it’s of course wholly improbable that newspaper syndicates would roll out, with great fanfare and expenditure of resources, a comic strip about two obscure actors from several generations ago, it’s significantly more likely that if a cartoonist contacted various newspapers and said “Say, would you like to run a comic strip I’m drawing about two obscure actors from several generations ago? You don’t have to pay me — in fact, the situation is quite the opposite, thanks to a trust fund that’s been earning investment income for decades and was set aside for this very purpose,” they’d at least hear the guy out.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/27/18

If this strip ran on a Monday, it would be the setup for a week’s worth of jokes about Lukey’s beefy, amiable cousin Moose, who might have been pulled from the 99 years of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith archives or might’ve just been made up today to be mined for laughs, who can say! But it’s not Monday. It’s Saturday. Moose is here because the best this strip could do for a joke today was “What if Snuffy thought Lukey was talking about an animal, but in fact it was a person who had the same name as an animal, or possibly a it’s nickname given to him because of his large stature,” and I honestly think that’s pretty sad.