Archive: Barney Google & Snuffy Smith

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/14/19

OK, I know that “high concept blindness,” in which the creators of long-running strips in a very specific setting just want to do fairly generic jokes and kind of forget that their characters are all birds or whatever, is a very real thing, but still: I refuse to believe that Hootin’ Holler, an impoverished, isolated town with no apparent governing authority beyond a single sheriff and a single judge, a town where all the buildings are ramshackle, uneven structures clearly built by hand by non-professionals with rooms set off from one another by tattered blankets rather than permanent walls, has a building inspector. Even if such an official were appointed, she would presumably have her time entirely occupied by pleading with residents with children to move out of obvious firetraps, and would have no opportunity to gossip.

Mary Worth, 12/14/19

A legitimate complaint about Zak’s role in Mary Worth is that he’s a sexy but bland wish-fulfillment fantasy, a hot, rich younger man who is extremely solicitous of his older girlfriend but otherwise has no real obvious personality or inner life of his own, and certainly no negative qualities that might make him interesting. Today, though, one of his serious flaws has at last been revealed: he thinks Wilbur Weston, of all people, is “pretty cool.”

Pluggers, 12/14/19

I’d like to think that this plugger is sitting in his truck in the parking lot of the mall, shocked, shocked, that the two fairly specific items he was looking for weren’t available, and thinking about what this world’s come to, where our civilization went wrong. Real heavy stuff! Anyway, you can find doodads pretty easily on the internet these days, you’re welcome pluggers

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Dennis the Menace, 12/8/19

I have so many questions about what’s happening in today’s Dennis the Menace! Like, what goes on at “Club 21” that has inspired George and Martha to go out and make a night of it with the young folks? Live music? Dancing? Is there a DJ? And why is this bouncer writing something down in his little book as he ostentatiously fails to check the Wilsons’ IDs? Is that where he keeps track of the number of old fogeys who’ve been admitted to the club, making sure it doesn’t hit a critical mass that would keep young, hot people away? Finally, why are we being treated to a George and Martha Wilson excursion in which Dennis is not even present? Did someone want this? Did someone ask for this? Is the comics section’s rapidly aging readership increasingly unable to relate to children, and so Dennis is going to be gradually eased out of his own strip, replaced by the Wilsons and their septuagenarian antics?

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/8/19

In my heart of hearts I sincerely hope that this strip was written with Snuffy, finding himself facing yet another stint in Hootin’ Holler’s pokey, deciding to hurtle himself to his death, taking his sad-eyed stolen chicken down with him, rather than give Sheriff Tait the satisfaction of capturing him. Sadly, this Thelma and Louise-style ending of the strip was nixed by the syndicate, and so another cliff’s edge on the opposite side of the gorge was added to the last panel just before publication.

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/1/19

Parson Tuttle is, of course, a fraud who’s completely unsuited for providing spiritual guidance, but in this case he’s given Loweezy some solid advice that she seems to have missed. As a materialist, Tuttle knows that one’s happiness is tied directly to one’s material conditions, as he clearly states in the throwaway panels. Snuffy’s innards are full of nothing but rotten potatoes, cheap corn likker, and whatever chickens he can steal; there’s no way he can change his attitude just by force of will alone.

Between Friends, 12/1/19

I can’t decide if creating a spoof version of the Serenity Prayer — which is widely used within and identified with Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step recovery programs — in which the narrator deals with their problems by getting blotto on a bottle of wine is wildly inappropriate or actually very, very on point.