Archive: B.C.

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Blondie, 4/23/16

There are any number of perfectly good reasons to resent the comic strip Blondie, but the one I’m going with today is that it’s forced me to become familiar with the fact that “He Sheds” are in fact A Thing, as are “She Sheds,” naturally. I guess I don’t resent the concept per se as much as I do the twee terminology. Anyway, now that there’s a TV show about the trend, we can look forward to it spiraling completely out of hand, as it clearly already has for the Woodleys, who apparently thought it was good use of time and energy to dig two or three feet down into their back yard to create a partially subterranean one-man he-shed where Herb can watch baseball in blessed isolation.

B.C., 4/23/16

I’m on the record as being baffled as to why B.C. will go with entirely new art for its highly structured jokes like “Wiley’s Dictionary” or “Advice” or really any of the several gags where the whole point is to provide a minimalist structure within the world of the strip for the characters to deliver some joke that doesn’t really have much to do with the characters or the world of the strip per se. The structure seems like it’s invented specifically as an opportunity to reuse clip art, and drawing a new panel to depict the scene at a new and different angle seems entirely pointless, like meticulously reconstructing a fast food hamburger out of fresh, organic ingredients. I mean, knock yourself out if you really want to do it, I guess, but maybe don’t do it in a way that emphasizes that Curls’s character design is dominated by his grotesque, protruding upper lip.

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Beetle Bailey, 2/5/16

I haven’t really tried, but I imagine that it’s nearly impossible to make a pancake that actually looks like anything other than a collection of circles, so I guess if we’re being realistic it’s impressive that Cookie has managed to create pancakes that look even vaguely like Sarge. However, considering that this is the fantasy world of the comics, where imagination and tiny printing sizes in newspapers are the only constraints, for this strip to work I think they should’ve looked … more obviously like Sarge? I think a lot of people are just going to read this as Cookie offering the soldiers slightly malformed pancakes, grinning broadly, and saying “Chew them good!”, which they might find off-putting. I find it off-putting and I know what the joke is supposed to be.

B.C., 2/5/16

Right, right, so, Thor is the brown-haired one! Pretty bittersweet that I’m finally learning to tell these characters apart as they’re killed off one by one.

Dennis the Menace, 2/5/16

“I don’t know if I want to engage in constant low-level violence on a lawless frontier that encroaches on the land of indigenous peoples, or serve as the right-hand man to a genocidal dictator!”

Gasoline Alley, 2/5/16

“My God, not the scrapbook! Pilot, shake loose the ranger and the boy, fly directly down into the inferno, and kill that bear as hard as you need to — the scrapbook must be rescued unharmed!”

Spider-Man, 2/5/16


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Mary Worth, 2/2/16

Huh, Mary’s trip back east seems to be turning into some kind of “let’s revisit old favorites” victory lap. Fresh off of sexually humiliating old pal John Dill (not in the way that he’d prefer), Mary rekindles her old love of ice skating. Let’s not forget that back in 2008, after seeing her old figure skating pal Frank Griffin on TV, she abruptly dropped everything to fly to New York and watch him browbeat his daughter Lynn into skating better. Mary disagreed with Frank’s coaching techniques, because they were making his daughter sad, but it turned out she was actually sad because a boy she liked died and so Mary good-copped her back into competitive skating again and everything was fine (?). Anyway, I certainly hope that as Mary and Olive are out there skating around Rockefeller Plaza, they encounter a deranged Lynn Griffin, doing aimless twirls, still hearing her now-dead father’s enraged shouts in her ears. “This lady doesn’t need my help, does she?” thinks Olive. “Probably not. Probably best to not make eye contact.”

B.C., 2/2/16

One of the interesting things about living in Southern California is that all of the non-religious iconography around Christmas involves festive winter scenes, if by “winter” you mean “winter in the Northern U.S. or Europe.” So much fake snow in so many window displays! That’s considered “real” American winter, even though we’re the most populous state! Factor in the Southwest and Deep South and I wonder if there’s more Americans than not who don’t see white Christmases. Anyway, I’m glad to see B.C., of all strips, acknowledging our glorious diversity of winter climates.

Six Chix, 2/2/16

Here’s a comic about a fish who jumped out of the fishbowl and his friends watched him die in agony and now they’re trying to convince themselves they didn’t see what they just saw. I’m not sure what the “joke” is, per se? Maybe the joke is that anybody thinks there might some escape from the prisons that simultaneously hold us captive and keep us alive.