Archive: Beetle Bailey

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Mark Trail, 5/15/18

This is it, guys. This is the moment Mark’s been training for his whole life. He and a group of American tourists at this no-shower Mexican beachside resort have encountered a beached whale (not pictured, go back to Monday’s strip if you want to see it, I’m not going to do everything for you). One poor woman, weeping uncontrollably at the plight of the massive sea-beast and desperately searching for something solid to grab onto in this moment of tragedy, wonders aloud as to its species, and Mark, uniquely placed to meet her needs, steps up with facts at the ready. But then … but then … some Ernest Borgnine-lookin’ chump blunders in demanding to know where this know-it-all got all this useful whale taxonomy info. Who are you and how did you get so smart, mister? His hand, clenches, unwisely, into a fist. Oh, this gentleman’s about to get punched in the face, all right … but this time, with knowledge. (Later in the storyline, when it turns out he’s the sinister villain behind an illegal minke meat harvesting operation that caters to Japanese tourists, he’ll get punched in the face in the more usual sense of the term, with Mark’s crushing left cross.)

Beetle Bailey, 5/15/18

Remember, you can’t be as consistently furious with other people as Sarge is if you don’t also hate … yourself.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 5/15/18

Oh, look, we’ve been invited to watch the start of Snuffy and Loweezy’s sexual role play! I for one am extremely not down for this.

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Beetle Bailey and Blondie, 5/14/18

You know, I’ve spent the [consults notes, pauses a little bit as the unsettling realization sinks in] majority of my adult life shitting on the hard work of legacy syndicated newspaper comics and the mostly anonymous hired hands who toil on them, but I’m going to start my week by announcing that I really enjoyed these two strips today! And not in the “lol, this joke is stupid and for rubes but here, allow me to weave a 500-word essay on how, if you read it on a much deeper level unintended by the artist, which anyone who’s familiar with the Death of the Author theory of literary criticism knows is the only way you should read things, it’s actually good” sense that I usually go in for. Nope, these are just two solid and well-executed gags that combine text and visuals perfectly to make maximum use of comics as a medium. So kudos to Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC and whatever hedge fund acquired the Blondie intellectual property at fire sale prices after the whole sandwich shop bankruptcy and fraud thing!

Crankshaft, 5/14/18

Huh, that got a little mean-spirited towards the end there, didn’t it? Apologies, but speaking of mean-spirited, let’s see what Ed Crankshaft is up to! Oh, look, there’s a rude sign at the bank. I know I just said that I go in for the Death of the Author theory but I’m still genuinely trying to figure out if the intended joke here is “ha ha, banks sure are rude” or “ha ha, everyone hates Ed Crankshaft and wants to avoid interacting with him if they possibly can.”

Dennis the Menace, 5/14/18

Now that I’m fully back on my bullshit, I’m going to try to figure out what the real menace in today’s Dennis the Menace is. I can’t decide if it’s “Dennis loudly extols his mother’s gendered position in the household” or “Dennis has already internalized society’s unrealistic beauty standards and is fretting about getting fat.”

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Dick Tracy, 5/9/18

Oh, I guess I haven’t mentioned that Dick Tracy, as part of its new mission of just being a full-time old-timey comics nostalgia strip, is doing a crossover with the Green Hornet. You might remember that last year he did a crossover with the The Spirit, and while that masked extralegal crimefighter who first appeared more than 70 years ago was a friend and ally to Dick Tracy and his cop pals, the Green Hornet is treated as a criminal and enemy, and there’s probably reasons in the deep lore for that and you know what? I don’t really care what they are! Don’t bother to tell me, because if you do, I probably won’t really retain the information! Mainly what I want to draw attention to in today’s strip is Chief Patton’s dialogue in panel three, because this being Dick Tracy I’m assuming that his informant was a guy named Odd Duck who looks like a duck, with a bill for a mouth and everything.

Beetle Bailey, 5/9/18

You might think today’s Beetle Bailey is a joke about how the ladies shouldn’t have to listen to all the shocking swearing that menfolk do when they’re alone together, but no: the General and his staff were having a highly classified discussion of upcoming military action that junior officers and civilian employees like Blips and Buxley weren’t authorized to hear. The grawlices represent descriptions of the nightmarish consequences of warfare, with gruesome details of carnage far more harrowing than the casual blasphemies that have become a part of the everyday English language.