Archive: Beetle Bailey

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Beetle Bailey, 2/22/24

Beetle Bailey has always added new characters to cash in on the latest fads, and a fun fact is that “Rocket ’88’,” considered by some to be the first rock ‘n’ roll record, was released 6 months after the first Beetle Bailey comic strip, so rock ‘n’ roll was in fact one of those fads that they cashed in on by introducing us to “Rocky.” He’s been many things since then, of course — like a nihilist from an impoverished background — but I like today’s strip, which decides to dig back into Rocky’s origins to find new material, and dares to ask the question “What if Rocky is really into playing rock music, but is also really bad at it?”

Judge Parker, 2/22/24

Uh oh! Judge Parker Senior’s wayward daughter got caught by some tough criminal dude she owes money to, and he’s going to drag her to the Parker residence to get that money, like she tried and failed to do herself over Christmas. Except, oops, Judge Parker Senior himself is waiting for them in the doorway! That guy went to prison! “What was I thinking,” thinks the tough criminal dude “At first I wanted to extort money from this guy, but now that I see him, he’s kinda scary. I gotta get outta here!”

Mary Worth, 2/22/24

“Sure, Sonia really wanted to establish a connection to her biological father — that’s what started this whole journey — and I’m not that. But, on the other hand, I already won her affection. I won! You don’t give up and admit defeat after you already won!”

Dennis the Menace, 2/22/24

You might look at this panel, with the lettering all smooshed up to the right there, and think it looks like absolute shit. But how else are people supposed to know that it’s Mr. Wilson who’s talking, smart guy? By a basic understanding of body language, social cues, and character dynamics? I think you’re overestimating the hardcore Dennis the Menace fandom by quite a bit.

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Hi and Lois, 2/17/24

In a happier family, Hi would relay this story with a rueful smile on his face, acknowledging that it was a disappointing game while still emphasizing that bowling is hard for little kids and everyone had a good time hanging out together. In a kinder family, if Hi were going to tell this story with a facial expression implying that the experience made him miserable and his youngest son inspires nothing but shame and contempt in his heart, he’d at least do it where Ditto couldn’t see or hear him.

Beetle Bailey, 2/17/24

Speaking of the unhappy Flagston-Bailey clan, I like that today’s Beetle Bailey doesn’t trust readers to understand that these two older characters talking about how “Beetle doesn’t write letters home anymore” are supposed to be Beetle’s parents. I’d like to think that the original draft only had one parent-themed coffee mug but the syndicate sent it back and said “No, this needs to be twice as obvious.”

Dennis the Menace, 2/17/24

Margaret should not be looking so happy here, she should absolutely be thinking to herself “I can’t believe this moron doesn’t even know the word ‘candelabra.’”

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Crock, 2/11/24

You know, some days I open up the ol’ comics in my newspaper web browser and think, “After all these years on this blog, do I truly have anything new to say?” But then I realize that Crock contains one of the many Crockian elements that annoy me — the tendency to generically call all the enlisted men under Crock’s command “trooper” — and I finally take the initiative go look up the names of the ranks in the French Foreign Legion and discover that, in fact, their equivalent of a private is given the rank of “légionnaire.” Why wouldn’t they be calling them this in this strip? You’re the only newspaper comic strip set in the French Foreign Legion, please lean into it! Why else do you think people are even reading you? Trust me, it’s not for the jokes.

Six Chix, 2/11/24

“Wait, why is this guy green?” you’re probably asking, like a simpleton. Uh, hello? Some sicko in San Francisco just removed his head from his neck, and then removed his neck entirely, and then affixed his head directly to his shoulders? My dude definitely died during that process, which is why, just like the classic Universal Pictures design of Frankenstein’s Monster, he’s green, because that’s what color a shambling collection of rotting corpse parts is. Can’t believe I still have to explain this to you people.

Panels from Beetle Bailey, 2/11/24

Something extremely sinister is happening in the throwaway panels of Beetle Bailey. “I’m so close to convincing the platoon that the world is slowly dying and the only solution is mass suicide. Hopefully they won’t notice — ah, damn it! Curse Zero’s eternal optimism and functioning clock!”

Dick Tracy, 2/11/24

Aw, looks like Sam’s gone back to visit his old popski at the family diner. And just in time to keep his dad from poisoning yet another one of his customers!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 2/11/24

“I never could’ve imagined this outcome. It’s wild, huh? Surprises? Arbitrary revelations for which no groundwork has been laid? This is what people enjoy in narrative, right? They find this satisfying?”

Mary Worth, 2/11/24

Oh, no! Sonia isn’t Keith’s daughter after all! Who could’ve possibly predicted? Oh, right, all of us. Obviously what’s going to happen is that Keith isn’t going to tell anybody this and will just continue to treat Sonia as the daughter he never knew because That’s What A Hero He Is, but I think it would be very funny if today’s quote is a hint that his emotional devastation is going to lead to a mescaline binge.