Archive: Beetle Bailey

Post Content

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/17/20

I’m sure the Smifs and the Barlows could rattle off a list of slights and transgressions going back generations that have kept their blood feud alive, but today’s strip shows the real underlying structural motivation behind it: a battle over access to scarce resources.

Mary Worth, 4/17/20

Sure, Hugo is brusquely rejecting Dawn’s suggestion to look at a Star Wars … exhibit? movie? poster? … which is I guess a thing Dawn likes now, and this is a point against him in her mental calculus. But I think he’s actually growing as person: this was a perfect opportunity for him to go on at great length at how much better Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was than any American sci-fi flick, but he chose not to.

Beetle Bailey, 4/17/20

As the creator of a long-running entertainment website, I understand the tension between going to the well of my classic running bits that regular fans love and doing jokes don’t require backstory so I can hook in potential new readers; newspaper comics face the same dilemma. Today’s Beetle Bailey presents a double face as a result. Longtime strip readers know that the joke here is about the fact that the General and his wife hate each other, and one thing she particularly hates is him staying out late at bars. But if you just came into this strip cold, with no background on the characters, there would really be one logical and obvious way to interpret this punchline: that the General, despite being weary of America’s endless wars, is about to go home, pick up the phone, and start giving the orders that will set yet another one in motion. You can see in his eyes that the thought of sending the ill-prepared men of Camp Swampy into combat is killing a part of his soul, but he has his orders and sees no way out.

Post Content

Fast Track, Judge Parker, and Mother Goose and Grimm, 4/13/20

“Well, this worldwide coronavirus pandemic is going to affect people’s ability to travel or gather in large groups, and is even modifying how we greet each other, but probably the whole world won’t be on lockdown with most economic activity suspended by the time these strips run!” –newspaper comic strip creators a few weeks ago, apparently

Between Friends, 4/13/20

“The worldwide coronavirus pandemic will have the greatest impact on our most vulnerable population: horny people who rely on business travel to hook up with sex partners.” –the creators of Between Friends, keeping their eyes on the real issues, as usual

Mark Trail, 4/13/20

I very much love that the Crowleys feel like they have to make a stirring emotional appeal here, rather than just saying, “Well, society frowns on it when you just leave a little boy to die in the woods.” And, you know, I get it! Have you seen Kevin?

Dennis the Menace, 4/13/20

We’ve discussed Dennis’s tentative journey towards literacy before, so now I’m spending a lot more time than I really should contemplating why Dennis sitting at the feet of a girl he normally loudly claims to be unable to stand, waiting for her to do something for him he could probably do himself, and I’m feeling personally menaced by the answers I’m coming up with and what it portends for their relationship post-puberty!

Post Content

Blondie, 4/12/20

It’s honestly sad that Dagwood’s two favorite things — food and sleep — have betrayed him like this, combining into a nightmare melange of psycho-sexual horror. There are so many things to be disturbed by here, but for me, the worst is the contrast between the pulled pork and yankee pot roast, both foodstuffs made up of animal tissue transformed into a slurry that can be shaped at will, and the turkey, which still contains the skeletal structure of the deceased bird. Yet in its anthropomorphized dream form, the turkey’s eyes are at its anterior end, and the incision into its gut is transformed into a hungry mouth. As the various foods begin to devour Dagwood in revenge for his failure to devour them, his cry of pain indicates that these monstrosities have real, sharp teeth. Truly one of the most harrowing things I’ve seen in the comics in years.

Beetle Bailey, 4/12/20

In a perfect world, Chaplain Stainglass’s parishioners would be spontaneously moved to tithe by religious feeling, or at least from the sense of community their church provides. But the chaplain knows that in this fallen wold of ours, there are only two things that motivate mortal sinners — lust and fear — and he’s not too proud to use both as fundraising tools.