Archive: Beetle Bailey

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Mary Worth, 2/10/24

While we’ve heard a lot about how Keith is a good romantic partner and putting in the work as a father figure, we haven’t actually seen a lot of evidence supporting those assertions, and plenty of contradictory evidence, frankly. But today, we learn that he really has stepped up, in that he appears to have kept Kitty and Sonia entirely unaware of Mary Worth’s existence; he just refers to her elliptically as “my neighbor,” which tells me that he has not been singing her praises unprompted whenever an opportunity arises. Using his massive bulk to shield his newfound love ones from Mary’s meddling gaze … truly the greatest act of heroism I’ve seen in this strip.

Gil Thorp, 2/10/24

Hey, remember when that coach with a perm got beat up by one of his own students? Well, he, uh, he’s got PTSD now. So much so that he finds Gil intimidating! It’s sad, really.

Beetle Bailey, 2/10/24

You can just say Taylor Swift, Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC! I know your median reader is 78 years old, but I promise you, you can just say Taylor Swift.

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Bizarro and Six Chix, 2/2/24

Were you, as an adolescent, fascinated by Dante’s Inferno, and in particular by the book’s weird geography, in which hell is a kind of cone under the Earth’s surface, with each “circle” a ledge on which some ironic and awful punishment is dished out on unfortunate sinners? Or were you, unlike me, normal? If the former, you are truly primed to appreciate and perhaps even create today’s Six Chix, which some might fight offensive to Italians but I consider a true delight even though the pun is a little bit of a stretch. If the latter, you might produce today’s other Dante comic. Get it, OMG=”Divine” and LOL=”Comedy”? This is the product of the normie mind and frankly doesn’t deserve the label “bizarre” at all.

Pardon My Planet, 2/2/24

If one of your deep-seated fantasies is cruelly taunting women on social media for going to the bathroom, because you get off on the idea of them having to sit there uncomfortably and hold it until your issue your approval via Facebook comments, then I guess it’s better to write a syndicated newspaper comic strip about it than it is to actually do it? Like, more people will know about it from a comic, which is bad, because nobody should know about this, it’s obviously very shameful, but at least you’re not actually targeting any specific women, and women in general now have a pretty good sense that they should steer clear of you.

Beetle Bailey, 2/2/24

Ha ha, artificial intelligence, am I right? It would certainly be crazy if AI were to replace Beetle and Sarge. Now I know what you’re thinking: given that today’s strip involves a close up on our two characters whose facial expressions barely change and who are standing in a featureless, backgroundless void, how do we know that AI hasn’t already replaced them, in the sense of writing this strip? Well, just as an experiment, I asked ChatGPT to write a Beetle Bailey on this topic:

Yes, well, there you have it: the soulless machine produces dialogue even less funny than the Walker-Browne Humor Industries LLC sweatshop, somehow tries to drag things out over four panels like this is 1959 and the comics pages have infinite space to fill, gets minor details wrong (have you ever seen “polishing boots” as one of Beetle’s assigned tasks?), and seems to think that Beetle and Sarge like each other.

But what about comics bloggers? Could they be replaced by a shiny cybernetic robot?

I feel like this is something that would’ve shocked every ’60s sci-fi writer churning out pulp novels and short stories about killer robots while out of their mind on benzedrine, but the thing about AI is that it isn’t mean enough to be funny. It’s called the Comics Curmudgeon, you pablum-spewing chatbot! Get back to me when you’re prepared to say that Beetle and Sarge engaging in “banter” isn’t enjoyable for anyone!

Anyway, tune in next time, dear readers, as we explore the unpredictable landscapes of the funny pages. Until then, keep those comics coming, and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments. Over and out!

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Dennis the Menace, 1/28/24

Folks, let me tell you something about my brain (and yeah, sorry, you’re reading a blog with the URL josh reads dot com, you signed up for information about Josh’s brain): I need to create elaborate systems for myself in my home so that I don’t forget where important everyday objects (keys, wallet, glasses, etc.) are, and the real necessity of these rituals is brought home to me every time I travel anywhere and immediately lose everything in a relatively small guest bedroom or hotel room. Names? Of people? Whom I have met socially on multiple occasions, and about whom I could tell you any number of things about their lives and hopes and dreams? You think I’m going to remember their names? You sweet summer child. You think I don’t maintain a Word document called everybodys_names.docx for each job or professional relationship I’ve ever had? Because I do, I absolutely do maintain those documents, thank you very much.

But, today? When I read today’s Dennis the Menace? I felt the phrase “Oh, the Mitchell family, the star of the syndicated Dennis the Menace comic strip, have a storage unit” sink into my brain, and I knew, I knew with absolute certainty that this bit of Dennis the Menace lore was now burned in there permanently. The next time I go anywhere, and I look desperately around the room trying to find my keys, and then I close my eyes to try to visualize where I left them, I know that what I’ll actually see is Henry Mitchell, Dennis the Menace’s father, looking around at all the boxes in his storage unit, and shaking his head at how Alice doesn’t think he needs a place to put this stuff.

Beetle Bailey, 1/28/24

Ha ha, look at Killer! He’s severely traumatized. I don’t think he was even beat up — this is all just from psychological abuse. I guess the other soldiers should really start to appreciate how Beetle serves as a ritual scapegoat for the whole camp!