Archive: Beetle Bailey

Post Content

Beetle Bailey, 4/7/20

Way back in the mists of time, like the late ’90s and early ’00s, many people looked at the Internet on primitive CRT screens that could only display 256 different colors, which gave rise to a limited “web-safe color palette” made up of shades that you could be sure all your users would see properly. I’m reasonably certain that when I first started this blog in 2004, the colorized comics from King Features still used that palette, which would explain some of the odder coloring choices, like the electric blue sports coats so beloved by the square gentlemen of my late beloved Apartment 3-G.

Anyway, I assume that the anonymous, underpaid comics colorists long ago shifted to accommodate the literally millions of distinct shades that modern monitors and touchscreen devices are capable of displaying, which is why I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that what Cookie is serving up today isn’t a “sloppy joe” as most of us would understand it, i.e., ground beef in a dark red sauce. No, the men of Camp Swampy have their plates running with bright, red, fresh blood, its color picked out of a near-infinite spectrum to indicate that they’ve been offered the still-steaming viscera of something — or someone — who’s been freshly killed.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/7/20

Wow, I have to admit some deep-rooted prejudice that I wasn’t even conscious of holding: I’ve always assumed that Doc Pritchard was a flatlander who ended up in Hootin’ Holler as part of a federal rural medicine program to clear his loans from med school, or maybe he’s just lying low to avoid multiple active malpractice suits. But no, it looks like he’s actually from this place, or at least is tied to its rocky soil via kin; since he’s familiar with their down-home rural ways, that may explain why he’s cheerfully moonlighting as a large-animal vet today.

Six Chix, 4/7/20

Look, the world’s a little crazy right now, so if you have the modestly prominent platform of a day’s share in a nationally syndicated newspaper comic strip, why not use it to air out your most petty and specific grievance? Do you believe not only that deep-dish pizza is garbage, but that those assholes from Chicago don’t even really like it? Go ahead and tell the world! What are they going to do, violate “safe at home” orders to come get you?

Post Content

Beetle Bailey, 3/28/20

Lots of people, me included, criticize legacy strips like Beetle Bailey for just going back to the same well over and over again. But I want to recognize the fact that they can be innovative too, often refining established joke premises into sharper and sharper barbs. Take this strip’s now beloved weekly regular, “The Halftracks Hate Each Other.” Today’s installment really presents us with a harrowing and baroque version of what’s usually a quick and savage interaction: Amos sitting in a bar drinking himself blotto, with every sip reported back to his wife, who’s no doubt lying in bed alone, staring at her phone and getting more incandescently angry and bereft with every text. I personally feel like I will never be warm again after reading this!

Gil Thorp, 3/28/20

Oh man, remember how this Gil Thorp storyline began with jokes about how annoying it would be to have the same name as a popular digital assistant? Well, guess how it’s ending! Let’s please do something dumb about baseball starting Monday and never speak of any of this again.

Dustin, 3/28/20

Dustin was of course created to specifically poke fun at the tensions between millennials (who suck) and baby boomers (who … don’t, apparently?), but that doesn’t mean it can’t also take on some more universal truths, specifically that women be shopping. Throughout time, in every nation, across generations: Women. Be. Shopping.

Post Content

The Phantom, 2/23/20

In the Sunday Phantom storyline, our hero is taking his daughter on a trip down memory lane (if you’re a Phantom or Phantom-adjacent, a “trip down memory lane” is your dad reading from a musty old journal while you sit in a creepy cave full of tombs) to teach her about her heroic Phantom ancestors. Did you know the 13th Phantom helped defeat Napoleon? This might seem a little far afield from the Phantom’s remit to fight against piracy, but surely by aiding the British and their Empire this hero helped defend his African home … wait, what’s that you say? Well, hmm, maybe he would’ve been smarter to let the French win, and … huh, that wouldn’t have helped either? Well gosh, our hero certainly was in a pickle, wasn’t he. Might as well stick it to Napoleon, I guess!

Funky Winkerbean, 2/23/20

I’ve always found the title Mozart In The Jungle to be so goofy that I’ve worked hard to learn as little as possible about the show, just because I want to savor that name out of context. But now? Now that I’ve seen Holly suggest it as tonight’s viewing, as she flashes bedroom eyes at Funky? Now it’s forever tainted to me. I still don’t want to learn anything about the show, but mainly because I fear it will cause me to have reason to think back upon today’s Funky Winkerbean, which can only depress me.

Beetle Bailey, 2/23/20

Beetle will only be satisfied by the eternal darkness … of the grave.