Archive: Beetle Bailey

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Mary Worth, 9/14/17

“Principles, Dawn! Principles! What are we without them? Just a seething mass of lust, abandoning society’s rules and our own moral compass whenever we see a handsome slab of man-meat who presses our buttons? Like, maybe you go to New York and meet a handsome Broadway legend who’s super into you and you entertain the thought for a while but eventually you go home to your drippy boyfriend who you’re never, ever going to marry. Because of principles, OK? You tell your friend that, Dawn. You tell your friend that.

Beetle Bailey, 9/14/17

I’m not usually one to judge other people’s recreational substance use, but I don’t think the fact that Sarge is huffing paint first thing in the morning is a great sign about how his life is going.

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Dennis the Menace, 9/6/17

Over the years, the overarching ’50s aesthetic and cultural milieu in Dennis the Menace has gone from “it was actually created in the ’50s so it was contemporary at the time” to “creative staff is aging out of awareness of contemporary culture, or maybe is trying to maintain a consistent tone” to “active indulgence of nostalgia, Mad Men style.” Even so, I find today’s panel particularly baffling. If this were actually published in, say, 1967, I’d describe it as “someone trying to draw a hippie who’s heard of them but never actually seen one and who is physically incapable of visualizing a man leaving the house without wearing a suit jacket,” but since this was in fact produced in the year 2017, I have to imagine that it’s … trying get inside the head of such a person from 50 years ago, who’s heard of hippies but etc.? Anyway, assuming we are in the early-to-late-mid ’60s window, the extremely mildly shaggy grooming plus earth-tone suit over sweater and dress shirt says “junior faculty at local liberal arts college” but the sandals say “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, returned to judge the living and the dead from His position as a junior faculty member at the local liberal arts college.” “My Father taught me many things, but the need to conform to the transitory grooming codes of this world was not among them,” the Son of Man thinks to Himself.

Mark Trail, 9/6/17

Speaking of Jesus, Mark seems to think that he’ll be safer from the coming twister underneath a house of worship, while our nefarious criminals have only one thing on their mind: getting as drunk as possible on whatever leftover booze has been aging deliciously over at the saloon in the decades since this entire town was abandoned. Mark’s going to feel pretty pious down there in the church basement, right until he realizes it’s part of the underground tunnel system where the Samson the biblically named but still bloodthirsty bear lives.

Beetle Bailey, 9/6/17

This strip has done plenty of strips about General Halftrack’s incipient dementia, but I think this is the first time we’ve actually seen one of the other characters cruelly laughing at his doddering panic.

Mary Worth, 9/6/17

It has come to my attention that some of you think that maybe this whole “Dr. Ned is still married” thing is a big comical sitcom-style misunderstanding, and that Jared overheard him talking to his daughter or something. It’s possible, I guess, but as contrary evidence let me point out that for their big dates Dr. Ned has taken Dawn to French restaurants called “The Love Dog” and “The Dishonest Snail.” This strip generally isn’t subtle, guys.

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Beetle Bailey, 8/29/17

As you know, I go straight-up nuts when Gil Thorp brings back beloved characters from years past, so I guess I should grudgingly acknowledge that Beetle Bailey does sort of the same thing, in that over its 67 years in print it has introduces new ancillary one-joke characters, mostly to keep up with dimly perceived trends, and then subsequently abandons them when they get tiresome but very occasionally bring them back. Cosmo is Camp Swampy’s black marketeer, straddling the line between capitalist and con artist; the official Beetle Bailey blog says he’s a parallel to Milo Minderbender in Catch-22, which honestly strikes me as a little highbrow for this strip. Anyway, the idea that in Cosmo finds the transition from pool shark to day trader a natural one strikes me as an intriguingly radical superstructure for a joke, even though the “joke” is yet another one that assumes “Are you checking your friends on social media?” is a thing that any human anywhere would actually say.

Family Circus, 8/29/17

It really tells you a lot that, when the Keanes decided to abandon PJ at the park, they left him there in a shirt that says PUSH and not FEED.