Archive: Between Friends

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Funky Winkerbean, 5/7/20

OK, I am ashamed to admit this, but: I genuinely do not have a handle on what is happening in Funky Winkerbean today. On the one hand, what we know most about this quixotic second-time-around attempt to turn Les’s maudlin book about his dead wife into a movie is that Les, whom the strip assumes is good and noble, is afraid that Hollywood is going to bastardize it in some way, probably by making it interesting or watchable, and so far his meetings have confirmed his darkest suspicions. Today, he and Mason are talking to a personified cluster of Rich Hollywood Asshole Signifiers, with the giant desk and the smug face and the “Amaze me!” and such, and the dude reacts to their pitch by saying “Creating art isn’t a business model,” which one might expect to mean “I’m in the business of greenlighting profitable entertainment products, and creating art — beautiful, tragic art like Lisa’s Story — isn’t how you do that.”

BUT! HOWEVER! Mason’s pitch isn’t about making some intimate, art-house film that can be made on a Netflix budget and maybe get limited theatrical distribution. He’s throwing all sorts of business-y jargon out there. Box-office appeal! High-concept four-quadrant movie! Maybe the big twist is supposed to be that our Rich Hollywood Asshole has a soul after all. Why are you coming to us with business models, Mason? Creating art isn’t a business model, and we thought you wanted to create art. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Between Friends, 5/7/20

Meanwhile, let’s check in on the gently neurotic middle-aged Canadian antics of Between Friends. There, uh, seems to be a gas leak of some sort? More on this situation as it develops.

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Mark Trail, 3/9/20

Oh, wow, it seems these troubled children are turning on each other! They overheard Kevin admitting he didn’t have a dad and are immediately unleashing the most vicious attack a teen thug can think of: “Hey, look, fellas! A homeless kid!” Fortunately Geoff is there to set everyone straight with some tough talk, or maybe he’s just going to “level the playing field” by revealing all the socially debilitating secrets that ended with these delinquents on this hike instead of doing something fun and cool literally anywhere else. Anyway, how do you feel about the fact that you can apparently see down Geoff’s throat in the final panel? Feel kind of uncomfortable? I sure do!

Mary Worth, 3/9/20

It’s true, change is inevitable, as it’s been said! But in this case, maybe it’s … not? Like maybe Mary could ask for her preferred volunteer shift instead of just meekly acquiescing to the change? What’re they gonna do if she insists, fire her?

Between Friends, 3/9/20

Oh no! The COVID-19 virus has finally reached the funny pages! Can Between Friends be isolated before the rest of our beloved characters are infected? Fortunately the strip is set in Canada, so only the zombie For Better Or For Worse crew is in immediate danger.

Family Circus, 3/9/20

Daddy was “unavoidably detained on an out-of-town trip,” and based on the whispered conversations of adults on the subject Billy has come up with some wild ideas of what’s going on exactly, involving aliens and, I assume, rectal probes.

Pluggers, 3/9/20

PLUGGERS ARE SUNDOWNING

THEY SAID IT

THE SYNDICATED NEWSPAPER PANEL PLUGGERS SAID THIS ABOUT PLUGGERS, NOT ME, I’M JUST REPORTING IT

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/1/19

Parson Tuttle is, of course, a fraud who’s completely unsuited for providing spiritual guidance, but in this case he’s given Loweezy some solid advice that she seems to have missed. As a materialist, Tuttle knows that one’s happiness is tied directly to one’s material conditions, as he clearly states in the throwaway panels. Snuffy’s innards are full of nothing but rotten potatoes, cheap corn likker, and whatever chickens he can steal; there’s no way he can change his attitude just by force of will alone.

Between Friends, 12/1/19

I can’t decide if creating a spoof version of the Serenity Prayer — which is widely used within and identified with Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step recovery programs — in which the narrator deals with their problems by getting blotto on a bottle of wine is wildly inappropriate or actually very, very on point.