Archive: Blondie

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Blondie, 11/16/18

It’s a tough competition, but to my mind the legacy comic strip most aggressively out of touch with how young people talk, think, and act is Blondie. The creators of Snuffy Smith or Crock may know less about computers and social media and such, but at least they don’t build entire strips around their own perception of how those things work, revealing a mindset of mingled bafflement and contempt. Have you ever shouted the name of a popular viral video, which is of course the word “hashtag” followed by two largely nonsense words, to your fellow kid on the other end of a couch so that she can also consume and enjoy that content? Of course you have, this is an extremely relatable scenario.

Mary Worth, 11/16/18

Do you think that Toby knows that Mary is always narrating her exploits in such detail because she’s grooming her to take over as Charterstone’s meddler-in-chief once Mary passes on? As the incident Mary is describing indicates, she’s anything but subtle, but you have to take into account the fact that Toby is very dumb, so she might want to just come out and say it.

Pluggers, 11/16/18

I’m really bummed about the cowardly “bacon patch” joke that’s been grafted onto this panel at the last minute, because I thought that, in “Rhino-Man volunteers to be a subject for dangerous experimental drug trials,” we finally had a Pluggers bleak enough to serve as a sequel to “Rhino-Man hocks his TV.”

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Blondie, 11/13/18

One of the more unpleasant transformations of Dagwood Bumstead over the years has been the process by which we’ve moved from “Ha ha, Dagwood sure likes to eat comically large sandwiches!” to “Dagwood is an Appetite who lives to Consume.” Today’s strip is particularly disturbing: Dagwood has, for as long as he can remember, been uniquely able to communicate with turkeys in their own language. Does this give him more empathy for the majestic birds? No. Seeing into their minds, understanding their desires, hearing their pleas for mercy — to Dagwood, that only makes them more delicious.

Gil Thorp, 11/13/18

Welp, it looks like the vaguely exciting notion of Tiki being an imposter has given way to the much duller reality of Tiki’s family engaging in low-level fraud. The final panel makes the completely implausible suggestion that the Milford athletic department somehow has higher standards than the rest of the school administration.

Marvin, 11/13/18

Sometimes Marvin does half-assed plots or at least “theme” weeks, so let me just assure you that nothing like that is happening here! There was no setup or anything yesterday for this: a comic where a toddler has been thrown into a cage full of angry feral dogs who are probably seconds away from eating him.

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Crankshaft, 10/31/18

So Crankshaft has been doing a “the kids did not react well to Ed’s Halloween costume” bit for a couple days and I have to admit that at first I didn’t really get it? Like, yesterday, his co-workers were like “Ha ha, Ed picked the wrong costume” and I genuinely thought it was because the horizontal stripes were supposed to be unflattering, but I guess it’s just that Freddy Krueger is too scary for the youths. Which … I mean, look, I literally have never seen any films in the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise because I’m an absolute coward when it comes to horror movies. But is a burnt nightmare man with a claw glove objectively scarier, as a concept, than an undead ghoul with fangs who thirsts for blood and can either kill you or transform you into a cursed being like himself at his whim, or scarier than a shambling parody of life pieced together from rotting corpses by a crazed scientist in violation of God’s law? I would argue the answer is no, and I only find Freddy scarier because he was a splashy new horror icon of my formative years, whereas Draculas and Frankensteins and such had been part of the cultural background radiation of my whole life. But as for those kids on Ed’s bus … well, did you know that the first Nightmare on Elm Street film came out 34 years ago? That’s a long time! Those kids aren’t going to find Freddy uniquely terrifying, certainly not compared to Ed Crankshaft, the man who’s actually trying to kill them.

Blondie, 10/31/18

I still don’t feel like I have a full handle on what’s happening in today’s Blondie. Has Dagwood always worried that his barber was planning to stab him to death with scissors? I would’ve said that seems paranoid but after seeing this strip I’m honestly not so sure!

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/31/18

The Smif-Barlow feud has of course caused endless tragedy in Hootin’ Holler, its origins long forgotten but the occasional outbreak of violence renewing it every generation. I actually wonder how Lukey fits into it — is his family considered a client of the Smifs, or perhaps they’re linked by kinship somehow? Anyway, today’s strip shows how the violence perpetuates itself: Barlow isn’t harming anyone, but Snuffy and Lukey have to make a show of being “afraid” of him as he wanders onto their turf to justify the vicious beating they’re about to dish out in the moonless dark.