Archive: Blondie

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Blondie, 3/15/19

How old do you think Dagwood Bumstead is? In one sense, he was born already an adult when the comic strip Blondie debuted in 1930 and is thus somewhere in his 110s, older than just about any adult alive and reading about his day-to-day antics is; but in another sense, he has two teenage children and is of working age in the year 2019, so he’s probably no older than his mid 50s and could be as young as his late 30s. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, despite the fact that all of us have only known Dagwood as an adult our whole lives and therefore think of him as “older than us,” the word “dope” has been used as a positive adjective in the sense depicted here for nearly 40 years! C’mon, man.

Mary Worth, 3/15/19

You ever notice that we’d never seen Mary’s “old friend” Estelle until she foisted Libby onto her because she realized that she couldn’t continue to play whatever cruel long-running emotional game she’s playing with Dr. Jeff if he couldn’t hang out at her apartment? She’d never spent time with Estelle socially before and I’m pretty sure she only drops by her apartment now so she can get some Libby time in. If Estelle were explaining in rapturous detail that all Arthur needs to wrap up his construction job in Malaysia was her social security number and a certified copy of her birth certificate, Mary would just mutter “I’m happy for you, my friend!” while getting just enough cat dander on her clothes to keep Jeff off-balance the next time he comes to visit.

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Blondie, 2/21/19

As with most legacy comics, there are many strips in Blondie where the underlying vibe is that the kids today suck, but in today’s installment that seems to have become the “joke” itself. Millennials! You give them a promotion and they just want to party, with your money!!! Thank god the computer nerds will soon replace them all with robots, amiright??? It’s absolutely wild that Dagwood, for whom napping on the job is literally a solid 25% of shtick, is looking gobsmacked at the reader with a “can you believe it?” facial expression in the final panel.

Marvin, 2/21/19

So, yes, we’ve been having fun with the visual joke of “a fire hydrant is the dog equivalent of a toilet!” for, I dunno, probably the better part of a century, but … we all know that when dogs pee on things, they do it from, like, several inches away, right? They don’t touch the thing they pee on? So it doesn’t matter how cold the thing is? I know this is a weird question for Marvin, the most piss-obsessed strip there is, but: has anyone involved in the production of this comic actually seen a dog pee?

Pluggers, 2/21/19

Pluggers’ cars break down all the time, and they don’t have any actual friends.

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Blondie, 2/15/19

Look, while it’s conventional wisdom that legacy strips somehow remain lucrative enough to pay ghost writers and other gagsmiths, I don’t have any specific knowledge of what goes on behind any particular strip. Officially, Blondie has been written by Dean Young, son of strip creator Chic Young, since 1973 — literally as long as I’ve been alive — and beyond that one can only speculate. Still, I recognize creative exhaustion when I see it; all I can say is that back in 2005 whoever was behind the strip was still enjoying themselves, coming with absurd names for characters like Glambaster just for the sheer silliness of it. But now, fourteen years later, it’s a different, and much grimmer story. “These people, uh, they don’t like it when you’re late. What should we call them. Uh. Time. Clock. Clock … ers? Clockers. There. Done. What was that, Friday’s strip? Just one more to go for the week, thank Christ.”

Beetle Bailey, 2/15/19

I once was a groomsman in a Catholic wedding where the sermon started off nice and went quite long, and I tuned out for a little bit and then when I started listening again the priest was in the middle of a story about how his parents has a huge fight with each other at a McDonald’s because they couldn’t fully love each other because they didn’t love Jesus. “This seems like an odd childhood story to dig up in this context,” I thought, but then it became clear that I had missed the setup and the fight had actually happened less than a month prior to the wedding, at which point I thought “This just seems to reflect badly on your persuasive powers as a professional clergyman, Father.” Anyway, should Chaplain Staneglass have advised Beetle and Sarge that fellowship in Christ might improve their relationship rather than just telling them tautologically “you’d be nicer to each other if you were nicer to each other”? Maybe, since you’d think he would have some sense of how profoundly emotionally damaged Sarge is and realize that heavy spiritual artillery is in order.

Gil Thorp, 2/15/19

We all of course remember B/Robby Howley, the student basketball manager who perpetrated the entirely victimless crime of hooking a player up with fake Adderral, who for his trouble was banished to the rec center and would grow up to become twisted and hell-bent on revenge. But whatever happened to Max Bacon, the other participant in that transaction, the one who incessantly badgered and guilt-tripped poor B/Robby who finally came up with his hare-brained fake pill scheme just to get him off his back? He’s grown a beard and stopped bleaching his hair and is totally still in Gil’s good graces when he comes back to his old high school to yuck it up! Remember, it’s natural for an athlete to use any means necessary to compete at the highest level, and it’s the moral responsibility of those around them to not fulfill their expressed wishes.