Archive: Crankshaft

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Judge Parker, 7/7/21

Ha ha, ever since Sam was supposed to be guarding Randy and Charlotte but got punched into unconsciousness and Randy and Charlotte subsequently got kidnapped, Judge Parker Senior has been mostly sulking and getting drunk, fuming mad at everyone but especially at Sam. So for the last few days Sam’s been building up to his proposal for a mission that will give them purpose again, which I’ve assumed was going to be that they go into the deepest jungle and do whatever terrible deeds are necessary in order to find and free Alan’s son and granddaughter. But haha, nope, Sam’s just antsy and wants to rack up some billable hours so he can keep in good standing with the local bar association. C’mon, Alan, ever since the Cellino & Barnes partnership ended in acrimony and tragedy, there’s room for some new ambulance chasers in town!

By the way, it’s wholly possible that I’m not remembering Randy’s daughter’s name correctly, but I don’t care that much and I made only an extremely half-assed attempt to look it up, discovering that the Judge Parker Wikipedia page doesn’t seem to have any updates to the “story and characters” section beyond 2009. So, no word on Randy’s daughter, but the article does note that when the strip launched Randy had a sister, Ann! So, I dunno, Alan, maybe spent some effort figuring out where she went if you need to focus your energy somewhere.

Blondie, 7/7/21

One interesting thing about the weird character design in Blondie is that Dagwood’s canonical outfit is the weird modified version of a tuxedo that you see here, a holdover from the strip’s 1930s origins, when he was a dissolute rich kid and this was the sort of thing it was normal for people of his social class to wear to parties. In 2021, of course, that would be a wholly insane thing for someone to wear, so Dagwood tends to wear polo shirts when lounging around at home, and his tuxedo is now his work uniform; his officemates generally go in for more normal work attire, but I digress. My point is that Dagwood has clearly pulled out his laptop immediately upon arriving home to fact-check the extremely backhanded compliment his boss gave him, and I think that’s sad! Blondie obviously does too, as that’s a pity kiss if I ever saw one.

Crankshaft, 7/7/21

You know what I’m not sad about? Crankshaft getting straight-up scammed by the garden product catalog he’s obsessed with. Good for them, I say!

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Crankshaft, 6/28/21

In the United States, things are increasingly getting back to their pre-pandemic patterns, at least for now, but the scars on our psyches will take years to heal. For instance, today’s Crankshaft features the main character scowling and furious about how wastefully clean everyone in his family kept their anuses during the corona year, and despite a return to free-flowing TP he clearly still hasn’t gotten over it. Honestly, you sort of get the feeling that he thinks nobody should be wasting or even using toilet paper at any time, so this may not be the best example of my overall point.

Funky Winkerbean, 6/28/21

Say what you will about Funky Winkerbean, but it’s a rare boomer-created strip that actually gets a lot right about its many millennial characters: namely, that at this point they’re by and large normal middle aged adults who are increasingly dumpy-looking and disillusioned, just like everybody else ever when they start hitting their 30s. Do real millennials speak in hashtags? No, no they don’t. I said the strip gets “a lot right,” not everything right.

Hi and Lois, 6/28/21

Speaking of millennials, it’s hard to get a handle on exactly how old Hi and Lois are supposed to be, but since their kids range from in age from teen to infant, I’m going to guess they’re in their late 30s and are thus “geriatric millennials.” Anyway, good news for your non-geriatric millennials: Hi and Lois are still horny! For now, at least.

Blondie, 6/28/21

Anyway, on the note of actually young people, Cookie and Alexander are drawn so closely to the Blondie/Dagwood character models that it can be easy to forget that they’re teenagers. What I’m saying is, I’m hoping Cookie is surreptitiously filming this to upload for her huge audience of TikTok followers who turn to her for self-care tips, and she sets it to some bleep-bloop song I don’t recognize and adds some text like “my dad’s in an EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP with his boss … and that’s the tea, sis.”

Marvin, 6/28/21

The Marvin characters exist beyond generational discoruse, so I don’t actually care how old Jeff or Jenny or their parents are or what generational cohort they’re supposed to be in. Mostly I wanted to show you this strip, which I enjoyed because of Jenny’s sly little smile in the last panel. “Yep, that’s my husband!” she’s thinking. “He’s a real lazy piece of shit.”

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/22/21

Look, I thought we had a consensus here: Cartoonists draw the people and animals in their strips in all sorts of whimsical, silly ways that look funny on paper and we think it’s cute, even though if we actually saw a being in the flesh with those proportions, we’d recoil in horror and disgust. But when the actual cartoon character acknowledges his freakish, unnatural form, it quite frankly breaks the spell and forces us to imagine these nightmare beings. Like, can you imagine a horse with no neck? Horses are all neck! Their long, muscular necks are one of the defining features of their body plan! But try visualizing a horse — not a cute cartoon horse, but a real flesh-and-blood thoroughbred — with its head just jammed onto its shoulders. What a nightmare, right? It’s real sick shit, and I’m mad at Barney Google and Snuffy Smith just for making me think about it.

Mother Goose and Grimm, 6/22/21

You know some real sick shit I’m not mad thinking about? Mother Goose (specifically the title character from the popular syndicated newspaper strip Mother Goose and Grimm, to be clear, not just the generic folklore character) down at the blood bank, just wheeze-coughing into blood bags while the nurses there desperately try to get her to stop. Call me mercurial, I guess, but that’s the sort of thing I sincerely enjoy!

Crankshaft, 6/22/21

Another thing I’m enjoying today is Crankshaft’s emotional journey in this strip. “Christmas? In June?” he seems to be thinking in panel two. “Did they move it? Is nothing sacred now that the damn libs are in charge again?” But then in panel three, he’s like, “Ohh, I get it now. It’s wordplay! I love wordplay!”

Important correction to yesterday’s Mary Worth post: When Shauna said that she was working at Santa Roymart, I assumed this was the supermarket where Tommy and Brandy also worked. In fact, as several faithful readers pointed out, those two work at Freda’s, Santa Royale’s upscale market with a personal touch. Santa Roymart is a big box store where Tommy refused to work, possibly because it was the scene of a botched drug raid. Is Shauna in league with the drug dealers who use Santa Roymart’s warehouse as their HQ? Keep reading this blog to find out!