Archive: Crankshaft

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Mary Worth, 4/6/19

Hmm, it seems that “Arthur Z”‘s supposed full name is in fact “Arthur Zerro,” aka A. Zero! It’s like he’s leaving little breadcrumbs to make the fact that he’s a scam artist and a loser obvious. Presumably he’s undermining his own grift because deep down he despises himself and wants to be caught, which is lucky for our heroes because that’s pretty much the only way this crew of dingbats is going to actually catch him.

Funky Winkerbean, 4/6/19

You know, Funky Winkerbean isn’t just about jokes that one character tells and then another character doesn’t get it because it’s too obscure or poorly worded. Sometimes it’s about jokes that one character tells and then another character understands it perfectly fine but doesn’t appreciate it because it’s actually pretty condescending.

Crankshaft, 4/6/19

Crankshaft is a fun comic strip about a middle aged couple and how they deal with an elderly parent living with them! The way they cope is by becoming alcoholics.

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Mother Goose and Grimm, 4/4/19

This won’t be the first time I’ve dwelled on this, but I do think it’s funny how certain objects have just sort of become an archetype for “things that dogs pee on,” like fire hydrants or trees. Dogs will, for the record, pee pretty much anywhere, but they do like a vertical thing where other dogs can sniff, I guess, so trees are more likely that not what you’re likely to see your dog peeing on when you take them for a walk. My point is that today’s Mother Goose and Grimm only works because we have an iconographic context for it: we get that the joke is that “dogs pee on trees, the air freshener looks like a tree, it’s funny because Grimm has mistaken this symbol for the physical object it emulates.” But imagine someone who for whatever cultural reasons wouldn’t be able to make those connections! To them, this is just a comic panel about a dog threatening to piss all over the inside of a car, while his owner begs him not to.

Crankshaft, 4/4/19

In yesterday’s Crankshaft, Crankshaft asked the stewardess for a Coke and she asked if Pepsi were OK and he said “No” and that was the whole strip! Today he just keeps hitting the “call attendant” light and irritating the stewardess for no reason. I know that usually “Crankshaft is an asshole” is the subtext to every Crankshaft punchline, but I guess they’ve decided to make it the text this week? And it’s only Thursday, so buckle up!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 4/4/19

Sure, Rex was in a plane that almost crashed, but the irritating person he encountered in the process got arrested and slagged on by his own twin brother, and also Rex was showered with praise and free stuff for doing really the bare minimum of keeping an eye on a kid who quite frankly wasn’t showing any inclination to wander off or anything. Honestly the only substantive inconvenience he encountered through this whole ordeal was that he had to leave his bag behind on the plane, and, well, good news, everybody!

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Crankshaft, 3/10/19

I’m ashamed to admit to Not Remembering A Thing about comics, but … wasn’t there a period of years in this strip where Lena was always off-panel, the unseen butt of everyone’s grousing over her terrible coffee/brownies/etc.? This helped develop the idea of her as a true, legendary monster, but at some point, this pointless running gag stopped running and Lena was revealed to be a perfectly nice person to whom all the other characters are mean for no good reason. Like, today! Where everyone is clearly going to go bowling and they’re making up a transparent excuse to have her not go with her, because they don’t like her! I know the core gag of Crankshaft is “All these people are assholes” but it’s pretty rare that it’s done so explicitly.

Dennis the Menace, 3/10/19

At first I looked at this strip and saw this car rambling down a winding dirt road in the isolated countryside with Dennis, not in a child seat or even a seat belt, lounging in the back seat, and I assumed this was part of Henry’s plan to get rid of his menacing son once and for all in a terrible “accident.” But then I noticed Henry isn’t belted in either! That means we’re looking at the last tender moment before a murder-suicide, which is pretty dark even for this strip.