Archive: Crankshaft

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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.

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Mary Worth, 2/28/19

I suppose the meals in front of our Estelle and Date #3 are supposed be some kind of cruel commentary on their respective weights — willowy Estelle allows herself only a single slice of pizza, whereas the portly gent orders an entire pie — but I’d like to imagine that she’s actually eaten pretty much a whole pizza herself in silence while this dude was too busy weepingly telling her the detailed story of his wholly justified bigamy to even touch his food. Anyway, this reminds me of an internet date I went on where the lady spent the entire time talking about how she was in unrequited love with her best friend. She didn’t cry, but she came close! And the very next date I went on turned out to be with … the person I would eventually marry. So hold out, Estelle! You’re almost there!

Crankshaft, 2/28/19

I like the awkward pause we’re invited to linger on in the second panel here, as Crankshaft and Keesterman and the waitress all nervously contemplate Ralph’s seeming disregard for his own mortality. He’s smiling because it’s all a jape, of course, but for that moment he seems to be saying “Eh? Eh? Finally freeing myself of life in this depressing hell-dimension by doubling down on hedonistic pleasure? Eh?”

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Crankshaft, 2/5/19

The sad thing is that this doctor probably spent a lot of time thinking up this zinger, but never said it out loud to anyone to make sure it actually made sense outside his head. “Get it, because you’re … going to make the person you’re calling pay … when you die? Or wait, maybe you’re the one getting the call in this scenario. Look, just eat less cheese, OK? Cut … cut back on the cheese, is what I’m saying.”

Six Chix, 2/5/19

There’s definitely an angle at which a wine bottle is held to the lips where it goes from “a jaunty swig” to “guzzling as part of some terrible emotional crisis,” and we seem well past it in this strip, to the extent that I’m very worried that that huge knife is so close at hand.

Gil Thorp, 2/5/19

God, Gil is so thrilled in panel three, it’s unseemly. “I knew it!” he thinks. “I knew this little twerp was suicidal! See, I can so connect with these losers emotionally. In your face, haters!”