Archive: Crankshaft

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 8/14/23

Recessions are grim in a barter economy. As scarce goods are consumed or worn out, folks commence to hoardin’, losing opportunities for mutually advantageous exchange. Service exchanges could rise to fill the gap, but in a semi-literate society with poor communications infrastructure it’s hard for folks to find anyone who both can do what they want and wants what they can do (there’s an exception, but ew).

Despite his brave little smile, Snuffy is hard-hit. He is shif’less, owns nothing of value, and has no talents besides cheatin’, thievin’, an’ feudin’. King Features even took away his moonshine business! In an economic downturn, when people stop gambling, keep a closer eye on (or move in with) their chickens, and start conserving ammunition, he’s stuck. So he commandeers the Hootin’ Holler Lost’N’Found, hoping that a) someone will misplace an item of value, b) someone else will return it, and c) he can use or trade it. A precarious value chain, to be sure!

In reality, kind-hearted neighbors use the “Lost’N’Found” ruse to bring him “lost” clothing and food items—even the occasional chicken—to help the Smifs keep their heads above water, and their pride. Heartwarming, really. Everyone in the holler hopes things will get better soon, at which point Snuffy will go back to cheating, robbing, and shooting them.

Luann, 8/14/23

Aaaaaaaand jump-cut from “Pool Party” to “Gun and Bets on the Road.” Doesn’t look like they sprung for the Subaru engine conversion, does it? But hey, those rollup flatbeds charge by the mile: how far did you two get—downtown? Second base?

Blondie, 8/14/23

Are newspaper comics rushing autumn all of a sudden? First Tuesday Chik gets her pumpkin ready for Halloween and now Blondie here is hawking its precious spice. Is August so terrible? Sure it’s hot (“Dog Days,” duh) and doesn’t have any holidays, but the corn and watermelon are ripe, and it’s a great time for a lake vacation. I think these strips could learn to live a little more in the moment, is all.

Crankshaft, 8/14/23

Perestroika (перестройка) was Mikhail Gorbachev’s largely ineffective restructuring of the Soviet economy and bureaucracy. It started in May, 1985 and petered out around 1987—the first year of publication for the largely ineffective comic strip Crankshaft.

Well, that’s it for me! Stay tuned for Josh’s Triumphant Return—the elephants, trumpeters, and palanquin bearers are already warming up, and the largesse pots are brimming. I had a good time; thanks, everybody!

—Uncle Lumpy

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Baby Blues, 8/9/23

C’mon, Darryl, you don’t need Wren for a three-legged race; just tie a shoe on that nose.

Crankshaft, 8/9/23

They train surgeons not to say “Oops”, but Ed’s dermatologist missed the class on “Holy $#%!!”. I hope she took the Continuing Medical Education unit on “Get me the belt sander.”

Between Friends, 8/9/23

Don’t get too relaxed there, Susan—Lucky Eddie could be lurking just around the corner, looking to get lucky.

Luann, 8/9/23

It’s not unusual for authors to tire of their main character—I mean, Arthur Conan Doyle is a famous example, and look what happened to Barney Google. Judge Parker turned into Sam Driver, Action Lawyer and stayed that way for decades. Team Luann has done a lot to sideline their protagonist: shunted her off alone to Community College, gave her dweeby thrall Gunther an actual girlfriend, introduced secondary characters (Tara, Stef) with far more robust backstories, etc. So why keep Luann around? Waiting for readers to get as sick of her as her creators have? I have news: that ship is a mere dot on the far horizon.

Anyway, former hottie Tiffany is hosting a pool party at her Dad’s house (persistently and annoyingly called “the Manse”). Tiffany covets and covertly ogles Stef’s boyfriend Kip, who is staying at the pool house because of the reasons, and complains that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. But Tiffany has never had a boyfriend; her Whole Deal was that she was “popular” in the abstract, i.e., she had a world of choice but never made one. It seems pretty clear that she “wants” Kip only to shore up her sagging, um, confidence, because Kip is so dull and dimensionless he couldn’t get cast as a Ken in that Barbie movie.

Sherman’s Lagoon, 8/9/23

Your son, Herman, Megan, c’mon, get with the program.

In an echo of February’s “Chinese Spy Balloon” incident, Sherman ate a bunch of helium balloons found in a crate of derelict property that fell into Kapupu Lagoon en route to Whacko’s Party Store. The Kapupu Self-Defense Forces seem a lot more on the ball about territorial integrity than our own armed forces were, for which their reward will be a deluge of shark guts.

Josh has sworn a Blood Oath not to cover Luann. A Blood Oath. Worth more than a few bucks, wouldn’t you agree? Make a generous contribution to the Comics Curmudgeon today!

—Uncle Lumpy

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Blondie, 8/7/23

… and my OnlyFans clients are insatiable!

Crankshaft, 8/7/23

Medical Economics: Crankshaft pines for the days of general practitioners, but his proctologist has gotten rich off this colossal asshole.

Judge Parker, 8/7/23

Sam is blind to the profundity of Lev’s evil, so I’ll spell it out: Sam, is that a child sitting in the front seat? Do you see a carseat anywhere? Does she look like she weighs 65 pounds?

Heathcliff, 8/7/23

Body positivity is lost on skunks.

I feel that the Blondie creative team is trapped somewhere and sending us coded shirt-messages. Anybody know what “υ – ε” means? It’s Greek to me.

—Uncle Lumpy