Archive: Crankshaft

Post Content

Crock, 2/4/23

My attitude towards most of the comics on this site range from “I make fun of this because I love it” to “I make fun of this but I grudgingly respect its history and craft” to “I make fun of this because I love it ironically, which over the years has become increasingly impossible to distinguish from just loving something the normal way,” but there are a few that I genuinely dislike and think are bad, and I don’t think it’ll come as a big surprise to anyone that Crock is one of them. That’s why, in the interests of intellectual honestly, I feel compelled to confess that I think this is a really good joke.

Hi and Lois, 2/4/23

I can’t tell if Lois’s facial expression in panel two is meant to indicate that she just didn’t want to look at a little white spot up by the ceiling for the next five years and didn’t think Hi would take it so personally, or if she’s thinking “Wait, Hi thinks Michelangelo had a wife? Oh, you sweet summer child.”

Crankshaft, 2/4/23

“Back when I was a high school band director … it seemed like we were always in a strip called Funky Winkerbean. And now that I’m a choir director for St. Spires … we’re always in a strip called Crankshaft, which presumably had its own characters and plotlines that its readers enjoyed at some point.” “The more things change…” “Amen!”

Post Content

Family Circus, 1/17/23

I’m really loving the body language in today’s panel. Jeffy clearly didn’t just mouth off at random; rather, he made a deliberate choice to provoke his sister, and was emotionally prepared for the consequences. That’s why, even though his body is bending backwards from the sheer physical force of Dolly’s disapproval, you can tell form his face that he’s remaining calm and collected during the onslaught.

Mary Worth, 1/17/23

One of my favorite Mary Worth running bits is Dr. Jeff proposing to Mary and getting rejected. It’s been quite a while since the last iteration of it, though, and it’s clear that Jeff has been biding his time for the perfect moment, the moment when he gets Mary to admit that wedding ceremonies are great and marriage itself is the end-all be-all of personal happiness. You’re almost there, Jeff! You’ve trapped her in her own words!

Crankshaft, 1/17/23

Ooh, foreshadowing, everybody! That’s the prototype of the robot model that’s going to take over Lillian’s bookstore someday, in the wake of “the Burnings,” an impending apocalyptic event that I assume involves the corpses of bookstore owners burned in great pyres by the robots that replace them.

Post Content

Crankshaft, 1/16/23

Now that Funky Winkerbean has vanished into the future, you may be wondering what happened to the Crankshaft zone of the Funkyverse, left abandoned by its parent reality in a sector of the space-time continuum that corresponds to our present day. Well, the first couple weeks of 2023 were dominated by a classic (?) Crankshaft bit involving Ed’s bus being full of glitter (??) from holiday sweaters (???), but now we’re ready to get back to a core Funkyverse concern: dumb old comic books that turn out to be incredibly valuable. I will feel genuinely irritated if Lillian here makes a visit over to Westview to sell this thing, providing an opportunity for some “special guest appearances” less than a month after Funky Winkerbean ended. At least Frasier had enough dignity to wait until its second season to do an episode with Sam Malone in it.

The Phantom, 1/16/22

I’m not even going to get into the extremely long Phantom plot we’re in the middle of, except to tell you enough to set up today’s strip, which takes place in the middle of a jailbreak our hero and his Bandar friends are doing at Gravelines Prison in Rhodia. Now, Rhodia is the Rhodesia-equivalent bad guys of the Phantom post-colonial southern Africa parallel universe, and its government is spoken of in hushed tones as quite sinister, but honestly the agents of this so-called fascist state don’t really live up to their fearsome reputation. I’m particularly charmed by this guy, staring at his dead comrade and just doing a sitcomy “Arrow!? — Are you kidding me!? — Aw jeez! — Can’t believe they’re shootin’ at us with bows and arrows over here! — Who woulda thunk it!?” bit.

Crock, 1/16/22

Today’s Crock rerun has seen its meaning completely transformed by the passage of time even as its content remains the same. When published, the joke was about how the kids don’t listen to teachers and authority figures because they’re all listening to their newfangled iPod gadgets. But today, it offers another chapter in the sad, poignant story of the Lost Patrol, who have been wandering isolated in the desert for so long that its members are still using iPods, a product Apple stopped making six years ago.