Archive: Crankshaft

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Beetle Bailey, 4/13/21

I’m reasonably sure that Zero’s original one-note Beetle Bailey character definition was “is stupid,” but apparently at some point along the line it was decided he needed more depth or an origin story or something, so now the fact that he grew up on a farm is also part of his gimmick. He’s still a buck-toothed simpleton, though, which seems like it would alienate readers in “real America,” but I guess when you’re an institution as beloved by elite urban intellectuals as Beetle Bailey, you can get away with this stuff.

Funky Winkerbean, 4/13/21

Today’s strip represents the third time that this “Harry Dinkle the choirmaster” storyline has done a hilarious gag where the ladies of the choir are unfamiliar with Harry’s whole shtick from years as the Westview band director/fundraising impresario, and he briefly flies into a rage before managing to ratchet things back. At least he isn’t bleeding from his face this time? Anyway, it occurs to me that the last time anyone saw Harry in regular action in this strip as a band leader was more than 14 years ago, before he went ironically deaf, so honestly only hardcore Funkyheads like [extremely heavy sigh] me even know what he’s going on about; assuming this strip has accrued any new readers over the past generation, all of them are just as befuddled by what’s going on as the choir ladies are. Neat, huh?

Crankshaft, 4/13/21

OK, now I’m back to wishing that Crankshaft hadn’t skipped over the pandemic, since apparently we missed the delightful image of Crankshaft stabbing himself with a meat thermometer, his friends only able to look on in horror over Facetime as he quickly passed out due to blood loss.

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Mary Worth, 4/12/21

Finally, finally, we are blessedly moving on from Saul and Eve’s emotional process and starting a new storyline in Mary Worth, and hell yeah it involves Dr. Drew Corey, the son Mary’s semi-boyfriend Dr. Jeff Corey! You may best remember Dr. Drew from that time Dawn decided to romance him, and he was receptive but also happened to be dating another lady at the same time, which earned him a thorough slapping that haunted him literally for years. He seemed like he had learned some valuable lessons from that episode and we haven’t heard much from him since, so it’s exciting to learn that he’s still kind of a dick. “Every day brings an interesting mix of ills! Get it, dad? Because they all have some terrible disease, poor bastards. Good thing Dr. Drew is here to help them! Or not, whatever, I get paid either way, it turns out.”

Dick Tracy, 4/12/21

Speaking of new storylines, we’re finally done with Dick Tracy’s hippie nonsense and have moved onto a new storyline here as well, which seems to involve a prisoner who, based on her pallor and catchy nickname, is clearly deceased. I guess it’s no surprise that in the carceral Neo-Chicago police state, not even death can keep you out of the clutches of the punitive justice system.

Crankshaft, 4/12/21

Wow, after some vaguely pandemic-presaging strips a few weeks ago, it looks like Crankshaft is going to leapfrog over the last year-plus of our lives entirely and just skip to “gosh, remember the pandemic, that was crazy,” huh? I’m of two minds about this: it could’ve really brightened my 2020 if I had been constantly wondering who in Crankshaft’s friend group of terrible old people was going to die of COVID, though I ultimately would’ve been bitterly disappointed when the answer turned out to be “none of them.”

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Hagar the Horrible, 4/1/21

Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! Say, were you concerned that the creative team behind today’s Hagar the Horrible believed that an olive tree might realistically grow out of an olive left floating in a martini glass over a single evening? Well, rest assured: that little sign being held by a tentacle is here to let you know that this is just a seasonally appropriate jest, and we’ll be getting back to this strip’s ultra-realistic medieval Norse setting tomorrow. (The creative team also knows that squid and octopuses do not hold signs this way; the tentacle is itself a secondary April Fool’s joke.)

Crankshaft, 4/1/21

These two twins have been volunteering to help Lillian with the unpermitted bookstore she runs over her garage for years now, and they’ve finally won her trust enough that they can start scamming her. And good for them!

Mary Worth, 4/1/21

Well, now that we’ve established that dogs are good, I guess we can finally move forward to the next storyline, and … OH NO SAUL DID YOU LET HER SEE A HEADLESS BESUITED MANNEQUIN, this is going to trigger another panic attack and at least another six weeks of this plotline, please, we had almost made it out of this one