Archive: Crankshaft

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Mary Worth, 12/2/18

Just about every time I sit in for Josh on the Comics Curmudgeon, something amazing seems to happen in Mary Worth: a shootout, say, or a beloved character’s return from the dead, a dramatic drowning rescue, or a smoky tropical seduction. This time, Mary adopted a cat!

But what a cat! Libby is a scrappy, female Snake Plissken of a feline with biohazard dander and a “don’t shed on me” attitude. Watch her drive Dr. Jeff, starved and weeping, from his paramour’s apartment! Thrill as she snacks on the roast her “mistress” offers boxed to go! Gasp as she dares to live by her own code — in the immortal words of Wayne Dyer, “Whatever has to be done, it’s always my choice!” MEOW, bitches!

Crankshaft, 12/2/18

See this just plain doesn’t make any sense right here. We expect digestive ructions, elementary reading ability, and hours spent hogging the john from a selfish old creep like Crankshaft himself, not dainty, beleagured Pam. Just change the final speech balloon to “This’ll cover me through …” and show the Sunday Crankshaft draped neatly over that towel bar where it belongs.

Judge Parker, 12/2/18

OK, work with me a little here. Judge Parker is the side-hustle of Sally Forth author Francesco Marciuliano and Phantom daily artist Mike Manley, and um … it kinda shows? So why not make things easy for everybody by dropping the zany, well-etched characters of Sally Forth into those gorgeous Phantom backdrops of Bangalla, New York, and Tibet, and just calling the result Judge Parker? Easy peasy!

Here, Hilary returns to the Skull Cave to confront Sally about Ted’s capture during his failed rescue of Faye from terrorist Ralph’s Bronx warehouse lair. Sally tries to distract her with loot from the Treasure Room, but Hilary has already sent faithful Duncan to steal her father’s jet, pick up Nona in Lhasa, and join her to save the day!

See, it’s working already! Bonus: Alan, Randy, and Sam are recast as Ted’s ineffective, rarely-seen brothers.

Oh my gosh has this been a fun week. Special thanks to team Mary Worth, Carl the Turtle, Libby the Hell-Cat, and you, faithful reader! Josh will be back Monday to kick off the glorious “Mary dumps her cat and/or boyfriend” arc, and I’ll see you next time around.

— Uncle Lumpy

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So ends the 2018 Fall Comics Curmudgeon Fundraiser. So exciting! Thank you, generous readers!

Sherman’s Lagoon, 12/1/18

In Slylock Fox, the judge is invariably an owl. That won’t work under water of course, but why an octopus? It’s the long arm of the law, not the many arms. Some Hawaiian people believe the octopus is the sole survivor of a previous creation, but that still seems like Slylock Fox territory. All hands on deck? Many hands make light work?

It would be funnier with eight gavels.

Crankshaft, 12/1/18

In the final days of Apartment 3-G, the characters swapped identities and chanted incoherently as they swirled about the frame. At last, we have a successor.

Funky Winkerbean, 12/1/18

So all week long it’s been “Funky is a jerk at the gym,” alternating between his passive-aggressive whining and jumping on some lady’s treadmill to “draft” her haha. Now he’s inevitably stumbled off the machine, but instead of being greviously injured out of simple justice, he’s been thrown onto the leg press machine for his last exercise of the day.

Why finish up with the leg press? Because it’ll give him a big number so he’ll come back tomorrow. Despite his pathetic cardiovascular conditioning and will-o’-the-wisp upper-body strength, Funky has quads of iron from keeping all that mass upright all day. With his leg muscles isolated and the 45° rails carrying half the weight, he can probably press a quarter ton. See you again tomorrow, Samson.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/1/18

After two weeks of nonstop kidney disease, we pause in the final panel to confront the tragedy of color blindness. I hope the grub in Jordan’s Generic House of Food is better than the décor.

— Uncle Lumpy

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Gasoline Alley, 11/24/18

Today is the actual 100th anniversary of Gasoline Alley — the longest-running comic strip still publishing new material ever since The Katzenjammer Kids went into reruns back in 2006. Sincere congratulations to Jim Scancarelli for his gorgeous old-school draftsmanship — that’s an actual pen he’s using right there — and a daily look back at a mythic America that disappeared after World War II — one populated by comical junkmen, back-alley auto mechanics, lovable hoboes, itinerant fraudsters, and radio voice actors.

Now can we please end the four-month self-congratulatory wankfest, park Walt in the Old Comics Home for good, and get back to wallowing in lovingly rendered Hoogy tush?

Crankshaft, 11/24/18

You know, I think Mary may be on to something here. We all think of Crankshaft as a bitter, self-loathing ignoramus, and who will say us nay? But what if the root cause of his repulsiveness is that he’s completely incapable of abstract thought? It would explain his rage as he careers randomly through an incoherent universe of punctate sense-experiences, comforted only by chance repetition — the droning monotony of football plays, familiar snap of a mailbox behind his bus, annual blast of fire from an overfueled grill, or daily necrotic reek of Lena’s coffee.

You object, “But he’s just being an asshole!” and Ed cracks a little grin. That word, like all others, is just noise to him, but at least he’s heard it before. So many times, it feels like an old friend.

Dick Tracy, 11/24/18

I’m really starting to worry about this Vorkov guy here. Near as I can tell, he’s taking funds legally entrusted to him and spreading them around in ways that are pretty routine but don’t match the beneficiary’s intent. That’s all loathesome ‘n’ stuff I guess, except:

  • The beneficiary, Peter Pitchblende, is a moron, squandering his inheritance trying to resurrect the reputations of long-forgotten third-rate Martin and Lewis copycats. In the very worst interpretation, Vorkov merely missed the filing deadline to have Pitchblende declared incompetent.
  • This is essentially the same con outlined in the Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13). How bad can your grift be when it’s approved in the New Testament by Jesus the Actual Christ?

Maybe Vorkov, a second-generation crime boss, isn’t really evil at all, but was brought up to think he’s a criminal mastermind? So he spends his ordinary days faxing, paying bills, and managing payroll, but all in that ridiculous makeup, tenting his fingers and gleaming his teeth, pausing now and again to cackle “BWA-HA-HA.”

Curtis, 11/24/18

Greg, let me bring you up to date: these days, a million-dollar 2BR in Harlem looks like your place. No hovering required!

Mark Trail, 11/24/18

Heads up, kids! David Lee Roth is closing in!

Hello again, faithful reader! I’m sitting in for Josh through Sunday December 2, so if you’ve got any site access or other issues, reach me at Enjoy!

— Uncle Lumpy