Archive: Crankshaft

Post Content

Crankshaft, 6/4/17

Earlier this week we got treated to yet another hint that Crankshaft is trapped in temporal amber, always on the verge of death but never quite getting there. That’s really something for comics obsessives like me and the readers of this blog to contemplate, though. Today’s strip gets back to the simple, core message the Funkyverse has for casual readers turning to the funny pages for a wistful smile and a little escapism: all of us are going to die, and some of us sooner than others.

Panel from Slylock Fox, 6/4/17

Solution — Count Weirdly still has a pre-animalpocalypse mindset. He clings to the old ways, where there was a hierarchy of species, with his own, of course, on top. “Max?” he thinks, typing various combinations into the password field with no effect. “Is Max his pet?” Sly and Max smile at him with mingled pity and contempt. This is the new age. The standings of various species have been dramatically leveled, and Slylock chose that outdated password hint to remind him of the social order he now serves. His password is “NO GODS NO MASTERS”.

Panel from The Family Circus, 6/4/17

“There, I just summarized the whole long boring sermon for you! Now let’s go to the dog track. Don’t tell your parents.”

Mother Goose and Grimm, 6/4/17


Post Content

Blondie and Beetle Bailey, 5/29/17

Memorial Day is supposed to be dedicated to honoring those who died in the service to the United States. As it originally developed in the 1860s, this was generally understood to mean specifically those who died defending the Union in the Civil War, which is why it wasn’t observed in the South until after World War I, but in recent decades the “killed” part is more and more frequently elided until now people mostly treat it as an extra Veterans Day, where you’re supposed to be nice to people in the military generally, like Dag and Blondie are to their neighbor who has a wildly differing anatomy than they do. I can’t decide if Beetle Bailey’s refusal to mention Memorial Day at all is better or worse than Blondie’s take. Perhaps they want to acknowledge that, since Camp Swampy seems to exist in a division of the military completely isolated from any combat activities, none of the characters even know anyone killed in battle, so a Memorial Day strip would be inappropriate.

Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean, 5/29/17

But no matter who we supported during the War of Northern Aggression, we can all agree about one thing when it comes to Memorial Day: grilling is fun! Almost as much fun as contemplating the tangled chronology of the Funkyverse strips, something said strips seem determined to force me to do no matter how little I want to! Today’s strips really bring home the comic book time nature of the Funkyverse’s chronology. If one of us living in the ordinary space-time continuum mentioned “something that happened every year, ten years ago” it would sound like nonsense, but it fits in with the nature of Funky-reality: Funky Winkerbean takes place a decade after Crankshaft, and both strips cycle through the calendar but never actually move forward into the future. The implication that those Centerville explosions stopped around ten years ago is truly chilling, because it means that Crankshaft himself is always on the verge of dying, but his cruel creator will never let him cross over to the other side of the veil.

Crock, 5/29/17

I know that most of us read the colorized comics online these days, but keep in mind that the daily strips are still created with a black-and-white newspaper medium in mind. That means that the original artist punted an important decision to the syndicate coloring staffer today: are we to understand these implements to be made of camel flesh, and thus the same color as the rest of this beast, as the lack of any line at their bases might indicate? Or should they be thought of as metal blades that have burst forth through the camel’s skin and muscle? While the colorist has clearly gone the second route, I’m disappointed that he didn’t follow that idea to its logical conclusion and add copious amounts of blood.

Pluggers, 5/29/17

Pluggers are of course nightmarish man-animal chimeras who realize that they are abominations against God’s law, so obviously they go out of their way to avoid looking at themselves. (I was originally going to write “Ha ha! Pluggers hate their bodies and are full of self-loathing,” which is of course the actual joke of this panel, but then I got too sad.)

Post Content

Pluggers, 5/25/17

Here’s a true story: I turned 40 just before I moved to LA, and for like a solid year, I thought, “Wow, this place is so hipper-than-thou that they have low mood lighting in all the restaurants! I can’t read any of these menus!” It wasn’t until the day I took my wedding ring off to read the inscription, only to find it had somehow become a series of illegible blurs, that it occurred to me that maybe it was my eyes that were the problem.

Now I wear bifocals and getting them honestly made me feel like I had been faith-healed, and so when I stumbled on this panel, in which a dog-man is reading his anniversary date off the inside of his wedding ring without any vision correction help, I had to ask myself: who’s the real plugger here? This dog-man, whose eyesight is as keen (and presumably whose sense of smell is as powerful and coat is as shiny) as it was the day he was married? Or me, who looks at his wedding ring inscription through glasses for sentimental reasons only, since my anniversary (and a one-week-in-advance alert) has long ago been synced to all my devices’ calendars via iCloud?

UPDATE: haha, he IS wearing glasses, darkness is closing in all around me, welp

Crankshaft, 5/25/17

Haha, yesterday Lillian proposed to these girls that they do some “research” and I almost made a joke that they were off to do some murders or something! Anyway, obviously this is just classic harmless old lady stuff where you do suspicious things and offer no explanation because how could anyone suspect you of being a bad person, and I’m very much looking forward to Lilian’s trial for attempted murder and child endangerment.