Archive: Crock

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Crock, 4/2/20

Ha ha, it’s funny because “cursor” and “delete” are computer words, and when you use a computer, “put my cursor on [something] and then press ‘delete’” is definitely something close to how a real computer user would describe their actions, but in this case we’re describing something in real physical space, not on a computer at all! Definitely a very funny joke, when you put all that together. You know what’s not funny, though? Grossie hates her husband so much she doesn’t just want him dead, she wants him completely eliminated from existence! That’s not funny at all. It’s really pretty sad.

Mary Worth, 4/2/20

“…it feels like home. Specifically, my home town of Santa Royale, where, as you noted, Jared also lives. It’s really quite convenient!”

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Crock and Rhymes With Orange, 3/2/20

Today we must consider, as we occasionally do on this blog, the anonymous people who fulfill one of the most thankless tasks in the comics industry — indeed, one of the most thankless tasks in our whole late capitalist superstructure. I’m talking, of course, about the people who add color for the online versions of black-and-white daily newspaper comic strips, who seem to have only in-strip context clues as to how to proceed and not a ton of time to decide what colors to use.

Our story today involves two strips: one a longtime legacy strip, now shambling forward forever in zombie reruns, and another that was considered a fresh and different comics page perspective when it was launched a mere 25 years ago. Both have gags today that are, quite frankly, disgusting, though the visual cues signifying what’s happening are quite subtle, and it’s interesting to see how the colorist reacted in each case. In Crock, the joke is that little Otis, assuming that his mother would not allow him to have a pet camel because camels shit so much, has covered the beast’s anus with what appears to be medical tape, an extremely temporary solution that can only end in a lower GI crisis for the poor animal, a fecal explosion, or both. The colorist managed to spot the butthole-covering gauze and colored it white, in contrast with the brownish camel fur, ensuring that we all recognize Otis’s stratagem and anticipate the horror to come.

In Rhymes With Orange, meanwhile, the joke is that if you’re a snowman, a “urine test” isn’t a test of your own urine, but rather a test of urine that others have deposited on you, with the implication being that even sentient snowmen are used as a convenient object on which animals, and possibly people, urinate, much to the snowmen’s presumed disgust. You can see a little triangle at the bottom left of our patient that presumably represents a small section of his body that had been partially melted by a steaming stream of dog piss. This should by rights be a soft yellow color, and the fact that it’s as white as the rest of him means one of two things: either the colorist took stock of all this and said “No, not today, I will not cross this line and spend my workday examining the color choices in Adobe Photoshop and deciding which best represents pee, I have an MFA in graphic design,” or they blessedly just didn’t get the joke in the first place, which really puts them one up on all of us.

Mary Worth, 3/2/20

I’m absolutely in love with the idea that Jared is such an intense Star Wars fanboy that he’d feel compelled to see a parody Star Wars film but would experience great emotional distress while doing so, like he was watching a horror movie. Clearly the most unnerving scene was the “one with the lightsaber,” in which I feel safe in assuming that the iconic laser sword, normally used by noble space monks to fight each other even though they have access to perfectly good guns, became a very on-the-nose visual metaphor for a dick. Jared couldn’t even stand to look at that one! The pleasure of recognition and the pain of irreverence, intermingled in a single cinematic experience! It must’ve been deliciously uncomfortable for the poor lad.

Family Circus, 3/2/20

Ha ha, it’s funny because Dolly is heavily invested in the patriarchy!

Funky Winkerbean, 3/2/20


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Mark Trail, 2/8/20

Oh my god, “Harvey completely made up the story of a yeti ripping his leg off and actually he just had juvenile diabetes” is a so much better ending (?) to this story than I could have possibly imagined. I don’t know what I want more for Monday: Harvey digging his way out of the avalanche and yell-growling “The yeti was a METAPHOR! … a metaphor for JUVENILE DIABETES, my greatest foe!” or just a smash cut back to the cabin in Lost Forest with Mark saying “Yes, Rusty, I did see some unusual animals in Nepal!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 2/8/20

Oh my god, I had forgotten that June mentioned Aunt Tildy had been married to a man “she called the Count, but he didn’t seem to be rich.” Shoutout to Rex Morgan for surprising me for the first time in literally years: “Andrzej and Tildy are destined to be together” seemed so obviously set up that I entirely missed “Andrzej and Tildy were together once and will be in the future, time is a flat circle, all of this has happened before and will happen again.”

Judge Parker, 2/8/20

Oh my god, what if Sophie decides to not run the campaign of her old family friend but instead puts her considerable political skills to the service of one of his rivals? From what we’ve seen of it, Alan’s campaign is focused on prison abolition and left-leaning NIMBYISM from a perspective of noblesse oblige, and I’m interested to see if his opponent, aided by Sophie’s inside information and all-around smarts, attacks him from the left (“Alan Parker should be put in jail as a class enemy”) or the right (“Alan Parker should be put in jail as an actual criminal, who broke several laws”).

Crock, 2/8/20

Not to be all “poor me” over here, as making fun of comics is something I obviously enjoy and I appreciate getting to earn part of my income from it, but let me just tell you that I read this strip and thought “Huh, I bet conditions on the plantations where they grow pepper are pretty dire, I wonder if there’s some joke to be made out of that,” and ended up opening multiple browser tabs, learning that, for instance, the bottom has fallen out of the Vietnamese pepper market, and that India attempts to protect its native pepper industry with tariffs and price controls but this has led to a a pepper smuggling pipeline from Vietnam via Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, big American companies like McCormick are investing in sustainable pepper operations, at least according to this advertorial “hosted by” The Guardian. I wasn’t really able to mine a lot of laffs out of all that, unless you count the meta-explanation of it I’m doing in this post, but I 100% guarantee that I put a lot more thought into this than was put into this joke.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/8/20

The Smifs have lost track of their baby as he crawls through the knee-deep trash that completely covers the floor of their filthy hovel! Ha … ha?