Archive: Curtis

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Mary Worth, 5/20/24

Yeah, sorry I didn’t talk about Wilbur making a beautiful flowered coffin for his dead fish Stellan Sunday, but I just sort of stared at it for a little bit and couldn’t process it properly, so I’m glad I have a chance to reassess today. Anyway, pretty fucked up, huh? Ha ha! My dad had a fish tank when I was a kid and over several years we got more and more fish and upgraded to bigger and bigger tanks. Obviously fish died over time but I don’t really remember us doing anything special for them; I assume we probably just flushed them or threw them out, and we had so many fish that even though you would get attached to individuals there were enough that losing one wasn’t a huge tragedy. Then one day we went to our usual fish store and there was a real crazy looking fish in there and we were like “What is this?” and the guy was like “Just got it in, honestly couldn’t tell you” and we bought it and over the next few weeks it ate all the other fish and then died. Not sure how my dad dealt with that, since the horror ended when I was at my mom’s, but I bet he didn’t give it a big funeral either, even though by that time it was definitely too big to flush. Anyway, tune in over the course of this week to see if I have any other vaguely topical anecdotes to help us all forget about the nightmare of what Wilbur is doing!

Curtis, 5/20/24

On Twitter, once, I saw a guy do an entirely earnest tweet thread about how Silicon Valley disrupted old-fashioned, conformist business uniforms like suits and ties for a more comfortable and unique aesthetic, illustrated by pictures of multiple fiftysomething dudes wearing identical chinos-and-fleece-vests. Anyway, I just want to note that the stuffy shirt and tie were a casual alternative to more formal codes of dress once, and in the Curtis-ruled future, a baseball hat tipped jauntily just so will be a requirement for entry into polite society, to be worn at all times.

Beetle Bailey, 5/20/24

Yeah, man, usually when someone gets arrested, they are in big trouble. That’s a good observation, Killer, thanks for keeping us informed.

Alice, 5/20/24

Alice, you were kidnapped by aliens last week! That seems like a pretty big deal or at least a conversation starter.

Tina’s Groove, 5/20/24

I’m a 49-year-old man and my entire life I’ve assumed that a “halfway house” is called that because it represents a way station halfway up the path between your troubled past and the better future that you’re working towards. Does it … does it not mean that. Is getting closer to one bad in this metaphor. Do you want to go all the way down to zero, so you have no house at all. I gotta go lie on the couch quietly for a while.

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Curtis, 3/1/24

The weird thing about arrested-in-time strips like Curtis is that we, who have been reading this strip for decades, have internalized the rhythms of the family dynamics and recognize today’s episode as one of an infinite number of subtle variations of the “Curtis asks his dad for money” gag. But Curtis, in theory, is only 11 for a year or so, and in a strange way he’s experienced much less of his own life than we have, and so can’t predict what’ll happen next. Look at his smile in panel two! “Throw his money out a window?” he’s thinking. “What a charmingly odd idea! Not sure where he’s going with this but I’m sure I’ll have some cash in my pocket by the end of it.” Anyway, Curtis, have you considered getting a Spotify subscription? They have Six-ribs’ whole catalog, along with a huge number of other hip-hop artists, and 60 bucks could get you six months!

Marvin, 3/1/24

It took me a minute to figure out, but I think the joke here is supposed to be “The dog, who should not be eating people food, will end up eating the meatloaf, because someone will be surreptitiously feeding it to him, ha ha!” But this is a strip where dogs and babies have adult human-level cognition, so don’t they shouldn’t act like we’re supposed to be surprised or amused that they might eat adult human food. Anyway, my initial read on this was that the joke was about the dog not wanting to fill the house with horrible odors vented from his bowels, which would at least be kind of a twist for this strip.

Mary Worth, 3/1/24

Toby is truly one of my favorite ancillary Mary Worth character. Unlike Wilbur, she’s used sparingly enough so that it’s a true delight when she occasionally shows up and says things like “I want to take up cooking, which my husband would love, but my neighbor up the hall, who rarely cooks for us, is so much better than me at it, so why bother?” This would be hilarious even if the thing the lady up the hall had just dished out wasn’t the most disgusting brown glop you could possibly imagine. Anyway, Mary is being either incredibly kind or incredibly sarcastic when she calls Toby “a talented artist and a great friend,” because she definitely isn’t the former and I’d be willing to bet quite a bit that she’s isn’t the latter either.

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Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/7/24

Oh my goodness, Rene’s reign of grifting terror is finally at an end, stopped once and for all by the deliberate and heroic efforts of our protagonists some random guy hitting him with a car. Remember, in the Morganverse, a pedestrian getting run over results not in death but in selective amnesia, so I look forward to seeing how his personality gets rebuilt better than before, possibly with the help of the Lyle Ollman’s patented Mirakle Method™.

Curtis, 1/7/24

A longtime and beloved Curtis bit is that Curtis enjoys cracking wise about the elaborate hats worn by the ladies in his congregation. Part of the bit is that Barry, despite enjoying the quips, always begs him to stop, and today we finally learn why: having angered the Church leadership with their antics, the brothers have now been excommunicated, expelled from the community and forever cut off from God’s grace. Look for a future strip where Derek and “Onion” ask Curtis “Hey, ‘Wimp-kins,’ why the long face?” and he replies “Think’st thou that I, who saw the face of God and tasted the eternal joys of heaven, am not tormented with ten thousand hells in being deprived of everlasting bliss?”

Daddy Daze, 1/7/24

We’re all on the same page about the Daddy Daze baby’s “ba”s actually just being nonsense babble and the Daddy Daze daddy is working out his own interior emotional turmoil when he projects meaning on to them, right? I think today’s strip neatly illustrates the process: something deep the Daddy Daze daddy’s half-awake mind has conjured up a truly nightmarish body horror scenario, which he puts into the mouth of his son, and then his higher consciousness works to transmute this grotesque image into something much more pedestrian: an anxious metaphor about the imposter syndrome that he assumes all adults share. The way he has to speak all this aloud really drives home the fact that he’s got the worst recorded case of bicameral mind since the Bronze Age.

Dick Tracy, 1/7/24

Look, I get that Dick Tracy is at least 15 to 20 percent old timey pop culture references by volume, but I feel like naming two characters after the actors who played the Second and Third Doctors on Doctor Who but you add a letter to one of the names and also don’t make the characters look anything like them is less of an “old timey pop culture reference” and more “ah shit ah shit I need to come up with a couple names for people for this storyline, uh uh uh uh uh”.

Dennis the Menace, 1/7/24

Pretty sure that “a little dehydrated” is the euphemism publicists use describe their celebrity clients who are obviously drunk or high in public, so Dennis’s little game here is the least of the menace on display.

Family Circus, 1/7/24

Don’t be sad, Mr. Snowman! That hot chocolate would hollow you out from the inside within seconds, leaving you to die screaming on the kitchen floor! You’re better off alone outside!