Archive: Curtis

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FOLKS!!!! It is I, Josh, your Comics Curmudgeon, and I am back from vacation! Let’s all say a huge thank you to Uncle Lumpy for his delightful filling in, and let me say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the fundraiser (though you’ll all be getting individual thank yous soon enough, of course). Uncle Lumpy cannot choose favorites among you so Urlance Woolsbane’s COTW dominance will last until next Friday, but I still have some Saturday jokes to tell and feelings to work out.

Crankshaft, 9/10/22

Primarily, the feelings I have to work out involve the significant portion of my vacation I spent seething about the narrative violence being done to the Funkyverse timeline as the strip grinds into its 50th anniversary. Huh, Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean, which have been a decade apart for something like a decade now, are suddenly happening at the same time? No thanks! Oh, that reunion the Funky characters are going to is supposed to be their 50th, which means the characters are all in their late 60s now? Wrong! They’re in their mid to late 50s, they just look and act older because they’re miserable and hate themselves. And now they’re dragging the literally unaging Lois Flagston into this whole mess. Don’t care for it! Don’t care for it at all!

Curtis, 9/10/22

Speaking of age-appropriate behavior, we all know that one of Heartthrob’s roles in this strip is to be a spinner of tall tales, but you know this one is bullshit because nobody born before 1987 has a Facebook account.

Gil Thorp, 9/10/22

Uncle Lumpy covered all the soapy drama in nu-look Gil Thorp, which I guess means it’s my job to tell you about the … sports? Specifically, I’m here to tell you that the strip is covering a non-football sport (volleyball) during the fall, which is certainly a change of pace! It’s definitely a change for Marty Moon or whoever is doing the play-by-play, who hasn’t had a chance to learn any of these people’s names and is just yelling their numbers and hoping for the best.

Anyway! I’m glad to be back! Look for more comic jokes from me in this space, every day, indefinitely! I love you all!

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Arctic Circle, 8/27/22

Arctic Circle boldly swerves out of its lane (preachy environmental half-jokes) directly into the oncoming traffic of toilet humor. Meanwhile back over in Marvin, Jeff and Jenny Miller return the tribute by composting their son.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/27/22

Hey, anybody remember Roland Mathews, the curly-haired “activist” hypocrite with a belligerent father and a blind spot for women’s rights? No? A solid number-three character during Funky Winkerbean‘s first year, Roland faded out during the strip’s evolution from political themes to high-school hijinx, reappearing once in 2008 for a reunion cameo (back row, second from right).

But the 50-year mark is a time for tying up loose ends, so here’s Rolanda! Will she recount the harrowing yet heartwarming details of her life’s journey? Will she at last unpack her complex issues with Roland’s old nemesis “Wicked” Wanda Waskowski, Westview’s no-nonsense sign-wielding “Girls’ Libber”? Most of all, will she deliver anything even remotely resembling a punchline?

Jury’s out on those first two.

Curtis, 8/27/22

On The Mickey Mouse Club of my longago youth, my least favorite day was Wednesday—”Anything Can Happen Day”—because, well, anything could happen. Mondays reliably delivered Fun With Music, and Thursday predictably brought in clowns, acrobats, animal acts, and circus paraphernalia. Wednesday? Total crapshoot, and very unsettling to the young psyche: these were the Cold War years, after all, and nuclear annihilation was on the table:

    Today is the day that is filled with surprises
    Nobody knows what’s gonna happen!
    Why you might wake to see the Russian missiles raining down
    Each one with several warheads to obliterate your town!
    When they hit their mark
    You will glow in the dark—
    On the Mouseketeers’ Anything-Can-Happen Day!

So it is whenever Gunk arrives from Flyspeck Island to disrupt Curtis. His current gimmick is a self-filling salad bowl backed up by a salad-bowl-replicating suitcase, so that no one need ever again want for salad, or for that matter bowls. In today’s strip, Upper Manhattan’s Big Salad cartel predictably launches a witch-hunt to protect its business. But the kindly hardware-store owner begs off, since he… wait, what? “Ma! The writers murdered that kindly hardware-store owner for no good reason!” Anything can happen: this is what it looks like, people.

Many thanks to the indispensable ComicBookHarriet over at for character histories of Roland, Wanda, and poor, dead, “I coulda been Lisa” Livinia Swenson.

–Uncle Lumpy

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Marvin, 6/23/22

Now, I’m not one of those fancy “body language experts” who get paid by Us Weekly to analyze paparazzi pics of Ansel Elgort or whoever, but I can tell you that by sitting there with their arms folded across their chest, these two old coots are telegraphing their anger and defensiveness. They presumably assumed this position unconsciously the moment they started discussing the Kids Today, and how they’d rather watch the new Star Wars show where Yoda is a woke baby on their laptop in their bedrooms instead of sitting next to their grandparents on the couch absorbing eighteen minutes of commercials for reverse mortgages during every episode of Blue Bloods on CBS. Then in panel two there’s a sudden left turn into a … piss joke? I think it’s a piss joke? He “streams” “commercials” in the bathroom? Maybe not a piss joke but it’s Marvin, you can see why I’m suspicious. Anyway, whatever’s going on there, despite mustache guy’s little smile you can tell they’re still mad about it.

Curtis, 6/23/22

Curtis, this is simply the ending of the influential 1987 graphic novel Watchmen, which spawned a popular film and television series. I’m not criticizing you for doing spoilers on a 35-year-old franchise, obviously, I’m just questioning what exactly it is we’re doing here.