Archive: Daddy Daze

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Daddy Daze, 4/7/21

A thing that irritates me and probably nobody else in storytelling is when the protagonist has to solve some central mystery and for most of the book/TV show/movie/whatever they’re the point-of-view character, with the audience learning new information when and how the protagonist learns it, but suddenly and abruptly we get a shift in perspective and see a scene that reveals vital information that the protagonist isn’t privy to! I complained about this online years ago in regards to North By Northwest, and I’ve noticed it recently in A Simple Favor and The Flight Attendant — all of which I enjoyed, to be clear, but I still find this specific aspect annoying!

Anyway, this isn’t quite the same thing, but to the extent that I enjoy the comic strip Daddy Daze, I enjoy it in terms of its own central mystery: do the Daddy Daze daddy and the Daddy Daze baby truly communicate in a secret language of bas, or is the daddy just in the throes of late-stage single parenting psychosis? Frankly, a strip in which the baby apparently successfully holds a conversation with his grandmother undermines that ambiguity. On the other hand, it’s possible that the baby just mashed his finger on the phone and babbled nonsense at it, and the daddy has once again made up an elaborate narrative to make sense out of this moment and his life that includes no interaction with adults for days at a time. His mother is none the wiser that any of this is going on in this scenario, and is no doubt better off for it.

Gil Thorp, 4/7/21

Meanwhile, in Gil Thorp, a guy had to go to the public library to use their computers, and had the same thought we all do whenever we go to a public library, which is “this library has too much money!” Words cannot describe how much more excited I am about a library drama storyline in Gil Thorp than a storyline about, like, sports, which no doubt tells you exactly what I think of Abel Brito’s dumb opinions.

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Gil Thorp, 1/18/21

As a man born in 1974 and thus smack in the middle of the Gen X cohort, I have been mostly safe during the raging Millennial vs. Boomer wars, and have thus been able to take a sort of detached view of them. One of the conclusions I’ve come to is that we’re way too free and easy with generational essentialism when we should just be engaging in basic agism. To put it another way, a lot of the stereotypes about how “Millennials suck” or “Boomers suck” are actually just ways in which young people and old people suck, respectively, and how they’ve always sucked no matter what year they were born, and in fact many of the ways Boomers suck now are the ways in which Millennials will suck in 30 years or so.

Anyway, a particularly pernicious habit of the agèd is the belief that their fondly remembered youth in particular is not just particularly vivid in their mind because that was when they were young and their life was full of promise, but because it was in fact the most important historical moment during which anyone could ever have been young, and young people today should get into all the pop culture signifiers today’s old people remember so fondly. This is fully universal and mostly harmless: like almost everybody, for instance, I am very convinced that our civilization’s music just happened to hit the peak of its creativity when I was between 18 and 25 years old.

Because most newspaper comics are written by and for Baby Boomers, you get a version of this in which every adult was a hippie as a teenager and went to discos as a young adult and no subsequent cultural trends are worth talking about, really. But if we Gen Xers are going to resist the siren song of pluggerdom, we really need to watch ourselves from falling into this same trap. Like, the last time I really followed basketball was the in the era under discussion here, and though my favs were the lovable, goonish Oakley-Ewing-Starks-Mason-era Knicks, “Joe Duuu-mars” is definitely like one of Proust’s madeleines to me. But, like, I’m given to understand that today’s NBA is a vibrant, beloved league that has its own set of superstars and characters and hangers-on. If I met an actual teen who was fixated on early the early ’90s NBA, I would feel mingled amusement and pity, and if I were writing a teen character and thought “I’m gonna have this kid be obsessed with things from when I was a kid,” I would hope someone would talk me out of it.

Shoe, 1/18/21

Way back when the New York Times first experimented with a paywall, back in the late ’00s, they kept their news coverage free but you had to pay to read their opinion columnists. This struck me as an insane choice, both in terms of what the market valued and how much labor went into each product — even back then it was obvious that investigative journalism took a lot of resources to produce whereas literally any asshole on the internet, yours truly included, is more than willing to offer semi-informed opinions for free — so I have always assumed that the decision actually reflected the internal hierarchy at the paper, in which columnists are better paid and have more prestige despite doing less work because they’re considered “thought leaders” or whatever. Anyway, Shoe may be a longstanding legacy comics about clinically depressed talking birds, but I’ll take my pointed media analysis where I can get it. (The Times eventually figured out what people will really shell out for: recipes and the crossword puzzle.)

Mark Trail, 1/18/21

Since we last checked in with Mark Trail, he stole his dad’s manatee-harming speedboat and got into some fisticuffs with Trail family henchmen (?). But now he has to face an existential dilemma: does he get into a speedboat chase with the police? Seems unlikely, but remember, Mark absolutely punched a cop in the face one time, and sure, that was just to rescue Rusty, who was stuck under a car, but it’s a slippery slope, and I think we can all agree that manatees are much cuter than Rusty.

Daddy Daze, 1/18/21

I think I speak for all of us when I say I want to hear a lot less about the Daddy Daze baby and his secret langage of “ba”s and a lot more about the Daddy Daze daddy’s divorce. I’m gonna bet it was pretty wild!

Dennis the Menace, 1/18/21

Ha ha, it’s funny because Mr. Wilson wants to kill Dennis with poison gas!

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Judge Parker, 12/19/20

A few years back, Judge Parker Senior wrote The Chambers Affair, a mystery/spy novel that received a bad review from a snooty Ivy League academic but raves from everyone else, including vicious gun runners and the husband of the aforementioned Ivy League academic, so I assume it was a fun, breezy potboiler. I’m very sad that we didn’t get to see Alan try to pitch a sequel, in which our hero Chambers (?) spends 400 pages musing on the complexity of life and the moral grey areas we all need to grapple with, only to be laughed out of his publisher’s office.

Daddy Daze, 12/19/20

I haven’t been reading Daddy Daze for very long, but if there’s one thing I know about the Daddy Daze baby, it’s that he’s extremely, unnaturally mobile and very curious about everything, so why on Earth would you keep a breakable vase on top of an obviously wobble-prone table in the same house as him? (This problem would not be rectified by putting the Daddy Daze baby in a hamster ball.) Please, Daddy Daze daddy, demonstrate a little savvy about your own universe, I beg of you.

Dick Tracy, 12/19/20

Sam knows that a war is like just about any other product in this mass-produced age: mechanized, executed on a grand scale, leaving no room for the personal touch. Now, a broken neck? That’s an artisanal murder, that’s what that is.