Archive: Dustin

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Dustin, 1/9/23

Dustin is still doing the “Dustin’s dad wants to do pole vaulting” “plot,” for a second week, which I’m reasonably sure is the longest I’ve ever seen it do a “plot,” and I feel like the way Dustin’s mom is reacting is kind of the key to why I hate this strip so much. Ever since she found out that Dustin’s dad wants do this, she’s been in a simmering fury, which I assume we’re supposed to understand is because, deep down, she loves her husband and is scared of him acting self-destructively, but we (and, presumably, her husband) never hear the “she loves her husband” part and instead she’s just immediately gone from zero to “HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD TIME IN HELL THINKING ABOUT ME FUCKING HOT YOUNG DUDES.” Which, I realize these are “jokes” and exaggerated versions of real-life behaviors and whatnot but it feels of a piece with the vibe where Dustin’s dad gives Dustin constant shit for being a loser, and maybe if asked he’d say (or the creators of the strip would say) it’s because he loves his son and wants him to succeed but if the “love” part is never expressed it’s just people being mean to each other, you know? Sorry to not be making any jokes here but it’s wild that there’s this family comic strip about a family incapable of expressing affection towards one another, maybe because they don’t actually feel affection, and we’re supposed to like or root for these people. Like at least when the Lockhorns do it, it’s explicitly the entire bit of the strip, plus they’re weird little gnome people so it’s funnier to see them fight.

Marvin, 1/9/23

Marvin is also a strip about a family that doesn’t like each other, but I’ve long resigned myself to that, so now I’m intrigued by a potential pivot from “Marvin poops himself” to “Marvin plans to defeat his father, who he does not like, in hand-to-hand combat.”

Dick Tracy, 1/9/23

Looks like our assassin “Kyptonite,” previously identified as “Kriptonite,” is in fact Just Some Guy, not even weird in the Dick Tracy sense. It’s particularly wearisome that he makes a little joke about his name in the final panel here. You’re the one who picked this nickname, man! Sorry if it results in confusion that you feel like you have to deflect in advance, before you agree to just shoot some guy with a gun, for money.

Hi and Lois, 1/9/23

Hi and Thirsty are definitely at Chez Thurston (you can tell by the patched couch), so it’s very funny to me that Thirsty made exactly one hamburger, for himself, then didn’t bother asking Hi if he wanted one until he sat down and was on the verge of shoving it in his hamburger hole.

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Dustin, 1/7/22

This whole week in Dustin has been about how Dustin’s dad wants to relive his high school glory days as a pole vaulter, and his wife is just absolutely furious about it. It’s been pretty annoying and dull, but I do kind of like today’s strip, in which we learn that, despite being a loathsome jerk, Dustin’s dad has hidden depths, like a strong desire to break out of his boring, safe, middle class existence, possibly by dying.

Mary Worth, 1/7/22

In other annoying and dull things that have been happening this whole week, Zak and Iris’s wedding ceremony has been both boring and drama free. I know we’re all disappointed to see Wilbur though-ballooning positive energy at his ex instead of getting drunk and making a scene, but I do like the juxtaposition here of him, Mary (thought ballooning platitudes, as is her wont) and Dawn, who is experiencing no thoughts at all, just vibes

Gil Thorp, 1/7/22

New Gil Thorp writer Henry Barajas promised on Twitter back in September that Milford’s annual bonfire was coming, and yet football season came and went without it — so it shouldn’t surprise us that that football season ultimately ended in failure. Now, with the school district apparently unable or unwilling to provide the official school-sanctions bonfire we’re used to, the teens of Milford are taking matters into their own hands, holding a forbidden, booze-soaked backwoods bonfire to try to salvage basketball season at least.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/7/22

What do we know about Hootin’ Holler? We know that its inhabitants are desperately poor and largely isolated from the national and global economies, and what little economic activity that does take place in the community is centered around subsistence agriculture, illegal alcohol manufacturing, and stealing chickens. If Bonnie Mae couldn’t figure out that this is a bad place to run a fancy-pants “boutique,” that’s on her.

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Dustin, 12/15/22

I always criticize the comic strip Dustin for its failure to depict its young-person characters in realistic ways, so I have to give credit where credit is due: TikTok is, in fact, an app that young people enjoy, and where you could watch many hours of dance videos, if you so choose. Now, young people do not come away from an evening of TikTok dance video viewing looking like they’ve just watched a solid six hours of disembowelments, like Dustin does here, nor do they make these kinds of execrable puns, but, you know, baby steps.

Judge Parker, 12/15/22

“Uh, no, Steve, my version is at least kind of plausible, whereas yours doesn’t really make sense at all. How much blood have you lost, exactly?”

Family Circus, 12/15/22

“So put some damn pants on. Fun time’s over!”