Archive: Dustin

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Crock, 1/22/20

One of the dangers of doing a syndicated comic strip for years is that you either subconsciously repeat a joke or just submit a strip you drew years ago hoping your editors won’t notice; and one of the dangers of writing a blog making fun of comic strips for (gulp) 15-plus years is that I’ll see one of these repeats and make more or less the same joke about it that I did long before. Sometimes I miss it, but sometimes as I’m about to hit “publish” a little voice nags at me that it all seems too familiar. So it was today, when I had a joke about how the characters in Crock aren’t in North Africa at all, but rather are parasites who reside on the flesh of some unimaginably huge creature; but then I got that aforementioned nagging feeling, and went walking through my archives, and sure enough, back in 2007, when the creator of the strip was still alive, I made basically this joke about an an entirely different strip that made basically this joke. Anyway! More proof that the Crock characters are all inhabitants of some awful living planet made of meat, or something! This is Crockiverse canon, and you have to think about it every time you read the strip!

Shoe, 1/22/20

Shoe, meanwhile, is relatively “with it” for a long-running legacy strip today: The Wiz is, after all, an expert in all things computers, and it would be unrealistic for him to try to convince Shoe that there’s any viable revenue model for online journalism.

Dustin, 1/22/20

You know, if you’re going to do a strip about a middle-aged character picking up some youth slang, it might behoove you to be really, really sure you know what said youth slang means, since “ghosting” refers not to dropping a text conversation with outstanding matters still unresolved, which is what from context the Dustin clan seems to be talking about here, but rather ending a romantic relationship with someone by wholly and abruptly cutting off communication with them. Granted, what with how the rest of them treat Dustin, it’d be fully believable that he’d finally get fed up and ghost them in the correct sense of the word!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/22/20

“Can’t people just die of old age anymore without having to make a big production out if it? I mean, come on.”

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Pajama Diaries, 1/4/20

Aw, man! Pajama Diaries, which became my go-to strip for vaguely enjoyable obsessive-neurotic stylings when Edge City went out of business, is also folding up shop. RIP Pajama Diaries, you were pretty good! If anyone else has a line on a strip featuring secular Jewish characters whose playful performance of anxiety masks some really profound terror about everyday life, please let me know, as I find that sort of thing intensely relatable.

Dustin, 1/4/20

Meanwhile, the insufferably smug gentiles of Dustin will just continue to move through their lives without spending a moment worrying about anything or examining their own terrible behavior and attitudes. These two feel justified getting in this little dig despite the fact that we’ve never seen them praying, going to church, or doing anything even vaguely religious in the strip. God is dead, which is just as well because now He doesn’t have to learn about Instagram, you know?

Dick Tracy, 1/4/20

Apparently someone has tasked the Dick Tracy creative team with adding more “psychological depth” to the strip’s villains so we can understand their “motivations” or whatever, so, here you go: Mr. Roboto robs banks not just because he loves the money, but because bank robberies provide a thrilling change of pace from his otherwise dull life. It’s not clear what he feels like dressing up as a Styx robot adds to the whole process, or why cyber-cosplay isn’t enough to alleviate the ennui and why he has to bring crimes into the mix, but I think we know enough for us to feel a twinge of empathy when Dick inevitably shoots him in the face.

The Lockhorns, 1/4/20

I find it particularly challenging sometimes to construct a narrative setup to make sense of the Lockhorns panels where non-Lockhorns characters interact (always silently) with Leroy and Loretta. Like, today: who is this lady? Why is she at the Lockhorns’ house at what I assume from context is no later than 10 am to watch Leroy day drink? Is this some poor unsuspecting acquaintance Loretta has dragged over on a flimsy pretext just so she could have a witness to her husband’s alcohol problems? Whatever the case, her fixed facial expression as she stares off into the middle distance indicates that this will be her last visit, and indeed her last interaction with either of these two of any kind.

Gil Thorp, 1/4/20

You know, we make fun of Gil a lot for not doing much by way of actual coaching in this strip, but honestly it turns out that watching someone coach in a comic is boring as shit, and maybe we shouldn’t complain so much.

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Mary Worth, 12/22/19

“Or maybe you’d discover that he’s an insecure, unattractive, unpleasant man who’s hung up on his ex and also bad in bed! And then you’ll want to ‘return’ the ‘gift’ but find that you can’t! Won’t be my problem at that point, though.”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/22/19

Good news, everyone! Rex Morgan has extremely ungraciously agreed to get a new dog for his daughter. 2020’s gonna be a real barrel of laughs, Rex-wise!

Dustin, 12/22/19

Ever since I started covering it here, I’ve referred to Dustin as being a Boomer vs. Millennial story, but today we’ve learned that Dustin’s dad is 54 and therefore, by most definitions, a Gen Xer like me. I take no pleasure in reporting this.