Archive: Dustin

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Crankshaft, 6/9/21

Congratulations to Crankshaft for delivering a strip whose meaning isn’t immediately obvious, but in a way that makes it feel like maybe there’s going to be some character development in the next few days rather than just “oh no, the wordplay is too opaque, we need to ratchet it back by two or three notches.” Anyway, who wants to guess what exactly the ‘Shaft is going on about here? Did he watch the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic and how it caused so many younger people to put their dreams for the future on hold, and it made him realize that he had done that for himself long ago, without even realizing it? Or did he just get bored one night and watched a bad basic cable documentary about REM sleep or something and thought “Huh, I never remember my dreams. Does that mean my brain doesn’t work right? Is that COVID-related? Can I sue someone over this?”

Dustin and Mother Goose and Grimm, 6/9/21

Because human beings are capable of abstract thought, we’ve managed to turn the genetic impulse to look for mates who are physically strong and instead map that onto more abstract signifiers, like the ability to use physical strength for useful purposes, or the acquisition of stored labor value in the form of money. That’s what you’d think based on these strips, anyway, though keep in mind that the message is coming from comics artists, who generally don’t have any of the above qualities to recommend them.

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Dustin, 4/23/21

So the last time I tackled wordplay in a Sunday Dustin comic strip lots of people got mad at me because apparently they think hanger and anger rhyme, so maybe I shouldn’t tempt fate again, but whatever: I can tell by looking at it that this punchline is supposed to be wordplay, but I have no idea what the wordplay is supposed to be. I guess we’re meant to believe “takes it out on approval” is a well-known English phrase we all know and love, maybe? Well, it’s it’s not, but I’m sure a bunch of people are going to chime in telling me it is actually and I’m wrong. Anyway, one of the things about Dustin is that it’s about a generational war between two unlikeable characters, and you have to kind of admire how it makes you dislike whichever one is in the strip on any given day.

Marvin, 4/23/21

Get it? “Cry-Fi”? Because instead of communicating via a local wireless arean network defined by the IEEE 802.11 standards, he’s just yelling? Mercy! That’s pretty funny, of course, but let’s not let it distract us from the main thing here, which is that Marvin’s parents have locked him outside to die of exposure and starvation.

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Judge Parker, 4/26/21

Oh, hey, remember when Sam got kidnapped a couple of years ago? Well, kidnapped might be a kind of strong word for it. Yes, he was taken away at gunpoint by this lady against his will, but that was only to get him to a meeting with April’s dad Norton, so that they could plot out some crimes to get Judge Parker Senior out of jail for the crimes he did, after which time Sam was free to go (to put their crime plan into motion), and technically a normal person would interpret this sequence of events as being kidnapped, especially the part at the beginning with the gun. But Sam is supposed to be the man of action in this strip, responsible for all sorts of derring-do! Remember when Sam’s pal almost got hacked to bits by a chainsaw? That’s the sort of thing that used to happen to him and his friends all the time! Sam should be significantly more chill about that previous encounter with not-April, is what I’m saying.

Slylock Fox, 4/26/21

A thing I really respect about Wanda Witch is her cheerful attitude about everthing, embracing the darkness of her chosen profession/species (?). She seems fun, and who wouldn’t want to hang out with her at home and sing along as she pounds out “Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead” on the piano? And if you think there’s something unusual about a florist delivering roses with the thorns still on them, you have a lot to learn about the courting customs in the positive-vibes goth subculture that Wanda and her paramour Count Weirdly are clearly both members of.

Funky Winkerbean, 4/26/21

Look, Funky’s monologue about how he had it rough during the COVID lockdown was insufferable, of course, but at least it sort of made sense as something you’d talk about at an AA meeting. But now it looks like he’s just gonna launch into a recap of the strips where he gets verbally abused by his personal trainer, and I can’t see any real therapeutic value in that.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 4/26/21

OK, so we’re on day two of “Jordan and Michelle are about to go nuts all over each other’s hot bods, we must stop watching now,” followed by very pointedly continuing to watch, and I know that there’s a whole thing where the Sunday strips have to stand alone because some people don’t see them and some people only see them, but this is really starting to make me uncomfortable, I have to say.

Dustin, 4/26/21

My initial reaction reading this was, “Wait, why is Dustin getting home in what I assume is the early afternoon? Why isn’t he at work?” And now I have a new worst crime to accuse the comic strip Dustin of: making me briefly think exactly like Dustin’s terrible father.