Archive: Family Circus

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Mary Worth, 12/10/17

Ah, now we know why Wilbur couldn’t go out to eat with Dawn: He had decided to settle down in his comfy clothes and give Iris what she had been missing, which is to say Wilbur! He calls her in his robe because he’s offering dinner but he’s expecting her to say that he should just come to her apartment right away and let her run her hands all over his body, from his ankle stubble to his combover. Anyway, if Mary Worth just wants to show us Wilbur’s heart being broken, over and over again, you better believe I’m 100% on board.

Dick Tracy, 12/10/17

I feel like the fact that Honeymoon Tracy and Mr. Bribery’s niece are friends has been established earlier but I don’t actually remember the details, like if either them knows the other one is on the other side of the law family-wise or what. I just want to point out that despite Neo-Chicago’s notorious Tough On Crime policies, the MALL is still a violent Scorsese-esque nightmare, with dudes weilding enormous knives just lurking in hallways waiting to rob unsuspecting teens.

Dennis the Menace, 12/10/17

Not sure what’s more menacing: Dennis casually admitting that he knows the Wilsons are increasingly senile and don’t notice when he takes their stuff, or Dennis putting a guilt trip on his mom when she tries to sneak out for a few blessed hours of non-Dennis time.

Family Circus, 12/10/17

The kids look like they’re about to beat Big Daddy Keane into a Christmas gang.

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Mark Trail, 12/5/17

I for one am extremely excited for Mark Trail to finally become the full-on avant garde art project we’ve always imagined it to be. When the one-eyed man and his companion, a gentleman with a blue suit and pocket square who’s cosplaying a mid-level Ancient Egyptian official from the 19th Dynasty from the neck up, encounter a wizened old clown who just screams and screams, American newspaper readers will experience the mingled terror, confusion, alienation, and catharsis formerly available only to highbrow types seeing radical theater produced in big cities.

Family Circus, 12/5/17

I have to admit that I genuinely laughed out loud at Jeffy’s smug facial expression here. “Eh?” he’s saying. “Breakdown of traditional gender roles? Eh? Eh?”

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Dennis the Menace, 12/1/17

Despite the strip’s occasional acknowledgements of modernity, a large part of the appeal of Dennis the Menace, to the extent that such a thing could be said to exist, lies in its depiction of a retrograde, bygone world that is comforting to its elderly readership but would be wholly alien to actual five-year-olds. This is a neighborhood, after all, where children of various ages are allowed to roam unsupervised seemingly at all times, which must seem very weird to any children reading it (fortunately no actual children are reading it). Today’s panel has a whole series of anachronisms:

  1. A door-to-door salesman
  2. A door-to-door salesman arriving in the middle of the day
  3. A door-to-door salesman arriving in the middle of the day wearing a suit and a bow tie and saddle shoes
  4. A five-year-old-child allowed to answer the door for a total stranger
  5. A door-to-door salesman arriving in the middle of the day and at least appearing to entertain the thought that a five-year-old child might have been left in the house alone

Anyway, I guess the joke here is that Dennis has blown his mother’s cover when she’s trying to avoid talking to a salesman, which only makes sense if we find #5 there believable, and which I guess makes Alice the true menace, since she’s sent her child to the door to run interference with some rando while she stays upstairs in the bedroom huffing laudanum or whatever. I think a more modern and menacing version of this joke would be Dennis saying he was home alone and asking the salesman to call Child Protective Services, just because he wanted to go for a ride in a car.

Pluggers, 12/1/17

Today’s Pluggers fascinates me: it tells a whole little story in its caption, but in the panel itself depicts the moment before the denouement, the moment when its plugger protagonist allows herself to briefly entertain the idea that someone might find her desirable, before it all comes crashing down in a moment of internalized embarrassment. In its own quiet way, this is just as grim and heartbreaking as that crushing Pluggers classic, “Rhino-man hocks his TV.”

Family Circus, 12/1/17

Family Circus has a reputation for being one of the most Christian comic strips in the newspaper, and yet here it is depicting a child confusing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the pagan fertility god whose iconography has, through the corruption of this world, been grafted onto what should be the subdued celebration of His birth, and then playing it for laughs. I guess this is just meant to show us that children really are born sinful and ignorant, doomed to Limbo without the interceding grace of Christ, working through the Holy Mother Church and its variety of reasonably priced educational programs.