Archive: For Better or for Worse

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Beetle Bailey, 1/16/10

I guess General Halftrack is supposed to be a one-star general — he has a single star on his uniform, anyway, and it’s kind of hard to imagine him getting promoted. It now appears that he has chosen this star as his logo, as if he were a supervillain or some kind, buying an enormous and hideous stained glass star window for his front door to boast of his status as a general officer. This may also be the origin story of the general’s starry pajamas, although those may indicate that he secretly harbors fantasies of someday becoming a 147-star general.

Also, have you noticed that very few people send personal letters anymore, which means that bills and bulk mail make up of most of what you get in your mailbox? That’s pretty funny, right? Right?

Apartment 3-G, 1/16/10

Is it possible that Ruby’s friend/casual sex partner Lyle is a bit player from Mark Trail? Because she seems to have acquired that strip’s random bolding syndrome. Remember, kids, always use protection when getting intimate with a cartoon character, because you too can fall victim to the heartbreak of RBS.

Panel from For Better Or For Worse, 1/16/10

Speaking of getting intimate, if you feel like your overactive libido is interfering with your life, why not print this panel out and look at it whenever you need to make those erotic feelings vanish in a puff of disgust? Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go wash my mustache for the next nine hours.

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Funky Winkerbean, 12/11/09

Ever since it became clear that Summer was going to take up gainful employment at Montoni’s, Funky Winkerbean followers have asked themselves, “How will this plotline end in a terribly depressing conclusion?” The answer emerges today: age-inappropriate romance! Summer (who is supposed to be 16-ish) will against all odds fall for the smooth moves of morose loser Mopey Pete (who is supposed to be 26-ish) not because of the smoothness of said moves but because he has the advantage of not being a 16-year-old boy (and in Westview, sullen kleptomaniac Corey Winkerbean is apparently the best on offer in that department). Awkward, furtive romance will ensue, with possible negative outcomes including but not limited to: teen pregnancy, father-daughter rift, parent-on-boyfriend assault, statutory rape charge, parent-on-boyfriend assault interrupted by parental heart attack, ill-advised secret wedding, and (unrelated, but still inevitable) cancer.

Dennis the Menace, 12/11/09

While I’m all for stickin’ it to the man, I would argue that Dennis should stop focusing on the logical paradox that the sign represents and instead point out that happy family of three keeping on the grass right over there, on that hill. This police officer is regarding Dennis with a weary squint that says to me that he’s looking for an excuse to bust some heads, so its probably best to deflect his hostility rather than to explicitly ask for it.

Joey’s sartorial choices are always interesting! A short-sleeved sweater over a short-sleeved dress shirt is a remarkably bizarre outfit for a child, but, as ever, someone has got to make Dennis look menacing, if only by comparison.

For Better Or For Worse, 12/11/09

I must give props to today’s FBOFW new-run for depicting what it’s like to be a tiny person whose mother looms over you terrifyingly and ruins all your fun. In panel one, Ellie’s menacing pelvis is particularly striking.

Mark Trail, 12/11/09

It seems now that each new Mark Trail will offer another installment in the hilarious series of opportunities Mark is being given to let Rusty drown. While each obstacle is easy enough to overcome individually, when taken as a whole they should perhaps be understood as the universe itself wanting Rusty dead. Still, I’m sure Mark will courageously do some breaking and entering in order to find a special sand-compatible car jack, which leads me to wonder just how badly Mark will be willing to violate his moral code in order to save Rusty’s life. What if the urchin’s only hope is for Mark to grow a beard that the little twerp can grab onto so as to be pulled to safety? Would Mark make that ultimate sacrifice?

Judge Parker, 12/11/09

I would like it if any of my readers in the law enforcement of criminal lawyering industries could back me up here on just how insane the current Judge Parker plot developments are. To recap: Sam has dispatched one his firm’s lawyers to his client’s house so as to remove evidence from the scene that would exonerate said client. Had the police found the note — and had, say, lawyer Steve made a point of being present when the note was found — it would have become part of the evidence of the case, available to both sides in the trial, and there would have been a paper trail describing when and where it was found. But now it’s in possession of the defendant’s lawyers, which means that the prosecution can just say it’s a post facto fabrication.

Now, if the local police were terribly corrupt, Sam might have legitimate fears that they would “lose” any evidence damaging to their case, in which scenario Sam might gamble that getting the note illicitly would be better than nothing. Local law enforcement is corrupt, of course, but it’s corrupt in the sense that it favors Sam and his rich asshole friends, so this move makes even less sense. Calling the cops and taunting them by describing his painfully stupid move immediately after he made it is just moronic icing on the legal misconduct cake.

Apartment 3-G, 12/11/09

OH SNAP MARGO JUST GOT PAID! She’s putting on a halfway decent show for Tim — “if I purse my lips like this, that … that looks like grief, right?” — but clearly she’s already counting the money. Now that’s she independently wealthy, she can give up all of her half-assed attempts at earning a living and dedicate herself to plotting evil full time, which is going to be pretty fantastic.

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For Better Or For Worse, 11/19/09

I’ve been staring at this vintage Foob strip for a while, trying to figure out if the seatbelts have been only been drawn in for 21st century reprint purposes. I kind of think they have been, especially based on the final panel, where Ellie’s shoulder strap sort of vanishes abruptly at the edge of her shoulder rather than fading into the zip-a-tone murk as one might expect, and Michael’s lap belt and shoulder strap stay wrapped around him despite his being dragged bodily into the next seat. So, yeah, neither of them were wearing seatbelts when this strip was drawn, presumably in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and that’s OK! It was the style at the time! I can distinctly remember that when I was roughly Michael’s age here — an age at which, I assume, a child today would be lashed into a rear-facing car seat — we had a peppy Plymouth Champ, with a buzzer that would go off if the passenger seatbelt wasn’t fastened; so, my mom would let me fasten it before I got in the car and then I would just sit on top of it. And that was totally normal! She didn’t want me to die or anything! One can be nostalgic for an earlier time with, though you probably wouldn’t be if you had a kid who died in a car accident because they weren’t strapped down properly. Still, does it make me a monster if I wish that newly regenerated young Michael were cruising along unsecured as his mother attempts to drive under the influence of whatever the 1970s Canadian equivalent of NyQuil was? Because we’ve seen what’s in store for him, and maybe it would be better if he just went face-first into that lovingly rendered radio.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/19/09

Ha ha, hilarious fisticuffs delivered! It appears that Tim is rapidly devolving into some kind of feral monster; poor Cue is right to be scared! Unfortunately, if his crib wasn’t capable of keeping out a couple of deranged old people, it certainly won’t provide shelter from whatever kind of violent, hideous gnome Tim has become. I know that sometimes if men act heroic and protective it will cause the ladies to swoon, Tim, but I think Becka will cease to be aroused right around the time you start chewing off Cue’s face.

Lockhorns, 11/19/09

I’m assuming this is one of those “I walked into a doorway” domestic violence cover-up stories, because I’ve never actually seen Leroy and Loretta in church. And really, why would they go? Why would they worship any deity who has placed them into a universe of such intense and unmitigated misery?

Mary Worth, 11/19/09

Normally statements along the lines of “my life was an empty desert of existential meaninglessness until I started nurturing new life inside my uterus” enrage me, but I’m willing to allow it here on the off chance that Delilah is subtly trying to insult the childless Mary Worth. “Mary, don’t you wish you had come to your senses sooner … before your once bountiful womb became withered and barren?” Thus perhaps this isn’t a Delilah-centered story we’re starting; rather, she may just be returning in a cameo to put the real plot in action. Just as Tommie the Tweaker reappeared just to prove that Ella Bird’s psychic powers were legit, so too will Delilah’s child-bearing smugness primarily serve to send Mary into a funk that she can only solve one way: by forcing Dr. Jeff to steal a baby for her.