Archive: Herb and Jamaal

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Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean, 3/24/16

Unlike what appears to be a surprising number of you, I don’t care much about the weird chronological disconnect between Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, where both strips take place in the present (as near as can be determined by technological and social details) and yet Funky Winkerbean takes place ten years after Crankshaft. I really don’t care at all! It’s just Comic Book Time, y’all, and unless you’re dealing with For Better or for Worse or Doonesbury, you just accept that the characters all stay the same age more or less while the universe ages around them. The Funkyverse seems to want its readers to care about the discontinuity, though, which is strange because literally the only forms of “caring” anyone could have about this are “confusion” and “irritation”; still, what other explanation is there for the slo-mo crossover details that would only be of interest to Funkyverse obsessives? Like those twin girls who recently surfaced in Funky Winkerbean as teens are now back in Crankshaft, teasing us with potential clues about their birthdate! (Jokes on you, nerds: October 1995 is before they were born whether Crankshaft takes place in 2016 or 2006.) Meanwhile, in Funky Winkerbean, the gang is visiting the Valentine, presumably to show us that Max and his girlfriend have managed to run it for a decade without going bankrupt. I guess that’s supposed to be Max? Or some other bearded dude? At least he’s making a dumb play on words based on a phrase nobody ever uses. At least something makes sense.

Mary Worth, 3/24/16

Is there a phrase more emblematic of Mary Worth’s ethos than “Mary explains what Dawn is feeling”? Anyway, now that Mary has successfully annihilated Dawn’s emotional autonomy, she’ll be ready to force her puppet to make a “bolder personal effort” for “in-person connecting,” which probably will entail an assassination attempt on a senator or businessman opposed to Mary’s interests.

Crock, 3/24/16

Normally I would just pass over this incomprehensible punchline like so many others in Crock, but the title character’s knowing glance in the final panel is really forcing me to dwell on it. “Eh? Hairy backs? Get it? His back? It’s hairy?”

Herb and Jamaal, 3/24/16

You know those Slylock Fox puzzles where the solution revolves around someone making a technically true but misleading statement to beat a lie detector test? This reminds me of a particularly pathetic version of that. “Heh heh,” thinks Herb smugly in the final panel. “I sure gave her a piece of my mind, in a way that guarantees that she’ll never notice! That’ll show her!”

Judge Parker, 3/24/16

WOW, when is BIG GOVERNMENT going to get OFF THE BACKS of JOB CREATORS who want to MAKE THINGS IN AMERICA by HIRING OLD PEOPLE and NOT PAYING THEM ANY BENEFITS because they’re ALREADY ON MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY????? Man, whichever local state legislator had his or her last campaign entirely financed by the Spencer-Driver SuperPAC is going to hear about this.

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Mary Worth, 1/19/16

Oh, look, it’s another Beloved Character From Mary Worth’s Past, which gives me another chance to walk you down memory lane, building up my pageviews in the process! You might remember John Dill as a former Charterstone resident who appeared at a pool party just after his wife’s death with a garish cake. Turns out he’d always dreamed of being a professional cake designer, and decided to risk ridicule by entering Santa Royale’s notoriously tough cake design contest — and Mary volunteered to help. Dr. Jeff was briefly jealous, but Mary assured him that she and John had a strictly professional relationship [FORESHADOWING]. After a grueling cake-design montage, Team John Dill was ready to go! On camera, John reacted to the assigned decorating theme — “the beauty of nature” — by carving an idol of Mary as a pagan fertility goddess, proving that Dr. Jeff was entirely correct to be suspicious of John’s intentions (keeping in mind that John’s wife was barely cold in the ground at this point). John and Mary won, obviously, and didn’t just get a big check but also an opportunity to apprentice with New York’s very own Chef Pierre! John wanted Mary to go to New York with him to learn how to make cakes and also probably do sex stuff, but she turned him down, so he flew off thinking sad thoughts. Later, Mary visited New York and seriously considered leaving Dr. Jeff for handsome Broadway actor Ken Kensington and visited John not at all, but now she’s stuck trying to entertain Olive for days on end, so, sure, she’ll drop by and see how he’s doing in year three of his unpaid internship.

Mark Trail, 1/19/16

Oh, whoops, Gabe isn’t angling to get Mark to write an article about his damn bats at all. He’s angling to get Mark into a three-way with him, like he’d always wanted. Considering the economics of the print magazine industry, this actually makes more sense.

Herb and Jamaal, 1/19/16

Good lord, are computers really just flat, featureless 8-inch squares now? This punchline really resonates with me!

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Dennis the Menace and Beetle Bailey, 12/7/15

These are, in my opinion, some solid prompts for philosophical discussion. If we conceive of our lives as an endless series of journeys towards some specific destinations, don’t we ignore the charms and possibilities of the intermediary space we pass through, every inch of which is itself a possible destination? Similarly, why do we discount the third of our lives we spend asleep? It’s largely opaque to us, but is it possible that sleep is really what we’re for, and we only wake up when we can’t sleep anymore? Anyway, A+++ work this Monday, guys, feel free to spend the rest of the week slacking off with mild jokes about children who don’t understand that you shouldn’t repeat rude things your parents say about their friends and/or the tragedy of physical abuse in our armed forces.

Judge Parker, 12/7/15

Much as I would like the Spencer-Drivers to all be arrested at once after a long investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and IRS working in tandem, I’m assuming Neddy is about to get a ticket for her semi-competent operation of this huge behemoth of a motor home. You know, in some countries, monetary fines don’t have set amounts but are instead calculated based on the offender’s income, on the logic that otherwise the rich would be able to, say, speed or run lights with impunity; this can result in very wealthy people being handed six-figure traffic tickets. The practice is almost unheard of in the U.S., and it’s too bad because otherwise the local municipality here would have its budget covered for the next decade.

Herb and Jamaal, 12/7/15

Haha, yes, fish that’s of such high quality that you can eat it raw, that’s definitely like everything else on this list here!