Archive: Hi and Lois

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Crankshaft, 1/25/21

All syndicated newspaper comics artists have to submit their strips at least a few weeks in advance. Most, not surprisingly, go right up to the wire of what they’re allowed to do, but some leave a longer buffer. I admit that this is only a rumor I’ve heard secondhand, so I’m not saying I’m sure this is true, but the consistent rumor really is that Tom Batuik has a full year-long buffer for the Funkyverse strips, so he can get in the spirit of the holidays as he writes twelve months in advance. Normally this isn’t a big deal, as one Christmas is pretty much the same as the next, but over the past year, as a global pandemic brought exactly the sort of disease-based gloom we expect from the Funkyverse into our reality, the disconnect has been kind of striking. I’ve assumed that, like many strips, Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft would just ignore COVID-19 rather than be caught a full year behind the times but … what if they won’t? What if we’re about to see last year’s rollercoaster of panic and confusion play out for us amongst Crankshaft’s family and bus driver pals? Wouldn’t that be incredible? And by incredible I mean “extremely disturbing, please don’t do this, why on earth would you do this?” Well, buckle up, because here we go! CORPSES IN THE STREETS OF CENTERVILLE EVERYBODY

Crock, 1/25/21

I relate far too well to Poulet’s seemingly out-of-place expression in panel two. Sometimes, when you spend far too much time worrying about something that you’re not sure will ever really happen, even if it’s a bad thing, just knowing that it’s a real possibility and you haven’t wasted all that anxiety on a mirage is a relief!

Hi and Lois, 1/25/21

Speaking of facial expressions, I am genuinely cackling at Hi’s slack-jawed shock in panel one here. “I cannot believe I married this naive simpleton,” he seems to be thinking, just barely capable of holding his tongue so as to prevent an open marital rift.

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Blondie, 1/20/21

Much as I would like to live in a world where, even in bland suburban communities like the one where the Bumsteads live, there are standalone storefronts that cater entirely to readers of niche publications like Vinyl and Fish and Giants Fan, I feel I must point out that even full-service bookstores are having a hard time staying afloat in the age of Amazon, so I am forced to describe the setting of today’s Blondie as “wholly unrealistic.” I’m trying to imagine the sequence of decisions that led to the creation of today’s strip, and while it makes sense that the writer of a legacy newspaper strip would imagine a paradise where print media still ruled, I think it’s more likely that they came up with a magazine joke first and were trying to figure out where to set it and thought “magazine … store?” and decided to call it a day at that point.

Dennis the Menace, 1/20/21

Gina has long been one of the less interesting characters in Dennis the Menace, since her whole deal seems to be “a girl, but less annoying than Margaret.” But she’s certainly shot to the top of the menacing charts with her new project, the Neighborhood Racial Purity Census.

Hi and Lois, 1/20/21

Dawg’s dead, everyone. Dawg’s dead and he’s in heaven now. Pour one out for Dawg, the beloved dog character from the syndicated newspaper comic Hi and Lois!

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Hi and Lois, 1/19/21

Do you think the Flagston kids are being sarcastic here? I mean, kids generally have, um, let’s say “unrefined” palettes, so I imagine they’re actually quite jazzed about getting spaghetti and hot dogs on nights when Lois is showing her clients McMansions after dark because you “really get a sense of how quiet these gated communities are at this hour” or whatever. This, to me, makes Hi’s sour, gloomy facial expression in the final panel even funnier. He hates that his kids are excited about the extremely basic things that strain his limited cooking skills, and holds both them and himself in simultaneous contempt.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/19/21

Welp, it seems Buck’s meek, mild-mannered, easily winded persona has been an act, a front to hold back the monster within, the monster who dreams of nothing but carnage. But now that he’s going to have draw blood from his finger every day … well, Buck can’t speak to what’s going to happen next. But it won’t be pretty.

Beetle Bailey, 1/19/21

Oh, Sarge. Foolish Sarge. Did you think that you could pound a man into a puddle of goo and then reshape him into a human form three times a week and not create something … more pliable, but also something essentially inhuman? Something no longer tied to a stable physical form, or to our sense of morality? Be afraid, be very afraid of what you have wrought.