Archive: Hi and Lois

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Mary Worth, 6/10/24

The thing about disposing of a dead fish is, honestly, that there isn’t a particularly dignified way to do it, and if you’re as emotionally devastated about said fish’s death as Wilbur clearly is, then I suppose it’s hard to get some kind of closure. Maybe this is a best-case scenario! Because I don’t think that chucking a matchbox coffin off the deck of Dr. Jeff’s DieselBurner-2000 superboat is going to be that dignified, actually, and that’s before we even take into account how visibly contemptuous of the proceedings Dr. Jeff will be (you will be able to correctly ascertain his negative attitude from space).

The Phantom, 6/10/24

So the idol theft storyline turned out to be related to the years-long Death Of The Phantom arc, in that it gave an opportunity for the Phantom’s dumb son to reveal that he had a dream that sort of tied into Old Man Mozz’s prophecy in ways I don’t fully follow and am not going to bother trying to rehash for you here. Mostly I am just putting down a marker of hope here that we truly are getting a fresh new storyline, one involving a private spaceflight company known as “Space-Ox,” run by a guy named Elon Musk Ox (he’s just like Elon Musk, but also an ox).

Hi and Lois, 6/10/24

Fine, I’m all in on the new “punchlines are for the old and weak” era of Hi and Lois. Hi is up in the dead of night brooding over the fact that the world has changed since he was young. Are things better, or are they worse? Hard to say, but they’re different, and that exercises his mind in ways his wife would give anything to not hear about. Perfection, no notes, etc.

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Marvin, 6/3/24

The very first “real job” I ever had, after I quit grad school, way back in the long past and yet futuristic sounding year of 1999, was as a copy editor for a series of tech-focused websites, none of which exist any longer. This happened more or less accidentally — the recruiter at the agency I was temping for at the time mentioned that one of the sites this company put out was called “Lie-nux World,” and one my grad school buddies had been a Linux nerd so I knew enough to correct her pronunciation, and her eyes lit up — and that was the launching point for the non-comedy-writing aspects of my subsequent career, which, to be straight with you all, represent a significant majority of my lifetime earnings to date. Anyway, though I haven’t formally held the “copy editor” title in years, I still identify very strongly with the role, as working in it got me up to speed with tech publishing and editorial processes in general. That’s why I can say without hesitation or exaggeration that, thanks to the publication of this Marvin strip where we learn what Marvin’s terrible father does for a living, this is worst day of my entire life.

Hi and Lois, 6/3/24

I like how you can tell by everybody’s facial expression that nobody finds this cute. “Oh, she wants to interrupt our precious TV time just to experience a moment of human affection? Well, too bad! She can cry herself to sleep like the rest of us!”

Alice, 6/3/24

Alice has been kidnapped by aliens and has chased after her parrot but I gotta say this is the most not OK she’s ever been. The ducks aren’t talking about you, babe! Their intellects are cool and unsympathetic, but they do not assess your appearance against human standards!

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Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/27/24

Big news, everyone! Our character wrap-up is finally over and we’re getting to our next exciting Rex Morgan, M.D., medically themed storyline: Buck’s tween son Corey, who appears to have hit puberty and also grown his hair all long and greasy, just like the ladies like it, is getting into standup comedy, along with his friend Parker. Now, having been to far too many open mics myself, I can tell you that they are wretched hives of scum and villainy and “supportive” parents who take their children to them should be investigated by CPS, but it is true that testing out the timing and delivery of the jokes you write is an important part of the proces, so they’re a necessary evil. For instance, is “as always, the sky” a funny response to “what’s up”? Well, it really depends on whether you say it in a jokey, smirky way (bad) or deliver it with a world-weary sigh, as if you cannot believe how many times you’ve been forced to answer this simple and obvious question (good). Anyway, in this plot we might get to see Corey become the Joker, so fingers crossed for that.

Hi and Lois, 5/27/24

One of my pet peeves is that Memorial Day, a holiday specifically set aside to honor those who died while serving in the US armed forces, has sort of become elided with Veterans Day and is now just treated as “let’s respect the troops, but when the weather is nicer.” The result is that you get strips like this, where two little kids knock on the door of their elderly neighbor and are like “Hey, Mr. Weaving, do you have any memories of your dead comrades? Were they shot down right in front of you? Does the image never leave your mind?”

Beetle Bailey, 5/27/24

Beetle Bailey understands the holidays correctly, at least. That’s what I’m taking from Gen. Halftrack’s facial expression, anyway, which reads less as “sentimental” and more as “my God, look at how young and full of promise they were. I’m the only one who made it out and I’ve wasted my life. I should’ve been there when that NVA artillery shell hit, not them. It should’ve been me. It should’ve been me!

Mary Worth, 5/27/24

What do you think she’s hearing, exactly? Snoring? Sobbing? Chewing? Some unholy combination of the three?