Archive: Lockhorns

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Blondie, 5/15/22

There are, as you might guess because you’re reading these words on a website called “The Comics Curmudgeon,” a number of things that irritate me about the comic strip Blondie, and one of them is that we have been repeatedly told that Dagwood’s job title is “office manager,” despite the fact that he never does any office management and what work activity we do see out of him involves working on “contracts” that seem related to the core business of DithersCo and not about buying office supplies or whatever. And now we’re supposed to believe that there’s someone who’s worked at the company for a while and the office manager doesn’t know him? Perhaps the company is meant, for the purposes of this joke, to be so large that there are multiple office managers, with the people “down the hall” not mingling with Dagwood’s bunch? This makes no sense! I protest, do you hear me? I protest!

Funky Winkerbean, 5/15/22

Gotta respect Funky Winkerbean here: a lesser strip would choose to either make a professional school picture photographer the butt of the joke for not knowing what kids mean when they say “gram,” or this lonely nerd the butt of the joke for having no friends. But this is Funky Winkerbean, where they want you to know that all of their characters, even the walk-ons, are contemptible losers.

Mary Worth, 5/15/22

Wow, it turns out Toby understood exactly what it would take to dissuade Cal from his schoolboy crush: putting him in the nuclear blast zone of Ian’s sexuality. This has sent him scrambling for an age-appropriate partner so he can pretend that he’ll never get old, and Maddie, who happens to be nearby, is the lucky (?) winner!

Panel from The Lockhorns, 5/15/22

Well, this strip’s been running for 54 years, and Loretta has finally “gone there,” by which I mean she has threatened her spouse with murder. “You buy that boat and I’ll kill you and set you and it on fire,” she says. “I’ll fucking do it. It won’t even be in the water, just in our driveway. I’ll be long gone at that point, though, Leroy. Long gone.

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Blondie, 5/12/22

You ever stare at a sentence for a long stretch of time and become increasingly convinced that it doesn’t really make sense as something a native speaker of 21st century American English would say? Probably not, as you don’t have a semi-successful comics blog you’ve got to churn out content for every day, but the point is that “How much are you wanting?” fell into that category, for me, until I finally convinced myself that it would sound right if it were in a comical fake Irish accent from an old-timey movie. “How much are ye wanting then, lads?” See, doesn’t that sound better? Or at least funnier? Wouldn’t it be funnier if Dagwood spoke in a comical Irish accent? Have I finally cracked the code necessary to read Blondie every day and find it funny, after all these years?

Hi and Lois, 5/12/22

“Is that why your face is constantly immobile, your mouth perpetually in an O of surprise? The price of beauty is wearing a dead mask, every day of your life?”

The Lockhorns, 5/12/22

The long, unkempt beards of Greek philosophers were meant to signify that they were so invested in the life of the mind that they couldn’t be bothered to concern themselves with ordinary, quotidian matters like hygiene, and in the early 20th century, many men at Ivy League colleges indulged in a similar aesthetic impulse for similar reasons, making a vogue out of a disheveled, slovenly style of dress. In the 1940s, students at the elite women’s colleges cast off their girdles and began to imitate their male counterparts, and a key part of their new uniform was a baggy cardigan referred to as a “sloppy joe sweater.” This is a long-winded way of me saying that fine, I admit it, I was wrong, the Lockhorns are definitely not Millennials.

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Funky Winkerbean, 5/9/22

Happy Monday, everybody, Funky Winkerbean is starting up the week with a funeral, obviously. I’m pretty sure Mary Sue isn’t someone we’ve actually met before in this strip, and Funky and Les want to make it clear that they don’t actually know her well or care that much about her, they just think it’s an important Funkyverse ritual to stop by funerals and acknowledge that everyone’s dying all the time, just some of us a little sooner than others. “Mary Sue” is of course also a derogatory term for an idealized authorial self-insert character in fanfiction, and it absolutely tracks that an idealized self-insert character in Funkyverse fan fiction would be someone who dies off-panel in order to give the sad sack main characters the chance to talk about how the whole world is falling apart, really.

Crankshaft, 5/9/22

Meanwhile, the “fun” Funkyverse strip is here to make sure you never forget the real victim of 9/11 (Crankshaft’s grill).

The Lockhorns, 5/9/22

I’m sorry, I’m usually on team “The Lockhorns is good, actually,” but I do demand that the strip keep to its mission of laser-focusing on Leroy and Loretta’s mutual animosity and self-inflected misery. Leroy complaining that it’s annoying when he has to leave the house to buy things simply won’t cut it.

Mary Worth, 5/9/22

Well, it seems this plotline is going to wrap up without much conflict, I guess the last detail to take care of is Cal, I wonder how oh my GOD Ian is going to come to Toby’s class and GLOWER at him, and possibly start pounding his chest and making what he thinks are gorilla noises, this is gonna be AMAZING