Archive: Lockhorns

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Dennis the Menace, 11/4/22

I actually think it’s more or less fine to do a syndicated newspaper strip that takes place in some kind of permanent 1950s boomer childhood fantasy world, especially for legacy strips that were born in that era anyway. I do feel like if you’re going to have a 1950s housewife tending to a rascally little tyke in overalls who’s allowed to roam the suburban neighborhood freely with a slingshot, the price you pay is that you can’t have said tyke mouth off about “the supply chain” or whatever. It’s too stale to be actually topical but topical enough that Dennis definitely shouldn’t be talking about it, which puts it in an uncanny valley spot that’s ironically pretty menacing, just not the kind of menacing I like.

The Lockhorns, 11/4/22

Meanwhile, because I contain multitudes, I love it when The Lockhorns get vaguely contemporary. Leroy losing all his money in a crypto scam? Yes, yes I say, give me more of this. The Lockhorns are Millennials after all, so it adds up.

Dustin, 11/4/22

Speaking of topical matters, I did a piece in 2020 about the initial wave of the COVID pandemic and the comics, but didn’t broach the subject that maybe I should’ve: what if a comic character actually died of COVID? I think possibly the funniest possible way for Dustin to dramatically stop publishing would’ve been to have its unloved title character die of wild-type COVID in April 2020, unmourned by his family or his temp agency. Sadly, in late 2022, this is probably just a cold, or at worst an Omicron infection that he’s vaccinated against and will get over, but fingers crossed that he’s maybe got that mutant flu/RSV hybrid that’s going around and we’ll be freed from this strip’s nonsense.

Funky Winkerbean, 11/4/22

Very sad that Summer has chosen a book topic that will require her to interview all her dad’s insufferable old friends, but I suppose the big reveal that the town’s mailman was violating federal law and everyone’s privacy for decades will at least result in a flurry of local sales interest.

Shoe, 11/4/22

I love it when the TV announces that regular programming has been pre-empted for some undisclosed reason and also refuses to tell me what it’s been replaced by, a normal occurrence that happens in real life all the time. Anyway, do you think today’s strip falls into the distressingly frequent Shoe category of “It’s fucked up that they have birds doing this joke”? Discuss.

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The Lockhorns, 10/29/22

Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, ‘Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.’ Man bursts into tears. Says, ‘But doctor … I am Pagliacci.’ So he went on a killing spree. Upon reflection, doctor should’ve referred him to a qualified therapist who could have assessed him for clinical depression. Anyway. Made an opera out of it. Good opera.”

Marvin, 10/29/22

You know what would make pretty much all comics better? If, when the artist was stuck for an idea, they just came up with a flimsy excuse to do a sweet drawing of a train.

Dick Tracy, 10/29/22

Look, we’re all thinking it, so I’m gonna say it: The Dick Tracy creative team didn’t have to make Steelface’s eyes so darn dreamy. But they did, and I think most of us sincerely appreciate it.

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Funky Winkerbean, 10/17/22

Look, I’m kind of face blind in real life, with actual human faces, and so since I’m dealing with a cartoon face here it’s wholly possibly I’m about to give you a big infodump about the wrong person, but I think that’s supposed to be Susan Smith, who in the long-ago pre-time-jump era of Funky Winkerbean was one of Les’s students, who developed romantic feelings for him somehow and then attempted suicide when he didn’t return them, and then years later came back to Westview herself as a teacher, and was of course enraptured by his prose about his dead wife Lisa, then eventually proclaimed her renewed love for him and there was briefly a moment where it seemed like she might be a romantic rival for Cayla (remember, this was a woman who tried to kill herself because she was so in love with Les when he was her teacher and she was a teenager! gross!) and despite some Three’s Company-style misunderstandings Cayla eventually won (“won”) and so Susan slipped quietly out of town. You’ll note in that last linked strip she says she’ll be “first in line to see” the Lisa’s Story movie if anything ever came of it, so maybe she was maybe one of the few who actually saw Marianne’s improbable Oscar-winning performance. On the other hand, the first panel here says that we’re flashing back to “several years ago,” and it definitely seems like she’s about to jump into the river, so maybe she never got to see the movie, a truly devastating final Les Moore-related tragedy in a life that was full of them.

Rhymes With Orange, 10/17/22

Ha ha, it’s funny because St. Peter, who was granted the keys to heaven by Jesus himself, wants to condemn this dog to eternal torture, in hell! Anyway, if you were wondering if you were still going to have to/be able to urinate in the afterlife, Rhymes With Orange is here to tell you: yes.

Judge Parker, 10/17/22

Oh, sorry, Judge Parker readers, we know you were all alarmed that something interesting and exciting seemed to be happening in this strip, but don’t worry: this week we’re getting back to the wall of emotionally fraught post-divorce scold-text that we know is the real reason you tune in every day.

The Lockhorns, 10/17/22

I love this panel because it tells us that there was a brief moment where Leroy experienced a moment of pure, childlike happiness. It was of course immediately followed by pain and trauma. This is the nature of the Lockhorns’ reality. I like the black eye he has because it lets us know that whatever he hit, he hit it face first.