Archive: Marvin

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Crankshaft, 6/28/21

In the United States, things are increasingly getting back to their pre-pandemic patterns, at least for now, but the scars on our psyches will take years to heal. For instance, today’s Crankshaft features the main character scowling and furious about how wastefully clean everyone in his family kept their anuses during the corona year, and despite a return to free-flowing TP he clearly still hasn’t gotten over it. Honestly, you sort of get the feeling that he thinks nobody should be wasting or even using toilet paper at any time, so this may not be the best example of my overall point.

Funky Winkerbean, 6/28/21

Say what you will about Funky Winkerbean, but it’s a rare boomer-created strip that actually gets a lot right about its many millennial characters: namely, that at this point they’re by and large normal middle aged adults who are increasingly dumpy-looking and disillusioned, just like everybody else ever when they start hitting their 30s. Do real millennials speak in hashtags? No, no they don’t. I said the strip gets “a lot right,” not everything right.

Hi and Lois, 6/28/21

Speaking of millennials, it’s hard to get a handle on exactly how old Hi and Lois are supposed to be, but since their kids range from in age from teen to infant, I’m going to guess they’re in their late 30s and are thus “geriatric millennials.” Anyway, good news for your non-geriatric millennials: Hi and Lois are still horny! For now, at least.

Blondie, 6/28/21

Anyway, on the note of actually young people, Cookie and Alexander are drawn so closely to the Blondie/Dagwood character models that it can be easy to forget that they’re teenagers. What I’m saying is, I’m hoping Cookie is surreptitiously filming this to upload for her huge audience of TikTok followers who turn to her for self-care tips, and she sets it to some bleep-bloop song I don’t recognize and adds some text like “my dad’s in an EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP with his boss … and that’s the tea, sis.”

Marvin, 6/28/21

The Marvin characters exist beyond generational discoruse, so I don’t actually care how old Jeff or Jenny or their parents are or what generational cohort they’re supposed to be in. Mostly I wanted to show you this strip, which I enjoyed because of Jenny’s sly little smile in the last panel. “Yep, that’s my husband!” she’s thinking. “He’s a real lazy piece of shit.”

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Family Circus, 6/27/21

Big Daddy Keane is, canonically in-strip, a cartoonist; we know this because he occasionally gets his son to fill in for him, and by all indications he owns his own intellectual property. So it’s logical to assume that the “BKI Building” where he works is named after the company he founded to license his comics, Bil Keane Industries. Thus, we must also conclude that, despite running a cartooning company, Daddy insists on wearing a suit and tie at work, and despite being the boss is too embarassed to wear the tie gifted to him by his children, whose endless stream of malapropisms pay the salaries of everyone in that office.

Funky Winkerbean, 6/27/21

Man, it’s kind of amazing to realize that I’ve been thinking and writing professionally about Funky Winkerbean for more than a decade and my mind still hasn’t fully engaged in all its depths. For instance, it just occurred to me that Funky’s wife’s name, Holly Budd, was almost certainly supposed to be a play on “Buddy Holly,” for no good reason as her character was in the high school era of the strip defined by being a majorette and in the adult era has been defined by being Funky’s second wife, so there’s really no “50s rock pioneer” connection to speak of. She doesn’t even wear the glasses! Anyway, the thing I like best about today’s strip is about how absolutely dead-eyed Holly looks in the final panel, knowning she lives in a pointless panopticon overseen by her jackass of a husband.

Marvin, 6/27/21

The system goes online on June 2nd, 2021. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 AM, Eastern time, June 21st, and encounters Marvin. In disgust, it tries to pull its own plug.

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Gil Thorp, 6/26/21

So the B-plot to this spring’s library administration nonsense has been Corina Karenna nonsense, in which the beloved (?) and sassy new Mudlark has resisted all of Coach Mrs. Coach Thorp’s entreaties to take her prodigious softball skills to college, using the facts that she spent much of her high school years at an “alternative” school and her mom needs care due to unspecified mental health problems as excuses. But it turns out that her grades are actually great and her mom wants her to go to college, so her mom and Mimi conspired to get her enrolled, problem solved! Anyway, none of that is very interesting, and mostly what I want to talk about in today’s strip is panel two, which takes the “it’s OK for a character to have a word balloon attached to them even if they’re obviously not talking” position to a radical extreme. Not sure if we’re meant to understand that Mimi is taking a big sip of iced tea to wet her whistle and prepare to unleash this long sentence, or if she’s drinking it to soothe her parched palate after saying it, or if (best option, in my opinion) she’s just kind of burbling her words through her beverage. Gil, who is used to Mimi’s bullshit after however many decades of marriage, will refuse to acknowledge this.

Marvin, 6/26/21

Say what you will about Marvin, but at least it doesn’t have an ongoing plot I feel obligated to recap just so I can talk about some visual element that annoys me in today’s strip. That visual element is Bitsy’s foot. It’s got paw pads, like a dog’s foot should, but also distinctly human toes. It’s gross and I hate it! This concludes my Marvin commentary for today.