Archive: Mary Worth

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Spider-Man, 3/23/19

Welp, here it is, folks: the last in the current run of Newspaper Spider-Man! This feature, which began its run in 1977, ends like this: Peter and MJ are going on vacation. And that’s it! They’re not even on vacation, they’re just talking about how much fun vacation is going to be. The only real closure we’re getting is that Peter seem to have finally gotten over his endless macho panic about MJ making more money than him. Congrats, Peter, you and your wife now have a true partnership! She makes the money as a movie star, which gives you the freedom spend your time and energy fighting crime. Oh, what’s that, you’re going to Australia and never coming back to fight crime again? Well, enjoy! Hope your next newspaper incarnation is slightly less dumb and pissy!

Mary Worth, 3/23/19

Mary Worth has been telegraphing “ESTELLE IS BEING CATFISHED” with decreasing subtlety all week, and I think today’s strip really seals it. Not only does “Arthur” not know how to spell his own name, but instead of chatting with Estelle on the balcony of his suite at the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, his voice is coming at you from some dark room with a laptop and a dirty table that sports a plebeian can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

I like the fact that the phone is on speaker, because it implies that there isn’t just one “Arthur,” but rather she’s being catfished by committee, and they all need to hear what she’s saying so they can put their heads together and come up with a suitably romantic response. They started out in it for the money, but now they’ve really come together as a team and are increasingly excited by how good a job they’ve done as Cyranos!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/23/19

There’s a classic Mark Trail strip that’s somewhere in my archives that I spent way, way too much time just now trying and failing to dig up, in which a villain pledges to reform his ways and immediately goes off panel and shaves his beard, much to Mark’s approval. (If you can find the link, please email it to me, I love it so much!) Anyway, I guess the Rex Morgan, M.D., equivalent is to discard your garish clothes and swap them for a sensible, muted jacket-and-shirt combo. Not a tie or anything, you’re not putting on airs, but this is a way to show that you’ve been “scared straight” and are ready to rejoin civilization!

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 3/23/19

I think we should definitely listen to Jughaid when it comes to the food that he knows his body needs. Look at his discolored tongue! That’s presumably due to a serious vitamin deficiency.

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The Lockhorns, 3/18/19

OK, so I’m actively angry that, somewhere in the conceptual murk of the Lockhornsverse, Loretta and Leroy went to a rock concert (side note: “rock concert,” lol) and all we got out of it was this dumb joke about how concerts are loud and can affect your hearing in both the short and long term, which could’ve involved any generic set of characters? I have so many questions, about the genesis of this scenario, and specifically how it played out for the characters in this strip who we know and love. Why didn’t we get to see the escalating series of mutual passive-aggressive dares that led Leroy and Loretta, whose cultural consumption generally doesn’t go beyond movies or, very occasionally, the opera, to get outside their comfort zone? Was each of them hoping the other would hate it so they could feel smug about it? Did they see some big-name arena act, or did they go a little club to see some indie band so they could make fun of hipsters together? Deep in my heart, I hope they went and saw The Mountain Goats, and during the double-encore performance of “No Children,” Loretta reached out for Leroy’s hand without looking at him, and Leroy took it.

Spider-Man, 3/18/19

You know, it’s a common sentiment to say that each of us only has a limited time on this earth, and so we should live every moment of it to the fullest; but for me, I think that some of the banal, everyday experiences that many would call a waste of time are the true, quiet core of a life well lived. That’s why I respect that Newspaper Spider-Man, whose creative team presumably got more than a week’s notice that they were being cancelled, is resisting the urge to go out with a big, splashy, dramatic ending; instead, we’re apparently going to get several days of “Peter Parker vs. the TSA,” which is not only boring as shit, but has been done in this strip at least three times already. In one of his previous run-ins with airport security, Peter got bailed out by Obama; I feel like the current administration will be significantly … less forgiving.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/18/19

Rex Morgan really is hitting those classic Rex Morgan tropes: first someone gave Rex stuff for free for no good reason, and now he’s just gonna lounge around mostly naked, giving readers the occasional taste of beefcake they’ve come to enjoy. I assume the news report will be about how Annoying Hawaiian Shirt Man, who we last saw getting arrested after he made an abortive attempt to steal the ham radio operator’s jeep, was technically still under sky marshall jurisdiction when he committed his crime and will thus be shipped off to Guantanamo Bay to be held without trial indefinitely. The towel well fall away as Rex becomes aroused when learning about this tough but fair comeuppance; nevertheless, he will not smile.

Mary Worth, 3/18/19

“OK, I’ll go first! You’ve told me all about Libby; what was your first pet named? I loved all the stories about your mother — what’s was her maiden name? What street did you grow up on? What are the last four digits of your Social Security number?”

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Blondie, 3/15/19

How old do you think Dagwood Bumstead is? In one sense, he was born already an adult when the comic strip Blondie debuted in 1930 and is thus somewhere in his 110s, older than just about any adult alive and reading about his day-to-day antics is; but in another sense, he has two teenage children and is of working age in the year 2019, so he’s probably no older than his mid 50s and could be as young as his late 30s. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, despite the fact that all of us have only known Dagwood as an adult our whole lives and therefore think of him as “older than us,” the word “dope” has been used as a positive adjective in the sense depicted here for nearly 40 years! C’mon, man.

Mary Worth, 3/15/19

You ever notice that we’d never seen Mary’s “old friend” Estelle until she foisted Libby onto her because she realized that she couldn’t continue to play whatever cruel long-running emotional game she’s playing with Dr. Jeff if he couldn’t hang out at her apartment? She’d never spent time with Estelle socially before and I’m pretty sure she only drops by her apartment now so she can get some Libby time in. If Estelle were explaining in rapturous detail that all Arthur needs to wrap up his construction job in Malaysia was her social security number and a certified copy of her birth certificate, Mary would just mutter “I’m happy for you, my friend!” while getting just enough cat dander on her clothes to keep Jeff off-balance the next time he comes to visit.