Archive: Mother Goose and Grimm

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/22/21

Look, I thought we had a consensus here: Cartoonists draw the people and animals in their strips in all sorts of whimsical, silly ways that look funny on paper and we think it’s cute, even though if we actually saw a being in the flesh with those proportions, we’d recoil in horror and disgust. But when the actual cartoon character acknowledges his freakish, unnatural form, it quite frankly breaks the spell and forces us to imagine these nightmare beings. Like, can you imagine a horse with no neck? Horses are all neck! Their long, muscular necks are one of the defining features of their body plan! But try visualizing a horse — not a cute cartoon horse, but a real flesh-and-blood thoroughbred — with its head just jammed onto its shoulders. What a nightmare, right? It’s real sick shit, and I’m mad at Barney Google and Snuffy Smith just for making me think about it.

Mother Goose and Grimm, 6/22/21

You know some real sick shit I’m not mad thinking about? Mother Goose (specifically the title character from the popular syndicated newspaper strip Mother Goose and Grimm, to be clear, not just the generic folklore character) down at the blood bank, just wheeze-coughing into blood bags while the nurses there desperately try to get her to stop. Call me mercurial, I guess, but that’s the sort of thing I sincerely enjoy!

Crankshaft, 6/22/21

Another thing I’m enjoying today is Crankshaft’s emotional journey in this strip. “Christmas? In June?” he seems to be thinking in panel two. “Did they move it? Is nothing sacred now that the damn libs are in charge again?” But then in panel three, he’s like, “Ohh, I get it now. It’s wordplay! I love wordplay!”

Important correction to yesterday’s Mary Worth post: When Shauna said that she was working at Santa Roymart, I assumed this was the supermarket where Tommy and Brandy also worked. In fact, as several faithful readers pointed out, those two work at Freda’s, Santa Royale’s upscale market with a personal touch. Santa Roymart is a big box store where Tommy refused to work, possibly because it was the scene of a botched drug raid. Is Shauna in league with the drug dealers who use Santa Roymart’s warehouse as their HQ? Keep reading this blog to find out!

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Crankshaft, 6/9/21

Congratulations to Crankshaft for delivering a strip whose meaning isn’t immediately obvious, but in a way that makes it feel like maybe there’s going to be some character development in the next few days rather than just “oh no, the wordplay is too opaque, we need to ratchet it back by two or three notches.” Anyway, who wants to guess what exactly the ‘Shaft is going on about here? Did he watch the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic and how it caused so many younger people to put their dreams for the future on hold, and it made him realize that he had done that for himself long ago, without even realizing it? Or did he just get bored one night and watched a bad basic cable documentary about REM sleep or something and thought “Huh, I never remember my dreams. Does that mean my brain doesn’t work right? Is that COVID-related? Can I sue someone over this?”

Dustin and Mother Goose and Grimm, 6/9/21

Because human beings are capable of abstract thought, we’ve managed to turn the genetic impulse to look for mates who are physically strong and instead map that onto more abstract signifiers, like the ability to use physical strength for useful purposes, or the acquisition of stored labor value in the form of money. That’s what you’d think based on these strips, anyway, though keep in mind that the message is coming from comics artists, who generally don’t have any of the above qualities to recommend them.

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Mary Worth, 5/27/21

We all frankly know that the intertwined personal and (aspirationally, on both parts) professional relationship between Drew and Ashlee is going to hilariously unravel into unhinged acrimony at some point. The delicious narrative tension arises from the question of how, exactly, this will go down. Personally, based on panel one here, in which Ashlee’s limbs are splayed in random directions and her mouth twisted into a rictus grin, my bet is that Drew is going to post a bunch of these pictures to his Instagram and they will be terrible, just laughably bad, thoroughly humiliating Ashlee online and producing a ragestorm that will make her public meltdown from a few weeks ago seem like a calm and rational conversation about a misunderstood scheduling conflict.

Anyway, this panel has delighted me like few others in recent memory, and while I’m not sure I have the energy to run a formal contest, per se, along the lines of the ones I did for self-clubbing Tyler in Gil Thorp and Rex and June’s funeral facial contortions, I certainly wouldn’t object if anyone were to attempt to reproduce Ashlee’s pose/outfit/whole vibe here, photograph themselves in the process, and email the results to me at bio@jfruh.com, and I would definitely post any photos I received on this very blog!

Beetle Bailey, 5/27/21

Hey, guess what year the sale of leaded gasoline for personal vehicle use was fully phased out in the United States? 1996! Guess what the average age of a private in the U.S. Army is? Less than 20! If you think those two numbers seem at odds, maybe contemplate what the average age of a Beetle Bailey reader is instead.

Mother Goose and Grimm, 5/27/21

I am a squeamish indoor kid who does not like bugs, so I am experiencing zero regrets about the fact that I no longer live in Baltimore, which is currently ankle deep in screaming cicadas, according to all my friends there. Anyway, each of those cicadas now befouling lawns across the Mid-Atlantic was laid as an egg 17 years ago, it’s fun to think of them as “teens” to whom you would not loan your car, just like regular teens! That’s because every single neuron in their tiny brains is focused on fucking and then dying, just like regular teens.