Archive: Pearls Before Swine

Post Content

Hi and Lois and Pearls Before Swine, 9/8/08

I got about a jillion e-mails about this today basically asking me OH MY GOD DO YOU THINK THIS IS A COINCIDENCE?, which I have to say that I pretty much do, as the jokes don’t work together quite well enough for it to be a coordinated effort. I think Pastis just picked the wrong day to make fun of Hi and Lois (though when the Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC hired goons burn down his house, he’ll find that any day is the wrong day to make fun of Hi and Lois.) It might at first be hard to imagine that Hi and Lois would be taking on any kind of international politics, but keep in mind that this strip was one of the first to tackle the subprime meltdown, so it’s smarter than it looks.

I’m intrigued by Ditto’s shirt. It looks like when the time comes for him to take absolute power from his sister’s ailing hands, he’ll have a spiffy logo for his paramilitary organization all ready to go.

Family Circus, 9/8/08

There’s something off about this cartoon. Big Daddy Keane’s indulgent smile clashes with his complaint that the days when his house wasn’t cluttered up by four pants-pooping submorons and their many overpriced toys are now as distant as the Fillmore Administration or the Thirty Years War. And the children’s rather generic hijinks don’t at all imply a brash solipsism in which everything that preceded their birth is consigned to a single inchoate prehistoric moment. Presumably this panel is designed to be repeatedly trotted out and assigned a new “parents say the darnedest things about their kids” caption as needed — which captions, I predict, will only become more bitter as time goes on.

Marvin, 9/8/08

Say, remember the Hulk, the sort-of popular comic book character that became the basis of a hit TV show in the late ’70s, and then later of two not-quite-blockbuster films in the ’00s? Well, Marvin hopes you still have “Hulk fever” as a residual effect of the marketing behind these media properties, because we’re apparently going to get some lame Hulk-themed jokes for the next few days. No matter how bad they get, we can at least console our selves that they appear not to actually feature the hated Marvin himself.

Post Content

For Better Or For Worse, 7/11/08

You know what it’s been way, way too long since we last did? A little bit of What They Say And What They Mean!

What he says What he means
“Hi Dr. P! How’s it going?” I have a penis!
“Fine, Anthonty!” I have a penis too!
“Is Liz around?” Did I mention that I have a penis?
“She’s in the house. They’re going full-tilt on the wedding plans, so I wouldn’t go in there if I were you.” I have a penis. That’s why I’m outside!
“Is there a problem”? Is there a problem that can be solved specifically by my penis?
“It’s a wedding! There’s always a problem! Something’s not right here, a dress doesn’t fit there, people haven’t responded, the caterer’s out of town…” Ha ha, because we have penises, all these words I’m saying to you are just meaningless babble to us! We’re obviously incapable of making phone calls, maintaining a spreadsheet, contacting vendors, writing notes, or doing any number of totally non-penis-related tasks! All the things they’re doing in there — those are things only someone with a vagina is physically capable of doing!
“Maybe we should just elope.” I have a penis!
“What? And spoil all the fun?!!” I have a penis too!

Apartment 3-G, 7/11/08

Jack may sound concerned about the possibility that riff-raff might be pillaging the Mills Gallery, but his facial expression in panel three conveys to me a certain growing sadistic glee. I predict that a certain trio of crackheads are about to be on the receiving end of a savage and righteous keying. Perhaps Jack’s inner vigilante has been frustrated for years by modern New York’s low crime rates, or, more likely, he may realize that an act of shocking violence is the quickest way into Margo’s affections.

Mark Trail, 7/11/08

One look at that second panel will show you why Kelly Welly is considered the sex symbol in this strip. Oh yeah, baby, roll that right eye a little further towards the side of your head while staring straight ahead with the left. Mmm-hmm, that’s the stuff.

Pearls Before Swine, 7/11/08

Oh, Mr. Pastis, I ignored you when you taunted Lynn Johnston. I ignored you when you tried to kill Jeffy. But Masky McDeath? Oh, well played, sir.

Gil Thorp, 7/11/08

More proof that illegal immigrants do the sort of dirty cleanup work that Americans won’t! Steve Rosen probably refused to drive in the winning run unless he got dental insurance and overtime pay. You wouldn’t have gotten that kind of lip from Elmer.

Ziggy, 7/11/08

Ha ha, Ziggy’s killed his only friend with off-brand dog food!

Post Content

Mary Worth, 5/19/08

Well, it’s Monday, and with the sad story of the Dead Donna and the Battlin’ Amalfi Boys having reached its natural conclusion, it looks like we’re gearing up for another … wait, what’s this? We’re still at the funeral? Oh, Mary, you wily silver fox, you! I should have known that there were more twists and turns awaiting us in this storyline, since we’re barely a month into it. Will there be fisticuffs at the reading of the will? Will Ron and Richard follow papal precedent and dig up their mother’s corpse, demanding to know who she really loved best? I’m all a-tingle! I should point out that one of the greatest Mary Worth plots in living memory, the tale of Drunken, Co-Dependent Rita Begler, started at a funeral just like this one.

In panel two, it seems that Ron is less thrilled with Mary’s continued presence in his life than I am, as he appears to be preparing a stiff right uppercut for her if she gets any closer.

For Better Or For Worse, 5/19/08

Last week’s tale of how Everybody Wants Liz Because She Is Perfect probably brought the levels of foobishness in your bloodstream to an uncomfortably high level; since this week promises to focus on Mike’s Totally Awesome Writing Career, we may have to brace ourselves for a public health emergency. Braver souls than I who have perused the official For Better Or For Worse Web site tell me that his latest opus was originally supposed to be some crap about a boy in the 1870s who’s mad at his father and joins the crew of a sailboat or something; but since the title appears to be Blood Cargo, I’m assuming that during the writing process it turned into a grisly tale of a boatload of demons, sailing from port to port, dragging the living on board and keeping their mutilated corpses below decks to use as food. Presumably he’s hoping for a quick cash-in by selling to a second-rate J-Horror director looking to make it big in Canada. Reading between the lines, Carleen’s dialog should probably read “I mean, you look like a normal guy — but you come up with all these ideas that make me think that you’re some kind of budding serial killer!”

What exactly is Weed doing in panel two? It looks like he’s somehow suspending an enormous empty picture frame in the middle of his hip loft apartment, possibly as an act of protest against the tyranny of “art.” Whatever it is, it’s as good as excuse as any to avoid talking to Michael and coming up with something nice to say about his terrible, terrible book.

Judge Parker, 5/19/08

“I’m the richest person in the county … I don’t get parking tickets! In fact, I could probably have this highway patrolman fired, or killed!”

Pearls Before Swine, 5/19/08

I have to say that I really love Pig’s facial expression in the third panel. I like the idea that he gets all excited just writing “Surprise!” I suppose the cable company won’t really get the full effect, since they can’t see it.