Archive: Pearls Before Swine

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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.

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Marvin, 3/27/08

Yesterday, several commentors noted that Marvin and Bitsy (yes, Marvin’s dumb dog is named “Bitsy”) were conversing not with their usual thought-balloon-based psychic powers, but in ordinary word balloons denoting normal audible speech — or as normal as any such speech can be when being uttered by a baby and a dog. Naturally, because this is Marvin, I assumed that it was a result of the strip’s general slapdash halfassery, rather than than some momentous change in the inner universe of the characters. But today, we see that Marvin can in fact speak aloud to adults in complete (and rather pompously phrased) sentences. Why? Who knows? Who cares? It’s Marvin. At least they’ve quietly dropped the stupid text speak.

For Better Or For Worse, 3/27/08

Gosh, Liz, I wonder why it doesn’t feel quite right? Maybe because this whole process has involved you letting go of your own hopes, dreams, ambitions, wants, and personality, and now are just being buffeted along by everyone else’s opinions? Or maybe you’re talking about the dress itself, with its built-in whalebone corset, which feels very much not right as it jabs into your ribs.

Gil Thorp, 3/27/08

Hey, everyone, would you like to get ready for taco casserole at home? It’s easy! Here’s how:

  • Dump a dozen hard-shelled tacos, with your choice of cheese, ground beef, salsa, and vegetables, into a saucepan.
  • Pour in four cans of cream of mushroom soup.
  • Stir over medium heat until mixture becomes a more or less undifferentiated, vomit-like mass.
  • Pour into possibly leaky brown paper bag; hold sideways.
  • Never, ever eat again, because the process has been made forever repellent to you by your experience with “taco casserole.”

Sally Forth and Pearls Before Swine, 3/27/08

Hey everyone, it’s a Sally Forth-Pearls Before Swine crossover! There’s very little I can say that would be funnier than Sally Forth writer Ces Marciuliano’s original blog post on the subject, so you should just go check that out now.

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Hi and Lois, 1/13/08

I’m not the kind of guy who’d fly into a pointless rage and rip into Hi and Lois … oh, no, wait, I double-checked and it turns out that’s exactly the kind of guy I am. Anyway, today’s Hi and Lois is even more pointless than usual. It is in fact the worst kind of Sunday strip: the kind that could have easily been a daily strip with three panels (specifically, the last three panels) or even one panel (specifically, the last one). Even without the two throwaway panels at the beginning, this pretty much has the vibe of a long boring story that Lois is telling that turns out not to have a point; add in panel one (red-hot UPC scanning action!) and two (Lois realizes she doesn’t have her eco-friendly reusable bags — what, does she usually carry them all in her purse?) and it becomes practically unbearable. For some reason, though, it’s panel five that really pushes me over the edge, and I want to isolate it to make my point:

See, if this were part of some meandering, slice-of-life graphic novel by Harvey Pekar or Daniel Clowes that ran to thirty or forty pages, it might be acceptable. But this is a Sunday Hi and Lois. It’s got six or seven panels to make its point, one of which taken up by the title. None of those panels should consist of a character making a statement of fact and another responding with a punctuation-less “OK”. C’mon, Hi and Lois, you’ve got places to be.

Apartment 3-G, 1/13/08

Speaking of long, boring stories that go nowhere, having subjected you to several utterly uneventful days of Apartment 3-G this week, I feel obligated to show one in which something actually happens — namely, the totally unforeseeable betrayal of Lu Ann. I’m sure Alan has a reasonable explanation for his behavior, like “I know she has heroin hidden in her teeth! I know it and I’m going to get it!” This is definitely going to be the most awkward art opening ever.

Pearls Before Swine, 1/13/08

I don’t have much to say about this one other than to add to the chorus of approbation, but I thought those of you who don’t see the Sunday PBS would want to have a look. The answer to the six differences is particularly hilarious.