Archive: Pluggers

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Mark Trail, 1/6/20

Hey, Mark, I just want to point out that you’re on an expedition through the Nepalese foothills of the Himalayas, something that most people would consider the trip of a lifetime, and not only are all your expenses being taken care of but you’re earning your salary by being there. And all you have to do in return is write an article about it; if you actually do find a yeti, it will be the story of the century, of course, and if you don’t, well, there are all sorts of angles you can take about your weird trip with an obsessive, larger-than-life personality that will both entertain readers and allow you to work out any feelings you have about Dr. Camel. My point is, maybe you don’t have to act like such a giant pissy baby at all times? Just a thought.

Slylock Fox, 1/6/20

I really feel sorry for the kids in this strip, not just because they have arrived with big, eager smiles at Career Day to learn about some potential job possibilities only to be fed a bunch of patented Slylock useless-fun-fact bullshit, but also in a larger sense because the Animal Kingdom that they inhabit seems to have an entirely pedantry-based economy, and their post-graduation career prospects are extremely gloomy, as the entire society is probably already overdue for a collapse.

Pluggers, 1/6/20

These are this plugger’s last words because he had a massive coronary later that afternoon. “Famous” is probably a strong word, but when his wife and their friend finally connected and heard about the last phone call he took, they had a good chuckle about it, anyway.

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Mark Trail, 12/20/19

Oh my gosh we’re wrapping up this week with a VICIOUS BEAR ATTACK!!!! And, folks, I don’t want to bring anyone down but … it’s clear that literally everyone in this strip is going to be killed by this bear. I mean, look how close they all are to it. Genie’s face is twisted in terror and possibly pain; if that huge claw, just inches from her body, hasn’t already sliced her open, it surely will on the next swipe. Mark, sadly, is just reflexively barking out nature facts; his expert ID of the bear’s species will be the last thing he ever says. Mingma and Dr. Camel are both trapped under the wreckage of this hiking station, and my main question about them is: whose leg is this?

If it’s Dr. Camel’s, it’s horribly twisted in his hip joint, and if it’s Mingma’s, it’s clearly been snapped off entirely. Either way, both men only have seconds left to live. Not-Mingma will be spraying a cloud of bear repellant behind him as he flees into the mountains, leaving a scene of absolute carnage behind him. Presumably the next day or two will serve to wrap everything up, the Sunday strip will be dedicated to bears and their propensity for eating human flesh, and then that’s it: RIP Mark Trail, 1946-2019, it’s been a real one.

Funky Winkerbean, 12/20/19

Meanwhile, Funky Winkerbean is here to show Lillian why her book events are so sparsely attended: instead of writing some piece of shit mystery novel that nobody liked, she should’ve done a graphic novel about her beloved spouse dying of cancer. That really packs ’em in to the book signings, even literally years after the thing’s been published, and, good news: if they don’t get your cultural references, you can just belittle them right there, giving you a big ego boost! (Gotta wonder what sort of interaction with a clueless youth who showed shocking ignorance of the Lone Ranger and its important place in the American pop culture landscape prompted the run of bitter “kemosabe” jokes in this strip, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Pluggers, 12/20/19

I’m genuinely touched by the delicate, almost reverent way this plugger is holding those fuzzy dice as he carries them to their final resting place, presumably a dumpster behind the local Carl’s Jr.

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/14/19

OK, I know that “high concept blindness,” in which the creators of long-running strips in a very specific setting just want to do fairly generic jokes and kind of forget that their characters are all birds or whatever, is a very real thing, but still: I refuse to believe that Hootin’ Holler, an impoverished, isolated town with no apparent governing authority beyond a single sheriff and a single judge, a town where all the buildings are ramshackle, uneven structures clearly built by hand by non-professionals with rooms set off from one another by tattered blankets rather than permanent walls, has a building inspector. Even if such an official were appointed, she would presumably have her time entirely occupied by pleading with residents with children to move out of obvious firetraps, and would have no opportunity to gossip.

Mary Worth, 12/14/19

A legitimate complaint about Zak’s role in Mary Worth is that he’s a sexy but bland wish-fulfillment fantasy, a hot, rich younger man who is extremely solicitous of his older girlfriend but otherwise has no real obvious personality or inner life of his own, and certainly no negative qualities that might make him interesting. Today, though, one of his serious flaws has at last been revealed: he thinks Wilbur Weston, of all people, is “pretty cool.”

Pluggers, 12/14/19

I’d like to think that this plugger is sitting in his truck in the parking lot of the mall, shocked, shocked, that the two fairly specific items he was looking for weren’t available, and thinking about what this world’s come to, where our civilization went wrong. Real heavy stuff! Anyway, you can find doodads pretty easily on the internet these days, you’re welcome pluggers