Archive: Rhymes with Orange

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Oh my gosh it’s the last week of August, and if kids haven’t already gone back to whatever passes for school in 2021, they’re thinking hard about it. Let’s join in …

Baby Blues, 8/30/21

“Kids don’t want to go to school, and their parents can’t wait to get rid of them” is a trope usually found in family comic strips. But once Wanda finds out Darryl is working from home this fall, they’ll be smack in the middle of Lockhorns country.

Crankshaft, 8/30/21

Ed Crankshaft’s clients avoid him at the cost of their own convenience and their children’s futures. Checks out.

Gil Thorp, 8/30/21

Gil Thorp kicks off the school year with sports-team carwashes on every Milford streetcorner. Mom Claxton seems to think these have something to do with getting your car cleaned, but Tevin knows the score. And as an avid consumer of such services myself, I can pass along a tip: “Psst, Tevin—Girls’ water polo.”

Rhymes with Orange, 8/30/21

Yikes, who would have expected Rhymes with Orange to take the baton from Dick Tracy in the “Ironic Deaths” relay? Those sprinkles are just twisting the knife.

Garfield, 8/30/21

Oh, come ON! What do you think this is, Heathcliff?

— Uncle Lumpy

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Six Chix, 9/8/20

I’ve come to see Six Chix as a puzzle feature and not a comic strip. Every day, it presents a collection of images and words, and implicitly asks the reader, “How is this a joke?” I’ve gotten pretty good at it — I can find one or two a week now! But today they upped the ante and added “How is this a chart?”

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 9/8/20

I like fill-in-the-blank puzzles, too! Just imagine how other strips would handle this joke:

Rex Morgan, M.D. Snuffy Colonoscopy, Prostate exam
Marvin Tater Vancomycin® IV, Pressure-wash
Funky Winkerbean Ol’ Bullet Rabies test, Euthanasia
Dick Tracy Jughaid Bail Hearing, Execution

Rhymes with Orange, 9/8/20

We are all in very serious trouble.

Sally Forth, 9/8/20

Good luck, sweetie!

The shutdown has been a fascinating time for logistics geeks, as established supply chains broke down and became reëntangled in novel ways. For example, there was always plenty of toilet paper — but in bicycle-wheel-sized rolls of single-ply locked up in the storerooms of shuttered office buildings. And food — in March, I scored a ten-pound bag of chicken quarters for three bucks. They were chilled (freezer space was overwhelmed almost instantly), restaurant-sized (retail chickens are usually much bigger), butchered in-store in a hurry (bandsaw marks, bone fragments), and priced to move. It was probably diverted from the commercial channel by foodservice distributor and logistics prima ballerina Sysco, which turned on a dime to supermarkets once the bars, restaurants, and corporate cafeterias closed.

So a strategic sourcing specialist like Ted ought to be right in his element, puzzling all this out and planning how his company will avoid it next time. Certainly nobody’s going to fire a guy with skills like that at a time like this. But Sally is clearly conflicted about going back to her team of scatterbrains, and who can blame her? Maybe the strip will make a 180° turn and become the story of a happy, well-adjusted stay-at-home mom, her hardworking, sensible husband/breadwinner, their lovely family, and neighbors who still fence in their front yards in case the Forths revert.

— Uncle Lumpy

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Crock and Rhymes With Orange, 3/2/20

Today we must consider, as we occasionally do on this blog, the anonymous people who fulfill one of the most thankless tasks in the comics industry — indeed, one of the most thankless tasks in our whole late capitalist superstructure. I’m talking, of course, about the people who add color for the online versions of black-and-white daily newspaper comic strips, who seem to have only in-strip context clues as to how to proceed and not a ton of time to decide what colors to use.

Our story today involves two strips: one a longtime legacy strip, now shambling forward forever in zombie reruns, and another that was considered a fresh and different comics page perspective when it was launched a mere 25 years ago. Both have gags today that are, quite frankly, disgusting, though the visual cues signifying what’s happening are quite subtle, and it’s interesting to see how the colorist reacted in each case. In Crock, the joke is that little Otis, assuming that his mother would not allow him to have a pet camel because camels shit so much, has covered the beast’s anus with what appears to be medical tape, an extremely temporary solution that can only end in a lower GI crisis for the poor animal, a fecal explosion, or both. The colorist managed to spot the butthole-covering gauze and colored it white, in contrast with the brownish camel fur, ensuring that we all recognize Otis’s stratagem and anticipate the horror to come.

In Rhymes With Orange, meanwhile, the joke is that if you’re a snowman, a “urine test” isn’t a test of your own urine, but rather a test of urine that others have deposited on you, with the implication being that even sentient snowmen are used as a convenient object on which animals, and possibly people, urinate, much to the snowmen’s presumed disgust. You can see a little triangle at the bottom left of our patient that presumably represents a small section of his body that had been partially melted by a steaming stream of dog piss. This should by rights be a soft yellow color, and the fact that it’s as white as the rest of him means one of two things: either the colorist took stock of all this and said “No, not today, I will not cross this line and spend my workday examining the color choices in Adobe Photoshop and deciding which best represents pee, I have an MFA in graphic design,” or they blessedly just didn’t get the joke in the first place, which really puts them one up on all of us.

Mary Worth, 3/2/20

I’m absolutely in love with the idea that Jared is such an intense Star Wars fanboy that he’d feel compelled to see a parody Star Wars film but would experience great emotional distress while doing so, like he was watching a horror movie. Clearly the most unnerving scene was the “one with the lightsaber,” in which I feel safe in assuming that the iconic laser sword, normally used by noble space monks to fight each other even though they have access to perfectly good guns, became a very on-the-nose visual metaphor for a dick. Jared couldn’t even stand to look at that one! The pleasure of recognition and the pain of irreverence, intermingled in a single cinematic experience! It must’ve been deliciously uncomfortable for the poor lad.

Family Circus, 3/2/20

Ha ha, it’s funny because Dolly is heavily invested in the patriarchy!

Funky Winkerbean, 3/2/20