Archive: Sherman’s Lagoon

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Spider-Man, 8/10/13

Say, I like the cut of this Tarantula fellow’s jib, if Tarantulas may properly be said to have jibs. Check out the jaunty mask, cut to reveal the lush facial hair sported by men of his ethnic stereotype, and the long ties in back to accentuate the manly athleticism of his superheroics. Hear his speech, formal and polite even as he applies a savage beat-down to this hapless minion. All he needs is a little guitar riff every time he shows up or someone mentions his name. Costa Verde is lucky to have this guy — I mean, look at the motley, second-rate spider-themed adventurers other nations have to put up with!

There’s a missed opportunity in today’s strip, though: the Costa Verdan’s rifle really should be going <¡PUMM!>. But I suppose Spider-Man isn’t much of a stickler for sound-effects orthodoxy, is it?

Gil Thorp, 8/10/13

For weeks, Max ‘n’ Harry Herkelshimer have been lurching from one sandwich shop to another, talking about food on those rare occasions their mouths weren’t stuffed with it. So we should be glad some wrestling action is finally on the way, I guess?

But Gil’s “plan” sounds even more half-assed than usual, if that’s even possible. Based on his insight that Max “lives in the past” or some damn thing, Gil plans to impersonate wrestler Beau Dandy to give “Herk the Mauler” one last bout before he toddles on off into that dark night. How this would do anything but disorient and terrify an actual Alzheimer’s patient is beyond me, Gil admits he’s just winging it, and Harry thinks he’s nuts. But hey — there are two weeks before the start of football season, and they’re not gonna kill themselves.

Sherman’s Lagoon, 8/10/13

It’s Shark Week, the High Holy Days of the Lagooniverse, but oops!

The Giant Squid in Sherman’s Lagoon is the polar opposite of beloved comic relief characters like Pat Brady, Scrappy Doo and Jar Jar Binks. Squid’s rare appearances in the strip signal that it’s suddenly No Joke At All. And since he’s underemployed here, I recommend putting him on tour. He could thin the supporting casts of joke-a-day strips like Hi and Lois (Dot), Beetle Bailey (Gizmo, Lt. Flap, Killer), and Luann (Delta), then go straight for the leads in Dilbert, Crock, and Get Fuzzy. His work accomplished, he could retire to Funky Winkerbean, where he could find a place downtown and work at Montoni’s. He’d fit right in.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/10/13

Hey Rachel, you living at Wally’s now? I know a squid who might be interested in renting your old place. How’s your son? Enjoying his time down the Memory Hole with Gil and Mimi Thorp’s kids? Say, I know “plucky single mom” wasn’t as much fun for you as “high school sex goddess” — but are you absolutely sure “sad-sack Wally’s foil” is the right move?

Next: Band crap!

— Uncle Lumpy

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Sherman’s Lagoon, 5/16/13

Lead characters Sherman the shark and Fillmore the sea turtle have been furloughed from Sherman’s Lagoon due to sequestration budget cuts, leaving Hawthorne the annoying crab and Ernest the generic fish to pick up the slack. Now when I type “Sherman’s Lagoon site:” (just before adding “” obviously), the Google helpfully completes it as “Sherman’s Lagoon site down”, so maybe Ernest made good on his implied threat to crash the servers?

Anyway, I’m not sure Sherman’s Lagoon will be improved by laying off its main characters, but a lot of other comic strips sure would: imagine 9 Chickweed Lane with Solange the cat free of the other characters’ insufferable yammering, or Mark Trail relaunched as a suave urban romance between Bill Ellis and Kelly Welly — stiff competition for Apartment 3-G, I bet!

It could happen: after all, Snuffy Smith elbowed Barney Google out of his own strip long ago, and Funky Winkerbean‘s eponymous “hero” isn’t much more than an overweight, depressed walk-on anymore. Likewise, Blondie has pretty much morphed into Dagwood, and Sally Forth into Ted.

Badass pirate-fighter Savarna could easily replace the Phantom, who is frankly turning out to be a real wuss. And who wouldn’t prefer reading Terrible Actress Mary Jane Parker to The Amazing Spider-Man? Rebooting Crankshaft as Pam and Jeff could show us the tender rebirth of marital love after the deaths of hated, intrusive parents. Crime-fighting gardener Carlos Alora in Charterstone Confidential could document the seedy underside of America’s retirement communities without some old bat second-guessing his every anguished, ethically dubious move. Helga the Wïdöw could inspire us with the daily struggles of a proud, resourceful woman against the murderous oppressive Viking patriarchy. And finally, clearing all the characters out of Crock (retitled Empty Sahara) would give us a welcome visual and mental break every day.

Hi and Lois, 5/16/13

Awe-struck by the miracle of Creation, Ditto Flagston professes his atheism.

Apartment 3-G, 5/16/13

The Governor of New York is a desperate stalker who talks like a six-year-old and doesn’t need to be in Albany for anything important, no siree. Lu Ann will be right down.

Judge Parker, 5/16/13

Ah, wars interest Sophie (and judging by her jacket she’s backing Team Mali) — but money interests Sam. And he seems pretty darn upset that sometimes it takes months to work out a ransom! Surely a smart lawyer should be able to fix that — think, Sam! There must be a way to accelerate ransom negotiation and delivery to increase hostage-inventory turns and drive up cash flow. Reverse-auction Web portal? Third-party escrow service? Exchange-tradable ransom futures?

All that seems like far, far too much effort to our Sam. No doubt he’ll just fall back on the strip’s traditions and have secretary Gloria Sanchez draft a letter: “Dear Kidnappers — I am Sam Driver of Spencer Farms, Parkerville ST. I have not yet received from you a large suitcase filled with cash, for no reason. Please correct this situation at once! Sincerely, Sam Driver, Esq. PS. My pal Randy Parker says hi and thanks you for his cash.”

“Fedex that tonight, Gloria. Phew, that was a lot of work — Hey Abby, is dinner on yet, or do I have time for another nip of that Shiraz?”

— Uncle Lumpy