Archive: Shoe

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Shoe, 5/13/22

Sometimes a long running comic strip will dip deeply into its well of accumulated goodwill among its readers and craft a gag that reflects its own internal world-logic, played out by its cast of memorable characters. Other times, however, the gag writer for the day will just put in some joke they saw during a late night binge of Jack Benny YouTube compilation videos. The latter is almost certainly what happened with today’s Shoe, and I regret to inform you that this is the first Shoe to elicit a genuine laugh from me in many years.

Funky Winkerbean, 5/13/22

I mean, think how wrong the “craft a gag that reflects its own internal world-logic, played out by its cast of memorable characters” route can go! You could end up with one of those characters inflicting a perfectly deranged monologue about life’s futility on the other, in the rain, at a funeral! Do you want that? Nobody wants that! No punchline you could steal would possibly be this unpleasant!

Mary Worth, 5/13/22

“Are we doing show and tell? Do you want to ‘show’ me off? Is this a ‘life drawing’ session, and you need an unusually handsome model? Am I finally getting the birthday present I asked for? Ha ha, just kidding. But what if…?”

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Pluggers, 5/5/22

I think I’m discovering the shape that my Gen X pluggerdom is going to take: in constant complaints that Pluggers, the syndicated newspaper comic strip, is depicting the plugger lifestyle incorrectly! Anyway, for a plugger “logging on” is sitting on a log with a grandchild or a good buddy while fishing, are you trying to tell me that pluggers are lacking in human contact but have two-factor authentication turned on for most of their online accounts, are you for real

Mary Worth, 5/5/22

Every ongoing work of art creates narrative suspense in its own unique way. Mary Worth, for instance, is keeping us guessing this week. Yes, in any normal storytelling situation, if there had been some big drama built up and suddenly we smash-cut to one of the participants telling a third party “Oh, yes, the conflict was resolved, my husband took care of it off-panel,” we’d obviously expect that the problem has not, in fact, been solved at all! Because that doesn’t really make sense, and it doesn’t make for a very satisfying story. There’s gotta be something more to it! But this is Mary Worth, so there is in fact only a fifty-fifty chance that there’s something more to it.

Lockhorns, 5/5/22

An ordinary person would just do the Jaws music at this point, but no ordinary person would remain in the twisted, hate-filled Lockhorn marriage as long as Leroy Lockhorn. Somehow the thought of Leroy delivering this line in a soul-numbed monotone is both infinitely funnier and infinitely sadder than just having him go “Daaaaahhhh DUNH” or whatever.

Shoe, 5/5/22

While the bird-Jews of Shoe still follow the teachings of the Torah and the Talmud, it appears the bird-Christians have turned their back on the Nicene Creed and now worship the Father, the Son, and the late Jeff MacNelly.

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Mary Worth, 4/26/22

Oh snap, shocking twist! Young Helen used to be young Ian’s … student? Coworker? It’s honestly not clear to me how old either of them is supposed to be now, or whatever the age that each of them is supposed to be is the same as the age the other one is supposed to be, or if they’re 10 or 20 years apart or what. But the point is that clearly she and Ian have some unfinished emotional business, as hinted at on Sunday. I can’t decide which possibility I like better: that the two of them had a torrid pre-Toby relationship, or if Helen was a student who had an unconsummated crush on Ian and is so upset with Toby now because she can’t stand to see another smitten young person being emotionally toyed with by yet another Professor Cameron.

Also, it’s worth (ha!) noting that Ian and Toby moved into Charterstone relatively recently, by which I mean 42 years ago but also they appeared to be roughly the same ages then that they are now. So I certainly hope that Helen moved across the country from wherever she lived before and got this community college gig specifically for Ian-stalking purposes.

Shoe, 4/26/22

Ha ha, yes, it’s funny because Roz is experiencing significant financial difficulties, but mostly I want to point out that her last name doesn’t appear on either the Shoe (comic) Wikipedia page or her character page on the official Shoe website. Either there’s some real deep lore held securely at MacNellyCo HQ that only the strip’s highly paid team of gag writers are allowed to access, or today’s gag writer just decided to call an audible and BAM! “Roz Specklehen” is canon now! Who says you can’t make your mark in this world?