Archive: Spider-Man

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Blondie, 7/18/18

Blondie is of course absurdly scrupulous about never using actual brand names in the strip. I’ll accept “Online To-Go” as Dagwood trying to come up with a generic phrase that describes the process of ordering food from various apps whose names he cannot be bothered to remember, but the real problem becomes apparent in panel two, as, faced with the prospect of having to come up with four names in short order, the strip verges from the dopey (“Cheesey Chuck’s”) to the uncanny valley of restaurant names (“Copogna’s,” “Gleerou’s” (?)).

Spider-Man, 7/18/18

The Newspaper Spider-Man strip is finally starting to explain one of its longest-standing mysteries, which is: what exactly are the parameters of its hero’s “spider sense” in this iteration of the spideyverse, and what good is it if it can’t, say, prevent its hero from bludgeoned with a pipe or a club, or just bonked on the head by falling masonry? Well, a few weeks ago we learned that Spider-Man has to be paying attention in order for spider-sense to work (which, if you were paying attention, why would you … need spider-sense in the first place?). Today nicely demonstrates that this is a particular problem for our hero because he is in fact extremely distractible. “OK, my spider-sense is tingling very powerfully, which means I have to pay very careful attention to my surroundings in order to avoid dang–OH MY GOD THAT DOOR IS SLIGHTLY AJAR THIS IS AMAZING”

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Spider-Man, 7/15/18

I have, of course, persistently refused to go out of my way to learn any of the lore behind the various superheroes who dominate our pop culture and the international economy today, which is just as well because with all the reboots and so forth the characters’ pasts are ever-changing anyway, but my understanding is that Peter Parker got into the stringer newspaper photography game not because of any burning desire to be a journalist but because he knew the Bugle’s management was obsessed with running pictures of Spider-Man and he was uniquely positioned to sell them said pictures and so it was a way for him to make money without doing too much extra work. The desire to not do too much extra work is of course one of Newspaper Spider-Man’s defining characteristics, so it really fits in well in this iteration of the Spidey multiverse; being a stringer photographer for a daily paper also pays very, very little, which fits in nicely with Newspaper Spider-Man’s overall stupidity as well. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not really buying Peter’s moral dilemma here! The idea that Peter has gotten a taste of journalistic fame and now he wants more is only marginally more believable than the idea that he cares about the Iron Fist’s privacy or whatever! I reiterate an idea I put forth over a decade ago: Peter should just use his spider-powers to take pictures of celebrities and sell them to TMZ or the like. The moral stakes are lower all around, and presumably the gig will be so lucrative that he’ll eventually stop fighting crime altogether.

Gasoline Alley, 7/15/18

I don’t know that I would start my Sunday comic with a warning to the reader that, though they may think they’re safe from baffling and enraging faux-rustic wordplay, the next few panels are about to prove them very, very very wrong. But I’m not the guy currently in charge of the century-old Gasoline Alley intellectual property, I guess!

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Spider-Man, 7/14/18

Yesterday’s Newspaper Spider-Man provided the kind of pulse-pounding drama we’ve come to expect from Newspaper Spider-Man, which is to say that it featured Peter Parker, whose powers are beyond those of ordinary human beings, dozing off on the couch. But it wasn’t just a one-off gag! No, it was to set up today’s strip, in which Robbie calls Peter with a hot tip about the Iron Fist. Isn’t it more dramatic that the phone call through which this hot tip was conveyed woke Peter up??? I mean, marginally, I guess. There are other ways it could’ve been done, though. Maybe Robbie could’ve spun around dramatically in his chair right before he said “Iron Fist”? Just spitballin’ here.

Mary Worth, 7/14/18

Ah, yes, the seemingly unstoppable Tommy-Brandy Romance Express is hitting its first hairpin turn: Brandy is emotionally scarred by a bad dad whose problems sound a litte too much like Tommy’s until-really-quite-recently-active problems! And, as he’s a true acolyte of Mary Worth, Tommy is deploying her patented techniques for dealing with a painful past, and is just urging Brandy to just not remember anything bad her dad did, so, problem solved! Now all he has to do is will her with his mind into never asking anything about his own past, so that she’ll be satisfied with the idea of him as someone who spontaneously appeared as an adult in the supermarket where they work together, and everything should be smooth sailing!