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Family Circus, 4/15/21

Many years ago, I was going through customs at Boston Airport, and one of the customs inspectors had an extremely cute beagle on a leash wearing a vest that said “I’M PROTECTING AMERICA’S AGRICULTURE!” This dog was sniffing around everyone’s bags, and he came up to a family with a little boy who had a soft-sided lunch box that was open, and the dog stuck his head into it to sniff around a bit. The boy squealed indignantly “That dog licked my lunch box!” and the dog’s handler replied, in a clipped and measured tone that I will never forget, “That dog’s mouth is cleaner than yours.”

Anyway, I immediately thought about this when I saw Barfy’s aggrieved face here. “Can you believe this shit?” he’s definitely thinking. “Have you seen the things this child has done with those hands? I came over here to eat food that had fallen on the floor, not to be slandered like this.”

The Lockhorns, 4/15/21

Speaking of Jeffy’s bullshit, you could definitely see a panel where one of the Keane kids, grinning in bed like a dope, declares, “I can’t wait to see how last night’s dream turned out!”, right? Amazing how that kind of sappy line can be instantly changed to a cutting Lockhorns put-down just by changing the speaker.

Pluggers, 4/15/21

This year’s tax filing deadline was extended to May 17, so I guess you’re a plugger if you have your tax day comic all ready to go for April 15 and you’re not gonna let big government tell you to change it! Also, it seems that you’re a plugger if you do your taxes by dutifully researching potential deductions you can legally take (this is how everyone else does their taxes, too).

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Mary Worth, 4/14/21

Ahh, I love to savor the early days of a new Mary Worth storyline, when it’s still full of promise and potential and we can fool ourselves that it isn’t going to spend literally weeks showing us two old people blandly emotionally processing things at the mall food court. Admittedly, we’re starting off with, uh, two old people blandly emotionally processing things in a hospital cafeteria, but, look, just let me have my dreams, OK? Anyway, it seems like the story is that Drew, a facile dipshit who’s long on good looks and short on introspection, is doing great, but what his father worries is: should he be doing great? Shouldn’t he be growing more dissatisfied under the crushing burdens of life’s disappointments? Mary seems resistant, but eventually she will be sent to pester him, and will plant the feeling of deep unease in his soul that is humanity’s birthright.

Dick Tracy, 4/14/21

Oh, right, I forgot that Rikki Mortis was an associate of notorious corpse-criminal Abner Kadaver, and that she got narc’d out to the cops by her fellow goth Dethany from On The Fastrack in one of the weird comics crossovers in the last decade. And by “associate” I mean “girlfriend,” obviously, so get ready to learn how creaky, shambling living corpses display physical affection for one another.

Dustin, 4/14/21

Much as I feel generalized disdain for everyone involved here, I do have to respect Dustin escalating his long-running war with his father to “Mom’s gonna cuck you, old man” levels.

Family Circus, 4/14/21

Man, somehow I feel like I don’t spend enough time on this blog emphasizing that the Keane Kids really are just canonically some of the stupidest people alive, you know?

Hi and Lois, 4/14/21

Wait, did I say stupid? Sorry, I meant “non-conformist.”

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Beetle Bailey, 4/13/21

I’m reasonably sure that Zero’s original one-note Beetle Bailey character definition was “is stupid,” but apparently at some point along the line it was decided he needed more depth or an origin story or something, so now the fact that he grew up on a farm is also part of his gimmick. He’s still a buck-toothed simpleton, though, which seems like it would alienate readers in “real America,” but I guess when you’re an institution as beloved by elite urban intellectuals as Beetle Bailey, you can get away with this stuff.

Funky Winkerbean, 4/13/21

Today’s strip represents the third time that this “Harry Dinkle the choirmaster” storyline has done a hilarious gag where the ladies of the choir are unfamiliar with Harry’s whole shtick from years as the Westview band director/fundraising impresario, and he briefly flies into a rage before managing to ratchet things back. At least he isn’t bleeding from his face this time? Anyway, it occurs to me that the last time anyone saw Harry in regular action in this strip as a band leader was more than 14 years ago, before he went ironically deaf, so honestly only hardcore Funkyheads like [extremely heavy sigh] me even know what he’s going on about; assuming this strip has accrued any new readers over the past generation, all of them are just as befuddled by what’s going on as the choir ladies are. Neat, huh?

Crankshaft, 4/13/21

OK, now I’m back to wishing that Crankshaft hadn’t skipped over the pandemic, since apparently we missed the delightful image of Crankshaft stabbing himself with a meat thermometer, his friends only able to look on in horror over Facetime as he quickly passed out due to blood loss.