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Shoe, 5/26/23

I know that restaurants generically calling side dishes like potatoes or rice or whatever “starches” was a thing at one point, but is it still a thing? I’m sure someone’s going to be like “there goes Josh the coastal elitist again, who only goes to hip, Instagram-savvy restaurants when real Americans in the heartland are happy to order a side starch whenever they go out to eat,” but the joke’s on you because the hip restaurants have started eschewing that bland Instagram aesthetic and are pivoting to TikTok, which rewards motion and video so now they’re doing frankly gross shit like serving dishes where the waiter breaks it open for you and cheese gushes out everywhere. Where was I? Oh, right, I was talking about the phrase “with your meal, you’re allowed a starch,” which honestly doesn’t seem that appetizing to me, and I don’t think Roz saying it with come-hither eyes while holding the menu three feet away from the Perfesser really helps.

Dick Tracy, 5/26/23

Dick Tracy is doing a plot about how boring film-themed villain Silver Nitrate is in prison, and in case you were wondering how he’s doing: he’s doing pretty well! He knows who to avoid now, and it’s the other Dick Tracy villains who tell him, explicitly, that they don’t want to hang out with him. Honestly seems pretty straightforward!

Beetle Bailey, 5/26/23

A group of Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC staff sit around a table, sweating. They’ve just broken open the “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY (THE KIND WHERE YOU RUN OUT OF BEETLE BAILEY JOKES) BREAK GLASS” case that’s been hanging on the wall of the office for as long as anyone can remember. Inside is a single scrap of paper, on which someone has written four words that terrify them: “Sgt. Lugg gets horny.”

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Shoe, 5/25/23

I’m not sure if we’s supposed to understand here that Skyler is literally running away from home (if he is, he’s violating the cardinal rule that a runaway child in a comic must have a bindle over their shoulder) or if the Perfesser is staring morosely into his meatloaf a few seats up, leaving Skyler to engage in idle chitchat with a local old guy, who’s advising him on just kind of checking out on life and doing the least possible until death inevitably takes you.

Hi and Lois, 5/25/23

Speaking of coasting through your days, sports sure are fun when they’re easy! You’re not supposed to say this — giving your all and playing to the best of your ability are supposed to be their own rewards — but Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC doesn’t have patience for society’s meaningless pieties.

Gil Thorp, 5/25/23

Look, I’m not going to say that Milford High is weird, exactly, but I don’t think it’s quite normal for teens to be extremely supportive of a classmate who’s secretly going blind but then cruelly turn on him when the learn that his dad got caught up in a print media plagiarism scandal years earlier. How much could these kids care about journalism ethics? The media figure they have the most contact with is Marty Moon!

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Six Chix, 5/24/23

Six Chix is a long-running feature that dares to ask the question, “What if women wrote a comic strip? What would we learn about the female sex in the process?” I think we can agree that the answer, if we’re just going by the content of Six Chix, is that women are floridly insane, but you have to admit that they’re more interesting than men, who are just annoying and boring.

Gil Thorp, 5/24/23

One of my tasks as the creator of a blog about newspaper comics, the most nostalgia-infected art form ever created, is to fight against the particularly pernicious type of nostalgia that leads people to say that the past is always better than the present. Like, for instance, longtime Thorp-heads probably would smugly say that, in terms of unpaid randos who helped coach the Mudlark baseball team, it wouldn’t get any funnier than a guy who called himself Clambake and lied about being in the Negro Leagues. And yet today, in this supposedly fallen year 2023, we have a blind guy urging two blindfolded teenagers to hurl baseballs in his general direction, simultaneously! Truly, I tell you that we still live in an age of wonders.

Hi and Lois, 5/24/23

I know the media landscape is troubled and subject to ongoing corporate consolidation, but I don’t know that teasing the idea of an incredible crossover between Spider-Man and his Avengers Pals with the Walker-Browne Extended Universe is the best way for King Features Syndicate parent company Hearst Communications to solicit a takeover bid from the Walt Disney Company.