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Dustin, 8/9/22

Look, you and I both know that today’s Dustin is entirely the result of the Dustin brain trust getting wind of the kids today sharing passwords for streaming services and thinking “Oh ho ho, I think we’ve got a metaphor for sex on our hands here!” I found this annoying, for the obvious reasons, but also because it seems to ignore some basic foundations of the Dustin world in its rush for the cheap joke: Dustin’s sister Meg is still in high school and living at home, so it really doesn’t make sense that she would need access to someone else’s streaming accounts, assuming her family has their own, and despite Dustin’s dad’s grouchy boomer vibes it seems unlikely that two fiftysomething professionals wouldn’t have Netflix? But it does occur to me that Ed is absolutely the sort of guy who would demand that his children “earn” access to the family plan on screens that aren’t the TV in the living room by doing chores or something. Look at the results of this cruel policy! You’re putting your daughter at moral hazard!

Gil Thorp, 8/9/22

Speaking of sexual ethics, I am very excited to report that Gil’s new arch-rival has gone on Marty Moon’s radio show to challenge Gil in the most intense competitive arena of all: monogamy. I particularly enjoy the way he considers his wedding band to be simply one more championship ring indicating his sporting prowess. Other, lesser competitors might falter on the way to the playdowns and/or engage in emotional or physical intimacy outside the bounds of their relationship, but not this guy. He’s won marriage, just like he’s gonna win the Valley Conference this fall! I’m sure his wife is 100% on board with this and not unsettled by it at all.

Marvin, 8/9/22

Ha ha, it’s funny because Marvin’s grandpa’s friend realizes that he’s gonna die soon and he’s seized by so much regret! Uh, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but let’s do some poop jokes, this is making me pretty uncomfortable.

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Blondie, 8/8/22

The non-Dagwood, non-Herb members of Dagwood’s carpool are named “Dwitzell” and “Claudia,” and any and all attempts to give them inner or indeed outer lives have failed to stick with me, but I do like that Claudia is on the record as not liking the phrase “hot enough for you.” Yes, it’s hot, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to such vile cliches! To me, she has now become by far the most sympathetic character in the comic strip Blondie, which was actually pretty easy because I honestly couldn’t tell you which if any of the other characters I found particularly sympathetic.

Dennis the Menace, 8/8/22

Dennis is trying a real baller menace move here: to destroy Mr. Wilson emotionally by offering up himself — his neighbor’s most hated nemesis — as a substitute for the grandchildren the Wilsons never had. It’s a swing and a miss, though. George Wilson has never felt affection for another human being and never will! You’re the one who’s shown weakness here today, Dennis, and you will live to regret it!

Beetle Bailey, 8/8/22


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Beetle Bailey, 8/7/22

Say what you will about Beetle Bailey — and lord knows I’ve said a lot over the years — but it can be extremely comforting in its on-the-noseness. What does a nerd look like? Well, he looks like Plato, with glasses. And what does a girl nerd look like? She looks like Plato as well, with glasses, but also slightly longer hair and crudely drawn boobs. What to they do on a date? They talk about Kierkegaard, obviously. That guy was smart! That’s why the nerds respect him, because he was a nerd like they are! Do the nerds have sex, on this date? Absolutely not. How dare you suggest such a thing. How dare you. You’ll rile up our readers with such talk!

Mary Worth, 8/7/22

I think all of us have wondered at one time or another: what is our purpose in life? Well, it looks like Wilbur’s finally about to figure out why he’s been put on this Earth: to serve as a cautionary example for others. Or maybe he won’t figure it out, I dunno, he’s not very smart or self-reflective. Anyway, kudos to Dawn for realizing she’s a bad person, but I honestly could’ve done with at least four or five more panels of Wilbur rattling off cruel adjectives others have used to describe him before she had her epiphany.