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Solid journalism there, Perfesser, can’t understand why newspapers are dying

Shoe, 7/26/16

Oh, man, way to stick it to opera, am I right? Or, wait, no, maybe it’s actually sticking it to lowbrows who don’t like opera? Either way, this is a strip that clearly doesn’t care what toes it steps on!

Gil Thorp, 7/26/16

I’ve decided to stop worrying about Gil Thorp’s school year plowing merrily along in the final week of July and just enjoy the spectacle of Barry Bader rejecting all opportunities to Step Away From The Brink Of Monstrous Assholism. Today, we learn who the real culprit was in Boo’s death: no, not Barry’s drunk-driving dad, but physical media. CDs! They’re annoying, and out of date, and also deadly.

Six Chix, 7/26/16

Wait, so who exactly tossed this dead fish into the toilet? And who’s flushing it? And what is that purplish object the fishbowl is sitting on? And what did Uncle Billy, who almost certainly spawned in a tank in a pet store, know of the sea? I have a lot of problems with the world-building in this incredibly depressing cartoon about dead goldfish, is what I’m trying to say.

Three cheers for Joe!

Mary Worth, 7/25/16

Oh man, it looks like the “June Brigman and Roy Richardson do Mary Worth art on Sundays but Joe Giella still does the dailies” era was shorter than we thought! Farewell, Joe, who got an excellent sendoff from Uncle Lumpy back when the new team made their first appearance, and here’s a lovely blog post from strip writer Karen Moy. I actually missed the tiny “bye” in Giella’s signature box in Friday’s strip. It heartens me that his last Mary Worth panel was Tommy’s sweaty Vicodin bliss-out, which I’m reproducing here in larger format, for posterity:

Anyway, I think we should all remember Giella the way he’d want to be remembered: as the man who drew Mary Worth as Wonder Woman. Enjoy retirement, Joe!

Meanwhile, the important thing about today’s strip is that it takes a village to create a pill addict. “Gee, I hope Tommy doesn’t bother me while I try to study for my big tests! I figure the more Vicodin he takes, the quieter he’ll be.”

Crankshaft, 7/25/16

Oh, hey, remember this guy, who we all sort of thought might be Crankshaft’s future vegetative husk? Well, last week we learned that he was actually “Beanball” Bushka, Crankshaft’s arch-rival back when they played on the Toledo Mud Hens literally before World War II (don’t try to make the chronology work, you’ll hurt yourself), and who exploited Crankshaft’s illiteracy to bump him from a game where scouts were in attendance, thus ruining his big league dreams forever, but then he wrote a letter to the Mud Hens confessing and now they’re … going to retire his number? This is not just happening in the funny pages, but in actual real life on July 29th, and thanks to faithful reader Aphthakid for pointing this out to me and no thanks to faithful reader Bill Peschel for linking to the picture of the officially licensed Crankshaft bobblehead that will be handed out to thousands of baffled minor league baseball attendees. Seriously, literally nobody there is going to have a clue what’s going on. Crankshaft’s own granddaughter does her best to forget who he is.

Spider-Man, 7/25/16

Ahhhh, it looks like the new Bugle owner is Jonah’s cousin-in-law, Egghead! As someone who writes about newspaper comics for a living but consistently refuses to read or learn about superhero comics, I immediately jumped to Wikipedia for a quick primer on who this guy is. Here are some sentences taken at random from his extensive bio:

  • “Ant-Man tricked him into thinking the ants had betrayed him before revealing that the ants were his friends and would never turn against him.”
  • “Arnim Zola later created a proto-husk of Egghead as part of his Corpse Corp.”
  • “Although his original programming was ‘to respect all human life,’ a female neo-Nazi named Big Zero (who seems to have a relationship with this Egghead) has reprogrammed him to hate several minorities.”

Guys, I know they’re basically the foundation of all modern cultural production now, but … I think superhero comics are kind of silly?

Funky Winkerbean, 7/25/16

It’s been long established that Montoni’s is Westview’s only viable business, so this labor-saving innovation is going to double the local unemployment rate. But Montoni doesn’t care! He’s lived in Florida for years. See ya, sad sacks!

Or maybe it’s a Realdoll® Doctor Doom, which would be a whole other thing

Beetle Bailey, 7/24/16

[holds flashlight under chin] And in those days … people … did not have constant access … to erotic images … whenever they wanted it! they had … to walk … to a different room … sometimes in an entirely different building!!!!!

[everyone gasps]

[the flashlight is my phone]

[we’re not in a campground, we’re in an underground city, because this is the future and we’ve badly polluted the surface of the earth]

[everyone goes back to looking at porn on their phones]

Mary Worth, 7/24/16

Oh, wait, now I get where they’re going with this. It’s not “drugs are bad,” it’s “people who attempt to manage their emotional problems without asking Mary for advice will inevitably screw it up and become pill addicts.”

Funky Winkerbean, 7/24/16

I’m not sure if the joke here is that “you could raise a child and send them to college for what it costs to buy a life-size statue of Doctor Doom” or “women don’t have sex with men who buy life-size statues of Doctor Doom.” Either seems pretty accurate, though!

Hi and Lois, 7/24/16

I was going to go on a long diatribe about how promoting a campaign to get more people to play golf is the most legacy-newspaper-comic-strip thing you can possibly do, but then I got to the last panel and found out that I’m three years older than Hi from Hi and Lois, so excuse me while go lie down with a pillow over my face for the next six to fourteen hours.

Mutts, 7/24/16

I know I don’t talk about Mutts on this site very often, but then again Mutts doesn’t usually do a joke in which the lovable lisping cat fantasizes about capturing his owner in a giant web, to eat.