Saturday, October 10, 2009

Baldo: Obviously, we interpret signs different ways.

This comic is hilarious because Baldo's friend is fat.

Family Circus: Keep watchin'! When I hit the keys, you'll get to see the song come out.

This cartoon is hilarious because Dolly is planning to slam Jeffy's head in the piano.

Beetle Bailey: Power takes a lot of padding.

This comic is hilarious because Mrs. Halftrack is a playing a practical joke on her dementia-addled husband.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Get Fuzzy: You're like a frog on a hot trampoline today!

This is one of the most bizarre storylines I've ever seen in Get Fuzzy, if not the comics section as a whole. In case you haven't been following along, Bucky started a reality show, which Rob took to be another piece of Bucky's fevered imagination. Then Bucky started receiving fan mail, which Rob took to be Bucky writing letters of adoration to himself. But then it turned out that the fan mail appeared to be real. And now Rob has discovered tiny cameras all over the house, which were apparently planted by Fungo the weasel.

Darby Conley doesn't always do a very good job wrapping up his stories, but this one deserves to be done right. I'm especially fond of today's comic, which is a pretty funny satire of dramatic depictions of claustrophobia and paranoia.

Red and Rover: I think I axed it.

This comic would work a lot better if it came complete with audio. Of course, comics never come with audio. So maybe it's best to avoid jokes like this in the comics section.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Family Circus: Know what? In four thousand, two hundred and six days I can get my driver's license.

This comic is hilarious because Billy's already plotting his escape from the Keane family compound.

Not that his plan will work, of course.

Lola: Even her Hannah Montana soccer ball!

Amazingly enough, this is not the first time a Miley Cyrus soccer ball has been featured in the comics section.

Mutts: The dude abides.

The Big Lebowski easily falls under the Vonnegut Axiom. Thus a mention for Mutts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dennis the Menace: See, I told you he wears polka-dot PJs!

If you're wondering why Dennis knows so much about Mr. Wilson's morning routine, please for the love of God stop wondering.

Pluggers: Some pluggers wear their ponytails in front.

This cartoon is hilarious because some pluggers have goatees.

Momma: We'll be right back, Momma!!!

This comic is hilarious and sad because Momma's children won't even have group sex with her in her dreams.

Prickly City: For a socialist, he sure likes making czars...

While I could do without the final panel's self-congratulatory nod to the mildly obscure historical referentialism, this Prickly City is funny.

Beetle Bailey: Hey, girls!

This comic is hilarious because Mort Walker Inc. is attempting to obscure its general sexism by acknowledging the specific sexism of one of its main characters.

Family Circus: ONE fly?

This cartoon is hilarious because the Keanes have turned their repressed rage against an oblivious insectoid scapegoat in the hopes that their family can finally find peace. Bill, of course, is attempting to ruin their plan, as he's rather fond of his repressed rage.

Luann: Weird, icky ... but sort of flattering.

This comic is hilarious because Luann's friends think she should prostitute herself for material gain.

Marmaduke: He got some sort of stimulus package.

This cartoon is hilarious because it mentions the phrase "stimulus package," but the usage of the phrase within the context of the cartoon is entirely inexplicable. Are we to take it to mean that Marmaduke has received money from the federal government? If so, for what? And why is what I presume to be a check arriving in a large box? Or is it just a regular package that Phil is humorously labeling a "stimulus package"? Or is it euphemism for some sort of bizarre animal sex toy?

Really, the moral of this cartoon is that Marmaduke should never go topical, as doing so inevitably ends in disaster.

Girls and Sports: Why isn't Marshall talking to that cute blond girl?

This comic is hilarious because women whom you do not immediately find physically attractive are not worth talking to.

Herb & Jamaal: Ever since I had that argument with my mother-in-law...

This comic is hilarious because Herb dislikes his mother-in-law.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Drabble: !! !!!! !! !

This comic is hilarious because women talk too much.

Family Circus: We filled the birdbath but forgot the soap.

This cartoon is hilarious because Jeffy is going repel birds from his family's yard by putting soap in the birdbath. He is going to do this because Jeffy hates all things that give other people pleasure.

Boondocks: Sure Sisqo is young, but I really think he deserves the lifetime achievement award.

The most impressive thing about this comic strip is that, though nobody has thought about Sisqo for years, it still rings true.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ziggy: Sorry, full.

This cartoon is hilarious because the signs in the Ziggyverse are now not only distressingly menacing, but also bizarrely incoherent.


Far be it for me to question the fevered delusions of a young boy's mind, but if Rover can form words, shouldn't he also be able to form the letters from which those words are formed?

Wizard of Id: What kind of meat is in the stew?

A Soylent Green joke would be too easy, so here's a delightful clip from the very underrated Ravenous.

Family Circus: You know you're old when you only get the one for good luck!

Speaking of bad drawing, oh, look, The Family Circus. Keane Inc. never exactly covers itself in glory, but this particular cartoon appears to have been cobbled together by mentally deficient interns.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Born Loser: Another year, another professional football season.

There are any number of things to hate about this Born Loser, but what I hate most is the drawing. Specifically, take a gander at the center panel. That is supposed to be a head.

Family Circus: ...And when Oscar came out of his house, he found all his friends waiting to play...


Get Fuzzy: Ich bin ein beaver!

Every few weeks, Bucky Katt will say something that would, in a world which was just and in which people actually read the comics section, become a famous catchphrase. "Ich bin ein beaver!" ought to be all over the internets by now. It's not, of course, because the world is, after all, not just and nobody reads the comics section. But it really, really ought to be.

Dilbert: We find you fascinating.

If you'd have told me five years ago that I would end up writing a blog about comic strips, but never mention Dilbert, I would have looked at you like you were a crazy person. Mostly because, why the fuck would I be writing a blog about comic strips? But also because, if I were, for whatever reason, writing a blog about comic strips, I would definitely be writing about Dilbert, seeing as it was my favorite comic strip. And yet, in six months of writing a blog about comic strips, I haven't mentioned Dilbert once. So you would have been right.

This is largely due to the fact that Dilbert just isn't all that great anymore. When it first arrived on the scene, it specialized in an absurdist satire of office life the likes of which had never appeared in the comics section before. It was new! It was exciting! And most of all, it was new and exciting in funny ways! But Scott Adams ran out of observations about office life about a decade ago, and his brand of absurdist satire isn't so new and exciting anymore. As a result, every new Dilbert feels like an old Dilbert. It's dependable, often good for a smile and rarely bad, but there's never really a whole lot to say about it either. It's just kind of there.

It's similar to what has become of The Simpsons, which for its first decade was a better television show than Dilbert ever was a comic strip and easily one of the best television shows of all time. But The Simpsons has been on the air for over 400 episodes now, and its fans are acutely aware that it isn't what it once was. Simpsons fans actually have a tendency to be harsher on the show than they probably should be. The Simpsons lacks the bite it used to have, but it's still a dependable domestic sitcom, which is actually a pretty decent accomplishment for a show that's been around for as long as it has. It's often good for a smile and still better than Family Guy, even if there's not a whole lot else to say about it. It, like Dilbert, is just kind of there.

All that said, Dilbert, like The Simpsons, is still capable of doing a lot of the things it used to do really well pretty well. In the case of the comic above, what it's doing pretty well is using technology effectively. Tons and tons of comic strips have felt the need to comment on Twitter, but most of that commentary boils down to, "Ha ha, Twitter!" Dilbert, on the other, employs the technology in service to an actual joke. Moreover, though the comic implies that it, like the rest of the comics section, thinks Twitter is stupid, the joke is character-based, as opposed to the standard punchline about how Twitter is stupid.

And that's why Dilbert, despite being a shadow of its former self, is still one of the better comics around. Even if there's hardly ever anything to say about it.

Pluggers: A plugger paper trail.

This cartoon is hilarious because pluggers are too lazy to walk the ten feet necessary to pick up the paper themselves.*

*And Mother Earth thanks them for it.

Stone Soup: I live in a whinery!

If the waiter in this comic strip were real, he would probably be feeling what I am feeling right now after reading this comic strip. Which is abject misery.

Beetle Bailey: The drain is stopped up, sir.

I know this isn't the most in-depth analysis, but, seriously, what the fuck?