Saturday, December 26, 2009

Family Circus: When we say grace, is it okay to pray for what we want for dessert?

And so Dolly has made, with surprising humility, the first tentative steps toward subjugating God.

Dilbert: Maybe I can reword those choices to make us feel less like psychopathic hobos.

Dilbert may not be what it once was, but Scott Adams can still write a darn fine punchline.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Family Circus: We hafta go back and run in again. Daddy's gotta figure out how to turn on his camera.

Ah, yes. What better time than Christmas to break out the hoary old technology trope?

Mark Trail: Mark, in the sheriff's patrol car, speeds to help Rusty.

Because nothing says Merry Christmas like a high-speed chase.

Boffo: The world and the way it would be if my Uncle Leon was Sandy Koufax.

This cartoon is hilarious because Sandy Koufax is Jewish, so he probably wouldn't be celebrating Christmas in the first place.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Brevity: Chief, we found some Mentos. This may have been a lighthearted prank gone awry.

It's the goat that especially gets me.

Family Circus: Listen! I think I heard eight tiny reindeer!

This cartoon is hilarious because Jeffy has confused the sound of his parents' muffled love-making with Santa's sleigh.

Why he believes the reindeer to be tiny is anyone's guess, though when it comes to inexplicable stuff Jeffy says or does my money's always on "because he's a fucking idiot."

Pluggers: Walmart: A plugger's Macy's, Neiman Marcus and FAO Schwarz all in one.

And this, ladies and gentleman, is what Pluggers is all about.

Mark Trail: Go before it's too late--please!

Though Mark will surely and unfortunately save him before we find out, the most interesting question this comic raises is whether Rusty's body would even hold together long enough for him to drown. I'm going with no, but it could admittedly go either way.

Fast Track: What will happen when The Black Hat finds his spyware is gone?

This Fast Track comic might not make a lot of sense to you, so allow me to summarize the story so far: The fly in the first panel fell in love with a piece of spyware that turned out to be one of Santa's former elves. The elf had been turned into spyware by The Black Hat, as seen in the third panel, who is apparently some sort of spyware pimp. Patina, meanwhile, recruited Santa to rescue the elf, and now she and Santa are working together to bring down The Black Hat.

It is the single most bizarre thing I have ever read in my life.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Born Loser: I was referring to Rudolph and Frosty and the Grinch!

This comic is hilarious because a hack cartoonist who hates his characters and whose name I refuse to look up is suggesting that people like me who enjoy Christmas cartoons are stupid.

Also, fuck him.

Mark Trail: That's all I wanted to know!

Yes, Mark Trail did just punch a police officer. Is there anything he won't stoop to now?

I look forward to the new and improved Mark Trail, in which Mark and an even more disfigured than before Rusty travel the country as a pair of Bonnie and Clyde type fugitives, leaving an array of knocked over convenience stores and battered hookers in their wake, with Sheriff Stupid here hot on their sinful trail.

Rhymes with Orange and Cow and Boy: Had YOU heard anything about a commuter rail?

If you don't get it, go here.

Also, Cow and Boy is on fire lately:

The Phantom: I have NIGHTMARES of Diana's final seconds on earth! Tonight, perhaps I won't!

This comic is hilarious because The Phantom is going to get over his wife's horrific death by having unprotected sex with bikini-clad women.

Family Circus: After today we only have to be good for one more day.

This cartoon gives the impression that Billy's cult will be largely antinomian, but I have trouble believing that. Instead, I think he's testing Jeffy.

"I know you've abstained from murdering anyone over the last month or so," Billy's saying, "but the threat of getting only coal for Christmas will have soon passed. Will you continue to behave correctly, or will I be forced to kick you from my New World Order?"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cow and Boy: This looks like a hate crime, doesn't it?

The snowman with candy cane arms is an especially nice touch.

Marmaduke: You'd go bananas, too, if you had to listen to dogs doing "Jingle Bells" over and over.

Has Marmaduke always been a Yellow Wallpaperesque study of a bored housewife's insanity? If so, it's kind of brilliant.

Lola: We're cool, right?

When did Santa using a computer become the most hilarious thing ever?

Family Circus: Where did those wise men find a store that sold frankincense and myrrh?

This cartoon is hilarious because Jeffy does not understand that economic systems and material valuations change over time.

Curtis: Baby, you're worth your weight in gold!

This comic is hilarious because Diane has selfishly tricked her child into accepting fewer presents so that Greg can afford to buy her more expensive presents.

Boffo: I need these copied right away ... can you give them "special attention"?

The poorly paid, unmotivated, clearly much stupider than you service sector employee is perhaps my least favorite trope of all time.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Family Circus: By my calculations, their Christmas lists so far will cost $15,631.87.

I've mentioned this in the comments here before, but it's worth pointing out in an actual post that it's not really surprising that everybody hates the Keane kids, given that Keane Inc. seems to hate the Keane kids too. Take this cartoon, for example, in which we discover that they are a gaggle of greedy little fucks. Indeed, Keane Inc. repeatedly sides with the parents, repeatedly casts the kids as stupid, and sometimes, as seen here, even suggests that the kids represent everything that's wrong with the world. If we find the children contemptible, it's because we have been given ample reason to believe that they are in fact contemptible.

Grand Avenue: Why hassle with maintaining a naughty and nice list when I can monitor everyone's Facebook account and read their tweets?

While Santa may be trying to pass this off as a time-saver, readers of The Comics Section know what really spurred this move.

Nobody crosses Dolly Keane, not even immortal judges of moral behavior.

Cul de Sac: Welcome, Blisshaven Parents! Please enjoy our Winter Pageant!

I write a lot more about bad comic strips than I do about good comic strips, mostly because it's easier to snark than to analyze. I'd like to change that a little bit, so I'm introducing a new feature: The Best Comic of the Day. It's pretty self-explanatory. Most of the time I'll add commentary, but sometimes I might not.

This Cul de Sac is the first entry in the feature. And it's not just the Best Comic of the Day, but one of the best comics I've seen in a long time. It's nothing we haven't seen before--a school play, proud parents, kids forgetting their lines--but it's done really, really well. The comic doesn't have a traditional punchline, but every panel is funny in its own way. The drawing in the second and third panels perfectly capture the emotions of a child standing up before what seems to him to be a large audience. The writing perfectly captures the rhythms of a child delivering his lines--"It is always winter time, wherever I may. Go!" And the final panel even gives us very specific character-based humor, with the differing reactions from Beni's parents.

Ziggy: We had to send your car to the compactor, sir! EPA regulations!

This cartoon is hilarious because environmental regulation is a liberal government plot to destroy your freedom.

Baldo: Papi, that's the best part!

Baldo is one tiny, floating rainbow away from turning into Rose is Rose here.

For the love of all that is holy, step back from the ledge.

9 Chickweed Lane: Speaker phone? ...Why?

This comic is hilarious because Brooke McEldowney has a very high opinion of his own storytelling prowess.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Family Circus: Don'cha wish Christmas would hurry up and get here?

This cartoon is hilarious because the Keane parents continue to hate everything that makes their children happy.

Blondie: She'd better, 'cause it's gonna be the most expensive one I've ever had!

This comic is hilarious because women love shopping and are too stupid to handle their money in a reasonable manner.