Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hi and Lois: Who's that?!

Since it's already well established that Lois has no problem sleeping with other men, Hi--who has always been the lemonade-out-of-lemons sort--figured she might be open to a threesome. She's not responding as well as he was hoping to the first part of his plan, however. Probably because his plan involves Thirsty.

Family Circus: Why's it called that? It doesn't have any ticks, tacks or toes!

This cartoon is hilarious because Jeffy is confused as to the etymology of Tic-Tac-Toe.

Dennis the Menace: My dad says YOU got the muscles an' HE got the brains!

Here we see Dennis off on a visitation with his newly estranged father. It is not going well.

Blondie: Look, people are growing their own food in "recession gardens" to beat the economy.

As with Jeffy, Dagwood's laziness is trumped only by his gluttony.

Friday, April 30, 2010

F Minus and Close to Home: Okay, Rico. You skipped a duck. I'm very impressed.

Because they generally lack recurring characters, single-panel comics mostly have to rely on absurd situations to create humor. These situations are terrifically absurd. They are, therefore, quite humorous.

F Minus has been very good lately, by the way. In the event you don't read it already, you should probably make a point to start doing so.

Pluggers: A plugger's comfort food is anything consumed on his recliner.

Once, this plugger accidentally consumed a spider.* Ergo propter hoc, spider guts are plugger comfort food.

*Well, mostly accidentally.

Marmaduke: Do you suppose you could rest your head someplace else while I read the newspaper.

This cartoon is hilarious because Phil doesn't want a blowjob from his dog right now. Maybe later.

Family Circus: Our seeds will NEVER grow! Jeffy keeps breathing on them.

And so Jeffy can apparently kill things with nothing more than his breath. He is Death personified.

None of this is surprising.

Dennis the Menace: Mom told me to act my age, so I did.

This whole "act my age" thing is just a comedy goldmine, isn't it?*

*Answer: No.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Family Circus: Today it's MY plants' turn to be on the windowsill in th sun.

Of course, Jeffy just wants his plants to sprout so that he can brutally murder them later on.

F Minus: Douglas! Those days are over!

The conflation of symbols here is brilliant. Far from being a simple "Doesn't marriage suck!" joke, this cartoon creates a real sense of what growing up and getting married entails. Something is lost here: your childhood and your dependence, your early adulthood and your independence. And sometimes you look back on that and wish you could have it back. But as it happens, minivans, queen-sized beds and interdependence are actually all pretty comfortable.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Marmaduke: Just go help find Mr. Fuzzy or we'll never get any sleep!

Mr. Fuzzy is, of course, Marmaduke's latest severed head/plaything.

They call it Mr. Fuzzy cause it has a beard!

Family Circus: Guess what, Daddy! We're gonna have our own garden this summer!

Billy, because he sees himself as a nurturer of life, remains excited at the prospect of having a garden.

Bill, on the other hand, despises happiness and wishes his son would die.

Dennis the Menace: You said I was the "man of the house" while Dad's away, so I ordered a pizza!

Apparently Henry's philandering, mixed with Alice's newfound feminism, has amounted to an even more volatile situation than previously hinted at, as Henry's "away" for reasons that go unexplained here but are fairly easy to suss out given our prior knowledge.

Yes, things are changing quickly in Menaceville. Things are changing quickly, indeed.

BC: My mother-in-law is coming for dinner tonight.

Really, BC, a mother-in-law joke? The syndicate saved you from the grave for this shit? Can't you put just a little bit of effort into--

Oh, wow, I've completely misjudged you, BC. Congratulations on switching up the formula of the trope. I'm really interested to see where this joke leads.

NOOOOOOOOOO...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Adam @ Home: World cup, huh?

This is maybe my least favorite kind of joke, the kind that rests on a character not knowing something virtually everybody in world knows. And then there's the fact that even if some person out there doesn't know what the world cup is, I'm quite sure they wouldn't think it's what Adam apparently thinks it is.

So, in short, this comic's hilarious because Adam's all of a sudden a barely functioning idiot. Ha ha!

Candorville: Didn't you go to Tonga, Clyde?

I know I harp on this a lot, but if you want to write a comic strip with political content, you should under no circumstances allow your political interests to overshadow your focus on your characters. Candorville, like Doonesbury, is a good comic not because of its political slant, but because its characters are recognizable and specific and funny and human.

A humorous tonal shift from time to time doesn't hurt, either.

Mallard Fillmore: I'm thinking it's about time the "others" got their fair share of the ol' identity politics pie...

Some might say that this is a pathetic example of nonsensical conservative propaganda. But I'm pretty sure it's actually an attempt to extract equal rights for the oppressed duck minority. "Duck" isn't even on the census!

Drabble: It's cooler this way!

This comic is hilarious because Ralph is exposing himself to his son.

No, really.

Family Circus: I'll grow WATERMELONS and PUMPKINS.

Billy is excited about starting a garden. Oddly, this has not made Thel angry. It has, however, made his siblings' heads even more misshapen than usual. I am unsure as to why.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wizard of Id: I'm sorry, but there was one stain we could not get out.

And so Rodney has been masturbating while on duty.

This is not surprising.

Moderately Confused: I can't sleep.

This comic is hilarious because the lady said "Try counting apps" instead of "Try counting sheep." Get it? Because apps are, like, new and stuff. Or something.

Sally Forth: Monday

It sure is hard to believe that Ted once had to suffer through an emotionally crippling period of unemployment.

Herb & Jamaal: Go 'way, ya bum!

Ha ha! Herb was right! We should treat the homeless like shit!

Family Circus: You better watch it, PJ. Someday you'll be old enough to know better.

From PJ's perspective, Billy the moralistic prophet must be greatly preferable to Dolly the brutal tyrant and Jeffy the idiot douche. Not to mention his parents.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

FoxTrot: I have no floppy drive.

It should go without saying, given that it's a golf joke and all, that this is not the greatest FoxTrot. That said, FoxTrot has been a pretty reliable comic over the years. So go read this interview with Bill Amend:

GD: While the Fox family characters have grown and evolved over their story arcs, they haven’t aged. Jason sometimes seems a bit older than his 10 years, but he’s still young enough to be wrapped up in the things he’s always loved without having outgrown them. As a result, you’ve got a character who played with original Star Wars toys but was still a kid when the prequels came out; who donned a costume for The Lord of the Rings movies; and who recently fell in love with Avatar, all without ever having had to grow up. Frankly, I’m a little jealous. Did you ever wonder if it was time to age the characters to reflect the real world?

BA: Jason has also gotten to see every movie for the past 22 years at the child’s ticket price. We cartoonists have to watch our budgets, you know. One of the advantages comic strip kids have over, say, kids in TV sitcoms, is the actors don’t age and mess everything up. When I created FoxTrot, I picked the kids’ ages for specific reasons and to create specific dynamics between them. Aging the characters wouldn’t necessarily be “bad,” but it would change everything, and I’m not inclined to do that. Besides, on a selfish level, I like getting to view the world through the excitable eyes of a nerdy 10-year-old as part of my job.

Beetle Bailey: Burrppppppppppppp.

This is, in all honesty, the most bizarre damn comic I've ever seen in my life. The literal reading, of course, is that General Halftrack is some kind of walking, talking blow-up doll. But I'm just a few credits shy of an English degree, and if my schooling has taught me nothing else, it has taught me how to analyze Beetle Bailey comic strips. And so I know that this is actually an extended metaphor about gassiness. Which just means that I have yet another reason to wish I'd gone into computer science instead.

Blondie: I sure appreciate this little favor, Herb.

A few notes on this Sunday edition of Blondie:
  1. Why does Herb always have to pee? Doesn't he watch Wheel of Fortune?* Hasn't he seen all those Flomax ads?
  2. What naturalistic exposition!**
  3. Why does Dagwood keep asking Herb to do him favors? Why does Dagwood even consider Herb a friend? Herb is a terrible person.
  4. Ha! Men! They can't ever remember things that are important to their loved ones!
*This is Blondie. Of course he watches Wheel of Fortune.

**Not really!

Pickles: That's my boy!

This comic is hilarious because Earl was concerned that his grandson might be interested in nonstereotypical things. Fortunately for him, however, he lives in the Pickleverse, so that would never happen.

Family Circus: And God bless...

In today's Family Circus, we flash back to a simpler time, back when Jeffy cared about more than just his insatiable bloodlust. Here we see him expressing love for the outside world with the same sort of long, insipid prayer Evangelical churches everywhere specifically teach children to pray. I happen to agree with Bill that this is pretty stupid. But we know that Bill does not necessarily handle such frustrations gracefully. And so instead of gently correcting Jeffy and teaching him to pray in a more succinct, less stupid way, Bill most likely rose up, smacked Jeffy upside the head and bellowed, "You fucking moron! What the fuck do you care about those fucking people for! For all I care, you can fucking cut off their heads and eat their livers raw!"

And poor stupid Jeffy, whose only true desire had been to please his harsh and demanding father, took the words to heart. Now of course, his only true desire is the flesh of innocent victims, because once you get the taste, there's no turning back. But this cartoon shows that there was once hope for the little douche before the demons of Keaneville took their savage toll.