Saturday, December 25, 2010

Family Circus: Merry Christmas from ALL of us!

It appears that a serial killer who is not Jeffy has sneaked into the Keane house through the chimney and is lying in wait to murder the whole family horribly.

It is a merry Christmas indeed.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mark Trail: WHAT'S that woman up to?

Women! They just can't handle manly things. Like boats. And water.

Family Circus: Mommy, isn't it time for us to get nestled all snug in our beds?

Here we see Billy being his oddly pretentious self, Jeffy dreaming of mutilated corpses under the tree, and Dolly gleefully awaiting her total world domination. PJ, of course, is pooping.

Funky Winkerbean: Just think, if it wasn't for some woman phoning in an anonymous phony bomb threat...

If it weren't for Lola, Funky Winkerbean's cloying sentimentality and empty spiritualism would be the most revolting thing in the comics section today.

Luann: Merry Christmas.

I wish this were Funky Winkerbean so we could at least take solace in the fact that at least one of these characters was going to get cancer and die.

Lola: Why on EARTH are you naked?!

I think this is supposed to be a Dick in a Box type joke, where the male believes the greatest gift he can give to a woman is his amazing self. But it's not obvious. What is obvious is that this is horrifying.

It's also obvious that Lola's boyfriend does not have a penis. So, new list.

Things you cannot show in the comics section:
  1. A grown man's penis.

Doonesbury: Wildly inappropriate as usual, Dex.

Things you can say or at least directly refer to in the comics section:
  1. S&M
  2. Whore
  3. Anal
Things you can't say in the comics section:

Curtis: I sure hope Daddy can put the gift I left under the tree to good use!

This comic is hilarious because Curtis's father is going to beat Curtis with a belt for getting him a lousy present.

Curtis: Because nothing's funnier than child abuse!

Beetle Bailey: Yiii!!

Here we see Mrs. Halftrack, having earlier stumbled across her husband's large collection of punk fetish adult magazines, attempting to rekindle the romance in her marriage. The general is unimpressed and, as usual, being a huge prick about it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pardon My Planet: Aliens. That's a good one.

I can't decide whether this comic is funny or not.

But I'm absolutely sure that it is terrifying.

Family Circus: If Santa doesn't have a Magical-Maria Giggle and Coo Interactive Talking Baby, would another kind be okay?

There are times when I think that Dolly is like that little boy in The Twilight Zone who could turn people into jack-in-the-boxes with her mind.

This is one of those times.

Betty: Wait! Why aren't there any red gumdrops on it?

The ex post facto coloring of daily black-and-white comics really is an artistic disaster. How terrible must it feel to write a solid joke and then have it at least partially ruined by lazy coloring?

Phantom: NO ONE know you're here! You're SAFE now!

"But just in case I'm wrong, here, take this gun."

Lola: But the fire is so delightful.

And so Lola has set her son on fire. Given that Lola is a sociopath and her son is unbearable, this isn't terribly surprising.

Luann: That's sweet, Brad. I'll think of you whenever I put on my undies.

The best part of today's Luann is the thoroughly disgusted look the cashier has on her face.

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

A mother-in-law joke. That's very clever, Herb and Jamaal. Tomorrow you should write about how other women are terrible, too.

Funky Winkerbean: And since my phone was dead, I just took a cab home.

Tom Batiuk's winking so hard today that he may never get his left eyelid to work right again. But I'm not sure what it says about your comic strip when the funniest thing that happens in weeks is a character not dying horribly.

Also, that wasn't a terribly long story.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Prickly City and Get Fuzzy: ...

Maybe I'm getting soft, because I sure am picking a lot of best comics of the day these days, but both of these comics are very funny in a completely different way than today's 9 Chickweed Lane is funny. 9 Chickweed Lane is funny because of its strong dialog. It features no action of interest.

Today's Prickly City and Get Fuzzy, on the other hand, are notable for their limited--or complete lack of--dialog. While the humor in Prickly City is dependent on the dialog, the punchline is image-based.

Get Fuzzy, meanwhile, has been set up by the last couple weeks of Bucky's insane communist Muppet conspiracy theories. Today's strip is Satchel's silent reaction to them. The whole thing is the punchline.

Family Circus: It's good Jesus was born in a stable. When the shepherds came they had a place to park their sheep.

Dolly's coldly utilitarian view of the Christmas story is oddly refreshing.

Rudy Park: See? We don't need a professional writer!

This would all make more sense if Darrin Bell wasn't a professional writer himself. But it's still an improvement over what Rudy Park usually gives us.

The Phanom: I won't be gone long!

Having saved his wife, The Phantom now promptly abandons her on what appears to be the very next day. No doubt to get some more vengeance done. Because that's what really matters right now.

Luann: Mostly. Three out of four.

This comic is hilarious because Toni generally leaves her left labium uncovered.

In all seriousness, this whole story is just so, so unpleasant.

Funky Winkerbean: It's a long story.

Hopefully, it's a long story that ends with Les being a ghost.

Beetle Bailey: You're on the web all day! You live in another world!

This comic is hilarious because the sexually idealized women who star in Internet porn movies are far superior to the sexually idealized women in Gizmo's comic strip world.

9 Chickweed Lane: What was I saying?

When Brooke McEldowney isn't fucking around with Nazi love triangles, he's often writing some of the best dialog in the comics section. Today's strip is a good example of that. There' nothing much happening. It's just two people talking. But the conversation is just so well done. It's a very natural sounding joke.

So, in short: fewer Nazi love triangles, more stories about two people talking.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

La Cucaracha: Less Latinas on TV with "reeely theeek fony axsents."

Rare is the day that I praise La Cucaracha, but the excellent aping of exaggerated dialect here made me laugh.

Though he doesn't come right out and say so, Lalo Alcaraz seems to be talking specifically about Modern Family here. Modern Family's depiction of race has always been somewhat problematic--its stories often condemn stereotyping, but only after they've used stereotypes for laughs--so it's interesting to see a Latino cartoonist take issue with it.

Family Circus: Stop tellin' everybody what we're askin' Santa for, 'cause then everybody'll ask for it and Santa might run out.

Total world domination is, after all, in limited supply.

Luann: THE #1 sign of true love.

Luann: Rendering everyday interactions between males and females kind of disgusting by overstating their importance since 1985.

Herb and Jamaal: Uh-oh. Jamaal's got that look on his face.

This comic is hilarious because women are bizarre and terrifying creatures, evidently incapable of forming coherent sentences.

Funky Winkerbean: You're back!

Fuck you, Batiuk. I was promised misery.

I'm still holding out hope that this is some sort of fantasy sequence leading up to a gruesome reveal.

Dennis the Menace: I hope you'll like it. I wrapped it all by myself.

I can think of only two reasons why this Dennis the Menace could be considered funny:

1. Because Dennis has failed to wrap the box up as well as he could have, though it doesn't look too bad to me.

2. Because the box contains Mr. Wilson's severed head.

I know which one I'm hoping for.

Close to Home: The building is designed so that every employee will have a view.

The drawing of the building in this cartoon does not seem to match the description of the building in the caption. Unless you count the side of a building as "a view."

I will chalk it up to laziness.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cow and Boy: A wise man once said that smooshing an ice cream cone to your forehead does not make you a unicorn.

This is not an especially great Cow and Boy. Rather, it's just a regular, old, run-of-the-mill Cow and Boy. And that is why Cow and Boy is awesome.

Rudy Park: Give me a chance, people!

Given that the comic strip Darrin Bell writes is much better than Rudy Park, I see no reason why the next week should be anything other than a huge improvement.

Strange Brew: I really hate southern California.

I love both Santa Claus and sushi.

As a result, I do not love this cartoon.

Luann: You wanna give me a wedgie?

Toni is not into Brad's public wedgie fetish. Brad is sad.

Funky Winkerbean: That sounds like a car door!

Some possibilities here:
  1. It's Les. Turns out he's fine and Batiuk was just engaging in a little manipulation/meta-humor.
  2. It's someone coming to tell Summer that Les has died horribly.
  3. It's a serial killer, and Summer and her friend whose name I can't remember are about to die horribly too.

Family Circus: Guess what, Mommy? Daddy's in the bedroom copying down your sizes!

Here was see Dolly attempting to ruin Christmas for her mother.

"But don't WORRY, Mommy. Even though you've GROWN a couple of sizes, I'm sure Daddy still loves you ANYWAY. It's not like he'd LEAVE you just because you GAINED a few pounds and have a FEW gray hairs. Really, I wouldn't be at all concerned about it, Mommy. I'm sure he's JUST FRIENDS with the pretty young lady who bought our lamp last summer..."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Family Circus: Don't Forget!

Here we see Keane Inc. doing its part to keep the Christ in Christmas. It's really not a bad comic for what it is. It's not funny, but it's not supposed to be funny. It accomplishes its goal, which is pretty much all you can ask of a Family Circus cartoon. Keane Inc. just really wanted to let everybody know that, as far as they are concerned, Christmas is not about candy or lights or wrapping paper, but rather Jesus's fake birthday.

So mission accomplished, I guess.