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Would rather read the strips about the talking boar family, to be honest

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/7/16

Congratulations to Barney Google and Snuffy Smith for deftly handling this reveal, this sudden shift in perspective revealing that those we see as bestial have their own way of looking at the world, and that our actions through their eyes are truly monstrous. It’s right out of the classic sci-fi horror novel I Am Legend, and it’s sad that this century-old comic strip created to make fun of hillbilly stereotypes manages to pull off this nuanced narrative twist better than, say, any of the movies the novel was turned into.

Shoe, 2/7/16


Your comic strip characters are all bird-people and they live in trees and sometimes they fly but they never, ever acknowledge “Oh, we’re genetic freak shows that look like birds but wear clothes and talk and have jobs.”


I get it.

But if you’re going to go down this road










Mostly soapy Saturday

Mary Worth, 2/6/16

Uh oh, looks like Olive fell down and hurt herself! And now she looks … angry. You know, we’ve been having plenty of fun here watching Mary sexually reject dudes, but we shouldn’t lose sight of what this Olive story is really about, namely a little girl who talks to angels and can see the future. If there’s one thing movies have taught us about creepy children with mind powers, it’s this: they seem cheerful enough until they encounter a difficulty or obstacle that a normal person would take in stride, and then they get very angry indeed, generally with terrible consequences. The population of Midtown Manhattan seems to have dodged a bullet this time, though. Dude with the mustache is panel one in lucky his head didn’t explode, splattering goo everywhere, as a side effect of Olive’s rage.

The Phantom, 2/6/16

The Phantom is in the middle of a fairly dull story about teenage royal love that’s a sequel to one from six years ago, but I mostly want to point out that among the amenities of the Skull Cave is a Skull Hot Tub. I wonder if this is an ancient natural hot spring that’s formed a crater deep in this cavern over the centuries, or if the Ghost Who Walks just ordered a regular hot tub from Home Depot and had his interior designer “cave it up a bit.”

Pluggers, 2/6/16

Pluggers know that, no matter what you say about the Nazis and the regimes that collaborated with them, they sure knew how to maintain law and order.

Mark Trail, 2/6/16

Meanwhile, over in Mark Trail, a thing exploded pretty dramatically. HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYBODY

Metapost: Jack Elrod, 1924-2016 (plus COTW)

Very sad news in the comics world yesterday: Jack Elrod, the longtime writer and artist of Mark Trail, died at the age of 91. While he didn’t create the strip, he was in charge of it for nearly 30 years, and my fascination with his earnest and entertaining style was a huge factor in getting me to start this blog. Everyone who knew him seemed to think he was great, and this obituary has some great stories about him. I’m glad the strip is in the hands of James Allen, who’s carrying on his legacy, and I’m sorry James has lost a friend. Let’s all salute the Elrod Ball one more time in his honor!

But we the living must carry on, and let’s enjoy this comment of the week:

“This outpouring of Anti-Dutch sentiment in Dennis’s classroom is justified. The world watched in horror as the newly-proclaimed Greater Dutch Rijk flouted all treaties and agreements, brutally annexing Belgium, Luxembourg and parts of Normandy. A true menace always goes through Belgium.” –Gen. von Buxhoevden

And the runners up are very enjoyable as well!

Funeral arrangements are pending. If only we could all be so lucky, dear reader.” –rbmalpha

“Oh. I thought it was funny because the schoolchildren are being poisoned by their own society. I guess I just haven’t got the hang of Shoe’s humor yet.” –Eric

“I dunno, I think the Six Chix drawings are ALL HAIL OUR NEW MASTER, DEMON PIG!” –Steve S

“I can’t wait for John Locher Springstein to tell his origin story. ‘You know how I got into this job? It’s because of a man who used to wear this vest. A man I made a solemn promise to, long ago. I swore I would bring down Chuck Berry for ripping off Johnnie B. Goode from him, all those years ago.’” –Doctor Handsome

“The Paleo exhibit depicts one of the ancient Mole Rat’s most important daily activities. There are many theories as to why the entire species later developed blindness.” –Mikey

“I return to my previous assertion that this is the laziest Catcher in the Rye reboot in history. Mary Holden and Olive Phoebe go to the museum, where ‘you could go there a hundred thousand times and … nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.’ They go to the show, that’s ‘not as bad as some I’ve seen. It was on the crappy side, though.’ Now they’re going skating, where Mary and Olive will no doubt ‘be the worst skaters on the whole goddamn rink. And there were some lulus.’ Will we get a flashback to Dr. Jeff’s disgusting razor, all gunked up with soap and hair? Will Olive wake up when Mary is patting her hair while she sleeps? Will it all end on the merry-go-round? Will Mary force a comic Salinger out of hermitage with her relentless advice? At least the Mary Worth audience is unlikely to contain teens who might try to use the storyline to avoid reading the book, and spectacularly fail all of their assignments.” –rocketbride

“More horrifying is the inky blackness of Death is now retreating from the dead fish, now that he has reaped his terrible harvest.” –Ethan Shuster

“Mostly due to arson. We get up to a whole lotta arson in the country, dad.” –Torquil Colbo, on Facebook

“Once CNBC reported this literally-sweating-the-price-of-a-jacket thing, the great LodgeCo selloff began. If the government hadn’t designated Mr. Lodge ‘too big to fail,’ Veronica would be wearing burlap by Christmas.” –handsome Harry Backstayge, idol of a million other women

“Archie, I’m going to attempt to relate to you now. Now let’s see, it’s been a while, but I think teens address each other by … staring intently at the nape of the neck, then immediately turning away without eye contact? Yeah, that sounds about right.” –Dan

“In panel one, the dog looks on in helpless horror, knowing that his master is about to be devoured by a clowder of feral cats but is helpless to stop it. In panel two, he’s just miffed because he knows the greedy buggers won’t even leave him a thigh bone to chew on.” –TheDiva

“Gasoline Alley’s scrapbook obsession is now officially a cry for help, probably euthanasia.” –C. Sandy Cyst

I’m at that in-between age. I don’t know if I live in the 1950s or the 1980s! And what the fuck is a Spongebob?” –Chyron HR

“If ‘best shot’ refers to photography, then I hope Peter caught Namor’s Blue Steel pose in panel 2.” –A Concerned Reader

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