Main content:

Clownpocalypse Now

Slylock Fox, 1/26/15

One of my favorite things about Slylock Fox is the fact that the planet isn’t entirely populated by anthropomorphic animals; although the vast majority of the human race was apparently exterminated as the beasts took control, a few representatives of our species remain, presumably enough to preserve a breeding stock, and need to deal with the unimaginable trauma the best they can. It’s impossible to tell whether these men were professional clowns in the Before Time, or if dressing as such is the only way they can deal with the madness of the world they inhabit. As clowns number two and three demonstrate, traditional clown makeup long ago ceased being manufactured, leaving them to do the best they could with material that actually matched their skintone. Basically if you can visualize a faux-hobo clown wearing flesh-colored makeup stealing candy from a bipedal, dress-wearing pig’s porch, desperately holding up his pants as he runs away, and not break down weeping, you have a heart of stone.

Apartment 3-G, 1/26/16

OK, this thing where the art in Apartment 3-G has little or nothing to do with the writing is just getting sad and alarming, guys. Like, when Margo and her dad were having lunch at a “Tribeca Grill” that looked suspiciously like the inside of somebody’s dowdy apartment, there was at least one word in that description that worked, and that word was “inside.” But now Margo is just straight-up ordering breakfast at a “cafe” that is literally just her and some other woman standing out on the sidewalk. “Now that’s what I call a healthy appetite!” her interlocutor says, as she stares directly into the face of madness.

Gil Thorp, 1/26/15

Speaking of the face of madness, how about panel two of Gil Thorp, eh? Against Gil’s advice, Maxwell has decided to forge an alliance with Marty Moon and establish a memorable #brand! And that brand is MAX BACON™. Because when it comes to bacon … who doesn’t want the max? Other than people keen on not dying of heart disease, that is!

Herb and Jamaal, 1/26/15

Let me tell you lucky kids today: if you grew up before the Internet provided an on-demand stream of smut into every household, you spent a not-insignificant part of your junior high years parsing movie descriptions in the paper for exactly terms like this, just in case there was a chance you could see these so-called “adult situations” on HBO after your parents were likely to be in bed. Jamaal, a jaded inhabitant of our modern porn-world, just sips his iced tea and regards the on-screen simulated humping with disinterest and vague distaste.

Mark Trail, 1/26/15

Do you think Mark is quickly changing the subject in panel two because he’s thinking “Hmm, this swamp-king is awful blase about having seen a mangled corpse and left it behind to be devoured by bog-creatures, better tread lightly,” or because he’s thinking “Well, that problem is solved! I’ll never have to deal with that ponytail man again!” It’s so hard to tell with him.

To be fair, every villain Dick Tracy encounters is a hideous mutant

Funky Winkerben, 1/25/15

Welp, the Dick Tracy-Funky Winkerbean crossover is wrapping up without a single person dying in a hail of bullets, and I for one am pretty disappointed about it. I do like the words of life wisdom that Holly and Dick are trading here, though. Maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t immediately judge (and subsequently arrest and/or shoot for “resisting arrest”) people just because they look “shady,” you know? Maybe you should instead determine their worth based on their enjoyment of cultural production units that you also enjoy. I’m pretty sure that the main character of High Fidelity has the exact opposite of this revelation at the story’s conclusion, which is evidence that he’s grown less shallow as a person, but, baby steps, I guess.

Apartment 3-G, 1/25/15

Apartment 3-G has meanwhile devolved into a full-on Lu Ann dreamscape? “Tommie, why are you leaving the apartment to go to work, in the morning, as the workday starts?” “I’m going to work. Don’t forget to wake up Margo!” “Gasp! Margo is gone!” [stands in the middle of the hallway, nowhere near a door or anywhere where Margo might be expected to be]

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/25/15

While details are murky, archaeological evidence seems to indicate that the Polynesian settlers of Easter Island deforested the place after a few centuries there, which meant they were no longer able to build and move the huge moai statues the island is famous for — and, perhaps more importantly, were no longer able to build oceangoing vessels that allowed them to fish, which in turn led to a rapid decline in population. Meanwhile, in Hootin’ Holler, it seems that the residents are setting in motion an ecological catastrophe of their own, unsustainably extracting fuel to power one of the community’s main economic engines (moonshine production) at the long-term expense of environmental resources needed for the other (chicken theft).

Panels from Hi and Lois, 1/25/15

Look, just between you and me, I never really cared for Mad Men, but if the show’s booze-soaked popularity had anything to do with the return of wacky retro “Thirsty is a drunk” jokes in Hi and Lois, then it has done good for this world.

Soapy Saturday

Mark Trail, 1/24/15

I guess if you almost drowned after being blown up, and then you came to in some mysterious stranger’s ancestral raccoon-guarded swamp-palace, then “relaxed” might be the emotion you’d feel! I mean, you’d maybe be more relaxed if he said “You’re in a hospital where competent medical professionals will be tending to the injuries resulting from your recent traumatic experience, and also law enforcement officials are investigating this terrible crime,” but waking up in an isolated cabin with someone who doesn’t play by society’s rules about how to to deal with bombs and wounded people is kind of relaxing, I guess.

Mary Worth, 1/24/15

You know, people complain about how the Kids Today won’t stop texting during movies or checking their Twitters or whatever, but for my money the number one problem in theaters is old people who just will not shut up about unexpectedly finding a second chance at love! It’s like, hey, senior citizens, was your romance so intense and heart-warming that Nicholas Sparks wrote about it in a novel that was optioned by Warner Brothers before it even hit a second printing and was eventually made into the movie that we all paid $12 to see? No? Then pipe down, jeez.