Sitcom Saturday: BB, BC and B.

BC, 2014-08-27.

"You can shove that teacup between your nostrils and smash yourself in the face with a steam pipe." yells Cute Chick, pointing to someone off-panel, before walking away with a black cloud floating above her head.
"That escalated quickly." she comments, to no one.

What escalated quickly? There is literally no context for this. The previous day's strip is totally unrelated. It is a mystery.

Beetle Bailey, 2014-08-29.

Amos is going out to play golf.
"Someday we should play a round together" says Martha.
"I don't think you'd like golf" says Amos.
Martha grins slyly. "I wasn't talking about golf".
Amos is either excited or horrified, it's hard to tell.

Blondie, 2014-08-29.

"Sweetheart, your pancakes are ready" calls Blondie from downstairs.
"But I'm running late and haven't finished shaving!" says Dagwood, establishing the the conflict of the drama.
"Hold on! I just had an idea!!" yells Blondie, coming up the stairs with the plate of pancakes. "I'm surprised I didn't think of this a long time ago"
She begins awkwardly feeding the pancakes to Dagwood while he shaves.
"I know..." says Dagwood. "Think of all the times I could have slept in a little longer"

Well, that is just a terrible idea. His pancakes will be covered in shaving foam and blood from when he cuts himself.


One-Panel Wednesday: Incorrectly sized bodies

Bizarro, 2014-08-22.

A man in a hooded windcheater is walking down the street carrying two bags marked with dollar signs when he is accosted by a large woman wearing a costume modelled on the classic Superman look.
"You're Superwoman?" he asks.
"Fashion models don't fight crime, Mary." she replies.

Kryptonians have super powers though. They don't need to look big and tough because they have super powers. And why does she assume that he's referring to her appearance? Her face is clearly visible, he may just recognise her. And why does she call him Mary? That seems like a fairly sexist way for Superwoman to insult someone. I don't like this comic.

Family Circus, 2014-08-22.

Thel, Billy, Dolly and Jeffy are sitting at the table waiting to eat. PJ begins to climb onto Bil's chair, but Dolly leaps to her feet and points accusingly at him.
"That's not your seat, PJ! Your head's not big enough to sit there."

This would have seemed weird enough by itself, because no one has ever thought that any of the Keane children's heads weren't big enough, but this is the second time in a month that PJ has been told that his head is too small.

Ziggy, 2014-08-27.

Ziggy looks into his bathroom mirror only to see a giant, grinning rabbit standing directly behind him, a rabbit that is only visible in the mirror.
"...uh..." he says, shaking with fear. "...er..."


Action Tuesday: What sound do guns make?

Dick Tracy is still stuck in the past (or whatever), but the rest of the team have finally figured out where he was going when he disappeared and are now researching the island.

Dick Tracy, 2014-08-22.

"Lex Associates holds Thunder Island?" says Tess.
"Fritz Ann, can you tell us about them?" asks Patton.
"Pardon me, Chief Patton, but I think we have all we need to know." says the Asp. "Lex Associates, when partially erased and reversed..."
He takes a marker and begins writing on the whiteboard.
"...spells Axel. He is our primary foe."
"Our records list Axel as missing presumed dead." says Fritz Ann.
"If only, Ms. Dietrich."

And everyone is just going to accept tht as though it means something. Wait a second, Dick Tracy left by car. Cars have wheels, connected by... Axles! Axle... Axel... am I the only one seeing this?

And Doc Ock still hasn't revealed his nefarious plan yet and continues to act as a far better super hero than Spider-Man ever was. In fact, he just foiled a bank robbery.

The Amazing Spider-Man, 2014-08-26.

"Always glad to help, officer, when I can spare time from my research." says Octavius.
"Yeah?" says the police officer. "What're you workin' on these days, Dr. Octopus?"
"I fear I'm not at liberty to say... but I can guarantee it will shake things up a bit."
"Why is my spider sense suddenly tingling?" wonders Peter.

Good question, Peter. It's really hard to figure out what will or won't set it off. I thought the basic premise was that it was a sort of proximity warning, but the number of times you've been hit on the head (both by villains and by inanimate objects just falling on you) tells me that can't be the case. And in the past I've seen it go off because there was some important paperwork nearby, and because someone was talking about you. And not even someone nearby where you could have subconsciously overheard them.

In this case though, it's pretty obvious that Doc Ock is building some kind of earthquake machine. For crime. He's not even being subtle about it.

You know who else could use some help spotting the blatantly obvious? Mark Trail. He has finally discovered Dirty's poaching though, and rather than going to the police decided to just confront him about it. In the middle of nowhere, with no witnesses. Well, Lori and Taurus are there, but seriously, dumb move.

Mark Trail, 2014-08-25.

"You've interfered long enough, Trail!" says Dirty, tackling Mark to the ground and drawing a large knife.
"Chris, wait!" pleads Mark, totally forgetting to call him "Dirty".
Taurus holds a smoking rifle in his hands.
"Taurus!?" exclaims Dirty. "What are you doing?"
"I can't let you do that, Chris - now drop the knife!"

Since when does a gunshot sound like "kapow"? And why won't anyone call him "Dirty"?

And we have a new daily story in The Phantom this week, which is already off to a much better start than the last one. We meet two new characters, Barker and Shotgun, criminals who have a "hijack job" to do in the morning. Surprisingly, Shotgun is the more reasonable of the two, advising his partner not to get too drunk the night before.

The Phantom, 2014-08-26.

Barker and Shotgun walk past an alley and notice a homeless man with a shopping trolley walking along it.
"Hey, Shotgun!" says Barker. "Watch this guy flop!"
With that he pulls out his gun and shoots the homeless man.
"Are you out of your mind!?" asks Shotgun, aghast.

I guess they really needed to make this guy super-evil, just so the Phantom would look like the good guy by comparison.


Weekend Workshop: Photobombing

Based on Nancy, 2014-08-10 (and some other Nancy strips).
It's certainly what Guy Gilchrist is thinking about.

Based on Judge Parker, 2014-08-21.
Just because her eyes already looked kind of like that to begin with.

Based on Mary Worth, 2014-08-22 (and another Mary Worth strip).
Wilbur was feeling left out.

Based on Nancy, 2014-08-22.
It's certainly what Guy Gilchrist is thinking.


Philosophical Friday: Lazy and Dumb

Bewley, 2014-08-18.
Man, what a wasted opportunity. You had the punchline right there in panel two, all you needed to do was stop. You could have made the panels larger and included more detail in the illustration (rather than just flood filling with brown). I know, that's more effort than coming up with a second, less funny joke to fill up that space, but it would have been so much better.

Between Friends, 2014-09-19.
Let me just quote the character description for Kim here: "Kim is creative and introspective. As a feminist, freelance writer, she enjoys the perks of flexible career." I see three grown adults here, and it doesn't occur to any of them that maybe one of the men could cook? Feminist.

Todd the Dinosaur, 2014-08-22.
Forget the joke here (such as it is - T-Rexes have short arms. Ha ha, bet no one's done that joke before) and focus on the first panel. Specifically the narration box. I know that the people who colour comic strips are terrible at their jobs, but come on.


Sitcom Thursday: Whingers

The Born Loser, 2014-08-08.

Brutus is on the telephone.
"I'd like a large pizza with goat cheese, green olives, pineapple and extra anchovies." he says.
"You're joking, right?" asks the person he's speaking to. "You don't really want to order your pizza with those toppings, do you?"
"What's the difference?" asks Brutus. "You never get my order right anyway!"

Where to even start with this? How about the pizza. It sounds pretty good. I'd totally eat that. What the hell is pizza guy's problem? Secondly, if this pizza place keeps screwing up Brutus's orders, why is he still ordering from them? There has got to be another pizza place he could call. Thirdly, maybe they'd get your order right, Brutus, if you ordered something that was actually on the menu.

Buni, 2014-08-08.

Buni is walking down the street when a shadowy figure in an alley attracts his attention. It turns out that the bear (I think it's a bear but it's hard to tell) is selling unicorn horns. Buni is horrified at the thought of unicorns being killed for their horns (even though unicorns are arseholes), but the bear is quick to reassure him. These are fake unicorn horns, and so Buni buys one.

Later we see the bear at home, carving a unicorn horn from a bone. Behind him sits a one-legged panda. The implication is that the fake unicorn horns are actually made from panda bones.

Hi and Lois, 2014-08-18.

"Maybe we could watch a movie later, just us." suggests Hiram.
"That would be nice." says Lois. "What should we watch?"
"There are so many we haven't seen." says Hiram.
"Movie night?!" says Dot.
"Pop-corn!" says Ditto.
"Cartoons again." sighs Hiram.

Jesus Christ, Hi, just watch whatever you want after the kids go to bed. Wasn't that your plan originally anyway? If you don't want to watch the kids movie, do something else while it's on.

Pajama Diaries, 2014-08-19.

"School's starting soon." thinks Jill. "Time to wash Jess's backpack."
She tips the contents from the foul-smelling backpack before bleaching and scrubbing it.
"Yeah... no one uses backpacks at middle school." says Jess. "I'm taking a tote."

That stinking backpack full of garbage just sat around like that all summer? Ew. And is the implication here that washing it was unnecessary because Jess doesn't want to use it? I'm pretty sure you'd want to wash it before putting it away anyway, but I guess if that were the case then you already would have.


One-Panel Wednesday: All hail Heathcliff, for he is our new god-king.

Dennis the Menace, 2014-08-08.

"I was supposed to sit here for 15 minutes, but I think I've gone into overtime." says Dennis glumly.
A very large, creepy-looking cat smirks at him.

Family Circus, 2014-08-08.

"I want you to know that you can be arrested for wearing socks with sandals." says Dolly, pointing at Jeffy's feet.
Jeffy looks suitably chagrined.

Heathcliff, 2014-08-12.

Heathcliff and two other cats are on a stage wearing egg cotumes and playing musical instruments. A crowd of other cats watch them in silence. The drum kit bears the name "Dumpty". Three humans observe from a nearby window.
"His new band." says one.

Heathcliff, 2014-08-19.

Heathcliff is seated on a throne between two flaming torches. Behind him looms a massive cat's head idol. One mouse beats a drum as another approaches with a cocktail on a tray.
"Just another Tuesday night." remarks one owl to another.

Heathcliff, 2014-08-20.

Heathcliff flies over the neighbourhood in a helicopter made in his image.
"It's garbage night somewhere." remarks one man to another.


Action Tuesday: Is the Phantom evil now?

Since I last mentioned The Phantom, he and the president took a trip to Wambesi-land to visit Chatu, the Python. Once they got there the Phantom took off his rings and entered the Python's cell and proceeded to beat the shit out of him.

Just to be clear, the Phantom (ostensibly the hero of the story)  went to the jail cell of someone he already defeated and imprisoned, and beat the shit out of him for no apparent reason.

The Phantom, 2014-08-18.

"Your rings!" says the president, handing them back.
"Thanks." says the Phantom, then turns to the Python. "Let me explain to you why I took this meeting, Chatu!"
"Please do, old friend! I'm listening too!" says the president.

Yeah, I'm also listening, but I can't see any way to justify this.

And Dick Tracy is still apparently in the past, Mark Trail hasn't discovered Dirty's duplicity yet, Dock Ock is still making Spider-Man look like an idiot (like that's hard) and I don't even know what the fuck is going on in Mandrake. He's been kidnapped and taken to the future for a sight-seeing tour or something. It's all been pretty dull.


Melodrama Monday: Insurance fraud and drug abuse

You'd think that in the time since I last posted on a Monday, something interesting must have happened in at least one of the soap opera strips. Well, honestly, not really. Unless you can count anything at all that happens in Luann as being interesting.

Luann, 2014-08-01.

TJ is collecting the day's rubbish and tidying up in his food truck. Finishing up he takes the garbage bag out to the bin. Just as he reaches it,
His truck explodes. TJ is so shocked that his hat flies up into the air and he raises a single eyebrow.

Given that TJ had just that morning been complaining to Brad about how his food truck was not doing well and he hated working there, this explosion seems a little suspicious. When it turns out that the truck was fully insured, even Bwad becomes suspicious. There was a poll on GoComics where we, the readers, got to choose whether TJ would get the money or be accused of fraud. Unfortunately the voters decided to let him off, but I guess there could be some drama to be played out if Bwad continues to believe that TJ has committed fraud, Bwad being the conscientious and upstanding fire-fighter that he is.

But we'll have to wait and see, because now the focus has shifted back onto Luann and her friends. Could be worse, I suppose. We could be following Gunther.

Not much has happened in Mary Worth, because Mary has spent the last two weeks recapping the plot for Olive's parents and then again for Toby, but we did find out what Olive's mysterious powers were warning her about.

Mary Worth, 2014-08-09.

"Agree to it or not, the procedure has to be done." says Ed.
"It won't be with Dr. Kapuht!" says Evy. "I still don't understand why Olive dislikes him! He seemed fine to me!"
"Kids have peculiar likes and dislikes." says Ed. "Mary said Olive's very sensitive. Maybe something about him struck her the wrong way!"
Meanwhile (at the hospital?), doctor Kapuht rolls up his sleeve to inject himself with something.

So I guess he's meant to be a drug user? There are no labels, so it's impossible to tell what he's actually injecting, so it could be something completely legitimate and above board. I guess this means that he isn't going to turn out to be Satan. What a disappointment.


Weekend Workshop: I've been busy

Based on The Amazing Spider-Man, 2014-07-18.
J Jonah Jameson has no sense of humour.

Based on Funky Winkerbean, 2014-07-28.
The original colouring made me think Les was shirtless, so I edited it so he was. There's no deeper meaning or joke to this.

Based on Ballard Street, 2014-07-28.
Original caption: "Steve's pretty sure now he's lost his drive."

Based on Red and Rover, 2014-07-31.
None of you are safe.

Based on Luann, 2014-08-01 and Inspector Danger's Crime Quiz, 2014-07-01 and 2014-07-28.
Anyone who reads Inspector Danger can tell you that this is absolutely what would happen if he investigated TJ.

Based on Luann, 2014-08-01 and Jane's World 2014-08-01
But it turns out that TJ was innocent!


Sitcom Thursday: Kids today! Some gizmo!

Crankshaft, 2014-08-07.

Ed, Pam and Jeff are lined up at a food truck called "Dogs of Death"
"We take a hot dog in a glazed donut bun, coat it with butter, wrap it with cheese and bacon, dip it in our special beer batter and then deep-fry it." says the vendor.
"Hence the name..." says Jeff, as though he's being clever in some way.

That sounds disgusting. Iced doughnuts on their own are pretty bad, but what would possess a person to combine one with a hotdog? The butter is clearly gratuitous, but can't improve matters. Cheese and bacon go fine with a hotdog, but again you run into the problem of the doughnut just ruining everything. And then you further compound the issue by deep-frying it.

I tried to eat a deep-fried hotdog once. It was awful. I'm normally a person who enjoys some horrible, greasy food, especially if it's been sitting in a bain-marie for a while. And there are very few foods I won't eat. Off the top of my head, blue-vein cheese is about the only thing (although I do draw the line at anything that could kill me; I don't care how much better raw milk supposedly tastes, I'll take mine pasteurised). But I couldn't finish a single battered hotdog. I had to throw it out and get something else to eat. This sounds far worse.

Ben, 2014-08-07.

Nicholas is lying on the grass staring intently at a plant. Patty comes out to investigate.
"What're you doing?" she asks.
"Watching this bug." says Nicholas. "It's quite interesting ..."
He continues to watch the bug. Patty returns inside.
"And there he was, just lying outside!" she says. "Fascinated! No video games! No screens of any kind!"
"Wow!" says Nathan, who obviously doesn't care.

Drabble, 2014-08-07.

Patrick is sitting on his bed doing something with his phone. Norm is at his desk doing something with his laptop. Penny is on a beanbag with some kind of phone or tablet. June wanders from room to room, observing them in silence.
"I liked it better in the old days, when their bedroom floors were cluttered with toys!" she thinks.

It's interesting that those two previous comics should appear on the same day, not only as each other, but also as this:

The Buckets, 2014-08-07.

"Look at all this ridiculous twaddle people put on Facebook!" says Frank. "I swear..."
Meanwhile in the past...
"it makes..." says a man watching television.
Further in the past...
"me lose..." says a man listening to the radio.
Still further in the past...
"my faith..." says a man reading a newspaper.
And back to the dawn of man...
"...in humanity." says a caveman, looking at a painting on a cave wall.


Philosophical Friday: A new concept in comics that I hope never to experience again

Tina's Groove, 2014-07-14.
OK, you've got to listen to this. Now try to make it all the way through the week. That's certainly... something.

Dog Eat Doug, 2014-07-31.
There's no way that that bird could have been hidden from the dog. It's hidden from us, but the dog is looking at the scene from a totally different angle.