Sunday, May 21, 2006

Deep Subject

In today's strip, Beetle Bailey goes a long way towards cementing its reputation as the finest comic in the newspaper. You may need to open it in a seperate window to see it properly. Posted by Picasa

So for starters, we have 5, count em' 5, straight one-liners from that ever-hilarious idiot, Zero. In a typical strip, any one of those could have been the punch line. The fourth panel is my favorite; as if the "bend over" command weren't blunt enough, the doctor is actually pulling on a big rubber glove over his stubby, poorly-drawn hand.

But the final panel is the real reason Greg and Mort are still the champs (Wait, it takes two people to draw this strip? And they have the same last name? What are they, gay?). Not only does Zero deliver his unintentionally ironic but zanily hilarious final comment ("I think he needs to see a doctor." And he's a doctor! Get it?), but the good doctor himself can be seen in his office, GUZZLING DOWN AN ENTIRE BOTTLE OF WHISKEY.

I seriously did a double take the first time I saw that. I thought "Wow, what a HILARIOUS joke about alcoholism!" But then I realized: maybe the doctor is not a habitual drinker. Perhaps it was just the gnawing, maddeningly persistent stupidity of our man Zero that drove the doctor to the bottle. Rather than banging his head against a table or burying his head in his hands (both classic cartoon character signs of exasperation), he has decided to DROWN HIS FRUSTRATION IN THE DEMON-RUM.

I guess this could be worse. The doctor could be shooting up heroin, or popping some self-prescribed pain pills, or cutting himself. Hell, that probably would have been a more realistic depiction of how the doctor would deal with his problems. But the whiskey bottle is the first place Greg and Mort go. Perhaps there is a deeper meaning to be found here.

Maybe the doctor represents Greg and Mort, and they are examining their own intractably stupid creation, the Beetle Bailey comic strip, appropriately represented here by Zero. At the end of their evaluation, they find it (and by extension themselves), fatally lacking. Rather than confronting and mercifully destroying their creation, they decide to keep fooling themselves and settle back for a long evening of drinking alone in the office.

You think that was reading too much into a Beetle Bailey strip? Wait until I get to Dennis the Menace.

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9 Comments:

At 5:20 PM, May 21, 2006, Blogger hannah said...

mark trail!

MARK TRAIL!

 
At 8:47 PM, May 21, 2006, Blogger constant_k said...

Also in today's Dispatch: Yet ANOTHER jason houle article. Well, you know what they say: the most dangerous place in Brainerd is between Jason Houle and Jodie Tweed.



Zing!

 
At 9:34 PM, May 21, 2006, Blogger keuber said...

what about jennifer stockinger?

whoops, she might not understand that one. i'll rephrase:

wut abot jennifer stukinjer!

 
At 11:49 AM, May 22, 2006, Blogger Amelia said...

There was also some unexpected humor and puns in the article about the 16 year-old who was shot at the 1500 peace rally in NE MPLS. It said: It was a blow to the otherwise "moving" and "inspiring" atmosphere of the night.

 
At 3:52 PM, May 22, 2006, Blogger Josh said...

Max, leave this to The Comics Curmudgeon.

 
At 8:30 PM, May 22, 2006, Blogger constant_k said...

Aw, fuck off mattson.

 
At 10:00 PM, May 22, 2006, Blogger Josh said...

i actually didnt say that

 
At 10:07 PM, May 22, 2006, Blogger constant_k said...

Oh, sorry.

Aw, fuck off, Capelle.

 
At 9:21 AM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Houley said...

There should be at least two more jason houle articles in the next week, so don't worry about not getting your fix.

 

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