Take a gander at today’s strip. Truly fowl, it swan of the worst yet. Remarkably, it manages to come across more dated than the similarly-themed 43 year-old strip seen below:
Dinkle can’t write despite making an honest(ly awful) effort, Les couldn’t-can’t-won’t write unless it is about someone who died a decade prior, the late Livinia wouldn’t write… I’m starting to see a pattern here.
Claude Barlow’s “tectonic scale” could probably be applied to today’s strip, and this week in general, which feels like it has been going on for eons.
What really throws me in these Dinkle-Barlow strips is that they come across simply as vehicles to deliver TB’s puns. That concept struggles when Dinkle is a character who otherwise isn’t at all disposed to being a mirthful pun-maker. It struggles further when Barlow, as an unseen character, seems to slide from being an unwitting pun set up to an unwitting pun-maker to a “humorously” terrible composer just to suit Dinkle’s TB’s mood. I get that the Barlow shtick was supposed to add to Dinkle’s over-the-top nature, and that kid of worked back in Acts I and II when he was an over-the-top character. Now, though, he’s a character that used to be over-the-top, like a guy who still wants his nickname to be “Animal” even though the only time he really got crazy was at a couple of parties in college. Now, this is just listless and out of whatever character Dinkle has remaining.
Today’s strip features a pun so tremendously corny that Dinkle had to pause for a second while typing it up to… uh, take notes on it? Maybe he had to write it down because it was so bad it crashed his WordPerfect AND broke the “oy” tag on Comics I Don’t Understand.
Oh, and here’s a remarkably prescient strip of Dinkle doing his Clade Barlow shtick way back in 1981, shortly before Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.
An old running gag
Pops back up in today’s strip
Oh goody, oh joy
The life and times of
Claude Barlow: Volume 7
Just volume 7?
Dinkle’s been working
On this Claude Barlow tome since
“Up your nose with a
rubber hose”, but with Dinkle
you’d need oil pipe
Really? Duck Pond huh?
Barlow’s talent limited
Kinda like Dinkle’s
This is more writing than seen
From Les and Pete both
The “new year” is about 10% over, but today’s strip doesn’t care.
So Dinkle has a basement full of unsold band candy… but just last year he was flown to Belgium and received an award for being the Van Houten chocolate company’s all-time biggest purchaser. That might seem odd, but I’ve actually seen something similar before. I believe the prosecutor called it “money laundering”.
It’s about time! I was wondering if we’d ever get there, but today’s strip finally gives us the call back to John Darling we’ve been expecting. Yes, Phil is terrible at his (former) job, just like he was back in 1979. Back then, making fun of the local weather forecaster was a comedy trend surpassed only by making fun of Billy Carter…
This strip appeared opposite an ad imploring you to come test drive the all-new Chevrolet Citation…
Oh, for Pete’s sake!
I remain baffled by the pie case at Montoni’s. Who eats pie there?
That’s a rhetorical question of course, nobody eats anything at Montoni’s. Not even Crazy, who is only ever seen there sipping a bottomless coffee or soda and avoiding his job. But still, what’s with the pie case?
Peer through this window into Dinkle’s wizzled soul.
Holy crap, Dinkle saves stuff. And he feels comfortable enough with this creepy habit that he willingly shows Lefty one of his collections. This one seems innocent enough – tufts of grass from each years’ band camp – but will he ever show her his other collections? The ones kept in that special room behind the hidden door in the basement? The ones lined neatly up on narrow little shelves lining the walls…tiny jars holding little trophies and mementos of past achievements and heartbreaks…
Look! Here are sets of false teeth, taken from the nightstands of women at Bedside Manor who received “special music lessons.” And those jars near the door with all of Hallie’s nail trimmings from when she was just a baby. There are many, many others…Harry had access to the locker rooms at Westview High for so very long, and even now he visits from time to time, to see if there is anything else he might want to…collect.