5. Stone Soup and Incest
Apparently, incest is a popular theme among neglected gag strips, because here we have culprit #2. Stone Soup is a relative newbie to the comic scene, having only been around since 1995. Spending the majority of its life in newspaper obscurity, however, has not stopped it from dipping its toes into just-plain-icky territory.
The boy in question here is remarking about how hot Aunt Val is. He's not just calling her that because she's a close family friend that he's known since childhood: she is very much his aunt. Yes, it's extended - the boy is the nephew of Val's sister's husband - but do YOU lust after YOUR stepfamily? And even if you do, would you talk about it to the significant other of the family member you're lusting over? Because that's her boyfriend on the right, doing everything he can to not murder the boy in broad daylight.
It's too bad the author stopped at a mere roll of the eyes. You already wrote in incestual lust; why NOT illustrate the inevitable beating that kid got for opening his yap? That boyfriend would've immediately become a new hero of the ages.
4. Heathcliff Shits On Birds
Yeah, this guy's still around. That cartoon you watched as a kid when you were snowed in, and could find absolutely nothing else to watch, barely scrapes by as a single-panel comic strip that has long run out of ideas. It's pretty much "Heathcliff does something." And usually that something is patently uninteresting.
He's been irrelevant since 1988, when his show got cancelled, so this has left both cat author plenty of time to stew, brood, and snap. This would explain why Heathcliff decides to take revenge on birds crapping on his head, by sitting on a wire and doing the exact same thing. Yes, Virginia: there is scat humor on your daily funny page.
That's pretty risqué, and completely disgusting once you factor in the size of the loaf versus the victims, but it's better than yet another day of being Garfield for people who can't handle the cerebral humor of "I like lasagna."
3. Luann And Underage Boobies
Luann is our basic strip about a family and their daughter. At first glance, this particular gag isn't all that cringe-inducing. She's displaying what her shirt says, and the guys interpret this as HEY EVERYONE PLEASE STARE AT MY CHEST. What a wacky, vaguely sexist misunderstanding.
But that in itself is not worthy of staring at the strip and wondering what the writer could possibly have been thinking. No, THAT'S reserved for staring at the strip and realizing the chest-jutting girl is 16 years old. In case you weren't aware (and you damn well better be,) 16 is too young in almost every state and in many, many countries. More than likely, you live in one of those countries, and one of those states. So if you bought a paper on August 15th, 2008, you too could've been leering at underage cartoon boobies, in between guesses at the day's Junior Jumble.
In fact, you're doing that right now. The fact that it's a cartoon means nothing in the eyes of the law. So turn your eyes away now, lest To Catch A Predator suddenly take a very keen interest in your reading habits.
2. Zits And Jiggly Mom Boobs
Zits is the youngest strip of the bunch, having only been around since 1997. It's more than made up for lost time though, by becoming as formulaic and predictable as any other gag strip out there. A teenage boy does teenage things and remains a teenager for all eternity. Does this get old after a while? Of course it does. So the writer randomly decided to spice things up by showing some bouncy boobage. Sadly (or perhaps inevitably,) they took one of the easiest attention-grabbing routes on the planet, and managed to do it 1000% wrong.
Don't worry about the police; the boobs are legal this time. VERY LEGAL. Jeremy (the teenager) walks in on his Mom dancing, while simultaneously setting the Guinness world record for jiggliest breasts in the history of animation. The Dead Or Alive games wish they had this much bounce, though they would probably cry foul over Jeremy's mom sporting less than 42JJJ's. How dare she.
Oh, and in case you were wondering why this gag exists, the answer is pretty much the same as all the other strips: because why not?
1. Big Nate And Animal Suffering
Big Nate only took 22 years to run out of ways for a smart-aleck little boy to remain both fresh and smart alecky. This is understandable; even Bart Simpson gave up on the whole "Eat My Shorts" thing real fast. Sadly, in the gag-a-day world, you're not allowed to evolve like that; if you're a smart-aleck in the beginning, you're a smart-aleck to the end.
Luckily, nobody cares anymore, so why not add a little animal cruelty to your wise-acre flavor? Nate's supposed to be dog sitting an already badly-injured dog, but is clearly ignoring the poor pup's needs in favor of hanging with a local old lady. And, of course, the dog gets his tongue stuck onto an icy pole. This is bad enough on its own, but the punch line - Nate shouting "AGAIN?" - adds an extra degree of horror and heartbreak that the gag had been sorely lacking up to that point.
We have no idea if the strip's author truly hates dogs. We do know, however, that he finds their suffering hilarious. He also deems it irrelevant to everyday life, as Nate is in no way punished or reprimanded for this blatant neglect. The next day's strip is a joke about men giving women vacuum cleaners as gifts, because men are like this, but women are not like this, and LAUGH DAMMIT. Or don't; the funny pages honestly couldn't give less of a shit either way.