1. Dagwood suspects that Herb is sandbagging, in order to win their annual “who can stage the most impressive lighting display” contest, and was trying to press him for more information. Since Herb is a very close neighbor (possibly immediately next door), it makes perfect sense for Dagwood to park in his own driveway and continue talking while Herb walks to his own front door.

  2. Kilby probably has it, though that seems to depend on a lot of in-strip knowledge. The thing I noticed is that the penultimate panel sets up what could be a decent punchline about “seeing the light” and then it just doesn’t follow through.

  3. Kilby definitely has it, and it definitely relies on the knowledge that this is the sort of thing Herb and Dagwood engage in regularly. And it relies on the knowledge that they’re next-door neighbors and both need to walk a similar distance from wherever the car is parked.

  4. PS3, though he diidn’t get a kiss, it seems he did get what he was looking for — confirmation of Herb’s sandbagging (as Kilby so accurately puts it). However, it isn’t really clear what the confirmation is. Maybe, as Dag’s dialogue with Blondie suggests, he’s been noting the deliveries Herb has gotten all year; or maybe just that Herb is not a good poker face.

    As beckoningchasm starts to develop, there is a motif of light throughout. It’s visually dark up to the final, indoor panel – maybe simply because they get home at a time of day when it is dark out, at this season. But there is a practical tactic — the dark serves on the one hand to conceal the start of placement of lights and wires, but would also make any turned-on decorations stand out.

    Lately I’ve been enjoying the poem “I Know a Man” by Robert Creeley, and apropos to this discussion I thought of the lines:

        the darkness sur-
    rounds us, what

    can we do against

  5. You might as well enjoy the whole thing, it’s short.

    I Know a Man


    As I sd to my
    friend, because I am
    always talking,—John, I

    sd, which was not his
    name, the darkness sur-
    rounds us, what

    can we do against
    it, or else, shall we &
    why not, buy a goddamn big car,

    drive, he sd, for
    christ’s sake, look
    out where yr going.

    (Yes, the title of the novel “Drive, He Said” and the film based on it, come from that line in the last stanza.)

  6. @Raymond, yes that’s what we generally think. Stan, in his send-in message, was wondering about why they had that long walk home. I guess he wanted to chat (and probe the lights stuation!) so accompanied Herb from the Bumstead driveway or pavement to Herb’s home. Or as others have suggested, maybe there’s an unexplained need to park more distantly from both properties and they are walking from the parking area to their mutual home vicinity. That is, maybe it’s not quite as standard-suburban as we suppose.

  7. “…it makes perfect sense for Dagwood to park in his own driveway and continue talking while Herb walks to his own front door”

    Perfect sense? You’re a better friend than I. I wouldn’t do this, especially if he lived just next door. Also, if someone I was carpooling with offered to walk me all the way to my front door apropo of nothing, I’d find it a little bit creepy to be honest.

    You’ve got a point though…if he was continuing to talk, then maybe he’d walk him over just to finish up the discussion. That makes sense. However, he’s not continuing to talk, he’s started a new conversation. I guess this might make sense though if he is fishing for information about an annual light challenge, which I was unaware of. But couldn’t he have brought this up in the car on the way home?

    FWIW, I think you’re correct in your analysis, the situation just seems awkward and overly-contrived to me. However, it is Blondie. How much should I expect?

  8. I just noticed that everyone has normal eyes, except for Dagwood and Alexander. They’ve got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. Don’t seem to be livin’.

  9. What can we do against the dark? Nothing, just appreciate it. If there’s no dark, there are no stars.

  10. I don’t know if it’s a hard and fast rule, but it seems the male characters and animals (i.e. Daisy) have the soulless black dots for eyes while the women have normal eyes. Mr. Dithers is the exception, since his eyes are “hidden” by his glasses.

  11. I think the comic would have been a bit better if Herb’s response in Panel 1 was “Oh?” That would indicate that it was unusual and puzzling, but then lead into the talk about the lights. As far as taking him all the way home, I would depend a bit on which house was reached first on the way. Of course, there’s the question of why Dagwood didn’t bring this up while they were driving.

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