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Comics archive! Mark Trail

Largely soapy Monday

Apartment 3-G, 10/20/14

Well, this is certainly the most shocking development in Apartment 3-G in some time: during Tommie’s multi-month absence, Margo hasn’t gotten bored and come up some new vaguely aspirational business plan, but has instead continued to be a publicist when the plot demands it! You might remember Skyler as the young starlet who Margo’s employee/sex slave/secret enemy Evan flirted with so that Margo would refuse to take her on as a client. Skyler used to be a brunette and then had black hair and now is a blonde, which is par for the course for actresses, I suppose. Less realistic is that she’s wearing a shapeless pink sweatshirt, or that she now looks more or less exactly like Lu Ann, or that Margo is a good enough publicist that anyone would try to hire her after she cruelly rejected them for no good reason.

Mark Trail, 10/20/14

Since this is Mark Trail, it’s a safe bet that the folks on TV here are aggrieved over some kind of nature or environmental issue, which makes me even angrier that, in an age of rapidly shrinking journalism budgets, Woods And Wildlife Magazine can still afford a high-rise office for its wholly out of touch top editor. Still, Bill Ellis’s uncanny resemblance to LBJ has never been more appropriate than it is here, as he smirks with hooded eyes at some damn hippies protesting on his television set.

Judge Parker, 10/20/14

Just in time for Halloween, and then for the seven to fourteen months after halloween: as darkness falls, the Parker-Driver clan is going to drive the Road Queen into a spooky, abandoned RV park! How many chainsaw-weilding murderers will be lurking there, and how much money will our heroes get as a reward when they arrange for those maniacs to be captured by the local police, with very little effort on their part?

Family Circus, 10/20/14

Remember the innocent days when the Keane Kids would cheerfully blame their transgressions on adorable ghost-things “Not Me” and “Ida Know”? Well, that’s all over now. Reality has set in. The kids know that nobody buys that crap anymore. One of them is going to have to take the fall. The question is: who? This will only be settled by an ugly outbreak of violence.

Beetle Bailey, 10/20/14

Ha ha, it’s funny because Beetle is injured and writhing in agony and begging Sarge to drive more carefully, which Sarge callously refuses to do! But the real joke is that all those injuries were almost certainly inflicted by Sarge in the first place.

Modern-day Hi lets his freak flag fly by wearing stripes

Mark Trail, 10/14/14

I got a lot of unsolicited feedback last week when I ignored Mark’s suggestion to Cherry that, after he finished fishing with Rusty, “maybe we could have target practice with the longbow.” Much of this feedback implied that “longbow” was a euphemism for something, probably something sexual in nature, and I refused to acknowledge these suggestions, for obvious reasons. Anyway, I’ll bet today’s strip sure has all you sickos feeling pretty foolish! Nothing erotic going on in today’s strip, just a couple of dudes talking about aligning their bodies and “release.” Mark originally proposed this as an activity he and Cherry could do together, but she’s actually nowhere to be seen, thank goodness.

Hi and Lois, 10/14/14

Hi and Lois has apparently decided to embrace its status as one of the squarest comics in syndication by just doing a whole week of “weren’t things different and maybe better in decades past?” Yesterday we had “Cars sure were larger and less fuel efficient back when gas was cheaper”; today we’ve got “remember when everyone used to watch TV, before the entertainment options available today existed?” Super psyched to see if they can drag this out for another four days!

Momma, 10/14/14

Momma has long been fascinated by parliamentary systems of government, and has indeed used a close variation on this joke pretty recently. Today’s strip does include one new element, though: Momma and MaryLou’s odd shared thought balloon. “Fair and square,” they both think in panel one, back when everyone is optimistic about how this debate is going to go, back before it was revealed that Momma thinks it’s “fair” to usurp executive power without receiving a vote of confidence from the democratically elected representatives of the people.

Blondie, 10/14/14

Aww, isn’t that cute, Mr. Dithers #gets #hashtags now! Unfortunately, the Blondie creative team doesn’t really #get that Twitter is not a texting or instant messaging service. Also, they didn’t manage to secure their #brand on this #social platform, seeing as @dagwood is actually a professor at Northwestern and @dithers is some guy who hasn’t tweeted since 2013!

Rusty must return the snake to the Yard Of Abandoned Animals Named “Lucky”

Better Half, 10/12/14

Like the Lockhorns, the Better Half just churns out a bunch of individual panels to fill its extra allotment of Sunday space. Unlike the Lockhorns, the Better Half attempts to link the panels together; they never create any coherent storyline, but rather present disconnected moments that circle around a few linked themes like some kind of avant garde non-narrative film. The sense of psychic dislocation this produces is really ramped up today, as all the jokes center on teeth, and dirty teeth, and tiny magical beings who come to you in the dead of night while your spouse is asleep and want to take your teeth.

Mark Trail, 10/12/14

“There are thousands of kinds of snakes, they are everywhere, and lots of them are poisonous and one kind can just straight up strangle a crocodile, as depicted in this nightmarish drawing. Also, about a third of people have this weird, irrational fear of them for some reason!”

Momma, 10/12/14

Welp, looks like the Hobbes family is about to be conquered and enslaved, assuming they survive the devastating diseases against which they have no immunity! Everyone is right to look horrified, in other words.