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Anniversapost: Comics Curmudgeon: Year Six: Mark Trail fights the power

By the sixth year of this blog’s existence, I had pretty much gotten into the groove of what the soaps had to offer. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when some of the plots of 2009-10 shook things up! For instance, Mark had always been a straight-arrow, law-abiding citizen … right up to the time he literally punched a cop in the face.

Don’t worry, Mark didn’t turn evil; it’s just that Rusty was being foolish and got trapped under a car and Mark broke into a store to find a jack but got caught and that sheriff just wouldn’t listen to reason!

In Apartment 3-G, it was the year of delightful Bobbie Merrill, who weaseled her way into the Professor’s practice to get some sleepytime pills, then won his heart with gift baskets and poinsettias and manic episodes. Later, she bought a gun to take out her real target — her estranged husband, Margo’s dad! Turns out she was the one who raised Margo as her own even though Margo’s bio-mom was the maid, which explains a lot about Margo. There was an armed staircase confrontation that sort of petered out, and eventually she was bundled off to a farm private psychiatric facility upstate. The following conversation between Ari and the doctor who referred Bobbie to him demonstrates the low state of professional psychiatry in the A3Giverse:

(And it hasn’t gotten any better lately, either.)

But the champion of long-lost not-relative storylines for Blog Year Six went to Mary Worth. It all began when Wilbur’s girlfriend left town. Left to his own devices, he decided to have a little fun online!

Only to get a very special message.

Kurt Evans was the son of a lady Wilbur had romanced back in college, when he was young and mildly more believable as an object of sexual desire.

Kurt showed up unannounced and the two bonded over some good old-fashioned fishing! Everyone had a good time, except for Wilbur’s actual offspring, who was super not cool with it.

Kurt didn’t want to get a paternity test and Wilbur didn’t push it, which led Dawn to take matters into her own hands and track down Kurt’s real paternal aunt, a delightful drunken snob.

Eventually Kurt agreed to the paternity test, then skipped town before he could be revealed as a fraud, much to Wilbur’s distress and Dawn’s shame. It turned out he just wanted to have a little male bonding time with the least objectionable of his mother’s many paramours, in preparation for his own impending fatherhood, which, good luck with your many inevitable psychological problems, future Kurt Evans-spawn! The two never saw each other again, but at least they’ll always have the memories of their frolicking.

Their frolicking.

SO MUCH FROLICKING. SO MUCH.

Anyway! Tomorrow, year seven: gripping political drama, more drunken loutism, and the first (and last) adventure the A3G gals had together in years!

Metapost: Patriotic comments of the week

Getting the comment of the week out early, y’all, so I can spend the day celebrating the independence of USA America! WOOO!

“I kinda want to tag whatever Ohio town Westview is supposed to be with ‘LISA LIVES!?’ and perhaps ‘¡¿VIVA LA LISA!?’” –Voyage of the Oversnark

And let’s set off some fireworks for the runners up, who are also very funny!

“Figures that in Id, PETA is more active than Amnesty International.” –Marcus Theory

“I don’t think those are ice chips Mary is adding. I think they’re communion wafers, and she wants to see if the little prophetess Olive bursts into flames when she consumes them.” –Fritz G

Lust for Lisa is it? Apparently the term ‘cancer porn’ is going to become a whole lot more literal than anyone here ever imagined.” –dmsilev

“My favorite, favorite thing about the Mrs. Pierpont revelation is that it’s happening in the throwaway panels in a Sunday strip. I have a new dream where all of the crime stuff happens in Sunday throwaway panels, gradually leading up to Mrs. Lanning getting gunned down in a warehouse on some random Wednesday, after months of foreshadowing in the two panels per week that a huge chunk of the readership doesn’t even know exists.” –Roto13

“The Cinemax-esque name Lust for Lisa may seem like a dopey joke about Hollywood’s creative bankruptcy, but it’s actually a brilliant illustration of how the humanity of the Funkyverse has diverged from our own. Freud posited that human psychology is formed from two equal but opposing drives: Eros, the drive for life and sex, and Thanatos, the drive for death and self-destruction. In the Funkyverse, however, Thanatos clearly conquered and absorbed Eros long ago, leaving a human race for which lust is inexorably linked to misery and death. That’s why the story of a woman’s lingering death of cancer has a porn title: for this sad alternate humanity, cancer is the only porn they have.” –MisterMahan

Judge Parker: “The narration box suggests that Sam getting the mail is exciting; I respectfully disagree.” –Master Softheart

No shoes, no service! Get out, by order of the Health Department! Of course, feel free to crap where ever you are.” –hogenmogen

“In the competitive field of slut-shaming, Dennis’ mere words are no match for Margaret’s glare of pure, unadulterated contempt. I assume she’s wearing a black ribbon to show that she’s in mourning for the innocence of the world which is now lost through the wanton behavior of Joey’s dog.” –Joe Blevins

Mary Worth: “Olive’s parents are so wrapped up in each other, they’re totally ignoring her Wednesday Addams cosplay. They should understand she can’t go swimming without a proper black Victorian bathing suit.” –batgirl

“Lisa doesn’t really live, per se, in the rewrite. We’ve decided to go the horror route. Les and Miguel rush forward to greet her, she opens her parched lips and moans ‘caaaaaaaancer.’ Then it’s all fake blood and practical effects involving pig guts from that point on.” –Voshkod

“Apparently pluggers’ favorite musicians also don’t include bands from the 60s who remain popular today, such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, or The Who. Are they … hipsters?” –Chyron HR

“Ha ha! The Keane kids are so used to the surveillance state that they just assume that anytime a cat does something funny somewhere in America, the NSA just uploads the footage automatically.” –pugfuggly

“Don’t give up on your dream of YouTube fame so easily. Just this very day, newspapers around the country are publishing a comic strip about a bunch of kids watching a cat in an empty room. So anything is possible!” –Nekrotzar

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Anniversapost: Comics Curmudgeon: Year Five: Art, of a kind

One of the fun things about going over my blog history is seeing just how incredibly long it’s taken some plot points to play out. For instance: Judge Parker Senior’s awful unreadable book that everyone loves for some reason? That’s been a plot point in one way or another since 2008! In the first major plotline involving this cursèd tome, Sam was sent to nail down the ludicrous book advance a Parker deserves; he was in the middle of doing just that out on the golf course when his negotiating rival was gunned down by a sniper. The whole thing ended, as you might expect, with Sam standing by stone-faced while a SWAT team unleashed a hail of automatic weapons fire onto murderous, knife-wielding stripper named “Dixie Julep”.

Mary Worth spent the summer of 2009 trying her best to prevent a forbidden love between neglected wife Delilah and Charterstone resident lech Charlie. Despite Mary’s best efforts to physically separate them, Delilah only turned away from the road to harlotry when she saw the hellscape that was Charlie’s bachelor pad.

But my personal favorite plot of this year was a weird, rambling Mark Trail story where one of the weird but virtuous backwoods families Mark is friends with for some reason decided to call our hero in to take care of a problem with the local water table, somehow. The little girl in this family had a pet raccoon named Sneaky, and Mark shook its hand even though he was told up front that it was a filthy little criminal.

The lady in charge of the company draining the swamp met Sneaky too! Doesn’t he look adorable? Doesn’t he look not at all rabid or like he’s just thinking about biting you all the time?

Sneaky later escaped (to the extent that a wild animal leaving a house and going back into the woods can really be construed as “escaping”) and was eventually captured by a band of sinister backwoods folk who ran an illicit dog vs. raccoon fighting ring. There was log-chaining involved.

Mark intervened with both his fists and some opinions about the legality of the whole scene.

This was, hilariously, local front page news, and the raccoon fightmaster, who was named “Rabbit,” was hired by sinister corporate interests to run Mark out of town. This failed, obviously, though Andy the dog did have to lick Mark free from some kidnappers. In the end, water was restored to the swamp, and Sneaky was free … free to plot against us. He’s still plotting today. They say in the night you can hear his sinister chittering.

Anniversaposts will return on Monday! Stay tuned for a review of year six of this blog, which I dubbed “The Year of the Bastard” for reasons that will become delightfully apparent.