Luann‘s gimmick is to tiptoe right up to an interesting plot development, pull out the rug, and slam the door on the reader’s nose. To pick just a few recent instances, will Luann and Quill get it on in the costume closet, with ensuing romantic complications? No. Did TJ finally cross the line, blowing up both his food truck and his friendship with Brad? Nope. Is Bernice’s new roommate Dez with all the ambiguously sketchy visitors a drug user? Nosiree. Will Brad and Toni any verb in the English language? Hahaha.
When every single plot is a cheat, you have to fall back on “character” to sustain interest. In Luann, “character” means Everybody Gets a Trait. Thus Stoic Brad, Nice Guy® Gunther, Vain Tiffany, Smart Bernice, Plucky Toni, Cynical NancyMom, Clueless FrankDad, Shady T.J., Outsider Knute, Noble Stereotype Delta, and Whoops! The music stopped, but there doesn’t seem to be a chair for Rosa — had her eye on the “Noble Stereotype” seat, I bet, but Delta’s pretty damn fast. Sorry, kiddo, you gave up Yale for this and didn’t even get the t-shirt.
“It’s a small world after all.”
And so to Peru, or at least the version of Peru that tarts up Lima’s J.W. Marriott hotel with accessories from Epcot Center to make it look more international-like.
Already we see signs of trouble – Gunther’s loving the tourist life but dreads the filthy Ebola-ridden cesspit he imagines this ‘clinic’ may be. Rosa’s bored because she’s traveling with Gunther, duh.
There’s a chance this mess could still work out. After all, Uncle’s outfit seems to be a little less the “impoverished villager pays with a chicken” type of clinic and a little more the “Managing Director jets off to Madrid for a ‘big conference’ on the NGO’s dime” type. So perhaps Gunther will find contentment in the clinic’s ultra-modern Histology Lab, quietly and expertly preparing tissue samples under bright lights amid purring coolers and gently gurgling circulators. Rosa, of course, will learn that the interns are all Yale grads who ridicule her polysyllabically as she mops. Ay, insuficientemente rápido de remanentes chica!
Hägar the Horrible, 8/25/14
Hägar instructs his men to mock their dying victims as a public-relations move. Makes you wonder what they were doing before.
Funky Winkerbean, 8/25/14
Coach Bull Bushka angles for a pity hire from a place called “DUI” in full view of his current employer, who has absolutely no problem with that. Or maybe Principal Green’s just in a good mood because Les is off today.
– Uncle Lumpy
Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/2/14
Aww, the formerly unsympathetic dean character has been humanized by this revelation of her loss! Of course, the last Rex Morgan character who was made more sympathetic by Iraq War-related factors turned out to be a dirty liar, so don’t switch teams in this gripping academic drama just yet.
Hagar the Horrible, 8/2/14
No matter how cheerful Hagar looks, he knows that his violent, terrifying, lawless existence is no way to live, and yearns for the peace of the grave.
TJ’s plots have kind of been in the doldrums lately, and so I approve of this new narrative direction, in which each of his ill-thought-out schemes ends in a fiery explosion and a fraudulent insurance claim.
Six Chix, 8/2/14
By “involvement” she means “having sex with and not using birth control,” I guess!
Beetle Bailey, 7/24/14
Soldiers are entitled to “… confidential, non-medical problem-solving counseling … provided by licensed, certified counselors on demand. Up to twelve (12) counseling sessions may be provided for each issue, at no cost to the Soldier or Family member.”
I suppose Dr. Bonkus can bill Amos and Martha Halftrack because they’ve needed hundreds of hours of counseling to fan this spark of romance from the ashes of their loveless union? Or maybe Bonkus bills them off-books for the use of his office because this is the only place they can get it on?
Alternatively: old-people sex, ew.
Funky Winkerbean, 7/24/14
After months of searching, Holly has at last located Starbuck Jones #115. The find was faked, of course – Comic John bought the comic in San Diego and had his pal plant it where Holly would find it, just as people have patronized and condescended to her at every step of her little odyssey.
No matter, though — Holly has found a way to bond with her son Cory by completing his collection while he serves in Afghanistan, drawing his cherished project to a close.
And this being Funky Winkerbean, somewhere in the hills of the Panjiwayi District, a sniper adjusts his windage. Somebody is going to get an authentic experience out of all this.
In fairness, though, that’s when the washer starts.
In its 30th year, Luann has finally taken the plunge and graduated its cast from high school. Insufferable do-gooder Delta is off to Howard University; second-string ethnic paragon Rosa Aragones spurned Yale for a job mucking out bedpans at her uncle’s clinic in “Peru” with dweeb Gunther in tow; and Bernice, Tiffany, and Quill will attend local “Moony Uni.” So, now, too will Luann herself, on the basis of a previously unseen gift for spatial reasoning, which fortunately requires no knowledge or effort to apply.
Our Moral: don’t waste your time learning and doing stuff — just wait for somebody to reward you for qualities you already possess. Our Motto: Inertia!
9 Chickweed Lane, 7/24/14
What, no chance for a Quigley here?
– Uncle Lumpy