Mark Trail, 8/18/16
Oh say, it looks like this new Mark Trail storyline isn’t going to be about whales after all! It’s going to be about ants, specifically invasive fire ants, who presumably set up a nest in the corpses of this amorous couple two years ago and have now evolved into unstoppable killers. Anyway, today’s panel two is definitely the best ever instance of Mark keeping a straight face while a government bureaucrat spells out an entire URL over the phone for some reason. While there really isn’t room in the panel to structure the word balloons this way, I like to think that the actual dialogue is something like this:
“That’s doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou dot”
“hungry pests dot com”
“Abbey, this all–”
“slash the dash threat”
“This all sounds like–”
“slash imported dash fire dash…”
Gil Thorp, 8/18/16
Marty Moon runs a radio show entirely dedicated to high school sports (and, apparently, the legal ramifications of the deaths of high school athletes). But it’s a well known fact that Marty is “out of touch” with the kids who should be making up the bulk of his audience. Today we learn that he doesn’t even have an app that teens can download to their beloved smartphones to get push notifications about the news they care about, along with messages from Marty’s sponsors and corporate partners! No, they’re getting texts from their parents about stuff Marty’s saying on the radio, which strikes me as very difficult to monetize.
Dick Tracy, 8/18/16
“I mean, why would I shoot my food, right? I could, I guess. Like if I shot my food a bunch of times, that’d break it up into bite-sized pieces. But that seems like way more work than it’s worth. Still, you know, for fighting and stuff, I think guns are the way to go.”
Mary Worth, 8/18/16
Ugh, Tommy, all the street hustlers in My Own Private Idaho did cool drugs, like heroin. You get your pills from the damn CVS, Tommy. That’s not cool at all.
Uh-oh, look at that graph. Dithers Construction Company’s profitability is tanking despite robust top-line growth. That indicates significant diseconomies of scale, probably because tightwad Dithers underinvested in staff and equipment for so long. Now every new project increases the company’s reliance on outside contractors, who take advantage of tight supply and exact their revenge for Julius’ endless chiseling by driving their prices relentlessly upward. The staff is right to be alarmed — Dithers’ panicky plan to “grow his way out of trouble” only advances the day when savage job cuts will fall without warning. But yeah, how about those Olympics?
Dick Tracy, 8/11/16
Whew! Team Tracy finally slowed its march through the character archives long enough to give us a week-long standoff between Dick and aspirational nemesis Abner Kadaver at Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls, scene of Sherlock Holmes’ (temporary) death at the hands of Professor Moriarty.
Kadaver is a high-end hit man whose body is actually decomposing from some ill-advised makeup experiments during his former career as a horror-show host. His mouth is strangely unaffected, maybe because he runs it nonstop.
Gasoline Alley, 8/11/16
There are two humanoid species in Gasoline Alley. The Round-Eyes include patriarch Walt Wallet, daughter-in-law Nina, granddaughter Clovia, the annoying Frank Nelson character, and various animals, children, and cops. The Coal-Eyes include sons Skeezix and Corky, Clovia’s husband Slim, and the Bump family here, Rover, Hoogy, and Boog.
Now of course a Coal-Eye mother may deliver a Round-Eye baby, that’s only natural and God’s plan and why would you ever ask such a thing. But I always thought they developed in the usual, uterine, fashion. Now we see that a Round-Eyeling actually inhabits its Coal-Eye mother as an insatiable parasite, consuming the body of its host from within until its eyes glare out from her hollowed-out sockets, silently shrieking “How long ’til I am born, to shed this skin-prison and feed free?”
Wow, the comics teach you something new every day, don’t they?
Sally Forth, 8/11/16
Hilary Forth has the exact same schtick as her father Ted. In any confrontation that makes her confront her future — here, confronting her literal future self — she panics and spews any nonsense she can think of to change the subject. And it works! Present Hilary can take comfort from the fact that Future Hilary apparently didn’t think it was a problem worth solving.
Maybe its just the thought-bubble and the scowl, but I think Egghead and Ant-Man are the same guy! I mean, ants lay eggs, right? — it totally makes sense. Egghead probably hatches twice the number of evil schemes he really needs and blames Ant-Man for the 50% that fail because of stupidity or bad luck. Then he writes a tiny, tiny note saying “I quit! Signed, Ant-Man” and leaves it where Spider-Man will find it and blab his “scoop” to the Bugle. Investors will then flock to Egghead’s schemes, figuring that with Ant-Man out of the picture they’ll be 100% successful!
I’m beginning to respect the evil genius of this Elihas Starr, even though he talks down to people with those big impressive $100 words like “equivalent” and “commence.”
Mary Worth, 8/2/16
So far this storyline has been mostly about how amazing Vicodin is at relieving both physical and emotional pain. And if taking a little Vicodin is good, then taking a lot of Vicodin is great! So what’s not to like about this drug? Well, it turns out that there are serious side effects, like the inability to count pills or even notice that the bottle you’ve been gazing at lovingly for weeks is almost empty! The solution: buy as much Vicodin as you can, so you never run out! Get your hands on it by any means necessary!
Gil Thorp, 8/2/16
Aw, Gil is going to make True Standish be nice to the guy whose main hobby is being an intense asshole about how his dad killed True’s ex-girlfriend/best friend. This raises some questions, like, doesn’t the baseball team have an actual captain Gil could do this half-asssed-intervening-by-proxy to? And shouldn’t True be getting ready to go off to college, seeing as it’s the first week of August and all?
Dick Tracy, 8/2/16
“In case you didn’t know it, she’s turned up again…”
[long, dramatic pause]
“…on social media!!!!!”
[everyone screams and screams endlessly because this is the most shocking thing they can imagine]