Mary Worth, 4/2/14
Just as I had hoped, this Mary Worth Tommy storyline is so amazing that its amazingness is bleeding over into the non-Tommy parts, including Iris and Wilbur going on this fantastic sandwich date. (The date, as Monday’s strip revealed, is taking place at “Jerry’s Sandwich Shop,” which was presumably once a humble lunch counter that Wilbur single-handedly transformed into what’s clearly a full-service sandwich palace, because he bought so many sandwiches.) As you can see in panel one, Wilbur has purchased the Longer Than It Is Wide Special, whereas Iris went with the more standard Perfectly Square model. Both sandwiches are, in keeping with Jerry’s relentless focus on quality, entirely monochromatic, with bread, ingredients, and condiments all the same uniform orange color. In panel two, our two lovebirds show themselves to be true sandwich aficionados: just as a wine connoisseur will take a deep sniff out of their glass and swirl a swig around in their mouth to appreciate the subtle flavors rather than just gulp their wine down thoughtlessly, Wilbur and Iris will spend twenty minutes rubbing their sandwiches against their lips while staring ahead with dull, lifeless eyes, in order to really get the most of out their Jerry’s experience.
Mark Trail, 4/2/14
I know Mark Trail is basically the Kama Sutra of ludicrously stilted dialogue, but “No sir, I would just like to speak to Mr. Trail!” strikes me as even more like something a group of aliens wearing an ill-fitting human skin-suit would say than usual. This may explain why, sometime between panels one and two, our friendly policeman lost two inches and got a different haircut and head-shape.
Dennis the Menace, 4/2/14
“Dennis reveals his parents’ financial troubles to horrified partygoers” is definitely a step up in the menace game! Also, kudos for the municipal water district in the Mitchells’ leafy suburb for calling with shutoff warnings after business hours, I guess?
Apartment 3-G, 4/2/14
I guess Lily is just going to have wait back in the car for however long it’s going to take for newly near-widowed Tommie to strike up a flirtatious romance with Dr. Riley, the sassy large animal vet. “Wait a minute, Josh,” you’re asking. “How can you be sure they’re flirting? Also, where’s this horse they’re talking about?” The answer to both questions is that that “horse” and “colt” are both euphemisms for Dr. Riley’s penis.
Gil Thorp, 3/26/14
The interminable winter Gil Thorp plot about … wardrobe malfunctions? or something? … has blessedly ground to a narratively unsatisfying halt, and now we’re getting the run-up to the spring plot, which, though it appears to be equally brain-dead, at least features one of the irritating teen characters being repeatedly and comically injured. Sadly, panel three here depicts zany and accident-prone baseball star “Lucky” Haskins being doused with root beer after suffering two self-inflicted black eyes — I say “sadly” not because I object to this humiliation (I most certainly do not) but because at first glance it might look like he’s being taken over by the sinister “black oil” virus from the X-Files, which would make for a more interesting plotline by an order of magnitude.
Mary Worth, 3/26/14
[GASP] TOMMY YOU CAN’T GO DOWNTOWN!!! DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT AWAITS YOU THERE? Mary Worth went downtown once, years ago, and barely escaped with her life! How can a vulnerable young addict, still fragile in his recovery, grapple with a hellscape like this and expect to escape with his soul intact?
Panel from Mary Worth, 8/7/05
Stay safely in the suburban zones, Tommy, if you value your life … and your sanity.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 3/26/14
I can’t imagine any USDA inspectors or other allies of the “revenooers” attempting to do their jobs in Hootin’ Holler, so I have to assume that the inhabitants have established their own method of agricultural regulation to make sure they don’t poison each other with the produce of their tiny, hardscrabble farms. While surely we can see the advantages to such a system, there are disadvantages too, as Loweezy is discovering. And anyway, isn’t even a local and voluntary rating system for butter a shadow of the encroaching and sinister government Leviathan? Why don’t the Smifs just fill out an IRS Form 1040 Schedule F (Profit or Loss From Farming) while they’re at it? Looks like some folk are going to have to decamp to an even less accessible holler before this whole place goes to hell.
Apartment 3-G, 3/26/14
For the record, Tommie is taking several days to describe how she tracked down a large animal vet by talking to a minor government official in a small town in Upstate New York, so, you know, don’t worry, because suspense isn’t really going to be involved in this equation.
Mary Worth, 3/25/14
Oh, hey, what’s going on with Tommy the ex-con’s failing attempts to reintegrate himself into society? Well, today what’s up is that Tommy was sitting on his mom’s bed looking at Internet pornography all day instead of trying to find a job. As hilarious as Tommy’s facial expression in panel two is, I’m mostly fascinated by his feet in panel one. I know in my heart of hearts that he’s just supposed to be wearing white tube socks and there’s a little bit of a shadow falling from his feet onto the sheet, but it really looks to me like he owns white patent leather shoes with dark heels à la Pee-wee Herman and has chosen to wear them while sitting on his mom’s bed and looking at Internet pornography.
One of the things that amuses me about my relationship with B.C. is that I’ve read it daily for more than a decade and yet there are multiple named characters that I literally have never been able to tell apart in any way. I mean, I know that these two here are “Clumsy” and “Curls,” because they actually have distinct character designs, but there are also “Peter” and “B.C.” and (I think?) “Thor” and I cannot tell you anything specific about any of them. This may explain why one of those guys died in fiery agony almost a year ago and I never even noticed he was missing.
Hagar the Horrible, 3/25/14
The thing I like about today’s Hagar the Horrible is that invites you to imagine the hours of inept rowing leading up to this exchange. “Okay, they … they still haven’t figured it out,” Hagar thinks. “Should I say something? No, they need to learn for themselves. If they ask, I’ll say something. God, they’re still doing it. Is this the dumbest Viking band in all the North? Was it even worth it to brutally kill my father’s cousin in single combat to win their loyalty? Don’t say anything, don’t say anything, don’t say anything, let them ask, let them ask, let them ask…”