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Metal machine music

Apartment 3-G, 2/2/12

I was going to make fun of Dan Diller for having a studio full of primitive, Eisenhower-era electronic equipment, but then I noticed that the UNIVAC I unit in the background seems to have sprouted a mechanical arm between panels one and two. “WHO’S LAUGHING NOW, FLESH-UNITS?” the vacuum-tube-controlled machine barked out, as its deadly new limb dealt out death to all biological life.

Beetle Bailey, 2/2/12

You know, much as I root with varying degrees of subtlety for legacy comics to one day realize that they’re relics and that they should just pack it all in, I admit that it can be hard to come up with a suitably dramatic ending for decades of newspaper comics entertainment. But I think we can all agree that, say, having all of your irritating characters being eaten by bears, one by one, would probably be a good showing.

Hagar the Horrible, 2/2/12

Hmm, it seems Helga has been saying for three years that she asked God to improve her husband ten years ago, which is chronologically confusing. Perhaps instead we are meant to understand that all of Hagar the Horrible takes place in some fractured, Tarantino-esque chronology, where we jump back and forth between different episodes (the castle raid, the shipwreck, etc.) in a non-linear fashion. Thus, assuming this is actually the same incident as the previous strip, my speculation in 2009 that Helga will offer the Nordic pantheon human sacrifices if they would only hear her plea seems to finally be confirmed.

Mary Worth, 2/2/12

Whoa, it looks like Nola isn’t just a sinister sexual she-predator; she’s a master of interpersonal judo as well! Rather than attempting to escape Mary’s meddling powers, she’s instead turned her opponent’s greatest strength into a weakness. All she has to do is ask for tips on bedding every man in the condo complex; Mary, having sworn the Biddy’s Oath to always offer friendly advice, will be forced to aid and abet her reign of erotic terror.

Phantom, 2/2/12

Meanwhile, the Phantom is infiltrating the lair of the Ten Tigers, a sinister Chinese crime syndicate! I’m glad to see that bloodthirsty Asian gangsters use the exact same speakerphone that I’ve seen in every conference room in every bland, low-slung suburban office building I’ve ever been in.

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