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Seriously, though, that gas-masked horse is a nightmare vision

Mary Worth, 6/28/12

Wow, so the letters that people write into Wilbur’s Ask Wendy advice column are … kind of abstract? I mean, usually people send notes to advice columnists with very specific questions, like “How can I convince my son to get a job and move out of the house?” or “What’s a polite way to tell my mother-in-law that how I cook isn’t any of her business?” or (scroll down to the second letter, which is the greatest letter to Dear Abby ever written) “My husband wants too much sex, should I let one of my horny friends sleep with him to take the pressure off me?” But if the letter we’re getting a glimpse of here is representative, Wilbur’s fans just write long, rambling diatribes about their overpowering ennui, full of sweeping, nonspecific complaints about our fallen age, and lacking any particular question or request for advice per se. Are these mopey types attracted to Ask Wendy because Wilbur himself is full of quiet but very deep despair, which radiates out on a frequency only other depressives can detect? Or do we have things the wrong way round — has Wilbur in fact been driven to the slough of despond by the incessant soul-crushing letters Wendy receives? You can see that Mary herself, normally indefatigable and chipper, is already buckling under the weight of sadness in panel one.

Wizard of Id, 6/28/12

In much cheerier news, the Black Death has arrived in Id, striking terror into the hearts of its inhabitants. If historical averages hold, the plague will kill a third to two-thirds of the characters in the strip, but we can always hope for more.

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