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The Flagstons: Down and out

Hi and Lois, 4/1/08

Poor Hi! Sure, he hasn’t gotten more than a meager cost-of-living wage increase from that tightwad Froofram in years, but he’s gotten used to the lifestyle that his realtor wife’s huge commissions made possible during the go-go housing boom of the mid-naughts. Now that she hasn’t sold a house in months, Lois can only stare cross-armed at Hi’s $16 bottle of wine, knowing that it’s put a substantial dent in this month’s grocery budget. Only Sterno will help the Flagstons drink away their pain for the foreseeable future.

Judge Parker, 4/1/08

Poor Gloria! All she wanted to do was live out her lifelong fantasy of making it with a guy with no legs, but it turns out that hero Steve is not only damaged physically, but mentally as well. Sure, you can forgive a guy who had a mine planted outside of his hut and gets mysterious packages in the mail for being a little paranoid, but it’s clear that he’s going to see conspiracies in every nice gesture anyone does for him — and that he’s not ready for a relationship. Gloria will just have to console herself with her back issues of Stump Humper a little while longer.

Marmaduke, 4/1/08

One of the fun things I like to do with the comics is to come up a whole hidden backstory behind the gag-a-day features. For instance, I like to imagine that Marmaduke’s owner is actually Adolph Hitler, who faked his suicide, escaped from his command bunker to post-war American suburbia, and got a Great Dane. His former position as absolute ruler of a continent makes the petty indignities of life with Marmaduke all the more infuriating. Today, for instance, we can see on his hate-twisted fate that he would like nothing more than to send the impertinent policeman and the damn dog to a concentration camp, but as it is all he can do is wave his hand in the air and rage impotently. Is it a fitting punishment for his monstrous crimes? Not really, but it’s kind of fun to see.

Gil Thorp, 4/1/08

The “drama” of today’s strip — Gil sends hapless assistant to hush up overbearing parent, hapless assistant fails miserably — is lame even by Gil Thorp standards. Still, it’s always nice to see some Milford kids on the verge of tears.

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