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I would describe Herb’s TV-watching expression as “aggressively sullen”

Herb and Jamaal, 1/31/13

So, when does a comic make the jump from “funny little joke about life’s foibles” to “horribly depressing”? In the case of today’s Herb and Jamaal, that moment came when the artist decided to add such vivid emotion to Sarah’s face in panel one, as she briefly mistakes Herb’s clumsy reach for the lamp as an attempt to touch her affectionately. Is he going to hug me? Could this actually lead to sex? Haha, don’t be silly, Sarah, you’ve reached a “comfortable” point in your marriage, if you define “comfort” as “a cold, numbing absence of strong feelings of any kind.”

Dick Tracy, 1/31/13

I think traditionally Dick Tracy has used arrow-box-labels to identify the bits of gee-whiz technology the strip’s law-enforcement characters usually deploy. But since things like two-way wrist radios have now been superseded by boring, ordinary cell phones, I guess they’re just now going to be pointing out random objects. Architectural details in early 20th century mausoleums? Skeletons inside said mausoleums, which is exactly the sort of place you’d expect a skeleton to be? Sure, why not!

Spider-Man, 1/31/13

Say, what’s our good friend the Amazing Newspaper Spider-Man been up to since he was physically present when Kraven’s plot was foiled? Well, after finding out that one of his old nemeses was up to his old tricks in San Francisco, he decided to hitchhike from Las Vegas to San Francisco, because of poverty. (Isn’t MJ making decent money as a Broadway actress, enough to subsidize a bus trip or perhaps even coach-class plane travel? Maybe she quite wisely refuses to give him access to her bank account.) Then the guy who picked him up tried to rob him at gunpoint, and then he crushed the barrel of the gun with his bare hands, without the usual seven strips of agonizing about “oh, no, my secret identity,” presumably because whatever happens on I-15 several hours outside of Vegas stays on I-15 several hours outside of Vegas. Today’s strip made me laugh because of how devastated our ne’er-do-well is at the prospect of spending a few minutes looking for his keys in a roadside ditch. I’m thinking if you threaten someone with a gun and he turns out to have superhuman strength, this is probably one of the better possible outcomes?

Slylock Fox, 1/31/13

“So, what’re you doing, bro? I’m just gettin’ baked, makin’ calls on my fuzzy phone, and taking a bath in a tub full of pancake batter.”

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