Though we may mock Curtis for the eternal clockwork-like return of its eight or so plots, in truth there is more than a little comfort that can be derived from this nonthreatening reliability; in this sense, the strip serves as a stand-in for the the newspaper comics section as a whole. So it’s a bit discombobulating when a new character is introduced, and even more so when an old character shows up in different circumstances. All Curtis trufans know that Derrick is always accompanied by his bullying partner “Onion,” and that when Curtis spots them, his thought balloon inevitably reads, “Oh no! Derrick and ‘Onion’!” But today we see that Derrick has put away childish things like friendship and has now entered the grown-up world of romance. And while it’s nice to see that he’s met someone who shares his core interests and horse-like laugh, it’s a little sad imagining “Onion” sitting somewhere with his hood cinched tightly around his face, bitter tears of abandonment running down his comically oversized nose.
Mary Worth, 11/30/10
Oh, God, this week is going to be all I hoped for and more, as a drunken, predatory Jill decides that she’s going to forcibly dance with any man who comes within arm’s reach. All reactions in soap opera strips are of course ludicrously overplayed, but I’m not sure why exactly Jeff’s face in panel two is framed by a nimbus of sheer panic. “Oh my God, Mary’s going to see me touching another woman! She’ll never agree to marry me now!”
I’m not sure what’s worse: the suggestion that the Perfesser’s car might have sexual needs, or the downright lascivious look the mechanic is sporting as he relays this fact. “Bet you never knew that cars had sex, did you? I’ve got some instructional videos on the subject around here … why don’t we watch them, and what happens, happens?”