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Would pay good money to see Matthew McConaughey play Jeffy, honestly

Family Circus, 12/18/14

There’s a lot of things about this world that Billy doesn’t understand, because he’s too young or naive or aggressively ignorant, and one of them is, to quote Matthew McConaughey’s character in True Detective, that time is a flat circle. Billy still sees this Christmas season of forced morality in a linear fashion, as an obstacle to be overcome and then forgotten about. Jeffy wears a look of world-weariness that indicates that despite being younger he is the wiser sibling. There’s no end in sight. Santa is always coming again, sometime in the future, and is always watching, always weighing us against his system of mysterious and arbitrary ethics. All of us have to be good, forever.

Mary Worth, 12/18/14

Look, Mary, Hanna appreciates how you’ve helped bring her and Sean together, but she is not interested in you listening in on their duet, OK? It’s for Hanna’s pleasure, not yours. It’s for fun. She’s uncomfortable performing for third parties. Maybe someday, but for now, all her flute-playing will be happening behind closed doors.

It’s like a German expressionist movie, but even more depressing

The Lockhorns, 12/17/14

Kudos to the Lockhorns for occasionally giving us another angle on their “Leroy and Loretta passive-aggressively try to emotionally destroy one another in a mostly featureless hell-dimension” shtick. By another angle, I don’t mean thematically, of course; I mean a literal viewing angle. Today, for instance, Leroy responds to Loretta’s basic need for reassurance on her appearance with a cruel wisecrack while the two of them stand next to a doorframe and a mirror floating in an otherwise featureless-hell dimension, as you’d expect, but we’re looking up at the whole scenario from about knee height, which gives us both a close up on Loretta’s ass (demonstrating what gave rise to the conversation) and also a great look at Leroy’s looming gut spilling over his belt (demonstrating the lack of self-awareness that’s going hand in hand with his lack of tact).

Gil Thorp, 12/17/14

How is Gil following up his state football championship? Why, by keeping all the good players off the basketball team, that’s how! “I only do a half-assed job at coaching most years, so shouldn’t I be able to rest on my championship laurels and literally not even field a basketball team this year? Let’s see how many people I can convince to quit!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/17/14

Oh whoops it looks like Becka’s husband didn’t actually leave her for the sexy nutritionist co-worker he flirted with in 2009; that was just to establish his untrustworthy character in the very long chess game Rex Morgan has apparently been playing with us all this time. Anyhoo, I know Becka’s in a low emotional state, but she also appears to be in the 25-40 demographic, and therefore shouldn’t go around affixing the “cyber” prefix to whatever slur she’s applying to people just because they came into her life via the Internet, satisfying though it no doubt is.

Dennis the Menace, 12/17/14

“Cheer up, Mr. Wilson! All of us are on a one-way road with no exits, and its final destination is death!”

Chekov’s soap opera strip: Put a gun on the mantle and it must go off in the next decade or so

Hi and Lois, 12/16/14

I’ve never been entirely clear on how we’re supposed to understand the Thurstons’ class position relative to the Flagstons. I mean, they live in identical houses next door to each other and Hi and Thirsty work in the same office but Thirsty and Irma’s lives just always seem a little shabbier, somehow. Anyway, I own a number of thrift-store clothing items and feel that nobody should be ashamed of shopping at such places, so I’m pretty resentful about Lois’s super-smug facial expression in panel two. “Haha, guess you wouldn’t have to wear my grubby hand-me-downs like a poor person if your husband weren’t a drunk, eh, Irma? We’re ostensibly best friends!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/16/14

Oh my God, you guys, Rex Morgan is finally following through on a plot it set up literally five and a half years ago: Becka’s husband Peter worked with a sexy nutritionist, and Becka was jealous! Her suspicions were apparently fully justified despite Peter’s attempt to convince her otherwise. So see, she never particularly cared about academic independence over at the old community college or whatever the dumb faculty intrigue plot was about; she just had her heart broken! Also, in case you’re not reading along at home, Becka is telling all this to June as a way of explaining why she’s quitting her job at the clinic. A good thing to do when you’re emotionally devastated and restructuring your financial life after separating from your spouse is to give up your main source of income!

Funky Winkerbean, 12/16/14

Let’s say that, years ago you named someone in your comic “Funky Winkerbean,” to denote the happy-go-lucky nature of the character and the strip. It was the ’70s, so maybe drugs were involved. I’m not gonna judge! And then say that over the decades your strip became a charnel house of sadness and your character became a bloated, angry jerk. I think it’d probably be a bad idea to have anyone in the strip refer to him by a nickname like, for instance, “The Funk Man.” It’d just make everyone think about the name more, you know? You don’t want people thinking about the name.

Mark Trail, 12/16/14

“Say, Justin, this gives me an idea: what if you still built your titanium mine near the swamp, but then once you got the titanium out of the ground, you just admired it for a bit and then put it back? That’s a reasonable centrist compromise we could all agree on!”

Momma, 12/16/14

So Santa is an immortal magical being whose lifespan lies outside of time as we know it, and Momma is … roughly forty years younger than him? Sounds about right.

Heathcliff, 12/16/14

I like that, even in the iconography of his terrifying cult of personality, Heathcliff looks pretty bored.

Six Chix, 12/16/14

Ha ha, it’s funny because her mother died from melting, and they’re never going to hear from her again!