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Let’s get cheery

Hi and Lois, 11/23/15

Awww, looks like somebody has a case of the Mondays, if by “a case of the Mondays” you mean “a nagging realization that life is an joyless cycle of repetitive, meaningless tasks.” I think that’s what most people mean by it, right?

B.C., 11/23/15

B.C., meanwhile, reminds us that the Flagstons’ middle-class suburban ennui is itself a privilege, as many others see life not as a ceaseless loop of drudgery but a straight line that will be ending very, very soon.

Gasoline Alley, 11/23/15

That goodness, all that rude chatter is over and we can get what we came for: little kids telling weird ahistoric jokes on stage. Are the “!”s over our young Squanto and Pilgrim meant to represent solid, emotive method acting on their part, or are they genuinely surprised at Boog’s punchline? Is he improvising? Can you imagine children doing an improv Thanksgiving show? I can! It’d probably look a lot like this, to be honest. Maybe Walt and Skeezix missed the audience suggestions because they came in late.

Mark Trail, 11/23/15

Welp, seems like our no-neck Homeland Security goons had been following Ken and Mark all along by using drones to track Ken’s sweet skullmobile! They just figured they’d let our heroes take out the baddies on their own, without government agents getting involved unless absolutely necessary. They provide a better value to the taxpayer that way, you know?

Spider-Man, 11/23/15

Whoa there, random U.N. General Assembly delegate! You may come from a country with cool hats, but this is America and we don’t use imperious language like “Guards! Seize him!” Try some American law enforcement lingo instead. “Security, we need you to apprehend an Atlantean individual, behind the podium at this time. Suspect is weilding a trident-style weapon and is wearing a vest, repeat, vest.”

Our revels now are ended

Apartment 3-G, 11/22/15

WAITAMINUTE, HOLD UP, IT’S AFTER THE PROMISED NOVEMBER 21ST DATE AND APARTMENT 3-G IS STILL HERE? I’m assuming that this is the typical Sunday summary, giving readers a condensed version of the same weird, confusing, passive-aggressive not-conclusion that we saw in the daily strip. But wouldn’t it be funny, and in keeping with the shambolic vibe of this strip over the past couple of years, if they just sort of forgot to end it, and it was going to lurch on forever, unsupervised and out of control?

Anyway, I might as well take this opportunity to give Apartment 3-G a little send-off. I don’t think it’s a secret that it’s always been one of my favorites. On the control panel for my blog, I can sort all the strips I cover by the number of posts they appear in, which makes my preferences pretty clear:

It’s going to take a long time to displace Apartment 3-G from its number two spot. The strip’s quality might have fallen a lot from its glory days, but for most of the last decade it’s been a fun, frothy strip with a great three-cornered dynamic among the leads that I’ve enjoyed poking fun at and also genuinely, actually enjoyed. (Also, sorry to use this encomium to build buzz for myself, but the strip inspired one of the major plotlines in my novel, so it’s sad that the girls won’t live until publication day.)

I’m not sure if we’re ever going to learn what went so weird about over the last couple of years, but it’s bummed me out, and it’s bummed me out that a strip with such potential to be genuinely and unironically rebooted (I’ve said it a million times, but: A CONTINUITY STRIP ABOUT THREE LATE 20s/EARLY 30s PROFESSIONAL WOMEN LIVING IN NEW YORK, WRITTEN AND/OR DRAWN BY ACTUAL YOUNG WOMEN LIVING IN A BIG CITY, WOULD DO WELL) is just being put to bed instead. If you’re a comics big-shot, please contact King Features and see if they’ll part with the intellectual property. Until then I will pour one out for Margo, and for Lu Ann and Tommie, despite the fact that they haven’t appeared in the strip for a while now. I’m gonna miss these gals a lot.


Blondie, 11/21/15

Whenever I see a face in the comics that looks more face-like than the usual stylized conventions of whatever strip it’s in, I immediately assume it’s supposed to be a real person. Because I am vaguely attuned to pop culture but mostly an increasingly out-of-touch middle-aged man, my first thought about today’s Blondie was, “Wait, is what’s-her-name getting married? From The Hills?” Turns out no, she’s having a baby, and it’s spelled with an “i” anyway. So who’s this lady supposed to be, do you think? Someone who won a contest, or lost a bet?

Mary Worth, 11/21/15

“Serendipity” is a real restaurant in Manhattan that exists, and does indeed seem to have a hardcore tchotchke clutter aesthetic, so, kudos to Mary Worth for accuracy, I guess? Also, I honestly can’t stop thinking about my new theory that what we see in Mary Worth is in fact Mary’s own version of events, as told to someone else later. What I’m trying to say is that the dialogue here sounds like Mary’s rationale for kidnapping Olive away from people who “don’t make her feel good” because they “don’t understand her” (i.e., her parents).

Apartment 3-G, 11/21/15