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Dick Tracy, 10/19/19

Earlier this month I went to that deciding Dodgers-Nationals playoff game where the home team’s seemingly comfortable lead melted away late in the game and turned into a rout, and there were definitely folks who started trooping out when things started going against the boys in blue even though there was still hope they could turn things around. And yeah, they all probably had much longer trips home than we did and wanted to beat traffic, but I’m a bitter-ender by nature, and always feel a certain frisson of contempt for people who go through the trouble and expense of seeing a live event but then don’t stay for the whole thing. Does that mean I endorse incapacitating, or possibly murdering, someone with a quick hypodermic to the neck if they want to get up and leave a performance of Our Town when the Stage Manager’s closing soliloquy has just begun? Well, not exactly, but I do understand why you might feel the urge to do it to them.

Gil Thorp, 10/19/19

It took me a while to figure out, but Chet, who’s determined to win his stepson’s love and/or respect by interfering in his high school athletics career, is the same Chet on the school board who Hadley V. Baxendale threatened to personally sue if he tried to stop a kid she knew from illegally attending school in a district where he didn’t live. This explains a lot about his motivation at this pivotal moment in the current storyline. He’s already had it rubbed in his face that rules and “doing the right thing” don’t matter, and the only way to get ahead in life is to have a powerful patron. Now he has the opportunity to use his own position of power to clear the way for a family member, and by god he’s going to take it.

Family Circus, 10/19/19

I’m an only child of parents who separated before I was three, and while I’m not going to deny it caused some emotional bumps in the road for me growing up, it also wasn’t without certain advantages for a boy who did not and still does not particularly like sharing things or space with other people. So yeah, I relate to Gary here, whose smug little smile seems to be telling us that “Pretty much all I have to say is ‘well, at dad’s house I get to do this’ and suddenly I get to do that at mom’s house too. Oh, you have to share this cramped little place with two adults and three other kids? How quaint, for you.”

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Who are the funniest non-Josh posters on this site this week? All of you! But some of you in particular caught my eye. Here’s your COTW!

“Could it be that Charlie and Chance (similar names, unclear parentage, possibly the same age) are brothers? That would explain a lot, including why they’re the only two players this strip seems to care about right now. What it wouldn’t explain is why Charlie’s stepdad is willing to let him rake leaves in shorts, a sure path to Lyme disease.” –BigTed

And here are your hilarious runners up!

“I never really thought of this before, but despite his sometimes atavistic politics Dick Tracy is very strongly identified with northern cities, which puts him squarely in the demographic that doesn’t know or care about the difference between Georgia and Alabama. Ignoring evidence also seems on brand, as is getting het up about a rare disease that primarily afflicts blue-eyed white people.” –matt w

“You mean Dick Tracy could solicit tips from the reader all along? This changes everything. ‘Look out, Dick! Gotta Hatchet is hiding behind the door!’” –Handsome Harry Backstayge, Idol of a Million Other Women

“It’s an odd feeling to learn that one of your favorite cranky old man observations about modern life is being voiced by Lois.” –Randy

“While filling up a few months ago I learned from the gas pump that Tinder now has an easy-to-check box for multiple gender identities, so don’t tell me that you can’t learn useful stuff from your gas pump, Lois. Also, unsolicited streaming gas pump information gives Hi the perfect cover when he answers Lois’s ‘What’s Tinder?’ question by accident.” –Mikey

“This must be some production of Our Town if it attracted both the Iron Sheik and Eugene Levy to the theater.” –Joe Blevins

“Never mind Zak, who was never going to last, or Estelle, whose taste in men is too abominable for me to really care about her. If Iris ends up back with Wilbur for any reason whatsoever, I’m going to slit my wrists. She ESCAPED, goddamit! The hopes of middle-aged single women finally not having to fret over their kids anymore EVERYWHERE will be dashed if her best shot at enduring happiness turns out to look, sound, eat, and no doubt snore anything like Wilbur.” –Sally

“Ahhh, characters discussing spending large amounts of money on ill-conceived business ventures? Now that’s the Judge Parker I know.” –Noel

“Ah, Montoni’s, home to Montoni’s famous extra-chunky beer! It’ll stick to the sides of your glass, or form an unsettling mound in the middle. Ask for Ichorous IPA, Lumpy Lager, or Stewy Stout. Montoni’s — where it’s gonna come up in chunks, so it might as well go down in chunks.” –Voshkod

“Hi forgot to kiss Lois and Trixie. But he deliberately shunned Dot, Ditto and Chip. Because Hi is a cold-hearted bastard.” –Ringo Beaumont III

“Ouch. I’d sure hate to be television right now.” –jroggs

“Oh man you can already tell from Mason’s grin that he has lot of stupid ideas lined up for this production, like shooting it in Westview and using locals as the supporting cast. Maybe the high school band will be hired to do the score! Yeah, this is gonna be awful.” –pugufggly

“I don’t think the comics world is ready for the anti-comedy of Six Chix. I mean, everyone else is like 40 years past it, but in the comics bubble where Baby Boomers are still having kids, Mitch Hedberg is as scary and futuristic as a horseless carriage would be to Charlemange.” –toxic

“I love how even Bull’s death storyline has ended up focusing on the Book of Saint Lisa. Nothing actually said about CTE, or the impact on Bull’s wife, just some unfunny jokes about Bull doing laundry early on. Bull’s funeral is literally just an excuse to get Mason in town to start making a movie about Lisa. Her cancer has continued to grow after her death, eating every single storyline in the comic to become a meta-cancer on the comic itself.” –Keylime314

“Well, this plugger is from California, so maybe the bar for pluggerdom is much lower: ‘You’re a plugger if you refer to dollars as bucks and not as dead labour.’” –Ettorre

What if he was your son, George? What if he carried your DNA? What if you had been shtupping Alice all those years and eventually impregnated her, causing this? What if you had invited me to take part in a threesome with her, now and then? Would that have been too much to ask? What if, George? WHAT IF?????” –Maude R. Fawker

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Pluggers, 10/18/19

The point of Pluggers, it seems to me, is that it’s meant to draw a distinction between pluggers and … the rest of the world, defined however you want (liberal elitists? big city folk? the young and the hip?). We might disagree on what exactly those distinctions are, on what communities the plugger community defines itself as not being, but I think we can all agree that today’s panel — “A plugger uses an extremely common slang term in an everyday situation” — is terrible, just terrible, carrying almost no semantic content to speak of. The good news: this means we’ve run out of meaningful things to say about pluggers, and can shut down this strip forever.

Dennis the Menace, 10/18/19

Wow, this is the Dennis the Menace that’s going to be haunting my nightmares! “What if he was your son, George?” asks Martha — his wife with whom, of course, he has no children — while George looks down at Dennis with a sort of detached contemplation. I have so many questions about this! Is this some weird little game they’re playing? Is Dennis already a participant in this fantasy, or do they hope he’ll catch on and play along? Why does she say “your” son instead of “our” son??? I guess the “punchline” is supposed to be turning that back on her — he’s not my son, I just married into him when I married you — but it’s such a weird way of doing it! What the hell, man? Seriously, what the hell?

The Lockhorns, 10/18/19

Honest to God, the first time I read this, I thought Leroy was talking to Loretta, and that he really had missed his trial and was going to jail soon. Which would be good, honestly! He should go to jail, for his crimes!