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Shoe, 8/13/18

As near as I can tell, “My wife doesn’t understand me” is a set phrase that, whether it was ever used in real life or not, is generally understood in fiction to be the opening line of a man talking to someone with whom he’s looking to cheat on his wife. (The funny pages’ beloved Hagar the Horrible has used it in exactly that way, for instance.) But while it’s certainly possible that Senator Belfrey is trying to hit on this extremely put-upon bartender, he’s generally been depicted in this strip as grotesquely heterosexual, so I guess we’re meant to understand that he’s not deploying this phrase with ulterior motives in mind, but is genuinely trying to unburden himself and talk about the real emotional void in this life right now with a man he considers a friend. And that’s great, not only because I like to see depictions of people working through their issues in a thoughtful and constructive way, but also because otherwise he’d be trying to fuck this guy’s dog, or his liver.

Mark Trail, 8/13/18

Guys, I genuinely cannot tell you what the hell’s happening in Mark Trail right now, but it involves Rusty and Mara going to join a tour group at some other temple that’s not the same temple as the creepy and mysterious temple they were at earlier, and then trying and failing to get Becky’s attention. (This is just a side note, but, real talk: I have no idea who Becky is.) Anyway, I’m kind of in awe of today’s strip, which is dedicated entirely to Red-Hot It’s Weird That Becky Couldn’t Hear Us Action, and I hope it’s a setup for a plot where Rusty and Mara have been transported to some spirit realm by the evil forces residing in one or more of these temples, and that they are fated to drift as insubstantial shades through the world, seeing but not being seen, but probably Becky just couldn’t hear them for some reason that’s never going to be explained adequately.

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Hi and Lois, 8/12/18

In this fallen age where we’re all overworked and underpaid and comic strip revenue is dropping and endless digitized archives are out there for the reuse and remixing, I’m always slightly suspicious that anything I’m looking at as a comic strip could be a rerun with new dialogue and slightly updated art. Take today’s Hi and Lois. Obviously the core joke is very of the moment. And I’m not sure if we’re supposed to understand Chuck Green’s “my” as meaning “I invented this” or “I just downloaded it.” But is there any world where the visual stereotype to go with either of those things is “guy with white pants, spray tan, and shirt unbuttoned to display chest hair”? Anyway, feel free to imagine whatever extremely 1982 hijinks were going on here before the phone got dropped into the panel.

Crankshaft, 8/12/18

Today’s strip, combined with this weird storyline from a few months ago, indicates to me that someone on the Crankshaft creative team has finally noticed that low-margin retail banking is no longer a profit center for financial institutions and that they’re increasingly trying to cut costs through automation. Unfortunately for the financial services sector, they pissed off someone with access to the unparalleled reach of syndicated newspaper comics. Feeling that burn, Big Banks?

Spider-Man, 8/12/18

Shout-out to Peter Parker for taking time out of his busy being-tied-up-and-ineffectual schedule to notice that Suwan has a feisty nature and a great ass. “Oh, yeah! Shake that thang while you argue with your uncle! Daddy like!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 8/12/18

Thanks for putting quotes around “Elvis,” Rex Morgan, M.D., narration box! Without them, we might’ve briefly wondered if we were looking at the real Elvis Presley, and that would’ve been exciting, or at least interesting!

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Mary Worth, 8/11/18

I can’t really tell if Brandy is doing a jokey “Ha ha, I certainly hope you’re not gonna dump me” thing or is genuinely on a real emotional roller coaster here with Tommy. I also know Tommy is nervous about starting this conversation with Brandy, but I think that asking her to suddenly sit on the ground in the middle of this running path isn’t really the best of all possible ideas. It’s also possible that he’s abruptly decided, upon being called “lover boy,” that he is going to break up with her afer all.

Crankshaft, 8/11/18

I thought I was going to be mad that Lillian is covering like a solid 10 percent of her laptop screen with Ann’s card for no good reason (hey, Lillian, did you know you can put someone’s contact information inside the computer???) but then I realized that her word processor (?) has for mysterious reasons truncated her book’s title page? And has truncated it using three periods to represent two letters???? RAGE … RAGE …