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Luann, 2/17/06

Curtis, 2/17/06

Ladies and gentlemen, here on the last day of this Valentine’s Week (yes, it’s a whole week now, didn’t you get the memo from Hallmark and Cathy?), we have a battle royale between two comics love stories that just … won’t … end!

In this corner, in black and white, we have the eternal Brad-Toni-Dirk triangle. See the teasing! The sullen glares! The violation of restraining orders! The gratuitous use of the word “Chunkboy!”

And in this corner, in living color, we have the latest chapter in the Curtis-Michelle love-hate dipole. See what happens when the boy who can’t say “no” meets the girl who won’t say “yes”!

I think we have to acknowledge Curtis as the clear winner here. I’m getting real sick of Toni’s coy little sidelong glances and unnaturally pouty lips. From an artistic point of view, she’s got nothing on Michelle’s hilariously disgusted facial expression in panel three: eyes bugged out, lips curled in disdain, sweat balls flying, motion lines tracking her escape route and a well-placed elbow ready to jab her wannabe paramour in the throat if it comes to that. And while Brad’s wide-eyed, dot-mouthed horror in panel three of Luann is evocative of his new awareness of his own romantic ineptitude, it doesn’t convey bleakness the way Curtis’ lonely, underdressed blizzard trek does. Mostly, though, this Curtis promises to at least end the Michelle nonsense for a few weeks, whereas I have a sinking feeling that the Brad romantic hijinks will continue on indefinitely.