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Hagar the Horrible, 4/13/06

Ah, it’s tax season, so what better opportunity for Hagar the Horrible to deploy an incomprehensible gag about tax collectors! Note that in panel one Hagar is blase about this radical change in tax policy, while Helga looks shocked and appalled that the royal government has decided to abandon a progressive income tax. Presumably the change was pushed through by fat-cat campaign contributors whose portfolios were heavy on capital gains-producing investments and low on foliage.

Anyway, the joke, such as it is, revolves around the sheer number of leaves on the The Horribles’ trees, and the sky-high tax bills that will no doubt result. This strikes me as the sort of thing that the artist thought was a great idea until he suddenly found himself in the position of having to draw all the damn leaves. So, he loses points on foresight, but kudos to him for following through to the bitter, hand-cramping end anyway.

Apartment 3-G, 4/13/06

How little respect does Apartment 3-G get from my hometown paper, the Baltimore Sun? Well, first they tried to cancel it, though obviously the outcry was too great for them to get away with that. Now I find out that the writing duties for the strip changed some time ago (Lisa Trusiani’s out, Margaret Shulock’s in) and the Sun has yet to change the byline in the paper. For shame! I had to find out by seeing that the Apartment 3-G article on Wikipedia was updated, which fact of course entails the disturbing corollary that there are people out there who care even more about this strip than I do and update its Wikipedia article when its authors change. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing that the author changeover happened right around here, when there was this weird abrupt wrapping up and yet the next storyline ended up continuing the previous one instead of just imposing the usual mind-wipe on all its characters.

Anyway, this has been a long-winded way of saying that if we can count on the new author to keep on creating bizarre and simultaneously sexy and slightly unnerving scenarios like “Let’s admire Tommie in Nina’s bridal veil and a polo shirt under an sweater,” then I for one welcome her with open arms.

(Oh, and confidential to King Features: It’s fine that you didn’t bother to contact me this time, but when Margaret gets tired of this gig in two or three years, I am totally available. Just FYI.)

Mary Worth, 4/13/06

Lou’s thought balloon is no “My very own meth lab,” and in fact I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean, but sure sounds sinister, doesn’t it? It should rightly be followed by maniacal laughter.

Lou: Yes, you’re right, hon! We do share everything!

Lou thought balloon: [And we always will.]

Lou: Heh he. Moo ha ha. MOOHOHOHO HA HA! HA HA! MOO HA HA!!!!

Kelly thought balloon: [God damn, that freak likes pie a little too much.]