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OK, people, I know we’re all very broken up about Aldo’s possible demise (and I emphasize the possible — several commentors have already floated halfway plausible theories about ways reports of his death may have become exaggerated). Clearly, we all care about Aldo — today is, it may not surprise you to know, my heaviest traffic day ever, and there are still two hours left in it. But still, until we get closure, we must move on and enjoy some other strips.

Curtis, 9/25/06

See, like this Curtis: very enjoyable. I freely admit that when it comes to broccoli, I am a whiny little Barry type. I love the way his freakishly huge broccoli crown gets freakishly huger between the second and fourth panels, and the way Curtis, who we all know will eat anything organic and some things that aren’t, regards his little brother’s squeamishness with silent but undisguised contempt. Mrs. Curmudgeon made some broccoli for her dinner tonight, possibly under subliminal incitement from this very comic strip, and our kitchen was filled with the stink lines.

Gil Thorp, 9/25/06

Gil Thorp is so spastically paced that it’s hard to get your footing when it shifts gears, plot-wise, but I’m starting to be intrigued by the tale of Bill Ritter and Stormy Hicks. See, Bill and Stormy are inseparable and the best of pals. Stormy is ostensibly dating Bill’s sister, but he sure never seems to spend much time with her, no doubt because it would cut in on Bill and Stormy’s quality time together, which they mostly spend chainsawing wood. Yep, just a couple of guys in tight jeans and goggles, working some power tools, putting in a good, honest day’s work. One of whom is named “Stormy.” Yep.

The drama part is that Bill’s mom objects to his presence in the family home, refusing even to call him by name (“That’s a name you call a dog — or a lounge singer!”) and only offering as an explanation for her enmity the fact that “I went to school with that boy’s father!” Since interracial romance has already been covered in this strip, I await breathlessly to find out just what Mrs. Ritter has against poor Stormy. Meanwhile, he and Bill will keep working out their feelings with their chainsaws. Yep.