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Gil Thorp, 5/19/07

Everyone who’s been whining about how relentlessly depressing and maudlin Funky Winkerbean’s cancer storyline may change their tune once they get a load of Gil Thorp’s frenzied, hard-to-follow take on the same material. My guess is that Coach Mrs. Coach Thorp is not, in fact, being told that she has cancer — the “bad news” will be that her insurance co-pay has gone up from $20 to $40 or something — but her student will spread the news to her squabbling teammates that Coach is on death’s door, and hilarious lesser-Shakespeare-comedy-of-misunderstanding-style hijinks will ensue, interspersed among Clambake’s down-home, vaguely racially offensive antics. It’ll be all cleared up right around the time the Lady Mudlark softball team gets bounced in the second round of the playdowns, and we’ll all learn a valuable lesson: namely, that nobody you actually know will ever get cancer.

Meanwhile, nobody will pay attention to the emotional and physical scars left by the vicious monkey attack on Blondie McWhatshername in panel three. The sinister simian has already clawed off most of her nose, and now it’s coming back for more.

Blondie, 5/19/07

It was distressing enough to learn that the Bumsteads’ neighborhood is full of vicious feral dogs who travel under the cover of night. Now we see that even the day isn’t safe, as this middle-school mafia travels from house to house demanding cash for work they don’t perform. The suburbs are even more terrifying than I could have imagined!

Apartment 3-G, 5/19/07

Some might argue that the revelation that Lu Ann’s veins are filled not with blood but some viscous black fluid indicates that she’s a robot, which would go a long way towards explaining her limited emotional range and general dimness. I prefer to believe that she’s been possessed by the X-Files’ black oil, and that “Albert Pinkham Ryder” is an avatar of the alien invasion force that’s been forcing her to paint endless numbers of boring fern watercolors to advance their sinister and inscrutable plans. In makes as much sense as anything else, which is to say: none at all.

9 Chickweed Lane, 5/19/07

A lot of people have been kvetching about this week’s 9 Chickweed Lane, in which Edda waxes maudlin about how nobody seems to understand the difference between being a dancer and being a professional dancer. As a non-traditional-job-having type myself (though my wife informed me this weekend that I did not actually qualify as “funemployed,” as much as I might like the word), I had a bit more sympathy than most, but even I was finding it pretty wearisome by the end … until suddenly it turned into Edda wearing short shorts and encountering a centaur, or unicorn, or something in the middle of a New York City park, and BAM! HOW YA LIKE ME NOW? It’s totally insane and doesn’t make any sense, but at least it’s more fun that Lu Ann’s leaky, addled skull.