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Beetle Bailey, 9/17/07

There’s been much speculation as the real nature of the relationship between Beetle and Sarge. In the absence of any leadership from Camp Swampy’s officer corps, has Sarge’s near-limitless authority over his subordinates simply allowed his inner brute to emerge in full, sadistic force? Or is Beetle no mere subject, but rather a participant in a complex and largely unspoken sadomasochistic relationship? Today’s strip offers another, even darker take: Sgt. Snorkel is an artist — an artist whose medium is human flesh and bone and blood, and Pvt. Bailey is and will forever be his greatest masterpiece. In this view, the opinion of Beetle on his role in this transaction is really no more important than a dab of paint’s views on being part of van Gogh’s Sunflowers. The chaplain, naturally, is horrified by the human price of art, but the angry beauty of Beetle’s mangled still-living body cannot be denied.

Funky Winkerbean, 9/17/07

Hey, remember a while back when gym teacher Bull implied that he wanted Les to knock up his ever-smirking wife? And now here they are, black-helmet-haired tot in tow? I’m sure that it was really adopted from Romania or something, but let me just for a moment revel in the idea that Les is at long last seeing the result of a fairly lucrative 20 minutes he spent “running errands” while Lisa was in chemo.

Marvin, 9/17/07

Marvin’s look of numb, wide-eyed horror tells us all we need to know about mom’s sadistic will to power through infinite punishment. Presumably he realizes that he’ll spend the rest of his life in that playpen. When he gets tall enough to climb out, his mother will simply put a lid over the top of the pen, leaving him to become a tiny, bonsai-sized adult with stunted limbs, a gruesome example to any toddlers thinking of doing whatever I’m-too-lazy-to-come-up-with-something-specific act of mischief the cowed dog is referring to in panel one.

Mary Worth, 9/17/07

I’ve played a fair amount of Wii Boxing in the past few weeks, and I’ve even seen filmed evidence (with audio) of what I look like while playing Wii Boxing, so I have a pretty good idea of what Dawn’s fists in that position portend. Drew and Vera, get ready to have those little knuckle sandwiches come flailing at you while she lets out little high-pitched grunts of rage! You won’t be able to fend off her head-vibrating assault without giggling.

Dawn’s “And I thought you were the ‘one’!” is actually a pretty effective comeback, in the sense that it riffs off of Drew’s “I thought you were studying” excuse, which is so lame that she could never have anticipated it in advance. I hope she uses her razor wit to further humiliate Drew and Vera as she pummels them. I suggest she start with their bizarre decision to wear matching brown pants.

Pluggers, 9/17/07

A plugger’s body is a battleground where the marketing departments of major pharmaceutical companies fight to the death.