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You know the look.

You’re standing in the kitchen with a wad of newsprint in your fist, screaming fluent, brutal invective at Mary’s advice, Dolly’s wordplay or Liz’s life choices. Suddenly in the doorway is your spouse, your child, your lover — hell, your pet — wearing that look.

No one at The Comics Curmudgeon will ever give you that look. Not the guy who spurns Lynn Johnston’s affections, not the barkeep ruined by a coke-addled cat, nor the reanimator with all the links — not the woman who built a neo-Freudian parallel FOOB, nor the one who counts the squid. None of the songwriters, dancers, poets, aphorists, lurkers, vulgarians or saints here will ever give you that look. You’re among people who know that comics matter, and care enough to mock the bad ones.

Now isn’t that worth a couple bucks? You know it is. We’re holding a fund-raiser for the support of this site while its host takes a vacation. Contribute any way you choose: PayPal, plastic, cash or check — it only takes a minute or two, and you’ll feel great about it. Click the banner below to help make this your site; we’ll be here when you get back. And we understand.

And speaking of that look, this look is all wrong:

For Better or For Worse, 9/4/07

Throughout this entire ramshackle dénouement, we were led to expect charming vignettes from the early days of the strip. Assurances were made! We were led to expect this:

For Better or For Worse, 12/6/79

This is why people are so passionate about this strip after 28 years — look at Elly’s breezy, self-confident sexuality, and her comfort with both her options and her choice of a new husband, who is clearly boggled by his good fortune. We see none of this in today’s “reimagined” strip — remanufacturing young love as something like a maritime docking maneuver.

But that’s not even my biggest problem. No — this is my biggest problem:

For Better or For Worse, 9/4/07, 8/7/07 (flipped)

Having failed utterly to gin up support for Liz’s pasty milquetoast intended, the author is raising the stakes — “see, he’s just like John was! How can you hate him now?”

You’ll see.

— Uncle Lumpy